I met Kami and her friend Bridgette at a Gay Film Release party, therefore I assumed they were both gay and ready to be released. Bridgette was six feet tall, blue eyed, and freckled sporadically. She was big boned and surprisingly sexy wearing hotpants without seeming to know why. Both girls were in their early thirties and normally that would have turned me off. I always thought the seventies were a bad decade for girls. It’s as if they weren’t aged properly. Like an immature wine, they have a woodsy flavor with a hint of wet stone. But I had been single for eight months. I was alone so often I became obsessed, thinking about myself all the time. I would drive past my house late at night, call my number, listen to my machine, and hang up.
I asked Bridgette to go out with me because she was the taller of the two and wasn’t named Kami. I took her to Asia De Cuba for dinner. It has a view that looks out over the city in a condescending, yet not intentionally hurtful way.
Bridgette looked amazing, sipping her drink like she was reclined on island sand. Unfortunately, our conversation was stilted. She’d ask me something. I’d tell her the truth. She’d argue as if I’d been lying. So I would lie until she believed me. She became absorbed in my lies and therefore more trusting. I would slip in some truth, but she’d catch it. I can usually get away with being myself, but not with Bridgette, she was wise to it.
The food was great and after four beautifully hued Cosmo’s, I convinced myself I could sleep with her. Her skin was smooth and tan like a porcupine isn’t. Her legs were like floor to ceiling windows over-looking central park. Her lips parted perfectly whenever she brought them to a drink.
I drove her home with loud music blasting, hopping to avoid another conversation ruining the mood.
She turned down my music, “I want to come home with you.” She mouthed to me slowly, Marilyn Monroe style.
I smiled as if I hadn’t heard her. I usually don’t let women come to my home because they could come back another time on their own. Women are like Map Quest. When we stopped in front of her house she leaned in for a kiss.
“If you take the gum out of your mouth I would gladly kiss you.” I said gently.
“I can kiss great with gum.” She insisted.
“I’m sure you can,” I said. “But I don’t chew gum and don’t want to start.”
She took out the gum. It took weeks to pry it out of my upholstery.
“Why don’t you give a real blond a shot?” Kami said cattily, when she called a few days later. I was forced into wondering how it were possible Bridgette was not a real blond. She was practically translucent.
When I picked her up, Kami was dressed scantily in low cut jeans and a shirt baring a full shoulder. I have never been into the one shoulder thing. It has a straight girl aesthetic I find repellant. It falls in the same category as chokers and animal shaped evening bags. This was a date, I reminded myself, why should I care what she wears as long as she takes it off.
Kami wanted to go to a chick club, so I drove her to my favorite lesbian dive in the Valley. She lived in the Valley, so staying local made sense. It’s hard to escape the Valley, some people spend their whole lives trying.
We hadn’t kissed yet. Not even the nervous obligatory lip peck when we first got together. The first kiss is important. It is the pace car for the rest of the relationship. I love a long wait for the first kiss. It will never be first again. It may be bad, it could be great, it might be mediocre, but it will only be first once.
I ordered something light with rocks so I would be able to climax if pressed. Kami ordered the same. I liked her. She didn’t ask me any questions. So I didn’t have to answer them. We danced recklessly, yet not without method. Occasionally her lips would sweep near to mine, only to disappear again under the safety of her face. I was enjoying not getting what I wanted. When I get what I want, my desires invariably change.
I was not getting a kiss. Not in the bathroom, where we stood as close to each other as possible without being sealed in saran wrap. It was wise that she didn’t kiss me in a bathroom. A bathroom kiss will lead to a nasty raucous affair that ends badly in a travel lodge parking lot. One person has to take the Amtrak home and the fares aren’t cheap.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened much later near the bar. We fell together for a kiss that resembled sex much more than high school gym class ever did. Her lips were wet and inviting like a pool at midnight. We became those two girls in the bar who should ‘Get a room.’ After a complete loss of time and space awareness I managed to climb out of what was now the pounding ocean to collect my clothes. I calmed down with a drink. She was still attached to my side. In fact, after our first kiss, she would not stop clutching me like her purse in the garment district. Everywhere I went, she held me, caressed me, coddled me, and tugged at me. Hard. Finally I took her body and placed it a few feet away from me. “Stay,” I said. “No touching. If I want to be touched, I’ll call you. Until then, no touch.”
As she grasped desperately for me I reminded her, “Jane stay here. Tarzan go hunt.”
One kiss had transformed Kami into a needy pre-teen, and if I were ever going to be attracted to her again, she was going to find her adulthood fast. She took direction well. In half an hour she was in full-blown adolescence and by the drive home she was back in her thirties. When we arrived at her house she asked me if I wanted to come in for a minute. This was a pinnacle moment in our evening and she handled it with grace and style. She did not beg, grope or whine. She did not imply that we would have sex or a boring conversation. She simply asked if I would like to come in.
She went straight into her bathroom as is required of all women entering any home. I lay down on her bed, with my shoes still on, like a dude. I was pretty sure she wouldn’t kick me outta bed as long as the shoes weren’t on the duvet cover. Kami flew out of the bathroom in a sheer, short, slinky thing. She jumped on top of me and giggled wildly. The rest was a blur of scrambled bodies and hysterical fits of laughter. At one point I had to pull her head up from dangling on the floor.
“No,” Kami protested laughing diabolically, “I love being upside down. All that blood rushing to my head and everywhere!”
Hours later, when we had as much fun as two girls could have without going shopping, we took our respective pee breaks. I started to get dressed to leave and Kami snatched my car keys. I chased her around the room playfully for a while until she realized her room was too small and she bolted out to her yard searching for a place to hide my keys. I followed her casually. I crept up behind her and whispered in her ear as I grasped the keys delicately. “I had a great time.” I said.
She turned to me and hugged me tightly. “Don’t leave me,” she said.
“I’m not leaving you,” I said. “I’m just leaving.”
I kissed her on her mouth. It was even better than the first time. Then I left.
I’ve been both the leaver and the left, and I’ve never regretted either part I’ve played. It was always better then not having had a part at all. Once in a while, when the moon is full or a crescent, or it’s springtime, or even summer when the grunion are running, one of us might not go home, if we’re lucky.