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Spin Me Round
by Susan Boxer

Reprinted by Permission

It's late. Maybe one, one-thirty. I don't know for sure what time it is since I lost my watch, but by the way the crowd is looking like they've already had a few drinks, I'd guess it can't be earlier than one. If it's one, then thirty minutes have gone by. If it's one-thirty, then an hour has gone by. Stupid little thoughts like this race through my head and for the most part, I hate it. The girl in the blue is wearing too much of the same shade of blue. So? That guy's shirt has a stain on the collar. And? It's been thirty minutes (or an hour) since I did it. It. Did it. Give me a pen and paper and I'll write down every detail until I can't write anymore. Hand me a dictating machine and I'll talk so fast your head will spin. But a spinning head, as I recently found out, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Three weeks in a row I'd seen her in here. Every day. Ten thirty sharp. She's here. I'm here. We both wish we were somewhere else. At first it was the usual conversation.

"Hi."

"Hello."

"Can I help you find something?"

Nono, that's not how the company wants you to phrase it. So when she turns me down, I ask a different way the next day.

"Hi."

"Hello."

"What can I help you find today?"

"Nothing."

So much for the success of open-ended questions. For weeks I've gone to the bathroom in the store's bathroom and stared at that stupid sign with those absurd reminders to the employees.

"The open-ended question," comment number four claimed, "is almost guaranteed to get you a favorable response." So much for favorable response. I just want her to talk with me. Just ask how things are with me. Ask me for my recommendations. Ask if I'll go home with her. That's not asking too much.

"Hi."

"Hello."

"What can I do for ya today?"

"I'm looking for something."

"Who isn't?"

No sense of humor apparently either. Why do I bother?

"Hi."

"Hello."

Pause. My mind conjures up images of desperate lovemaking with her and suddenly I wonder if I'm blushing. People always say, "I could feel myself blushing," but I don't know what blushing feels like. Given the images, I think it's safe to assume I was blushing. She's standing there, she sees me blushing (assuming, of course, that I really am). Does she know why I'm blushing?

"Have dinner with me," she says. Huh? My response, almost as eloquent, was "Excuse me?" I sure can charm them.

"Have dinner with me tonight. Eight. Don't be late. I hate it when food gets cold." She shoves a piece of paper with her address and directions into my hand and runs out the door. Imagine that. I told you it wasn't asking too much.

Blue shirt, black pants, black boots? Too much like a bruise. Lavender shirt? Too overtly queer; why not just wear the rainbow stripe shirt if there's a statement to be made? No. Okay, think. Think, dammit! Seven o'clock, thirty minutes across town to her place if there's no traffic (what are the chances?), no idea how to get there. Shit. Okay, here we go. The outfit. Black riding boots. Black jeans. White silk shirt. Black leather jacket. It's perfect. Queer, not too queer. Butch, not too butch. Wait. Bra or no bra? Bra. I don't want her to think I'm too desperate. I'm not even desperate. Bra. Definitely. Belt? Belt. Finishes the outfit. Final check in the mirror. Looking good. Alright, I'm out the door. Let's hope she can cook.

Seven forty-five. Shit! Where in the hell is her street? Why do people who have no sense of direction write down directions?

"Hi."

"Hello."

"Seven fifty-six. Made it."

"Yes, you did. Impressive. People usually get lost and show up thirty to forty minutes late." "Ah. So, you invite a lot of people over here?"

"Just to see how many of them get lost on the way."

"I didn't get lost."

"Good."

Interesting. This evening could prove to be very interesting indeed.

Hardwood floors. I love hardwood floors. I wonder who these photos are of. Nice, though. Yes, yes, very nice office and living room. Stunning. Rivetting. I never know what to say on a tour of a house. Ah. The bedroom. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they point out that "this is the bedroom." Some people kind of try to mumble their way past it, hoping that I won't notice the tell-tale furniture that pretty much just gives it away that this is, in fact, the bedroom. Others are a bit too confident about themselves and make it seem like I've just chosen Door No. 1 and here's my $25,000 prize that I was oh, so sensible not to accidentally give away for Door No. 3 (one year supply of Rice-A-Roni). This one is different, though. Somewhere in between mumbling and self-assured. Interesting indeed.

Oh my god. Breathe. Start breathing. The kitchen. Did she know exactly what I would put in my kitchen if I were to build one from the ground up (literally)? Knives from the finest cutlery makers. Bowls and baskets and dishes and cups and mugs and platters and trivets (even!) and trinkets and machinery from all over the world. A marble countertop extending half the length of this lengthy kitchen--perfect for any type of pastry or dough or frieze.

"So, what are we having for dinner?"

"I don't know. What would you like?"

"But I thought you said..."

"I know what I said. What shall we eat? You'll find my kitchen well-stocked."

No doubt.

"I'll be back in a minute. Help yourself to whatever you want to make for dinner. Don't bother asking if you can use something--just use it."

"But where are you going?"

"To the bedroom."

How in the hell should I know what to make? I don't even know what she likes or doesn't like. This is slightly unnerving. Well, let's see what she has.

"Ready to go?"

"Uh, go where? I thought we were eating here?"

"We were. But then I remembered that I have something special planned. Grab your jacket; you'll need it where we're going."

"Which is?"

"Out."

Nine thirty-four and we're driving a whopping ten miles an hour down a rather crowded street. Why do people cruise? I've never understood the concept. Maybe this is why I detest driving a whopping ten miles an hour down a rather crowded street so much. Her taste in music is making me begin to regret this date. Diamanda Galas is good, but only for 5 minutes at a time--definitely not for an entire album and definitley not while driving a whopping ten miles an hour down a rather crowded street. Maybe I could put on the radio. Of course, this isn't my car. But maybe she'll take it as a sign of assertiveness if I eject the tape and scream at the top of my lungs, so that everyone 'cruising can hear, "Listen, this music sucks! And where the fuck are we going?!" Somehow, I think this would be lost on her and she'd just kick me out of the car. Five more minutes of Diamanda Galas and I won't mind.

Perhaps I misspoke when I said I hated cruising. Compared to driving far too fast for such a narrow and bumpy street as this, ten miles an hour sounds close to heavenly. I knew I should have driven. How can I drive when I still don't know where we're going? Shit.

Thank God. Sixty miles an hour on Pacific Coast Highway and Maria McKee instead of Diamanda Galas. There is life after death.

"Annie Lennox."

"Great voice," I say, thinking that maybe the cosmic and ethereal route would be best for now. "Jodie Foster."

"Can't stand her."

The topic that devides lesbians: yay for Jodie Foster or nay for Jodie Foster. Definitely nay. "Annette Benning."

I squirm a bit and feel the ocean breeze through my shirt.

"I'm .... partial to Annette."

"Partial? What does 'partial' mean?"

Partial means I would consider doing a great deal for the opportunity to be with her. Be with her. Sleep with her. Have sex with her. Do her. Fuck her. What does she think "partial" means?

"Partial. You know. Like her. Attracted to her."

"Oh. You mean you'd do her."

"Right. That."

"Susan Sarandon." I wonder if there's a purpose to this.

"Susan Sarandon? Hmmmm. I am ... more than partial to her."

"Partial as in, do her?"

"Right. And then some."

I still have no idea where we're going when I realize that we're on her street and she's just pulled up in front of her house. It's ten-thirty three and we're sitting in her driveway.

"I thought we were going to eat?"

"I was considering it."

Like some stupid puppy, I follow her mindlessly up the driveway and into her house. Maybe I should have asked if she wanted me to join her.

"What are you doing here?"

"I thought you wanted me to join you inside."

"Are you expecting to have sex with me tonight?"

"At the moment, I'm not sure that I expect anything."

Interesting has slowly turned to weird and annoying. Why am I still here? And when she turns on the radio and there's a slow, hot, enticing jazz song playing, I know that I'm not leaving for awhile. I'm staring at her through partially closed eyes and I watch her sway across the room to the kitchen and I can feel the notes slide across my face and neck and chest and slide off me the way honey slides off an oil coated spoon and I look to her for something ... something, anything ... some sort of direction or some sign of desire or yearning or burning and there's nothing. She's just standing in the kitchen sipping water and lolling an ice cube around her mouth and letting it slide back into the glass and then sipping the water again and she does this over and over until the ice cube that was once sizable is now a slight sliver and I need something from her ... something that shows me what to do ... what she wants but she's not doing anything. Just standing there with that fucking glass of water and that goddamn piece of ice and that tongue of hers ... sliding the ice around her mouth. And I look at her imploringly for SOMETHING but she won't acknowledge me or talk to me and the music is getting louder and I can feel the notes now more like little stings on my arms and ears and breasts and please, I need you to say something ... ANYTHING ... but she doesn't say or do anything and she's just standing there with that GODDAMN glass of water and she's not offering me any though it's plain to see that I'm hot and sweaty and could really use a drink of water.

And the music stops.

She puts her glass down with a crack as the next song starts with a loud, thunderous smack across the face. She's coming to me with a sway that's almost nauseating it's so erotic and there's nothing I can do but fall to my knees and cry as the music slowly ebbs to a mild pulsing that has found refuge between my legs, as I sit kneeling and crying for a reason that I'm not even sure of. And though I'm sure she must be laughing at me for this, I look up and see her standing above me with a smile that could melt ice and I stand to be held by her and to touch her and to smell her and to depend on her.

And as I stand she wraps her arms around me and begins to move and I have no idea if we're dancing or having sex or maybe both and I realize that I don't care as she spreads her legs slightly and I slide my thigh between them. And as the music beats on, we're dancing to a beat that seems like it should be part of the song but which I can't actually hear in the music, and as her breasts brush against mine through her denim and my silk, I grab her just a little more tightly and I whisper that I need her and then I can feel her heart beat faster. And I want her and I can feel her start to shiver and as we move to some unknown musical beat I can feel her grind herself into my thigh and my face is buried in her flowing hair and as I trace her ear with my tongue and whisper, "I love you", she grasps me to her to the point where I'm almost in pain and she's screaming about books and ten-thirty every day and don't be late and dinner and driving and what to wear for me and ice and water and ice again and I can feel her legs giving out as I hold on to her to keep her from falling ...

It's late. Maybe one, one-thirty. I don't know for sure what time it is since I lost my watch, but by the way the crowd is looking like they've already had a few drinks, I'd guess it can't be earlier than one. If it's one, then thirty minutes have gone by. If it's one-thirty, then an hour has gone by. Stupid little thoughts like this race through my head and for the most part, I hate it. The girl in the blue is wearing too much of the same shade of blue. So? That guy's shirt has a stain on the collar. And? It's been thirty minutes (or an hour) since I did it. It. Did it. Give me a pen and paper and I'll write down every detail until I can't write anymore. Hand me a dictating machine and I'll talk so fast your head will spin. But a spinning head, as I recently found out, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

 


 

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