Log Line: Super cute Kaz Miles moves to the bustling city of Edmonton with NOTHING but dreams. No impressive work history, not enough money, no place to stay at… neither… brains for love and relationships! To make her idiosyncrasies even worse, she meets the beautiful, shrewd, principled — and — ‘super straight’ Jane Randall who becomes her roommate, self-proclaimed mentor, love guiding light, and… FANTASY!
Warning: Crude Humor/Language
A resplendent smile on Jane’s face sends tickles into my period cramp area… as we set ourselves for a long, winding drive to my hometown.
“I’m afraid I would give my mother a heart attack,” I say, munching on chips.
“It’ll be fine,” she assures me, grinning at the road.
I flop down in the passenger’s seat. “Then my dad would curse the heavens…”
“Kaz, your anxiety is wearing me out now,” she says. “Jesus.”
“They would definitely force me to confess to a priest, or I would have to butcher a cow to sacrifice my dignity as a vegetarian… and, to make matters worse, they’d hire a medical expert to put me up for a menopause program… And that’s just some of the excruciating possibilities that I can think of right now… as I’m already preparing to say goodbye to my super cute face. My awfully… super cute face… Ugh. And there goes my torture chamber declaration. Good Lord. It’s finally happening! Aaahhh!”
“Look around, and see if you can catch a good place along the way. I gotta eat and use the washroom.”
“Then why are you still smiling?”
“Because we’re finally killing off one of your culprits.”
“Culprits? You mean, I’ve got tons of ’em? What are they, anyway?”
“How’s your memory coming along?”
“It’s dancing in a limbo land right now.”
“It’s dancing in a limbo land all the frickin’ time.”
The local diner is packed with truck drivers and road construction workers. Jane and I take our seats at a table in the far-end corner of the room, and all eyes are feasting on us. I spot a butch dressed in her industrial work-wear slobbering over me, then she shifts her attention to Jane, and back to me again. Ooh. Ouch! Please go away! Go away!
“Oh God, Jane,” I groan. “I think I’m about to vomit.”
“Cut it out,” Jane says. “I’m starving, for God’s sake.”
Jane devours a bowl of creamy potato soup and garlic bread. Meanwhile, I sulk at my cup of coffee as my terrified gut dwells on an urgency for us to drop out of these strangers’ sight. The butch still continues on terrorizing us with her rakish eyes, which grinds my stomach even more. I need to consult the gay code of ethics if my judgment is prejudiced. But it’s NOT! She’s pretty much imagining me and Jane in bed with her! GROSS!
And we finally drive on.
“It was the butch, wasn’t it?” Jane laughs.
“Kill me,” I exclaim. “I could practically call all the consciousness to rescue us from her carnal eyes.”
“Nah,” she says. “It wasn’t about how she ogled us. You just don’t like ‘em.”
“Butches?” I yelp. “No, I don’t.”
“And why not?”
“They’re just… arrogant. Like, ‘oh, I’m a man, by the way. I can make things happen for my woman, and they would die just to have me’. They keep on bragging about themselves, things that they can do to make chicks happy, their assets, and all the shit there is to hot dog about. I mean, seriously. Let your chicks brag about you instead. Stop acting like you have a hot-looking celebrity face because what I always see is nothing but a vulva covered with thick pubic hair, for crying out loud. I’m sorry!”
“You’re just intimidated by them.”
“A butch pursued me in high school. Of course, I rejected her, and then she became my monster everyday.”
“And that has already given you a damned good reason to despise them all?” she says.
“You don’t get it,” I say, “’cause you didn’t go through the same shit.”
“An insecure, funky girl bullied me in high school. Her name was Mary Barlow. Though I have already forgiven her, yet there will always be that twinge inside of me that’s always gonna bear the grudge. But… my self-esteem is one fantastic bitch itself, and Mary Barlow’s kind could just kiss my ass.”
“Well, I can’t help it, all right? I’m allergic to them. I’m sorry.”
“Kaz, people are resentful about things that other people have done to them because they have failed to stand up for their prestige as human beings. You know why? Because they can’t accept who they are yet.”
“Just don’t get those butches near me or I would get arrested and spend a lifetime in jail in no time.”
“Then you wouldn’t find me under the mistletoe with you if this ignorance dives into the culprit box, like right now,” she firmly proclaims.
I’m horrified. “You can’t mean that!”
“Oh, I mean it, honey. And it’s non-negotiable”
Five hours later, we have reached our destination. My small town, my 23 years of hiding from the truth… Well, technically, 15 years since the revelation of my sexuality fluttered around my heart when I couldn’t stop thinking about my second grade teacher.
And there’s our modest house with a cushy front porch. Mom works as a clerk at a local registry office and Dad is an electrical engineer. It’s now a quarter after six in the evening. They should be home by now. And I can hear a drum-fire whamming all over me. Hmm… courage… I could kill you!
As Jane and I dawn towards the front steps, Mom and Dad caper out of the door at once. “Oh, our baby!” mom hails.
“This is a surprise!” dad joins in.
And my exuberant parents welcome me back with hugs and kisses. “Oh, I missed you, guys,” I say.
“And you brought a friend with you,” mom says, smiling at Jane.
“Hi, I’m Jane.”
“Nice to meet you, Jane,” dad says, beaming.
“We were just about to have supper,” mom says. “You both turned up at such a perfect time.”
“Come on in, you two,” dad says.
Mom’s famous eggplant Parmesan and lentil soup warm me up. As good-hearted as my parents have always been, they make Jane feel at home, and it reminds me of the way they would treat Holly whenever she would come over every weekend.
I have told them about working at the bookstore, having Jane as a roommate and boss, my book, and even my short-lived bar-tending experience. It’s easy to please them, and they’re always supportive of my decisions. That’s why I’ve always been afraid of hurting them… one way or another.
The only thing that cringes me from coming out is the stinging fact that they’re both devout Catholics. Praying the rosary, Sunday masses, everything about Catholicism must be practiced at home. I remember saying the rosary with them one night, and my mind would shiver into making love to Holly instead. Yes, it was betrayal, but I could argue against my thoughts over and over again and I would still plumb out as a big loser. Religions can hinder one’s happiness. Ironic.
Once dinner is over, and before mom attempts to clear off the table, Jane signals me with a nod.
“Mom, dad…?” I stammer. “I got something to tell you.”
My parents sit still, anticipating my big announcement. “Go on, honey,” mom says. “We’re listening.”
“I’m…” I’m about to faint. But let’s just get it over with, shall we? “Anyways, I’m gay.”
Mom sinks into her seat and dad scratches his head, then they look at each other. “There you go.” And dad authorizes mom, “Tell her.”
“Tell me what?” I ask, frowning.
“Baby, we’ve always known,” mom admits.
“What?” I shriek.
“This is good,” Jane giggles.
“Well, you and Holly,” dad brings up my past, “I… Well… I just happened to walk by your room one Sunday morning, and I…”
“He spotted the two of you making out,” mom says, interrupting him.
“Oh my God!” I exclaim, chagrined. “And you didn’t even say anything like normal parents would?”
“Oh, baby, nope,” mom says.
Jane winks at me. I roll my eyeballs.
“So this is what you came here for?” dad asks.
“Yes!” I yelp. “And I can’t even describe this humiliation that I feel right now!”
“Don’t worry about it,” mom comforts me. “All good now.”
“Hallelujah to that,” Jane cheers.
“Shut up, Jane,” I groan.
When Jane and I slide into bed together, I start to pant. “Quit it, Kaz,” she laughs. “We’re just gonna sleep. Jesus.”
“In the same bed,” I complain. “I’m sleeping in the same bed with the girl who’s been torturing my biological smash-show. This is worse than walking on a wire across Niagara Falls.”
And she hides under my velvety blanket. “This is so fluffy. I love it.”
I sneer and turn my back on her. “I can’t believe my dad saw me making out with a girl!”
“Can we make an appointment for your appearance on a shrink talk show tomorrow instead? ‘Cause I badly wanna sleep now.”
“My dad saw me making out with a girl! That is the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being!”
“Kaz, I was behind the wheels for over 6 freaking hours, for God’s sake!” she grumbles. “Give me a break already.”
I toss around to lay on my back and gaze at the ceiling. “And they didn’t even say a word about it. Do I have normal parents?”
“They’re the best normal parents I have ever met in my entire life,” she shoots back.
I reel over to admire her bewitching face. “Jane…” I whisper.
“What?” she moans, drifting into sleep.
“Would you snuggle me?” I beg.
She opens her eyes and studies my luminous pupils. “I see the stirring action. I just wish that your memory would come along. But what the hell…” She wraps me around in her arms, then I rest my head closer to her chest. And…
Goddammit! She always smells so refreshingly ravishing! Just… so… refreshingly… ravishing! And I’m ready…
… to die now! Ugh!
I nestle under Jane’s comfort for the rest of the night, and I feel braver, more proud, and more confident than ever before. In this moment alone, I’m already content to have my fantasy offering me with the most satisfying love that mankind may have failed to understand. The beauty of pure and genuine friendship.
Or is it just… THAT?! Really?!
Jane and I leave Grande Prairie early in the morning. As we drive back to Edmonton, there has been a euphoric silence between us. Not awkward at all. Just the spirit of true happiness that I will always remember for the rest of my life. We just listen to classical music all along and enrapture ourselves with its symphonic melody.
When we pull into our parking lot, my cell phone dings. It’s a text message from Holly. It reads: “I still love you. If you want us to give it another shot, I’ll meet you on the top of the Calgary Tower, Sunday evening at 6 o’clock to celebrate our second-year anniversary.” I howl at Jane in shock, and with a foolish realization jabbing my hopeless romantic rat race.
“What?” Jane wonders.
“The universe is giving me a sign!” I scream.
“What sign?” she asks.
“I still love you,” I read Holly’s message to her, “If you want us to give it another shot, I’ll meet you on the top of the Calgary Tower, Sunday evening at 6 o’clock to celebrate our second-year anniversary.”
“Oh,” Jane giggles, “she’s ‘Sleepless In Seattle’-ing you, huh?”
“How dare you using it as a verb!” I yell at her.
“I’m sorry. It’s cute though.”
“Cute? It’s a sign, goddammit!”
“Kaz, if your heart tells you to go, then go.”
“You damn right, I’m going!”
“Wow. There’s a colorful parade going on all across the country now.”
What about my egos? What about the literacy program? What about…?
Jane! I’m in love with Jane! But no! She will always be my fantasy! Just a fantasy! I have to keep reminding myself of the truth or I would check myself into a mental asylum in no time here!
Now I need to uncover my love and passion for Holly. I cannot question the sign anymore. It is given. It is sincere. It is my destiny. I have to obey it. No matter what.
“So what are your thoughts on this?” I ask Jane as we enter our apartment.
“Am I supposed to have thoughts on it?” she replies, grabbing a bottle of beer from the fridge.
“You always have thoughts on every aspect of my life,” I say.
She pops the beer bottle open and takes a sip. “Not on this one. Nope.”
“And why not?”
“Kaz, you’ve already sent it out there that it’s a sign. No one can argue on that with you. She must be your destiny. So go.”
“You remember that time when we pulled into the hotel parking lot to pick up my stuff?”
“Clearly. What about it?”
“You just sat there in the car… while I was waiting for you to get out to come with me. And I got really infuriated by it… and we banged over trust issues, you made your point, and I had to apologize… Then you slipped out and held my hand.”
“What’s the point?”
“That’s exactly what I feel right now. Except for the part when you got out and held my hand.”
“I’m holding your hand over this Holly matter, Kaz. What does it look like I’m doing?”
“I need your trust… that I’m making the right decision here.”
“I trust that you would still hold on to your egos… that you would finish your book, get it published, save up, and live your dreams in New York city. That’s what I trust. When it comes to Holly, I’m holding your hand.”
“I’m holding your hand.”
“You gotta get down to the matter, Jane, ’cause each time you say something, I feel like I’m figuring out a Greek philosopher’s head here.”
“I’m with you through this new journey.”
“I have your full support.”
“You have me.”