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Molly Ringworm


Brandy Christensen

A t the local lesbian watering hole, the managers have finally caught on. Beth, a Mac makeup junkie, now stands at the door looking single, cute, and inviting. Lesbians tend to like pretty girls. Of course, there are two rules within that:

1) Be pretty, but don't be so pretty that there is some possibility that you're, gasp, bisexual.

2) Be pretty, but don't be so pretty that you look like the homecoming queen/cheerleader who was the object of Sapphic and unrequited love through an angst ridden adolescence. Mediocre looking girls are never voted off the Weakest Link. I sit at the front of the bar with two women with mullet cuts. I don't know their names individually, but they are "Sally and Barb." I couldn't say which was which even if my long plotted kidney auction (the funds of which would be used for a first edition copy of Heart of Darkness) would finally be okayed by Ebay. Mostly, I like sitting with the girls because, in my more Freudian infomercial like fantasies, I imagine changing each head into a decorative Chia Pet for my grandmother's hope chest. Pretty sick.

I always try to keep an eye on the door, which is really just a curtain of dented beads left over from the Donna Summer disco days. My retinas have been molded through years of watching a parade of vodka drenched gay chicks stumble the mirrored plane. I have witnessed the ruddy complexions, the drunken gazes, the male faces -conquistadors in the wrong country, but mostly I have seen the stray straights. You know the type, the girls who watch too many episodes of late night HBO or see two hot women holding hands at Bloomies and start itching for a lesbian experiment. Tonight, I see a new one.

I watch her swish across the room, her floral dress trailing her like a hesitant and antiquated Sunday school retiree. It hugs her curves in a way that reminds me of Acura commercials and silly putty. She looks like that girl from Pretty in Pink - airy curls lounging on pale shoulders with constellations of freckles. She walks with a certain paper thin panache to the pool table, which is a homage to too much Bud and too many cigarettes. The felt is a collage of Rorschach like spots. In fact, word is, they hire the bartenders by administering a Rorschach test--most see Angelina Jolie's tonsils--whatever that means.

I scratch a note to our requisite straight chick: Someone thinks you're cute. I smile wickedly, recognizing this strategy from seventh grade - lesbians are very good at middle school flirting - writing a note, sending a friend over, or just drooling like an over hydrated St. Bernard. The note is delivered by our UPS chick (in a UPS uniform). Later, I'll send over a rose (a cliche, but there was a chick in postal shorts, and she looked bored, so best to keep postal workers occupied before they open fire in the local McDonald's). The interesting thing about uniforms is that lesbians love to wear them. Once, at a dive in New York, I saw a girl in a hot dog on a stick outfit. Even she had game.

She opens the note, and smiles in a way that makes the corners of her mouths look like dripping crescent moons. Her eyes go on rove until she finds me. This is my cue - I walk over with that über-contrived confidence that is prefaced by some weird ass mantra that will be embarrassing later ("I am the best, baby...I am the best baby...I am the best baby..."). I wonder if my mom watched too much Kojak or sucked on too many tootsie pops. I ask her if she liked the rose? Her face lights up like a Kincade painting without the lumpy tempura. I have this fine tuned intuition. If a woman doesn't kick me in the crotch right away, she probably won't slap me when I lean in for a kiss.

Hours pass and the florescent lighting yields to a waxen overworked romantic moonlight. I volunteer to take straight chick to her car. The mood is awkward. I can hear her keys wrestling in her hand like a claustrophobic rattlesnake. She says she has never kissed a woman. At least, I think that's what she's babbling about. My mind is turning over quickly, as if it were attached to a hamster wheel, and the hamster were amped on Red Bull. I don't like to be anyone's first lesbian kiss. It's the one they talk about at Tupperware parties after too many fruity wine drinks; the one they discuss with their husbands after post-coital bliss; the one they "confess" and laugh about while getting a pedicure at their best friend's slumber party; the one they never forget, and never remember.

I look at breeder girl, and imagine her womb filled with 2.5 million babies. I see stiletto hills and Jupiter sized bunions. I see a wedding picture with cute bubbly writing on the back. I see a six story family estate in rural Georgia. Mostly though, I see confusion, and fear. I touch her cheek, inhale five gallons of compressed oxygen, and swoop in for the kiss. There's something wholly foreign, and yet remarkable about it. I imagine it's the kind of moment that prompted the Beatles to write some of their more saccharine hand-holding schlop lyrics. It is the straight chick playing her own version of spin the bottle in a Betsy Wetsy inspired mine field. The fact is - I like it. Her mouth is lukewarm and moist, like apple spice cake, but her tongue is reluctant, as if stuck to flypaper on her tonsils. It probably lasts two seconds tops.

I will talk about this kiss with my friends, who'll slap me on the back, and buy me a beer because I kissed some straight chick who probably has Jill Sobule on auto repeat on her Aiwa. I'll talk about it at the sex toy party, and in the afterglow of sapphic sex. I'll talk about it while raising my hands in pseudo victory on that concrete dinosaur out in front of the greasy spoon in Utah. She'll be the straight girl with the John Hughes appeal. She'll be the girl clutching a single long stemmed rose amidst bitter and unspoken taunts of "Molly Ringworm." She'll be the girl, and the kiss I can't remember and can't forget. Yee haw!


Brandy Christensen currently resides in San Diego California, and is an avid connoisseur of sour gummy candy and benefactor of Chihuahuas and other small rodents. Once an Olympic hopeful at track and field, she's currently learning to swim.

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