crazy_jewelry_display_baazarThe Dance in Black


“I’ve been kind of out of circulation,” I said, feeling like some lazy discount bulk mailing.


“Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen you before.”  She said while extending her hand.  I expected her to toss me that limp-fish sideways-aversion shake that some girls mistakenly learned while growing up on a teacup farm.  This chick wasn’t scared of swapping molecules; she shook me firmly like a hammerhead shark. “I’m Blake.”  She said while never averting her eyes from my left pupil.  A strong statement if you can get away with it.  She did.


Blake was really great looking, like the foxy chick you could never get near in high school, but always fantasized about while your boyfriend gave you hickeys.  She had a whole jaw full of sparkly block shaped teeth that I imagined were fabricated specifically for high definition cinema.  What struck me almost as quickly as her film star looks was her presence and generosity.  “You have really pretty eyes.” She told me, “Your whites are so white.”


Girls never volunteered compliments to me.  I often sat in the sun seat at restaurants wishing they would notice as my eyes caught the right ray of light.  Maybe then they would see the flecks, the depth, the whites, so white.  But this Blake girl, within minutes of our first meeting was telling me I pleased her.  It was tempting to walk away feeling I had won something intangible so quickly.


Blake didn’t ask me what I did for a living, as many people in Los Angeles inquire by rote, instead she said, “Who are you?”


“What do you mean?”  I asked.  I knew what she meant.  I was stalling to concoct the perfect answer without revealing too much truth.  Women tend to be emotionally available to each other, while with men feeling that same openness must be earned.  These diffuse boundaries can spur an immediate intimacy.  Women have deceptively soft skin, lips and hips; and a bed or the floor is always just a few feet away.  It’s crucial to save your strength for the dance.


I guess we must have stared into each others eyes without saying anything for too long because suddenly from out of the side of her mouth fell some words. “Do you ever get this bizarre impulse to ask someone you don’t even know to marry you?  You know, just because it’s such a huge deal.  Does that make sense?”  She stood silently before me like a third graders paper machete bunny project.  “Did I freak you out?”  She asked.


I continued looking at her, slowly shaking my head side to side.  She was so adorable and vulnerable I felt compelled to rescue her from the cliff of awkward over-share.  It’s a familiar precipice where I spent all of my twenties, most of my thirties, and obviously I still live there now.

“Hawaii or Vegas?”  I offered.


As soon as we got on the subject of films I judgmentally determined Blake was not my soul mate. She loved The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction.  The Shawshank thing is a lesbian phenomenon I’m not sure I can explain.  Every lesbian singles site across the globe has one glaring similarity.  Though lesbians may have nothing in common besides enjoying same sex partners or even having shared the same partner, they all proudly declare The Shawshank Redemption as their favorite film.  Obviously, this is hyperbolic, but that doesn’t make it less true.  Maybe it has a catchy title that springs to memory before Terms of Endearment, a film made before dating sites existed, or maybe Shawshank touches lesbians in some primal jailhouse place.  I’m not knocking it.  It’s impossible not to like The Shawshank Redemption.  I just don’t understand it as a favorite film choice, not while Cinema Paradiso is an option.  And while I did love moments of Pulp Fiction, I thought it was over written and gratuitously violent.  I have to question whether I could spend my life with someone whose favorite film has such dark and lascivious undercurrents.  Although, spending three months with this person might be exciting, if not invaluable source material.


Within hours of meeting Blake I was deciding how I could avoid loving her, eventually landing on the idea that I didn’t even want to be in love.  I wanted to have sex. I wanted someone to knock my headboard with.  Maybe we’d hit the memo button on my answering machine by mistake and tape our orgasms layered perfectly over background music.  I wanted sex, not love.  Love is too messy and time consuming.  Sex is love-light, love for the night, it’s love in a packet you pour in a cup. Sex is instant love with a full-bodied flavor.


Of course, casual sex for two women has its drawbacks:

A)   Eventually it ends.

B)   Someone falls in love and it may not be mutual.

C)   That someone is often me.

D)   If it’s her who falls in love, it still hurts somehow.

E)    Neither one of us develops deep feelings, and that can be awkward.  You can keep those sunglasses btw, I never wore them.

F)    Gay marriage is the new Uhaul.


Just because you are attracted to a girl when you first meet her, doesn’t mean you are meant to be together.  Pheromone’s and chemistry are tricky evolutionary weapons developed through some biological need that may no longer be current for evolution.  Perhaps at one time chemistry was integral in strengthening our species.  But for lesbians who may not be plagued by thoughts of procreation, being attracted to someone because she has broad shoulders or high arches is not necessarily a good thing.


Is it wrong to be a lesbian and just want sex?  “That’s not lesbianism, that’s a gay man,” chimes in some friend.  Oh.  So, I’m a gay man.  But, gay men won’t get near me.  They think because I’m a lesbian I just want to be held.


So back to Blake.  She listened to me.  I wasn’t used to that.

Listening is not an L.A. activity.  Blake would hear my words, then respond to what I had said with questions pertaining to the subject we were discussing.  It felt like we were having one of those experiences from antiquity called a conversation.  It was what people must have resorted to before industry lunches and cellular phones.   We kept that up for a few hours and an even more remarkable thing happened.  We got to know each other.  And as soon as started to like her I wanted to kiss her.  Kissing is the gateway drug.



Her lips were calling out to be kissed no matter what her mouth had said.  “No,” was what her mouth said.  She didn’t think we knew each other well enough to kiss.  What does it take, I wondered.  I knew her family birth order.  I knew she liked her vegetables steamed lightly so as to retain a crunch.  Some people are so guarded.


I spent an hour explaining to Blake why we should kiss right away.  I began with the obvious.  I wanted to kiss her badly.  Then I moved on to the more obscure reasons:

a)  Kissing is a fundamental part of the “getting-to-know-you” process.

b)  It relieves pre-kiss tension.

c)  It alerts you the fact that your kissing isn’t compatible, just in case weak kisses are a deal breaker.

d)  Kissing is the happy medium that rests between awkward conversation and sex.

e)  Flagrant kissing is not considered to be promiscuous behavior, so reputations remain intact.

F)  Kissing is a great way to swap atoms thereby strengthening your molecular structure.


She was having none of it.  I had been in a similar circumstance before.  I was trapped in a bathroom stall with a girl I’d been dating for a month.  She hadn’t yet kissed me but wasn’t going to do it in a toilet.  She couldn’t see any romantic potential in the situation.  She lacked vision.  But it’s always those that give you a hard time in the beginning that end up dry humping you on the hood of your car in front of the valet.


Blake took my hand and led me to the dance floor.  It had certain predictability.  Next, she was reaching her hands for my hips and pulling me tightly against her.  I pulled back from her clutches.  Sure, she would bump and grind me into a climactic frenzy in the middle of a crowded dance floor, but she wouldn’t rest her lips softly on mine in a dark secluded corner of the club.


“What’s up with you?  Where’d you go?”  She asked sincerely while still maintaining excellent rhythm.

“I was day dreaming about the fag club down the street.  Ecstasy, casual sex, cosmopolitans, nipple rings, . . .”

“Oh, you want a drink?”  She asked loudly over the music, luckily glossing over my passive aggressive shenanigans.

I realized I had to be very careful when I was out to get laid because often times I would confuse multiple sexual encounters with a relationship.  I would wonder why after ten months with a woman we had trouble sharing the same interests.  That was because we only shared one interest in the beginning.  The sport fucking behavior is an insidious one.  It can creep up on you while your spaying your cat or purchasing stamps.  I was cruising the dating scene trying to meet the girl of my dreams and suddenly I would find myself sampling the whole population.  I had forgotten that I could probably get a good idea about someone from light dinner conversation.  When someone substantial walked in, someone I could seriously fall in love with, my skills were honed for party-line behavior.



I distanced Blake with the same techniques I used to filter out the white noise, television commercials, and jazz fusion.  And I tried to have sex with her right away.  As we were driving to her house to sleep together, my mind was already preparing to be showered and be out by seven a.m.  I managed to shake Blake off as if that was the whole point in the first place.  I felt like Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate, but without the option to bounce back to the crazy-hot older woman.


Eventually I received my unwelcomed epiphany.  I was more guarded than all the women I was trying to get with.  All my failed relationships draped me like vampires, creeping out of their coffins, reminding me of my vulnerability.  They were supposed to be dead hurts.  So I became a vampire, dressing in black while searching for love.  Suddenly, I understood why I couldn’t see myself in a bathroom mirror while staying the night with a girl.