Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Minority

Wait, you don’t get it…I was born this way!! There is no way in hell you could make me lay down with another man!! “Look George, I am sorry…you have made a poor “life choice.”” I have not made a choice, screamed George! What kind of nightmare is this?? Look, I am attracted to women…it just seems natural to me. “Well, it is amoral and unnatural, you must be suffering from a mental defect of some sort,” the man shouted. George walked out of his office and into the heat of the California sun. He had to find another job, he couldn’t take the daily scrutiny from his boss about being a heterosexual. He was not a protected class under the law and Glenn, his boss, could heap shit upon him every day….and quite literally did just that.

George reached for his cell phone and called Phyllis, his girlfriend. They had been seeing each other for two years, living together actually…they longed to be able to legally marry each other. Heterosexual marriage was only legal in five states: Idaho, Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Utah. George was going to tell Glenn to shove it one day soon and they would be off…off to where they could marry each other…even walk down the street holding hands. The thought of it was surreal to George and Phyllis. To breathe the air of equality, to not be publicly ridiculed…to feel like they had equal protection under the Constitution of the United States.

They had picked Texas as their soon to be new home. Frankly, it was not much of a contest…who the hell would pick Oklahoma?? George chuckled at his own joke as he buckled up and headed down the road to the waiting arms of Phyllis. He had felt like a second-class citizen his whole life, but soon he would have a shift in his life…a parallel universe if you will…one where he and Phyllis could live happily ever after. He wondered what a world ran by heterosexuals would look like….how would they treat homosexuals if the shoe were on the other foot?

George thought it must be what he deemed the “culture of the majority.” The human race was built to want to be “like-in-kind” to the man standing next to him. Heterosexuals were just smaller in number…a weakened voice that longed to be heard. Natural reproduction was the same way…an anomaly where the progeny was a genetic crap shoot. Test-tube babies were the norm, George had never met anyone that admitted to being the product of heterosexual baby-making. That person would be the ultimate out-cast in society…someone whose every detail was not ordered up by their homosexual parents. It was even a freaky idea to George…he and Phyllis would go the normal route and order their child just like everyone else…if only it were legal for them to parent.

George could see Phillis’ silhouette, back-lit, as she stood on the porch and waited to greet him. “How are you tonight?” she said as she patted George on the back and they both turned to walk in the front door. Phyllis! I told you no touching in public! “It is our own porch George!” she responded. Not until we hit El Paso Phyllis..not until then.

They sat eating their dinner and watched the evening news together. The NBC Nightly News was showing a story about a crazy pastor from Oregon that was picketing heterosexual funerals….his congregants were holding signs that read, “STRAIGHT to Hell!”

When will the majority ever understand? Will there EVER be a day when we can all agree that we were born either heterosexual or homosexual?
George had trouble drifting off to sleep that night. He dreaded the day when the geneticists would finally find the sexuality marker…that would be the end of heterosexuals for sure. Sleep George he thought to himself…sleep…think good thoughts. TEXAS….Texas…..Texas.

The Not-So Skinny Dip

The three sisters and their mother, Jewel, entered the gate and sat next to the closed pool. It was about midnight on a hot June night and the country club had been closed for two hours. Juju’s mother worked at the country club three days a week making salads and other side dishes for the daily buffet. It was her mother’s way of helping her aging and not so healthy father, the chef at the club.

Jewel had a second job during the day at Bell Helicopter in Hurst, Juju’s hometown. At Bell Jewel prepared and served a daily lunch buffet as well, only there, to employees of the worldwide helicopter company. Jewel had taken the Bell job when Juju entered fifth-grade as a way to supplement the family income. Jewel had worked hard her entire life, raising seven children, odd jobs and this, the summer of her fifty-second year, was no different.

Jewel had worked at both locations that Friday night in 1973 and she was hot and tired..tired to the bone. Sitting there, gazing at the pool, she suddenly got to her feet and started to disrobe! “Mother! What are you doing!!??” asked Joyce. I think that water looks damn good, Jewel responded, it looks like an invitation to go skinny-dipping! Juju started laughing as she watched her mother strip!

Two of Juju’s older sisters, Joan and Joyce, had come down to the club on the premise of a late night swim, but not a skinny dip! It was daring enough for them to swim after the pool had closed…daring for Jewel meant no swimsuit. One spotlight illuminated the front of the clubhouse and another at the rear. There was sparse light flickering off the water as Juju jumped off the diving board in all her glory!

The older girls, giggling and nervously chatting followed their mother’s lead and all four were soon cool and relaxed on a long ago Texas night. Jewel regaled her daughters with stories about skinny-dipping while growing up in Fort Worth during the Great Depression. Cheap entertainment she said, who could afford a swimsuit back then?

Juju wondered aloud if they could get in trouble for what they were doing? No said Jewel, she had gotten permission to swim after hours from the club general manager. “Did you neglect to tell her we would be naked??” Joan inquired. Everything they said that night was met with laughter…everything is funnier when you are staring at three naked women. Maybe we shouldn’t call this a skinny-dip Juju said, I don’t see anyone close to skinny here!

Juju watched her mother and couldn’t believe what she was witnessing! The woman who usually got her cardio chasing her around the house with a fly swatter was doing laps in the pool and mooning her!

Friday nights at the club were “all you can eat” shrimp peel night. Juju and her family loved Friday nights because her father would come home with the leftovers! Newspaper would be put all over the kitchen table and a big white tub of shrimp would be dumped out in the middle.
The night had started with a shrimp feast and now was ending with Juju seeing another side of her mother…a goofy, care-free side. Juju marked the moment in her memory. She floated under the diving board and watched her mother and sisters giggle into the night. Even at twelve, Juju knew that certain events tend to stick with you a long time….this was one of those times.

“You are trespassing!! I am calling the police!” said the man’s voice. Juju, startled and scared…nowhere to run…saw a man’s shadow walking from the back door of the club. As the man got closer, Jewel recognized him as Emmet, the dishwasher. The four not-so skinny dippers swam hastily to the front edge of the pool and pulled themselves in tight! “Hey there Emmet, it’s Jewel! I have some of my kids here swimming, everything is okay!” An exchange of pleasantries took place, and Emmet was heading home. Jewel, not seeing any cars in the parking lot, had thought they were safe from discovery, but had forgotten Emmet always had his wife pick him up. More laughter bounced down the hills of the golf course as Emmet got into his ride. Poor, old Emmet was never the wiser, never knowing how close he had come to seeing four sets of Billhymer…shall we say…flotation devices.

The girls, having enough, exited the pool to get dressed. Juju looked back and watched Jewel enjoy herself a few minutes more swimming back and forth alone in the pool. The next day Jewel would be the salad lady again, making sure the club women had the best produce in town available to them. She would walk past the pool on her way to the back door kitchen entrance, carrying only a secret.

Juju worked the snack bar the next day and sat there staring out the window at the packed pool. On that particular day she was not envious of the club kids and their leisurely fun. The crowd before her disappeared and all Juju could see was her mother. There was Jewel throwing her bra over her left shoulder and running butt-naked into the water. Not many people have a memory of their mother like that, Juju thought. From that day on, the moonlight swims her mother suggested took on a whole other meaning.