Thursday, March 08, 2007

Spurs and Hollows

Greg C. was not my first boyfriend. But he was my first love. I was his first love. And that is a powerful connection.

Last I saw him was August 1999, a few weeks before he moved to Vancouver and I moved to Halifax. It had been a while since we'd talked, but I'd been good friends with his sister after our break up, so had kept track of him for quite a while.

I knew he'd had a coke problem, I knew he and his mom had been rooming together, I knew she'd died. He'd had a serious girlfriend, I think, for a couple years. I knew he'd been working some kind of job he didn't particularly care about. He was moving to Vancouver to be a DJ and to get away from the apartment he and his mom had shared until her death. He was taking his creepy hairless cats. He was going to join his sister, who'd been out there a few years already, trying to make her mark on TV.

We had a pretty nice conversation. It was kinda awkward, unsurprisingly. I had my just-come-out super Toronto dyke look going on. Polyester grampa shorts, hair a number two buzz on the side and slightly longer on top with the bleached parts just growing out. Wallet chain. He wasn't so surprised when I told him I was queer.

But I don't think that's what made it awkward. It's always hard to know where to start when you're talking to someone you haven't talked to in years. Where's the in? Life is always messy, but my early twenties were a storm of sex and celibacy and confusion and dealing with someone else's addictions and my own depression. How do you condense that catalogue of disasters into a tidy interview length call and response? "Oh, hey, Teresa tells me that you and my abusive ex have a substance in common!" Fun times.

It was nice though, and even though 10 years had passed, I could still feel that connection between us. That romance we'd had so strong, the love and lust all mixed up. He dropped me off at my house and we looked at each other, smiling and sizing up the moment. Should we kiss? Just hug? If we kissed, would it turn into making out? Would that be okay? If we made out, would it turn into sex? Would it be that easy to fuck as adults, a decade after we'd agonized over the decision and decided not to?

I have always been sorry about deciding not to.

In the end, I leaned over and we had a soft lingery lip kiss, I gave him a hard hug, and jumped out of the car, not looking behind me as I ran up the stairs to my door.

Eric was over a few nights ago and we were having one of those fun conversations that rambled all over the place, but wasn't about anything specifically. At one point, he said "For a while, one of my exes was attracted to men named Tony."

"Huh," I said. "That's kind of a funny thing to imprint on."

"Imprinting?" It wasn't really a question. "I'd never thought of it that way before."

"Yeah." I responded anyway. "Tall skinny boys with big noses? That's Greg - the past 17 years. Greg."

The tall, skinny, beaky-nosed boy at my table laughed. Thankfully.

There's a female version of Greg: Winona. So many of the women I'm really drawn to remind me in some way of her. Pale ringlet hair; transluscent green eyes; those collarbones; her old-fashioned oval face and full lips; gracefully arched dark eyebrows.

But they're not static, these romantic imprints. They collect sediment in funny ways, a spur over here, a hollow worn there, the meaty thighs and flat breasts of the last girl superimposed over Margaret's thin, surprisingly curvy frame.

Last night, at the Against Me! show, Jennifer was super sick with brutal migraine pain. Poor chicken. Half the fun of going to see them is enjoying watching Jennifer freak out about seeing one of her favourite bands. So it wasn't so much fun for anyone. I also didn't enjoy the crowd as much as I did last time, but I don't quite know why. I also didn't enjoy the beer corral that I spent 5 minutes waiting to get into and then 5 seconds feeling penned into like I was a calf to slaughter and then 2 minutes trying to get out of.

After I escaped the beer corral, I stood by Jennifer, waiting to catch her if she fell over, Sunny on her other side. And then the music started and man, were they fucking good. I don't even really know their music, but I know a fucking good live band when I see one.

Even though it was against the rules, people started crowd surfing. Up went the heads, the feet, fists flying in joy, up went the mowaks and floppy hair. There goes the girl and I hope nobody grabbed her tit. And then, oh, and then, this pair of long long boy legs in skinny-legged jeans, so long, I mean how could they keep him up without snapping, they were that delicate, and these long narrow feet in converse. My cunt clenched.

Funny what we pick up about people without really knowing it.

That photo is cropped from a big photo taken by Aurèle. I know those are Addidas and not converse. Apparently my cooch doesn't know from footwear.


zoom! said...

I read this a couple of days ago, and it keeps drifting back into my consciousness at the most unlikely of times.

I think this is one of your finest posts ever.

Asteroidea Press said...

Wow, thank you. I'm really glad you liked it. It was fun to think about and write.