What’s in a Butch’s Purse – Redux – Excerpts – Part 1

This one was blonde and buxom and needed to drink Cape Codders to get through a date with me. I do not remember this woman’s name. Let’s call her Jezebel.

Test KitchenHi everyone,

I’ve been quietly working on the expansion of my 2014 chapbook, What’s in a Butch’s Purse. My vision is to have a longer book that maintains the humorous nature of the original publication but that allows for serious moments.  I’m hoping to add some gravitas with the expanded edition to avoid a work that is all punchline humor. Real humor needs character, situation, and story.

Below are a few excerpts from the expanded work, which I hope to publish in 2019. I would like to every so often test out some passages to see if they spark your interest; thus my test kitchen.  Feel free to tell me what else you might like to read about in terms of dating or family humor.

The Hottie in the White Shirt with the Big Red Drink 

This one was blonde and buxom and needed to drink Cape Codders to get through a date with me. I do not remember this woman’s name. Let’s call her Jezebel. Jezebel lived in the next town over from me, so I had really closed the geography gap this time. Not only had I flown all the way from Boston to California for a blind date with Claudia years back and traveled throughout New England for myriad dating opportunities, I even flew a couple of blind dates up to Boston so we could meet: Ms. Arizona, Ms. Tennessee, and Ms. Georgia. They couldn’t afford the flights so I paid. All disastrous attempts to find love.

The Over-Prozac-ed Girl 

She lurched forward as she walked across the parking lot, as if she would expend too much energy should she stand completely upright. I don’t remember her name, but let’s call her Stacy. Her hair was prematurely gray, messy, shapeless, and brittle. Stacy was a woman in her early thirties, yet skinny wire-frame glasses balanced below the bridge of her nose as if she was somebody’s grandmother. Her face was pock-marked and drawn. Behind her spectacles, her eyes were glassy. I was oddly mesmerized by how unattractive I found her.

I can’t recall what led to this date after communicating with her via internet, but I assume it was my desperation to meet someone who could be the next love of my life. Apparently, in my mid-thirties, I would meet anyone “just in case” she was “the one.”

I was not pretty and I smoked in those days, so I knew I was no prize, but Stacy was unabashedly unattractive. As I watched her jerky movements toward the restaurant door where I waited, I hoped she might be a sparkling conversationalist.

Haulin ‘ The Fridge

Jan lives in a crumbling little Lowell apartment that occupies the top floor of a very old house. She lives near a factory, and the smell of the sewage it spews into the nearby river reeks into her upstairs hallway. She doesn’t seem to notice. She owns the house and rents out the first floor. Jan is a small-time mogul of dilapidated real estate: the collapsing cottage in Maine, the stinking house in Lowell, and the freaky and ghoulish two-family rental she owns a few towns over in Beverly, with the kind of attic where you hide your crazy old auntie.

She says, “If I end up alone, I plan to live in the attic.”

Jan has no plans to sell any of these houses; they make her feel secure. She’s on a mission to fix them up, find a wife, and live happily ever after. She spends an inordinate amount of time buying hardware at the Home Depot, starting projects she rarely finishes. Last week, she tore the back porch off the house in Lowell. A few weeks back we hauled a top of the line toilet up to the broken cottage in Maine. Last weekend, she peeled the old wallpaper from the attic apartment in Beverly, by hand, a little at a time, talking about our future.

Good lord.

Thank you for reading.

Broken things

The Broken PlateThe mirror in my upstairs bathroom medicine chest almost fell on my head. The mirror is separated into thirds, with each third opening when you push it, screws holding the turning mechanisms together, and  magnets holding the doors closed when pushed. Personal things are hidden behind the mirrors: antiperspirant, several tubes, half-used, of anti-itch cream, for a variety of uses, expired, floss, gauze pads, band aids, and items I am unable to recognize after 12 years of storage in this medicine chest. It’s just one more area that I need to purge of uselessness.  One of these mirror doors almost fell on my head  because the cabinet is stuffed to the gills; technically, the leftmost mirror popped out. Talk about potential bad luck. I was having trouble closing the mirror against the chest, and I pushed too hard one day. (Oh, the metaphors for life that come to mind based on mirrors, pushing too hard, useless items stuffed inside, etc.)  I could feel the mirror falling and was able to catch it before it broke my skull. The mirror is still whole and sits beside the vanity, with the screw that broke off the hinge on the floor. My orange and white tomcat likes to play with the broken screw. He does this while I pee. I watch him and wonder when will have the energy to fix the medicine chest. Do I even have the skills?

I’ve been able to superglue the screw and hinge together with great success; however, every time I try to re-install the mirror in the vanity, the top screw breaks off again. You see, there is not enough room to fit the bottom and top into the grooves with both screws in place. In other words, I am taking the wrong approach, trying to squeeze this thing in and breaking it over and over. (Why do I feel as though I am somehow discussing my romantic life here?) I need to come up with a more creative (and less lazy) solution. I have one in mind. I will spare you for the moment.

Speaking of broken things. I wrote an essay while I was a student in the Solstice MFA program in creative writing of Pine Manor College entitled, “This Time I Fell in Love with the Daughter.” The essay is essentially my coming out story between the ages of 18 and 24, the longing and struggles I faced in the 1980s, and the eventual revelation that I was a lesbian. The essay is about broken friendships, broken hearts, and broken people, so I find it apt that the essay has been accepted for publication by The Broken Plate, the national literary journal of Ball State University.

For some people, this is an uncomfortable essay because it is raw and vulnerable. Yet it has done well out there in literary journal land where 95% of my work gets rejected, with the venerable Gertrude Journal writing to let me know the essay reached the finals and that they saw much promise in my writing. Please continue to submit, etc.  I think there were some other “good” rejections for this essay. I’m thrilled, however, that the students of Ball State University have chosen this essay for their publication. Thank you very much.

“This Time I Fell in Love with the Daughter,” is the sixth of eleven standalone essays from my final creative thesis at the Solstice MFA program. There is a final chapter to the thesis, but I don’t believe it is standalone, so I can safely say I’ve published more than half of that thesis. The thesis is all about broken things — parents, lovers, friendships, sex, hearts. I keep trying to finish it, as it could be a full length book. I keep changing the name of the book based on my mood. Right now I’m calling it Marcella Songs: Essays on Valiant Failures in Love.” It’s all about shattered mirrors.

There is a lot broken in our society and around the world these days. I don’t have to tell you if you read the news or the pseudo news on Facebook. Part of me would like to jump into the fray and the arguments, but I cannot. I get too angry and I alienate people. So I don’t discuss politics much, but I continue to think of myself as a writer and hope my personal stories somehow achieve a universal theme and make a tiny dent in improving something in this world, any little thing.

I did get the third of the mirror back in place. It took extra effort, not something I’m known for these days, as my workouts wane, my writing production is in the toilet, and my performance at work is only mediocre. Still, I brought a step-ladder into the bathroom and had to glue the broken pieces while I held them in place where they belonged, rather than trying to squeeze something in a space it couldn’t squeeze. (“I held them in place where they belonged,” again, ripe with metaphoric possibilities, but I suck at metaphor.) So, the mirror is back up and functional (to a degree), chipped a bit in one corner where I had manhandled it, and not fitting exactly as before. It’s still broken, but it got up again.

Thank you for reading about broken things.

 

 

Double Wide – Yet another relationship story

I thought I was done with my relationship stories, yet I have found another one. Names and minor details have been changed to protect identity. This is a first draft. I don’t know if I will continue with this one, but I thought I’d post it, as a friend once requested I write it.

“Double-Wide”

Lisa is straddled over me on the couch hiking up her blue-cotton sun dress and kissing me nonstop, deeply and passionately, as if we have fallen in love all of a sudden, like an unexpected downpour in summer. I don’t like her much, but I guess she’s my new girlfriend. The entire time she has me pinned to the couch, I worry my mother will come downstairs and see this girly-girl swarming me and coming on like torrential rain. An apt image, given how wet she tells me she is, when she stops kissing me for a second.  Okay, we’re not teenagers. I’m a grown-up woman and so is she, but I’m worried about my mother seeing this spectacle, not because we are lesbians, or in her case, acting the part of a lesbian, but because this is embarrassing — this femme has her sundress hiked up and she has me clamped to the couch. I have muscles in my arms and a lot of upper body strength, but I can’t get up.

“I’m so wet,” she says again. Oh, Mom, do not come down those stairs. I cannot toss her off of me. So we kiss. It’s a little like drowning.  I don’t want to drown, but I allow myself to drown. Why? God, it’s complicated. Isn’t everything?

My mother called me at work at 4 p.m. on Friday, one of hottest days of the summer in July of 2011.

“The air conditioning isn’t working,” she said. “The house is very warm.”

“How long has it been out?”

“I don’t know, since one o’clock.”

I didn’t ask her, because I was afraid I’d scream, but why did she wait until near the end of the work day Friday to call and tell me the air conditioning was out? The temperature was close to 100 degrees. It was easily the hottest day of the year, and now I would need to leave work early to see if anyone could come out to the house to fix the a/c.

I called Lisa. I was attempting to keep her at bay, and to find a diplomatic way out of this friendship about to turn dating. I’d asked her to do meet me for an ice cream, a completely unromantic activity.

“Lisa, the air conditioning went out at my house,” I said, about to cancel our ice cream meeting. But before I could get the next sentence out, she said, “I’ll be right over.”

“Okay,” I said, when I really meant “no,” but she’d already hung up the phone, anyway, and presumably dashed to her car to come to my rescue.

Lisa and I pulled into my driveway at about the same time. She exited her vehicle wearing her blue sun dress, and I exited mine wearing blue jeans. She smiled wide, as we entered my house. It felt like a thousand sweaty degrees in there. My mother was in the kitchen. She was 81 that summer.

“Mom, this is Lisa, a friend of mine.” After the introductions, Lisa got down to work.

“We’d better get the bunny out of the hutch and onto the floor,” she said. She was right. A rabbit can die from heat stroke, and the stone floor in the kitchen stayed quite cool. So, as the rabbit rested on the floor dropping shit pellets and pee, and Lisa stood centimeters from me with her face stuck right next to my own, I frantically looked through the local shopping guide to see who could come over on a Friday evening and fix the a/c.

It took three tries, but I got someone to answer on the third phone call. He sounded drunk.

“Yeah, I can fix your a/c, but I’m eating dinner,” he said. “I can come over after dinner, around 6:30.” What he said made sense but the way he said it – with slurry speech – made me very nervous.

I sat on the floor with the bunny. Lisa sat next to me. She made small talk with my mother. I was angry at my mother for not having called earlier so I said nothing.

At precisely 6:30 p.m., the doorbell rang, and I was afraid to let in this man I’d called. He hulky, with a red scraggly beard, and his eyes didn’t look right, drunk or nuts or something. He had spaghetti sauce in his beard and on his shirt. Somehow, that made him seem somewhat less threatening, although not anymore inviting.

“I’m John,” he said. “Can I come in?”

Against my better judgment I let him in. He had no internal filter, he made that clear. He leered at Lisa in her little blue sun dress and said, “Damn, you are looking mighty fine, lady.” I tapped John on the back, more than once, with my knuckles, until he finally turned around, and I said, “Hey, Mr., I’m the one who owns the house. I’m the one who is going to pay you.”

“Oh, yeah, yeah,” he answered, “She’s looking great. So, tell me what the problem is.”

I explained to him that all the equipment in the house turned on but the unit outside didn’t.

“Ha,” he said, an out of place chuckle. “Yeah, yeah, I can fix that.”

I seriously doubted he could fix anything. I had one hand on my cell phone ready to call the police. He was still lewdly staring at Lisa whenever he could turn his head away from my (apparently annoying) voice.

“I’ll follow you outside,” he said finally. So we went out the door and around to the side of the house where the a/c unit was. He lifted the top of the unit and giggled, scaring me further because what was so fucking funny? I could see Lisa staring out the window at us, also scaring me, two strange people surrounding me, filling my space on this sweltering day. How does one so quickly become surrounded by strange human beings, spaghetti man and come-on girl?

“Oh yeah, yeah, I can fix that, I just gotta get a part from my van.”

John went to his van and came back with a small tubular item. I have no mechanical abilities and I couldn’t fathom how that little tubular thing could fix my big a/c unit.

Lisa continued to stare at us through the window. I was sweating.

John pulled the old part out of the a/c unit and pushed the new one into it. He shut the lid. It took him 3 minutes. (The bill was $290.)

“That’s it,” he said.

“That’s it?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s it. These things last about 10 years. This will be good for 10 years. Go turn on the a/c.”

We both went back inside and I turned on the a/c. Son of a bitch, it worked! The guy with spaghetti sauce in his beard and on his shirt, the lewdly staring creep who had come to my door, fixed the a/c.

“I can fix all appliances,” he said. “Everything. Whatever you need!”

“Fabulous,” I said, as he handed me his card, as I directed him toward the door, “I’m sure I will need that.”

“Bye, honey,” he said to Lisa.

When he left, my mother went upstairs as the house began to cool. I put the rabbit back in his hutch. Lisa and I fell to the floor laughing over the absurdity of the situation.

“The slob was a mechanical genius.”

We cracked up again, rolling on the floor. Laughing like that with someone is such an intimate act. I wasn’t thinking of it in those terms, but looking back now, I see this was the beginning of my mistake with her, which would arrive within the hour.

I had met Lisa at my personal trainer’s. She had recently joined the workout group with a friend of hers. I didn’t notice her, at least not in any kind of love-interest way. I did notice that she was very verbal, very intelligent, and extremely intense. I didn’t think she had noticed me at all. I didn’t care.

I can’t recall exactly when the transition happened, and Lisa started to notice me and I noticed her attention. I had purchased a bike and wanted to go bike riding over the weekend. Nothing too strenuous, just a few laps around the local park under the trees, by the pond, safe, easy, a way to get outside and exercise.

“I love to bike ride,” Lisa said at one of our workout sessions. “I’ll come.”

I thought: great, seriously, this is great, someone local can meet me at the park, and I don’t have to do this alone. I was so used to doing everything alone.

“We can go out for coffee after, Lisa.” I said.

Her smile was wide and a little over the top. I put it down to her intense way of expressing herself in any situation.

That Sunday, she showed up at the park with an ancient bike, all black, a man’s bike, probably from someone’s basement, probably it had been abandoned there for decades, but Lisa had dug it out for this occasion. Obviously, she hadn’t ridden a bike for years. I pulled it in from the back of my head, her statement, “I love to go for bike rides.” Maybe when she was five?

Why was she here?

We made it around the park once, 3.9 miles. I wanted to go around two or three times. You don’t burn any calories on a bike till you go at least 10 miles.

“Let’s go for coffee now,” she said. And I said “okay” because that’s what I always say.

At Panera, as we were sipping coffee, she stared at me as I spoke. I hadn’t told her I was gay, but I figured now was as good a time as any. Why? I didn’t know what else to talk about. When I told her, she said, “I know,” because that’s what everyone says when I tell them.

“I’m looking for someone,” she said.

“A man?” I asked. She didn’t say anything. The last I’d heard from her at the gym was about a breakup with a guy. I wanted us to be clear.

“A man?” I repeated.

“I don’t know what I’m looking for.” She stared right into my yes.

“Fair enough,” I said, thinking this isn’t at all fair.

I still didn’t understand the series of mistakes about to happen, that would lead to her pinning me to the couch in her blue dress.

I was working out on the elliptical at the gym on an early Tuesday evening in June, when Lisa arrived, strode right up to me. Her smile was wider than any smile I’d ever seen, but rather than find it beautiful, I found it disconcerting. Her smile felt aimed at me, like a pistol, and I didn’t get it, what was about to transpire.

“This has been the best Tuesday ever!” she said as I did rotations on the machine. “Ever.”  And then she stared right into my eyes and said, “This is the best part.”

Was she in love with me? Why was she smiling at me like that, as if she’d just discovered the love of her life sweating on an elliptical machine?

What did I say back to her? Something like, “I’m glad you’re having such a good day.”

Yes, I said something lame like that. But I didn’t know exactly what she was getting at, since every word she spoke held innuendo and therefore was not straightforward. I could only read her face, which was brighter than the June sun at noon, and that smile, wide as a ruler. Okay, wider. She had shoulder length light brown hair. In a way she was pretty. It was hard to see her as pretty because her personality was so overwhelming. Overwhelming on her was like a facial feature, like a too-big nose on a small head, although in reality, her nose was quite small.

“Yes, the best Tuesday ever,” she repeated, and I became even more uncomfortable.

There was a point, between June and July, when she made it clear she wanted to date me. I tried to warn her off. I brought up our age difference.

“You’re 32 and I’m 49,” I said. “I’m an old woman to you.”

“I loooooovvvvvvveeee older women.” Okay.

“I hardly know you. We barely know each other.” Another good argument, I thought.

“That’s what dating is for!”

I had spoken to my trainer about Lisa. At the time she said she liked Lisa. She was intelligent and pretty and fun. I couldn’t argue with that. Lisa worked at MIT, had a sharp mind, and as I said, if you could look past her overbearing personality, she was fairly pretty.

So I set up the ice cream date out of fear. Fear of what? Fear of hurting her feelings or fear of having an adult date with this young woman. I set up what amounted to a play-date for grown-ups, meeting at Big Daddy’s Ice Cream Parlor in Stoughton, where we could sit outside and watch the traffic go by. Great ambiance for a five year old. But we never made it there, to our non-date, because the a/c broke and because we fell to the floor laughing over the lewd spaghetti repair man, and became intimate through shared laughter. I became vulnerable: Lisa and I had shared a moment of mutual support.

“Do you want to go out to dinner?” I asked after we’d stopped laughing. “Out to dinner” sounded much more like a real date, but I couldn’t see going for an ice cream now that she’d gone through this air conditioning debacle with me.

“YES!!!!!”  Well, you can imagine.

And then, as if she’s already become a high maintenance girlfriend, she said, “Why don’t you go to your car and turn on the a/c? Last time, it took a while to cool down.” I think that statement unnerved me as much as any; she sounded like a wife.

Okay, I said, with a nervous pit rolling in my stomach.

I took her down the road to Rick’s, a family restaurant, where I sometimes bring lesbian dates. A few years back I’d had another woman falling all over me at the piano bar in the middle of the floor, as we requested Beatles’ songs from the piano man, and while we provided the heterosexual nuclear families an education in “gay.” Across the street was The Randolph Country Club, an actual gay bar. That night my date and I went straight from terrifying the straight patrons at Rick’s to a party across the street complete with cross dressers, beautiful gay men, and an assortment, let’s say, of gay women. The spectacle, then the spectrum.

I had no intention of making this dinner with Lisa into a “date.” I just wanted to thank her for hanging in with me during the air conditioning crisis at home. Still, I squirmed in my seat as they served us the warm bread and butter, as her smile was so wide — double-wide — it was if she were opening her legs for me to enter. I found something unnervingly sexual in that unabashed smile.

I don’t remember a word we said to one another. I imagined we joked again about Mr. Spaghetti man. I do, however, remember leaving the restaurant with her because this where the real escalation into “dating” began.

She kept bumping into me as we walked through the parking lot. I didn’t know what to do, what to say. She was bumping into me on purpose, and smiling, of course.

Do you know what I did?

I took her into my arms and kissed her.

Have you fallen off of your chair? Even looking back, I am ready to fall off of mine. Why did I kiss her? I can’t count the number of times I have misled women, as well as myself, confused them (and myself) by acting in ways nearly opposite from my words. “I love being with you,” and then I go home, for example. Or, “I don’t want to date you,” but I kiss you deep and long in a public parking lot.

I don’t get it either and I believe this is what therapy is for. I imagine now I kissed her because she wanted that from me, and I wanted to make her happy. She’d made it clear that she wanted to date and who was I to say no to her? Why say no to a bright, relatively attractive young woman who appears to be crazy about me?

Bra shopping finally did us in. During that hot summer, it became apparent that I was in dire need of new bras. I’m small-breasted so bras are never top in my priorities, as I can get away for years on the same couple of bras or can get through a day or two in a sports bra. But this was the year of the bra. Lisa wanted to go bra shopping with me. As we seemed to be dating, I said, “Sure, why not.”

I don’t recall what store we were in. It might have been Sears, but it was a department store with many dressing rooms.

“Can I come in?” Lisa asked. I hesitated. Her question felt at once like an invasion of privacy and at the same time, harmless. We hadn’t slept together. She would be seeing a good portion of my body. I didn’t want her to come in.
“Okay,” I said, “Come on in.”

So, there she stood, with the double-wide grin that made me feel swallowed or fucked or something smothering due to its inability to reign itself into any semblance of controlled emotion.

“Turn around, please” I said. I needed to try on another bra, and I was shy about having her see my naked breasts. Lisa moved to the corner and turned her back. Before I had the bra in place, however, I felt her body against my back. She used her hands to squeeze my stomach and held on tight from behind. I could feel her nether regions pushing into my ass. Oy.

“Does this bother you?” she asked when I failed to respond to her overture.

“Yes, it does.”

Oh my god, I actually told the truth.

She was upset. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” It’s okay, it’s okay, I assured her but it wasn’t. I knew that statement “Yes, it does,” perhaps my first statement of truth, was the end for us.

I am not a liar. I don’t blatantly lie to women I date or to anyone. But what I am is self-delusional, hoping always that I can overlook issues in a girlfriend that in the end I cannot overlook. I try to convince myself that I need time, need to get to know her better, need to lighten up what my usual type is – relatively feminine, usually pretty, much girlier than I am. Of course, Lisa was girly enough, it was the force of her personality that was so hard for me to take. In any case, the self-delusion always breaks at some point, and I am left with no choice but to face the truth and the speak it.

After the bra incident, Lisa and I ate lunch at Panera and I had very little to say to her. She called me from home that evening to continue apologizing. I said to her something along the lines of, “What you did wasn’t wrong or bad, Lisa, it just made me uncomfortable. I think we should not date. This isn’t the right relationship for me.”

The honesty was just gushing out of me at this point.

She called again the next day, or rather, she texted. I had a trip planned to Colorado in a few weeks and before I told Lisa I didn’t care to date, she had (over eagerly) agreed to take care of my pet rabbit while I was away for 12 days. My mother was not up to caring for such a creature, which requires particular feedings and tray cleanings frequently.

“Even though we aren’t dating, I still plan to take care of your rabbit,” she texted.

“Really? I don’t think that’s a great idea.” That’s all I needed, to leave this woman with a key to my house.

“Yes,” she texted, “Even if I killed you, I would still take care of your rabbit.”

Oh, my, right? “Even if I killed you…”

“Don’t bother, Lisa.” For the next few weeks, I was looking over my shoulder for this woman. I expected her to come at me, with that smile a mile-wide grimace, screaming crazily as she stabbed me in the back, right through to the chest. At least, I expected to come home from work one day and find my rabbit being boiled in a pot, like the crazy shit that happened in movies.

But nothing happened.

It would be fabulous if I could say that after being mauled on my couch by this femme woman in a blue sun dress on that very hot July night, and realizing she wasn’t right for me after she mauled me again in a dressing room while I was bra shopping, I moved forward in my life never making the same mistake again. The truth is, the self-delusion I experience continues to be a fault of mine, no matter how much I work at it in therapy, and no matter how old I get. In different shapes, ways, forms, and experiences, there is conflict inside myself – give the relationship a fair chance, convince myself that it can work and realize in a nanosecond that it’s not what I want.  I end up hurting the other person, at least superficially, sometimes more deeply.

This is my bane, my fault, and my folly.

The good news, the bad news

revisionangstThe good news is that I’ve started blogging again for the lesbian.com website, whose mission it is to bring the best in news, entertainment and opinion to the worldwide lesbian community. However, straight people are encouraged to read the articles, too!

Click here for Cindy’s latest post on lesbian.com.

And the bad news? Well, I don’t know if it’s bad news exactly, but it is anxiety-provoking.

I still need 150 people to give $5 or 100 people to give $10 to my campaign to free two persecuted gay Ugandans. PLEASE GIVE.  Just that small donation combined with other small donations will give these men what they need to travel and make it to South Africa. To learn more, you can read the lesbian.com article or click on the PLEASE GIVE link for the full story.

Thank you for caring.

Cindy

“Peanut Butter Cups” has been published by Tinge Magazine

English: Peanut butter cups, sticks, and piece...

Normally, when I am lucky enough to have my work published, I just announce it without disclaimers; however, “Peanut Butter Cups,” is an exception.  Just published by Tinge Magazine, this is a difficult essay — it’s long, and it’s full of painful subjects such as rape, abuse, and mental illness. There is some raw and raunchy lesbian sex that may startle some readers. It may not be apparent as to why I’ve written this piece; I think it’s more apparent when you read it as part of a larger work – what comes before and what comes after – in the book I am trying to finish.

If you are inclined, give “Peanut Butter Cups” a shot. If it gets too painful for you or too boring for you, by all means, please stop reading.  If you can get through it, thank you.

This is a work of creative nonfiction, but I have changed the name of the main character and some insignificant details to protect privacy.

So, give it a go, if you can. Here is the link:

http://www.tingemagazine.org/peanut-butter-cups/

‘Who Would Choose Such a Difficult Life If They Were Normal?’

‘Who Would Choose Such a Difficult Life If They Were Normal?’ – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cindy-zelman/who-would-choose-such-a-d_b_3531091.html

What happened to The Early Draft?

BlogMy blog site, The Early Draft, once seemed like a thriving and growing venue to share my writing and ideas. But after three years interest seemed to dwindle. Comments on “The Early Draft” dried up. Maybe you all just got bored or too busy to comment.

It’s difficult for me to post publicly when I don’t feel I’m reaching readers. Regardless of the lack of comments, my blog traffic has been up, up, up this year. I think that has to do with a lot of misguided porn-seekers, looking at my yearly lesbian nudes, which are beautiful but not pornographic. But you know, the porn seekers are no fun. They hit my pages, and then I don’t know what they do. I don’t want to know what they do. They don’t comment, I can tell you that much.

Luckily, at  the time I noticed the declining interest in The Early Draft, I was asked to blog on a regular basis for Lesbian.com, and soon I was able to hook up a regular blogging gig with The Huffington Post.

The traffic and comments are amazing in these venues. On my latest Huffington Post blog, if I count Facebook “Likes” and Facebook “Shares,” more than 1,000 people read the article in a 24-hour period and more than 150 shared comments (not all of them supportive.) These are only the readers I know about because they bothered to click on the FB icons or they bothered to comment. I have no idea how many total hits my article received. Now that’s engagement. It isn’t always fun, as with the Huffington Post especially, I need to be topical and controversial if I’m going to generate those kinds of numbers. And I hate it when people disagree with me. With Lesbian.com, I can be more entertaining, although that website, too, is good for the “idea” blogs.

Still sometimes I miss expressing myself here on The Early Draft. I’m just not sure anyone is reading it anymore. Are you? Let me know if you are or if you would like to should I start telling stories here again. In the meantime, if you’re interested, below are links to my most recent posts on Lesbian.com and The Huffington Post.

“The Six-Month Crest Test” was posted on Lesbian.com this week. It continues the story of me and my ex-gf, Jan. I hope this one will make you laugh.

“So What if Homosexuality WERE a Choice?” was posted on The Huffington Post this week. Apparently, you will either be totally with me on this or think I’m an asshole for even thinking in the way that I do. There is a very good chance that I am that asshole… 🙂

Talk to you soon, I hope.