Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 21

  Theresa looked at Sharon with slight concern. “Are you alright, Hon? You look really constipated all the sudden.”

  Sharon recovered quickly. “Oh, it’s nothing. Just having one of those déjà vu moments. We’d be happy to join you. Although I’m not sure about April. She went through a lot of trouble for that turkey of hers.”

  “Alejandro?” asked Theresa.

  Sharon shook her head. “No, an actual turkey. The bird kind.”

  Theresa smiled. “I was just wondering if he would like to eat, too. I wouldn’t know if he’s a turkey or not. The non-bird kind.”

  Right on cue, Alejandro and April came strolling around the corner and up the porch steps. Somewhere along the line he had picked up another shirt. No one bothered to ask him about this recent acquisition, as clothing was an entirely transitional thing with him. The shirt would be gone in a few minutes anyway.

  Sharon smiled brightly at the two arrivals.. “Theresa and Raz have graciously invited us to dinner. I think that sounds splendid. You?”

  Alejandro nodded immediately, since he really didn’t have any choice in the matter and therefore no concerns. April, of course, did have questions, and launched immediately. “What exactly do lesbians eat? Besides, you know…”

  “Each other?” asked Theresa, still holding the door open. “Well, I can’t tell you every food that’s in the handbook, because then you might be tempted to follow the same meal plan and become one of us. And we can’t have that. We have our standards.”

  April volleyed back. “I like it better when you talk in the country accent. It makes me feel more important.”

  Theresa laughed. “Yeah, that does come and go. I tend to shake off the Odessa twang from time to time. How’s this? Sugar, we be havin’ us some vegetarian. From that there Spiral Diner over to Beckley Avenue? It’s good stuff. You can’t hardly tell there ain’t no meat in it.”

  April viewed this option with suspicion. “You don’t eat meat?”

  “Of course not,” said Theresa. “It’s our Fourth Commandment. And if that scares you, wait until you hear the other nine.”

  The dead crickets chirped again.

  Theresa sighed. “Oh, I was just kidding. Of course we eat meat. You think Raz got that big eating tofu? I’m just messing with you. But we do like vegetarian. And I had just ordered from Spiral a few minutes before your little circus trooped up the street. If you wanna stay, I can give them a ring for extra. I think I know what you might like.”

  Sharon looked at April. “Were you planning to eat that turkey tonight or not?”

  April glared back. “No, I wasn’t, but that’s not important. You shouldn’t be making plans for me. You people are crazy and I might end up dead.”

  Sharon sighed (43). “Fine, April. Alejandro can run you home, and you can get back to work building the bitter walls of your Fortress of Solitude. Thank you for my haircut, have a nice life.”

  Theresa spoke up. “Perhaps this is where I should offer alcoholic beverages. Anybody?”

  “Yes!” proclaimed everyone else on the porch, as well as several people loading their cars in the nearby supermarket parking lot.

  Concerned that she might be suddenly left out of this carnival of weirdness that was actually much more fun than her plans to get lit and watch “The Ghost Whisperer”, April back-pedaled. “And vegetarian sounds great. Can’t wait. Let me make a call.” April whipped out her phone, sporting an image of Obama on the back and the slogan “We done DID!”

  “Perfect,” said Theresa. “I’ll go call Spiral, and then see what we’ve got to drink.” She slipped back into the house.

  Sharon, Hexom and Alejandro patiently pretended to not be listening to April’s side of the following conversation, even though all of them were.

  “Hey, baby. Yes. I know that. There wasn’t time. No. I’m with Hexom. Yes, that one. Uh huh. So you’re gonna be jealous of a gay guy? Dumb-ass. Yes. No. Anyway, I’m gonna be a while. Yes. Did you talk to Topaz? She havin’ fun at grandma’s? Good. No. NO!. We’re takin’ that turkey to Momma’s tomorrow. Yes, I changed the combination. I’m not stupid. Just leave it be. Yes. Anyway, I’ll see you later. Oh? Really? Fine, then. You’re a grown man. Uh huh. Fine. Bye.”

  April shoved the phone back into her jeans. “Baby Daddy’s suck!”

  Theresa opened the screen door again. “Okay, Spiral should be here in thirty. And we’ve got tons of wine, some sangria, absinthe, rum, vodka-”

  “Vodka!” screamed the entire porch and the nearby parking lot. There was a distant “Woo-hoo!” from behind one of the cars.

  “You sure have a lot of alcohol,” commented Alejandro, gently setting the tablet down on a small table, having been forced to run get the damn thing and then nobody wanted it.

  “Of course we do,” agreed Theresa. “You drink a lot when your only role models are tennis players and talk show hosts.”

  Alejandro, Hexom and Sharon trooped into the house while Theresa held the screen door. April hesitated. “I’ve never been in a real lesbian’s house before.”

  “A real lesbian?” asked Sharon. “As opposed to a fake lesbian? Like Madonna?”

  April smiled tentatively and then sauntered in as well. The people in the supermarket parking lot wept in exclusion, sadly climbing into their cars as the screen door banged shut.

  Our Gang eventually found themselves in a very pleasant living room, tastefully decorated and void of any startling lesbian artifacts of defiance and liberation, wherein abstract breasts and vaginas are thrust at you alongside photos of people on summer vacation. “This is very nice,” commented Sharon.

  Theresa chuckled. “What were you expecting? Cat trees and macramé? Sports gear? Perhaps tuna cans opened as potpourri?”

  Sharon laughed. “Of course not. I’m not the one with issues. That would be April.”

  “Hey!” protested April, looking cornered and trapped. “I can’t help it. I’m black, in case you didn‘t notice. I went to a black church. They line us up as kids, with our cute little afro puffs and white dresses, and tell us there aren’t any black gay people. Then we sing gospel about it. It takes a long time to shake that off.”

  April plopped own on the nearest couch, pretending to be totally relaxed and having the best time of her life. She snatched up a magazine and flipped pages. Unfortunately, it was a copy of “Curve”, and April understandably did not have any interest in pointers on how to avoid lesbian bed death. She discreetly laid the item back down and smiled primly. “Whoops. Didn’t expect that.”

  Over the sounds of tinkling glass and tumbling ice cubes coming from the adjacent kitchen, Raz called out. “What do you guys want with the vodka? Or do you want it on the rocks? I don’t judge.”

  Sharon looked at Theresa. “Do you still have some of that lemonade?”

  Theresa nodded. “Sure. We always have plenty, although most of it’s sugarless. We use that on the cat.”

  This appeared to be the first truly mystifying lesbian ritual they had encountered, and even Sharon gave pause. “Are you talking about… on yourself… or an actual animal?”

  Theresa laughed. “An animal, honey. Sugar-free lemonade. It keeps fleas away, and it’s better than that chemical crap in the stores. Buster would argue with that, since he doesn’t like baths, but Mommy gets to decide.” The phone rang. Theresa excused herself to go answer.

  (Editorial note inserted by author: Think about what you’re putting on your animals. Make sure you understand the implications. Check the Web. End soap box.)

  Theresa returned to the room. “Well, that was the diner. It seems our dandelion casserole didn’t turn out the way they would like. They’re gonna throw another one together. It’ll take a little longer. I told them that would be fine. We can drink, right?”

  Dandelion casserole? April squirmed again. Accepting other cultures was so complicated. But she held her tongue. Let Hexom look like a fool this time. But then, he was once again giving Alejandro down-low lust glances, and probably hadn’t heard a thing.

  Raz entered the room, sporting a tray with glasses and shimmery liquids and such. “I’ll let you all fix your own. I don’t know how much anybody wants.” She plopped the goodies down on the coffee table, obscuring the copy of “Curve” that had startled April. “Enjoy.”

  To say there was a stampede would be putting it mildly.

  A few minutes later, everyone was comfortably seated and sipping. (Well, Alejandro was gulping, but he was a big guy and required higher levels of maintenance. Conversely, April barely wet her tongue, weighing all of forty pounds and fully aware of her own pacing requirements.)

  “Well, then,” said Theresa, slipping off her sandals and tucking her legs up under her. “What should we talk about?”

  “I, for one,” said Hexom, mainly because he hadn’t been allowed to speak yet in this chapter and was feeling a bit secondary, although he was truly interested as well, “would love to hear the story about the greased pig. We never got around to that part, Sharon.”

  “Are you talking about Brian?” asked Theresa, glancing between the two of them.

  Sharon nodded, but glared at Hexom. “I’m not sure that we need to go there. He passed, Hexom. Have some decency.”

  Theresa interjected. “Oh, no, I’m fine. And it would be appropriate, since that’s the day that I, well, first understood my feelings toward you. And now you’re here again. Seems right.”

  “I don’t know,” hesitated Sharon.

  “Oh, come on,” said Theresa, reaching out and slapping an Sharon’s knee. “It’ll be fun. Start!”

  “Well, it was your pig, shouldn’t you tell the story?”

  Theresa nodded. “I will. But you first. And then we’ll compare.”

  Sharon sighed (44). “Okay.” She took another sip of her beverage. “So it’s twenty-five years ago. Trainsley and I are standing in the Merrifield Cemetery, and he suddenly says…”

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1 comment:

  1. I am going to sit here in a petrified state until the next chapter appears. Hurry, because I need to wash my hair and the wine glass has gone empty.....