Gwen the Ugly Dyke
PART II

Read the first part here

Delilah, a Paglian Feminist who didn't prescribe to the idea of victimization, was a landscaper who loved cultivating the earth. Puerto Rican, big butt, small waist and big expressive eyes -- but dressed better than Ms. Lo.

When I told her of my past relationships,she smiled, "Miha, you need to get your head out of your ass. Those bitches sounds crazy."

I fell head over heels pretty fast. I would help her haul mulch and potting from the horticultural center. She'd educate me on the nature of bugs and plants and how all the elements work in balance. "Not like people so much," she sighed. "Nature is perfect even in her flaws."

After a few years Delilah got a grant to go study horticulture in Peru. I was happy for her, but devastated. She'd be gone for six months and at times in remote areas with no internet or cell phone access -- not even a Whole Foods!

While she's away, I'm in my secret place. In my secret place, I'm Natalie Young, the teenager from New York who got suspended for wearing a "Barbie is a Dyke" t-shirt.

Then I get a call from someone named Xochicateca. Said was a botanist from the reserve. She had a soothing voice and pleasant manner, but something seemed kinda weird.

"Delilah had you down as her -- em -- novia, si? Well, a few days ago we had a ritual in the jungle, as part of our homeopathic research. We distill an indigenous root and flower blossoms which the native peoples drink. Em… unfortunately Delilah she… she has adverse reaction to this. We in a remote area... by the time medivac came she was in... eh... cómo usted dice arrest? Mis apologías de mi corazón…"

I woke up a few days later at the WHC clinic. Olga was there, holding my hand and reading a Joni Mitchell poem from my bed side. Apparently I'd gone on a bender for several days. Security at the End Up found me slumped in a corner holding a cracked disco ball, a boob hanging out of my tank top.

Nice.

She fucking died on me! What the fuck? Could I be more cursed, more doomed to a life of loneliness and despair? I finally found someone who was genuine, caring and loving, and finally thought that I, Gwen the Ugly Dyke, was sexy and loved?

Then fate jacks me, killing my girlfriend with some fucking jungle root?!

Once in a dark while, in my secret place, I am no longer human but a fierce mutant heroine like Rogue of the X-Men, who's greatest challenge is to avoid sucking the life energy out of people. She can fly and wears a cool suit.

Olga decided it was time for serious action. She took me to Harbon Hot Springs for a month. Her donor kids were put in the care of a collective in Ukiah, a bunch of vegan hemp activists who practiced Pad Thai Chi and studied the Tao of Pooh. I went there to space once, but the giant stuffed Pooh in the living room freaked me out.

Olga had me do some serious sweats and keifer-yoga two or three times a day. We read and analyzed Sexual Personae and Backlash.

"Gwen," Olga would ask me over a cup of tea. "Allow yourself to grieve the loss, but be strong in that you had Delilah in your life and were blessed to have had the time you shared."

"How about I just become a crack head, lose my teeth and get Necrotizing Fascitis?"

Cold glare. Silence. Finally a sigh. "Dear heart, I know your humor is simply a redirection of your pain. That's part of your process."

I laughed. "My whole fucking life is pain, Olga! I just don't know anymore." I sobbed into my cup of murky organic tea. The thought occurred to me that a shot of JD woulda been really cool at that moment.

This healthy-dealing-with-your-shit stuff? I dunno. Maybe all those junkies and mentally warped, broken-down souls were on to something. Distraction, self-abuse, denial -- my parents' generation:

Moms in the Sixties who used to pop pills instead of running to counseling when Jennifer came home with a half-black baby named Malcolm.

Buckets of coke to blow your brains out cuz Dad was a dick, Mom was indifferent, and all the fucking in the world never made you feel really loved.

Naw, these are the days of getting in touch with your pain, dealing with your pain, and doing decoupage to channel your pain into some sort of "creative energy." Gone were the days of being a truly fucked-up mess.

Suddenly, I had an epiphany, staring into my cup.

CANADA!

I bailed on Olga, left her on the hill with the goddess salve and Bonnie Raitt CD. I got home and in a frenzy sold most of my worldly possessions and gave stuff away.

"'Dildos for Dummies'? I dunno, Gwen."

"Just check it out. Strap-ons are very user-friendly these days."

I gave my notice at the center and recommended Fatima, an urban primitive intern from Cabrillo College, as my successor.

I packed the hybrid and drove right on through to Vancouver, stopping for gas and to eat.

I took odd jobs here and there in E.VC -- the part of the city I dubbed "Girlsville." I got a small apartment and cat I named Loverboy after the Canadian rock band.

Sometimes change can cleanse the soul. I settled into a mellow life with Loverboy, working as a snowshoe guide at Whistler in the winter. Eventually I met Milk-Maid, from Alberta. We bought a small farm in British Columbia, got a dog, and churned soy butter together. I started eating meat again, usually when I got my period. Sometimes through word of mouth, we'd put up a traveling baby-dyke coming through for a week or a month. In exchange for room and board, they'd help on the farm, cultivate the organic garden, or do odd-jobs around the house.

That worked out swell, but this one girl Hannah, a grad student from Ottawa, was a bit cracked when she made a comment about one of the cows, Gertie, and her calf.

"I hate that cow! See how she neglects her? I bet she criticizes her, too! Yeah, I bet she tells the baby her udders are too fat and asks why doesn't she take it easy on the feed!"

Milk-Maid sniffed. "I think we should let Hannah move on, eh?"

It was cool to be with a nice Canadian dyke; to not try so hard as I used to with past partners. She wasn't full of PC rhetoric, magic hippie potions, or ramming Tori Amos' music down my throat. She was just a mellow normal human being. Sorta Sarah Plain and Tall, but really into hockey and shopping for new winter gear. She enjoyed American rap like West Side Connection (or anything Ice Cube did), but would weep when listening to Anne Murray's "Snowbird."

Milk-Maid did have a certain disdain for my very American characteristics. Being impolite, impatient and rude or not knowing much of another language other than English.

But, the whole French-Canadian thing was just lost on me.

"Simone de Beauvoir is fucking French. Celine Dion is fucking Canadian!"

"Canadienne," Milk-Maid would scowl as she slung more feed into the pig trough.

The oddest cultural observation I had about being an expat in Canada was that there were virtually no blacks and no Latinos, but instead gobs of whites, Asians, and Native Canadians. A Berkeleyite's proverbial wet dream when I considered it.

Milk-Maid always liked to have afternoon tea with toast. I liked Canadian bacon with breakfast and was compelled to ask what exactly makes it Canadian.

Milk Maid shrugged, "Because it's round, eh?"

Well, duh.

So, ultimately I found my way in the world, in a good cozy place that allowed me to be me, just Gwen. I may not be the hottest thing ever, but I'm happy -- not just with Milk-Maid, but with myself, which is what I suppose everyone back home is scrambling for, too, with their soy chai lattes and macrobiotic Tibetan stews.

Even someone like me can end up with the girl, which is bonus.

-- Badass Blue Moon Mamma,
January 21, 2003

Copyright 2004, Badass Blue Moon Mamma

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