Thursday, January 15, 2009

An unusual friendship, January 15, 2009

Prompt: Write about an unusual friendship.

Oh, and watch this clip first.

1 comment:

Jill Hudgins said...

What the Mirror Sees

Blonde, pixie, and fierce. Strong language, legs from lacrosse, she looks like a tougher younger Anne Heche. And she talks like a punk rocker, with wild self-assurance, on stage and off. Loretta is unlike anyone I have ever met, and certainly unlike the typical Emory student. She doesn’t belong, but then again neither do I.

“So how long have you been out?” she asks after Crew practice. We’re both vegetarians, dining on the only vegetarian item in Cox cafeteria: peanut butter and jelly.

“Out of what?”

“The closet. How long have you been out of the closet?”

“Closet?” I still don’t understand. I’m from North Carolina. The only gay people I’ve known were gay are Ellen Degeneres, my Mother’s roommate and, I think…maybe, my Mother? But I’m not sure about the last one.

“Oh, I’m not gay,” I say, embarrassed by the fact, wishing I could have a ready-made explanation for why I don’t fit.

“You’re not?” Loretta says, as if I just told her I’m actually not Caucasian. She takes a bite of her pb&j and with her mouth full, comes out to me. I don’t know what to say. I take a sip of my lowfat milk and nearly choke. I’m not uncomfortable, I’m ashamed. That I can’t be gay too, like my new best friend. Now we really don’t have anything in common, except that we’re both on Emory’s Crew team; but then again, Loretta’s the coxswain and I row bow. Maybe that’s why it works – we’re mirror reflections of each other, rather than carbon copies. I am left to right what Loretta is right to left. And so we match.

Loretta drinks, almost every evening at the dark-lit bar My Mother’s Room, known to local lesbians as My Mother’s Womb. I go to bed early, get a good eight hours in before morning workout. Loretta is loud, the life of the party, center of attention, and I’m not. She talks even more when nervous; I turn quieter than my standard shy.

So what brings us close? Loretta puts it this way: “We’re f***ed up about all the same things, but in totally different ways.” She’s probably right. Loretta finishes her beer, and I sip my ice water. Then we leave our favorite restaurant, Tortilla’s, Loretta for the strip club, and me for my dorm. We’ll meet up again at 5am tomorrow, for Crew practice.

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