Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mammaries...Smite the Corner of My Mind

I'm absolutely faithful to a few things: my husband, my caffeine, and my blogfriends, including Michele Agnew. I always participate in her Meet n' Greets as well as her Comment Game, but I usually pass on her Daily Three Things simply because I have an aversion to lists. Michele is a clever girl though, and she caught me with this one:

"If you could go back in time and relive a few special moments in your life exactly as they happened, what three events would you wish to experience again?"

So I started to respond with the first thing that came to mind, when the thought occurred to me (you know the one), "I'm so blogging this."

(apologies to Brandon for once again stealing his format)

April 2001

We nudge our way into the club, past handsome bois with pretty drinks. It's not our first gay club - we frequent several in Seth's hometown of Nashville when our schedules clear and we have the opportunity to spend the weekend together. My producer, mentor and friend, Seth is also my secret love, my forbidden fantasy. I am, as far as I know, his project. We come together (though not the way I would've liked) to write songs, to discuss philosophy, to teach and to learn what it means to be a Christian in a country where Christianity stands for all the wrong things. Seth opens my mind, heals my past, and makes my nether regions tingle with excitement. When the writing block is unformidable, Seth and I put down our pens and pick up our keys. In order to experience life, we go where people are alive: piano bars, coffee houses, and night clubs. This weekend, we are in Atlanta. We aren't here to write - we are here to witness the surreal; a female impersonator, performing as Seth's aunt, singing Southern Gospel at Gospel Night in a gay club.

We take turns buying each other rounds of pretty drinks, until Seth has one too many and confesses to the bartender his lineage. Word gets around that we are who we are, in relation to who is performing as whom on stage, and suddenly drinks are on the house. We sit on our bar stools while the bois listen to Seth's stories of growing up with the Queen of Gospel. I listen too, but mostly I concentrate on Seth's hand resting on my upper thigh...his thumb caressing the inner seam of my jeans.

We move to the floor, and Seth allows me to stand at the front of the circle. Seth always puts me forward, as close to life as I can get. He always stands behind me, always there for me when the reality of life makes me dizzy. Tonight he wraps his arms around my waist....pulling me back against him...The Diva sings, and the room spins from alcohol and energy and Seth's breath on my neck.

The Diva announces a special person in the audience - her "nephew." The crowd cheers, and we are pulled on stage. Thus begins a round of Amazing Grace. The Diva sings, then hands the mic to Seth. His voice, angelic and pure and everythingwonderful, fills the club. I am in love with him when he sings. Then he hands me the mic. All my years of singing for the baby Jesus could not compare to the purity of this worship experience. I am worshipping not just Him, but the purity of the life of all those whom God loves, who love God but have no place in the American Christian church. I am worshipping the Mighty Cosmopolitan, the joy of acceptance, the dizziness of lust, and the look of admiration on Seth's face. The club cheers me on as my voice rises to hit notes no one dares hit in a live performance. The sweet sound of harmony penetrates me as Seth wraps his notes around mine. The song ends, we step down, and Seth kisses me. I think about his boyfriend, about my boyfriend, and about their misguided understanding of the nature of our friendship. We believed what we told them - until this night.

The Diva wants to talk shop with Seth. He drops me off at the hotel and promises to return in a few hours. I go to our room and call in our wake-up time and breakfast order....shower, crawl into pajamas, sink under the covers... and he returns. The room is filled with small talk - the Diva wasn't really cute...long drive tomorrow...bagels with lox for breakfast, wonderfully luxurious bedding, $90/night through Priceline...he crawls under the covers with me, and silence screams. It's the millionth time we've slept in the same bed, but the first time we put a pillow between us. Before tonight we could cuddle, after tonight don't dare try. The wall has been chipped and we can see through to what might be.

In the morning I wake first. The pillow is gone and his face is inches from mine. The luxurious bedding is wadded up at our feet from a night of tossing and turning. I look at his closed eyelids, and I look at his slightly parted lips. These lips that kissed me in friendship, and then kissed me in passion taunt me and tempt me. His eyes open and lock on mine. The wake-up call does what it's supposed to do. It wakes us up. We never walk in that dream again.

When the nature of our relationship slapped us in the face, we turned our backs on each other. Our relationship became perfunctory; he was my producer and I was his project. It was the only way it could be, because it couldn't be the way it was.