First Experience

There was a time when I did not know that I was a lesbian.

I had no words to describe who I was; I only had a feeling of being different. I used to say that I was asexual and could take care of myself. I had no desire to be with a man, and I did not know that I had the option to be with a woman. I believe this is a common experience for lesbians before they come to the full understanding of who they are and where they belong in this world.

Everyone has a first time: a defining moment in your life, positive or negative (usually a mixture of the two) when we figure out who we are and where we belong.

Although my first experience was as painful as partings can be, it opened a huge door for me, a door that had been locked for a long time. It taught me I could find happiness in my life and I could be desired and loved for who I am inside.

This is the essence of my first experience:

I am sitting on the couch inches from her and she’s looking into my eyes. She has a sinister look on her face, like a cat playing with a damp mouse caught between her teeth, releasing it then snatching it up again, releasing it, slapping it into the air, then catching it by its tail. She’s really not interested in devouring me as much as she’s interested in playing a game with me. I am watching her, and I am virgin and as innocent and white as an early December snow.

Prior to this moment I have known her only by the power of her voice when she sang about Jesus and the church and by the taste of the Southern food she cooked for me at her diner — once sending out a cheeseburger emblazoned with a green heart carved out of dill pickles under the top bun.

I’m so close to her face now, and I hold my breath.

Like her prey, I wonder if I should stay very still, lifeless even, so she will not know that I can still run away at any moment. She asks me to move closer to her and I do, breaking the spell of my stillness, alerting her to the fact that I am still in the game.

She asks if I want a kiss? The cat slaps me into the air, my head swimming, my body going end over end, to the ceiling, then the floor, the right wall and then the left. I see her face and she is smiling. She unwraps the chocolate and pushes it deep into my mouth. Once again I am damp between her teeth. And there I will remain for months, locked in her jaws.

She parades me around in front of her husband, she shakes me mercilessly in front of her friends, she toys with me, stalks me, over and over again.

I do not care. I want it and she is the only way I can have it. I tempt her, I chase her, I play with her until … but she soon bores of the game.
I bring her breakfasts of chocolates, but she will not eat. She will not chase me anymore. Desperate, I temporarily sacrifice my sanity. I beg her to look at me again, and finally for one brief moment, she does. She looks at me again for the last time with a far away look in her eyes — the look of a tired Jesus with unrepentant blasphemies and sins, desperate for renewed holiness.

Then, as quickly as she appeared, she was gone. She left me forever. That’s my story.

And the moral is? Hmm … The moral of my personal story, girls: “Never fall for a Pentecostal chick, with or without a husband.” There is so much guilt and fear in the fundamentally religious that it doesn’t matter how much love you share, the truth is Jesus will show up in your bedroom one night, He’ll quietly point to her, and the next morning, she’ll be gone.

So here’s to all of our first loves, boys and girls, to all our first times. May those memories rest in peace, and may each of us go on to find happiness, somewhere over the rainbow.

Love, Lillian

Categories: Commentary