’Sup. It’s your best friend, Avery or something. As you can tell from the wind-whipped hair on the non-shaved half of my head, I rode my motorcycle here from my eclectically furnished studio apartment in our city’s equivalent neighborhood to the Lower East Side portrayed in Rent. That’s where my similarities to those characters end.
I’m not some lesbian with one foot out of the closet written into the script to attract queer viewers. I’m straight. A heterosexual. That dress looks incredible on you—give me a spin. Wow. The blue stripes really highlight your eyes.
Like so many young professionals these days, I’m a multi-hyphenate: personal trainer / cat sitter / hairdresser / carpenter / alt-rock guitarist / dyke mechanic—whoops, I meant bike mechanic. Some would say that’s the same thing. I would say that the typification of manual labor as butch upholds the marginalizing binary framework through which our society views the queer community. That was the thesis of my gender studies capstone at Smith, where I never once had sex with a woman.
You wanna go out tonight? To meet guys, of course. We’ll do what we usually do: sip martinis and wait for the men to come to us. For some reason, they only ever come to you. Doesn’t bother me—I live to be your hype woman. You tell me your physical insecurities, and I’ll tell you that you’re wrong. Why would you ever want a boob job? Your tits are literal works of art. And your legs and waist and ass… goddamn. Chef’s kiss. Perfection.
Feel any better? Good. Because again—and it is my duty as your platonic friend to say this—you are the most fuckable person alive. If I could, I would, but I can’t, ’cause I’m not. Seriously, I’m not. Okay? Okay.
The majority of our conversations are intensely suggestive. But like, Sex and the City suggestive—straight girls swapping tales of lewd escapades with sandpaper-chinned hunks. Or rather, you’ll tell me about your escapades while I lean in close—closer—to hear your voice over the noise of the sports bar that I chose for us. Because guys love girls who are into sports, and we want to seem like we’re into sports. Holy shit, did you see that interception? They can’t afford to allow a forty-yard return this far into the half, not with that offensive line. Sorry, you were saying?
Hey, you’ve got something on the corner of your mouth. Hold still—I’ll wipe it off slowly with a light stroke of my thumb while studying the curve of your lower lip. Is that a new lipstick? I’m asking because I want to buy the same shade for myself. Because I wear makeup too. Not often, but I do. Remember your cousin’s wedding? When your date bailed, and I took his place on the dance floor and swayed with you to “Tupelo Honey” so you wouldn’t feel alone? I wore makeup then.
I’ve never had a partner—at least not one that I’ve mentioned. It’s not that my sexuality is too risky for a major studio to explore. I just prefer to keep that part of my life private. Is that a loose strand of hair in front of your ear? Let me brush it back.
Oh, this blazer? I wouldn’t read into it. Everyone’s doing the masculine thing now. Not any of the other female characters in this film, but that doesn’t prove anything. Take a look at Cate Blanchett on the red carpet. A suit jacket and pants every time. And she’s as hetero as they come! Right?
Anyway, you’ve got nothing to worry about. I’m straighter than Shane’s hair in The L Word. I’m straighter than Megan Rapinoe’s scoring shot in the World Cup finals. I’m straighter than the link between a queer character in an in-flight movie and the plummeting stock price of the offending airline.
I’m also straighter than my piercing stare into the crystalline pools of your magnetizing eyes. Do you feel that? Do you feel the mounting energy of our souls as they unite in orbit around the North Star of the human psyche, the metaphysical center of emotional gravity that we call intuition?
That’s what makes us besties.