Friday, August 19, 2005

Riding home together

"Suspicious minds are talking/they try to tear us apart/they don't believe in this love of mine/they don't know what love is...I know what love is."--Tom Jones, "You Can Leave Your Hat On"

"Lie together, cry together, I swear to God I hope we fuckin' die together..."--Method Man, "You're All I Need to Get By"

Everybody wants gym classes for themselves or their kids on Friday. As I explained in last week's post, this renders L'Ailee, who teaches them, absolutely exhausted. Most days she takes the bus home all by herself, but one Friday shortly after I moved in, she fell asleep on the bus and woke up in an unfamiliar part of town. I think I found that experience scarier than she did, but she can't say she enjoyed it. So every Friday, I take a bus to the after-school club where she teaches kids gymnastics and meet her there so we can take the bus home together.

Yesterday, I had a good laugh at her attempt to say something sweet to me, and shared it with a couple of small lists dominated by people who know me and with the MBOL. She'd called me at my work to ask me my opinion about an issue at her work, and I tried to help as best I could. And then she said, "I miss you when you aren't here. I love to work things out with you. I feel like Zaphod, you know, in the Hitchhiker's movie? After that monster ripped off his second head?" Oh, I knew going in that that girl wasn't the heartsy-flowery type, but sometimes she just drives that point home, and I couldn't help laughing over that. Even she understood why I found it so funny eventually.

But that's not to say my girl can't express love, beautifully, forcefully, and often. I don't even have to get into how last year, when I had my surgery to remove fibroids, she not only offered to donate a pint of blood if I needed it (Yes! We have the same blood type! Talk about convenient! :-), but watched the entire nasty two-hour procedure. That was impressive. She expresses love in much smaller and less dramatic ways much more often, though. Doing my hair every morning, scrubbing my back in the tub, making sure I take my pills...and then there was tonight on the bus.

Like anywhere else a woman with thick, fast-growing hair all over shaves with a razor (or has her spouse shave--whatever), her head gets five o'clock shadow. Last Friday when she fell asleep on my shoulder, she was a little chagrined to see that she'd given me razor burn there. I didn't complain. I mean, it's not the most comfortable thing, but she's so damn cute, you know? She looks like a porcelain baby doll asleep, even if a few square inches of her skin sometimes feel like industrial-grade sandpaper. Today after her gymnastics class, she'd changed into a red dress that looks like an elongated polo shirt and tied a rose-print silk scarf around her head. "You look so pretty," I told her. "You feel like going out?" I was willing to refresh my makeup and perfume if she did.

"Of course not," she replied. She pointed to the scarf. "I thought that this might feel nicer for you if I fall asleep." Oh, *man*! Honestly, I felt like my heart was swelling up. I thought that was so sweet of her to think about that! And she did fall asleep, and her silk-covered scalp felt almost as good as the rest of her.

But! Y'all remember my last post, when I was talking about how this generation's same-sex marriages provide an example for future generations? A straight middle-aged woman woke L'Ailee up by sitting across from us and talking to me. We were absolutely awed by what she said.

It seems her sixteen-year-old daughter had come out to her this weekend. The woman on the bus said, "I see you two all the time, and you always look so sweet. She asked me if I was going to freak out, and I said no. I told her about you two and how you look like you're crazy in love with each other all the time."

"Well, we are newlyweds," I said. I don't want people to think it's all perfect, all the time for us.

"I've seen you for months," she said. "[My daughter's] father and I stopped acting like that after three months, but if anything, you two act more in love with each other every day. I think that's wonderful. So I told her I hope she finds another woman who will make her feel the way you two make each other feel." We looked at each other because we didn't know quite what to say and squeezed hands, and she exclaimed, "See?" She went on. "I don't know how I would've felt about it if I didn't see you two girls all the time, so I just wanted to say thank you."

"You're welcome," we replied.

"I know you're not teenagers," she said, "but you're young. How old are you?" She seemed genuinely surprised that we're no longer in our twenties, bless her heart. (We love her already. :-) She's old enough to be one of our moms. We exchanged names, and I chitchatted pleasantly with her while L'Ailee, who's not up for much of that even at her best, mostly stared at nothing out the window.

As we approached our doorstep, L'Ailee shook her head. "I don't ever intend to do that, you know. To be a role model."

"Of course not," I replied. "But that was cool anyway."

"It was very cool," she conceded as I opened the door.


SassyFemme said...

You know, I think whether or not any of us ever intended to be role models, we are to some degree or another, if we're relatively sane. :)

I think it's wonderful and amazing that just your presence in this woman's life, without her even knowing you, is going to help make life better for a newly out teenager. Be proud of yourselves just for being yourselves!

Oh... also think it's incredibly sweet that you go to L'Ailee so she doesn't have go ride the bus home by herself when she's so tired.

scribble said...

what an amazing to have happen !

also... the scarf thought was
beyond sweet.

I too admire and love the way
you two are with each other.

sttropezbutler said...

That was beyond cool and amazing and gave me goose bumps and makes me truly and honestly believe that things can change and that there is a place in the world for all of us. Thanks Cracker!


Blogzie said...

You're simply the best, better than all the rest...

Especially when it comes to writing. I absolutely loved this.

I must confess, if there was ever two people I wanted to see a photo of, it's the two of you. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that your writing is so incredibly descriptive and creates such wonderful images in my head.

To be so in love and just so gosh darned good together that even strangers on a bus sit up and take notice is just beyond the beyond.

Love you and love your fantastic vibe.


A Flowered Purse said...

aw what a sweet story! I have seen you post on other blogs but never have been to visit, I can't wait to going back and reading!

Karen said...

the world grows one experience at a time.
if not for the obvious beauty of your love for each other, that woman may not have ever understood and accepted what she would soon find out.

Love is what we all live for.
thanks for sharing this story.