Where Is The Moon?
She said, “It’s Queen Anne’s lace,” and I thought I might be able to love a woman. But only a woman who wore Queen Anne’s lace. I didn’t know then that Queen Anne’s lace was a flower. I thought it was a doily-type thing she wore on her bony shoulders, a delicate break apart in your fingers doily-type thing, and I thought it would be nice to cuddle up next to something frail-on-frail, something ancient draped over something modern. I was sick of thick arms, heaving breath, the impending sense of doom they all brought-- although, I knew the latter was the stuff of women’s magazines and feminist listservs whose e-mail databases I couldn’t seem to remove myself from.
But that was her favorite thing, the flower. I said my favorite thing was cats that bat at your hands but really they’re just batting at the air. I told her it was sweet the way it seemed they were always grabbing at something they couldn’t quite touch. I thought this was profound and it might hook her although I wasn’t sure yet if she wanted to be hooked. It’s a strange thing when you realize you have sexual tension with everyone you meet.
We saw a horror movie after the terrible tasting, cricket-chirp lunch, only I don’t remember a thing about it because I was thinking the whole time what my mother would say if I brought a girl home and said, "Mom, people look the same inside when you remove their skin and genitals," or "Mom, you raised me to find the good in everyone but you never told me there was no good in a man."
After the movie she asked to come inside and use the bathroom and while she did I googled Queen Anne’s Lace because when I don’t know what someone’s talking about I always pretend I do and then google it later. The flower, there, on the screen, was reaching out, stems like lonely separate fingers stretching from a long night curled, and I thought they too looked as if they were grabbing at something they couldn’t quite touch.
It was dark outside, and I could see the moon through the window. But as she reentered the room, I saw the moon wink out as a car passed and realized what I was looking at was only a reflection, that the moon was out there somewhere, but was out of sight from where I stood.
She left that night because I asked her if she wanted to go looking for the moon with me, and she said she preferred conversation and gin martinis. I went looking for the moon without her because I hate both conversation and gin.
Perhaps, if I ever see her again, I will tell her that I could certainly love her if she wore Queen Anne’s lace in her hair.