Thursday, September 13, 2007
My best friend Starr Ann doesn't merely enter a room, she arrives on the scene.
So there I was, sitting beside the hearth thinking about what I had done with Jodie earlier, when the front door flew open and Starr Ann burst through, smiling big. She took one look at me and stole a quick glance at the clock on the mantel. "What are you doing sitting down? It's three o'clock in the afternoon."
I couldn't find my words right away, and that made her smile go away. I said, "Starr Ann, there's something I need to tell you."
That really scared her. "Lightning! Was his foot worse than we thought?"
"No, Lightning's fine. Just the bruise." I stood up and took a step toward her. Then it all came out in one piece. "Starr Ann, Jodie was here this afternoon and we were in the barn, and she was all fresh and wearing that deep red shirt, and she made me laugh so hard a few times I thought my side would never straighten out, and when I had to squeeze past her in the stall doorway something came over both of us, and I swear to you it wasn't even like she was your girlfriend, she was only Jodie and we were pressed up against each other, and Starr Ann I am so sorry, but it just happened, that's all."
Starr Ann stood there still as a fence post for an eternity. Then her eyes filled up with tears that kept right on going and ran down her cheeks. She said, almost reverently, "This is really it, Margo."
My throat was so dry I could barely beg her forgiveness. But I did.
Starr Ann seemed real far off the whole time I was saying I'd do anything to make it up. Anything she said. Then all of a sudden, what I was saying filtered through her daze and she shook her head, kind of laughing when she did, which scared me even more.
She said, "Stop, it, goof. I'm crying because I'm happy." Then her voice changed, went down a bit, and she sounded like she was amazed at her own words. "A couple of weeks ago, Jodie told me she had never committed anything of herself to any woman. Then she gave me that sly smile of hers. You know which one I mean?"
"And she said that if we, her and me, were ever to get it in our heads to take up with each other for good, there were two things she'd like to get clear on first." Starr Ann truly snapped out of it right then. "Jodie told me she'd want to make sure there was no lingering curiosity between you and her about each other." Now she really smiled the huge Starr Ann smile. "Don't you get it? This means Jodie Diamond loves me. I'm sure of it."
My knees went so weak, it took me a minute to get the gumption to light into Starr Ann about how she could have given me a little warning for goddess' sake. "And another thing, Starr Ann, who were you two to decide I was even curious about Jodie?"
She shrugged. "You've only asked me about a hundred times if you could sleep with her."
"And you always say no!"
"And you always say you'll take that as a maybe!"
Well, this was a far cry from the argument I'd envisioned we'd be having. When the relief hit me full force, the giddiness sent me into a laughing fit. Starr Ann had one, too, but I'm pretty sure hers was over this new evidence that Jodie was in love with her. We were leaning on each other to stay upright as we staggered to the kitchen, and then stood in front of the open refrigerator scanning for food.
What we found was cold mashed potatoes and a little bit of extra hot salsa. Best meal I ever ate.
I should've known Starr Ann would have a unique take on the situation. She's always talking about how lucky we are, as lesbians, to be living on a frontier, if you think about it. If you're the adventurous type, it's easy to view being legally left out as being outside the law. We get to make our own exciting way through relationships because there's no container sitting there waiting to, well, contain us.
At one point as we sat at our kitchen table consuming that wonderful meal, Starr Ann quoted an aphorism she likes, one that sums up her take on marriage. It's a single line found in Kafka's diary that goes:
A cage went looking for a bird.
Hearing her say that again, I realized I was silly to think for a single minute Starr Ann would hate me for something that came so natural and didn't take one speck away from what's between her and Jodie.
Finally, I remembered to ask about the second thing Jodie wanted to get clear before they made their promises to each other.
Starr Ann wiggled her eyebrows. "She wants you and me to make sure there's no lingering curiosity about each other."
Salsa out the nose, especially when it's thickened up and slowed down with mashed potatoes, hurts real bad.