Today’s guest post comes from Steve.
When my daughter graduated from college with no job prospects, she decided that living in a nice place could be a good a start on her new life. The job would come in time. A college friend, Jessie, had parents in Portland who bought a brand new apartment for Jessie in a nice neighborhood. If Molly could pay her share of the rent, which was quite affordable, the two young women would not need to settle for one of those falling-apart roach-infested apartments that are so much fun to talk about twenty years later. They took the deal.
Things went reasonably well. The two young women dealt with the usual roommate annoyances for three years. Then Jessie announced she was fed up with cohabitation and wanted her own apartment. Molly wasn’t sorry. Jess was more self-centered than a “Seinfeld” character.
Molly helped Jessie lug her heavy stuff into the moving van. A surprise visitor during this process was Louise. Louise was the neighbor who was forever complaining about little neighborhood housing code violations. If someone left a car on the street three days without moving it, Louise was sure to call and complain. If someone failed to observe recycling protocols strictly, Louise would blow the whistle on them. Louise was the neighborhood snoop and the outspoken voice of its conscience. She had fierce opinions about right and wrong, and she wasn’t shy about expressing them.
Molly was sweating like a pig as she wrestled Jessie’s dresser into the van while Louise watched. Louise cooed, “We are all SO sorry to lose you and Jessie!” Molly decided to pretend she believed that. Then Louise added, “We all thought you and Jessie were such a cute couple!”
Molly groaned inwardly. Louise (and she probably wasn’t the only one) had decided that two pudgy single women living together with no boyfriends hanging about were a lesbian couple. Molly felt insulted by that, although that was embarrassing to her since she has nothing against lesbians. And after all, what could she say? “Aww, hell!” thought Molly, “It’s just Louise!”
What Molly finally did say was, “Well, I guess there comes a time when you have to recognize that the end has come to something, even something nice.”
Jessie moved. Molly, who could not afford the whole rent herself, moved into a new apartment.
Molly got her romantic hopes up when, months later, a new young man came to work at her firm. Brian was as gorgeous as a male model. “He’s so handsome,” Molly thought, “he has to be gay!” And, alas, he was. Brian was the gayest man she had ever met.
That didn’t prevent a great friendship. Brian enjoyed Molly’s sense of humor, and she liked his company. He began dropping by her apartment after work and staying overnight. Brian took delight in introducing Molly to some aspects of gay culture in Portland. Brian called Molly his “fag hag.” He said that term referred to a woman who was a trusted friend of a gay man. When he took Molly to a club in a seedy part of town, a club where men danced provocatively and threw off all their clothes, both Brian and Molly had something to watch that appealed to them.
Some people simply do not function before their first cup of coffee in the morning. Early in the morning Brian was comatose, shuffling about like a zombie, incapable of speech. On those occasions when Brian slept on Molly’s sofa, the next morning she would drive them to work, stopping first at the local Starbucks shop.
That was where they were one summer morning. Brian, quite apart from not talking, wasn’t even making much of an effort to stand up. He was draped all over Molly, letting her keep them both upright as they waited in line to place their orders.
And then Molly saw Louise standing a few feet away . . . Louise from her old neighborhood. Louise had a look of utter horror on her face.
”Oh, great!” thought Molly. “Now Louise knows why the cute lesbian couple broke up. She has figured out that Brian is my new boyfriend. Louise has to be thinking that I was cheating on Jessie with this hunky young man, and that caused us to break up. I could explain things to her. I could tell her that Jessie and I are not gay. I could say we were never a couple. I could tell Louise that I wasn’t betraying Jess with Brian because, well, Brian is the gayest man in Portland. I could . . . awww, hell, it’s just Louise!”
Molly waved to Louise but didn’t speak.
Have you ever let a misunderstanding … stand?