It was my senior year in college. I was long past the getting drunk and throwing up in the bushes on the way back to the dorm thing and well on my way to being scared out of my mind wondering what the hell I was going to do now.
Bing and I were still dorm mates. She was dating this woman named Kyla. I could not stand Kyla and made fun of her ceaselessly to Bing. Kyla wanted to be a gym teacher, which I thought was just too dyke-a-dooey for words. She looked exactly like a thirteen old boy and pretty much acted like one too. She would guzzle a beer and then crush it with her hand and look intently at me like I was supposed to be impressed. Kyla worked WAY too hard trying to impress people and I made sure that Bing knew about it and also knew that I thought she was creepy. To this day, I have no idea what Bing saw in her and neither does she. Once in a while, one of us will say, I wonder whatever happened to Kyla? And then, Bing always says, "I still can't believe I ever dated her. I mean, she was just sooo not my type. I like the girly girls and she was so...so...manly."
I was not really dating anyone seriously. I dated both women and men.
Most of the time, I hung out with anyone who was around on the weekends and Bing often tried to pry Kyla off of her and be with me. I remember arguing about movies a lot. I remember one night when she tried hard to talk me into seeing The Empire Strikes Back. I was lobbying just as hard for Melvin and Howard. We ended up seeing Raging Bull.
This is a theme that will probably always play across our lives together. Bing always pushing for the action themed movie, me wanting to see the little artsy movie and us settling on something in the middle.
I was a big Michener fan in those days and I remember carting around The Covenant with me everywhere.
David Letterman debuted. It was the last year for The Not Ready For Prime Time Players on SNL and we often skipped going out on Saturday night to hang around the lounge in our dorm to watch them. I thought that John Belushi was so fucking brilliant, had such a great future ahead of him.
One night, after watching SNL, Bing and I headed out to the local lesbian bar. I am trying so hard to remember the name of that place. I think it was something about a rainbow...yeah...so very original.
I wore my hair exactly like this. So did everyone else. But, I thought I looked pretty damn smokin. And now that I think back, I think I was pretty nice looking. Good hell, I was 21. Who can't smoke up a room when they are so young and nubile? I had those perky boobs and could eat like a pig and not gain an ounce. In fact, I pretty much lived on Fresca and cheetos. We all did.
I had lots of tight, stonewashed jeans. I wore leg warmers and um...scrunch socks.
Mostly, though, I wore men's shirts, white ones, usually, with hiking boots and jeans. Sometimes, I wore my overalls.
And so, there we were, headed off the The Rainbow with me with my hair perfectly tousled. I had been told that I looked like a hot little milkmaid by someone and I cultivated that look. I always wanted to look all fresh and pretty, with flushed cheeks and a slightly slutty air to add confusion to it all.
Bing and I headed to the bar table where our friends had gathered and she went up to the bar to get her pepsi and my gin and tonic. That was my drink. I liked to suck the lime in my drink and look all grown up.
By the time Bing came back, a group of women, girls really, I should say, we were so much more girls than women....were getting ready to go play pool.
And then one of my favorite songs came on.
Before she could go play pool, I was dragging Bing off to the dance floor where we bopped and she-bopped all over the place with all the other brave young lesbians.
I remember dancing hard and fast and twirling each other around and around, joining in with the lyrics...
I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so...
Because we were. We were young and free, nothing to tie us down yet, lots of time, good looks and settled stomachs.
I spun around with Bing and we laughed and danced, bounced off each other again and again.
God, there are no words for what it is like to be 21 and dancing.
So, tonight when Bing was making dinner and listening to the radio, this song came on and we both looked at each other in sheer delight.
And then we just had to do it. Had to cut the rug.
At 50 years old, we are not nearly as nubile, not nearly as bouncy.
But, we did okay.
And Liv joined us, winding and twisting around us, dancing, her little voice telling us that she was turning Japanese right along with us.
Socks barked and then joined us, jumping at us and dancing his dog dance with Liv.
And then the music stopped and we all sat down to our dinner of leftover chicken stir fry.
Because you can only turn Japanese for so long and then you have to be 50 again.
But, I still wear men's shirts and jeans.