statue of joan of arc at mont saint michel in normandy france

Princesses, Femininity and Pernickety Behavior

My relationships with straight women are often so fraught. I have one friend who could not be more supportive and never seems to blanch at the thought of being close friends with a woman who finds other women attractive. Mostly straight women keep their distance as soon as they suspect or find out I am a lesbian. It has never ceased to stop hurting my feelings. I try and not let their inevitable distancing hurt. It feels as if I am a social leper, a pariah, who is presumed to be without self control, a danger to their straightness. Or else, I suppose, I make them uncomfortable. I used to blame my social awkwardness, my lifestyle, my lack of congeniality, but now I am a big bad grown up I realize it was as simple as they are straight, I am not and that makes them uncomfortable. More than that, with a lot of straight women, we don’t have a lot in common. Ruthie and I, my best-est closest friend and sister, we are a case of opposites being very good for each other. At least I hope I am as fun for her to be around as she always is for me. I wish there were more Ruthies in this world, but alas there is only one and she must be protected at all costs.

My friends tend to be men, which really does not figure. But straight males who get the fact I am not interested in ‘that’ way, can sympathize with girlfriend talk, and are capable of discussing the beauty of Cate Blanchett or Natasha Lyonne after we tear apart our musical idols and mutual love of motorcycles are possibly my natural allies. Men tend to understand my love for Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, and sometimes even appreciate my pedal to the metal, go-my-own-way method of attacking life. I make a good guy friend. I used to be able to out-drink, out-smoke and out-drug all my male friends and still be able to pick up a guitar. I am, in short, a bit of a lad. I like noise and going fast, pretty women and fast cars. I like road trips and hashish. I used to like rum and I still love telecasters. I do not love pink, or pretty, or girly, or princesses (unless they are of the pillow kind, wink). I do not love flowing dresses, but appreciate a sharply cut jacket. I detest Jane Austen, can almost bear the Bronte’s and will tolerate Virginia Woolf, but love the balls to the wall masculinity of Bukowski, the erudite voyaging of the cosmos of Burroughs, the slick and funny prose of Hunter S Thompson, and Jim Carroll’s brutal but gross poetry of living. I don’t exactly conform.

I suppose this is a bit of a grumble. I am not naturally an island-dwelling self contained unit. I like other people and I like company, at least on my own terms. My pernickety anti social behavior comes from a place of learnt fear. People hurt me, so I push them away. People represent a threat to me, so I don’t get close. It doesn’t mean I don’t like or want friends or people around. It is more a case of letting the inevitable predators know that I am not a tasty snack, and making sure I do not get hurt. I suppose I am just not much fun to be around any more. I mean I have a few people I consider friends, and my tiny nucleus of trusted folks that love me and me them in return, but my social circle is tiny. I should get out and about, but covid has made me warier of others than I was even before this mess, and I was hardly a trusting soul back then! Now, I am insular, shut off and sometimes, to be frank, more than a little sad about it.

My brief forays into dating have not been disastrous. The first date I went on was a little tiring. I am not bouncy. I am small and sardonic and a little dark humored. My date was the human equivalent of a bouncing rubber super-ball, or a jack russell terrier on happy pills. Neither of us bothered to arrange a second date. The next date was a little better. I might even see her again. Pretty, feminine, sweet, funny and a little fiery, there were possibilities, but it was no love at first sight. I am trying not to let myself just shut off from love and lust and life, however easy that might be to do, at least for me.

I suppose I have given up on partnership. I presume I am going to die alone and lonely, probably hugging my guitar in one hand and a bottle in the other, or at least a pill bottle. I am not entirely unhappy with that. I would rather have what is left of my life as the mistress of my own failures, than a slave to someone else’s happiness.

I suppose I always fancied myself a Joan of Arc, riding my white horse into battle, wearing some fetching chain mail armor and kicking it with the boys. I wouldn’t mind being some kinda freedom fighting Rambo-Rimbaud figure, wearing a severe black jacket and a flouncy sleeved cheesecloth shirt, a bottle of tincture of opium at my side, fingers covered with ink and a head full of words and phrases that just needed to be carved upon the paper. There is always room for a Hemmingway fighting bullshit and dreary mundanity with rum and recklessness. I could always pop my head back through the doors of perception, haul out Castaneda and Hunter S Thompson, track down the insextoid King, Burroughs and see what lays beyond this physical world of dubious morality. Part of me longs to grab a guitar and a couple of good old boys and play some speedpunk, but those particular long-dead boys don’t have the best manners. Let’s face it, I have never been popular with the normal crowd of girls who squeal over boy bands and make themselves pretty. I have no need of pretty. I would rather be dashing. I would rather be striking. I would rather be mysterious and cool, than cute any day, even if it does get me regarded with blatant suspicion.

I suppose I am just going to have to be myself. My sister just bought me a red herringbone wool tie and a double breasted houndstooth blazer for Christmas. As a way of telling me she loves me for me, and cares about me, and more than that, accepts me for who I am, it was one of the sweetest ones possible. I might not be Joan of Arc, bound and burnt at the stake, but I have never been embraced and accepted. Heck, I didn’t even manage to accept myself for the longest time. I spent years and years trying not to be me, and then being ashamed of what I was and who I was and every single thing about my life. I looked for acceptance for many years. I always presumed that people who got to know me would want to hang, draw and quarter me, and to some extent that has been true. I have been vilified and roundly abused for simply being myself. However, sometimes, on the very rare occasions I let someone in, they have instead tried to show me that they see me instead as being someone worthy of being loved, and almost more importantly, to me, liked.

Leave a Reply