I am super stoked to announce our first guest post from Callie over at calliegarp.wordpress.com, where she writes about feminist art. I have a feeling we’re going to get to know her very well.
It’s summer, now, I guess. But it doesn’t feel like summer to me. Summer is going out in short dresses, collecting suntans like arcade tokens, puttering about in my mother’s garden, sitting outside for long hours, reading in the shade of the pear tree. But this summer, I’m living in a new state, a new town.
My This neighborhood is filled with misshapen houses, plastic flowers competing with the identical bunches of red geraniums, anti-abortion signs and sad stray cats. I live across from a large brick church. It towers over our bedroom.
I don’t like to hold her hand here. She is the sweetest person in my world – the only person outside of myself I know how to love right now, and I don’t like to hold her hand here. It’s a little strange. It’s more than a little strange. I walk outside and I feel like I can feel them watching. I am always waiting for that first altercation. I live in fear of the words fag and dyke and what are you doing?
I feel like, after two years, 11 months and 6 days of a relationship with a woman, I should be prepared for those experiences. I should know how to handle them, right? I should know how to shout back, “Fuck you douche bag!” and move on. Right? I should know how to not let it bother me. I should know how to adore myself and adore my love more than I fear anyone or anything else in the world. Right?
It’s summer, now. We sat outside on her grandmother’s porch. Awkward silences filled by little stories from her great-grandmother who sits, swathed in two housecoats, rocking her necklace back and forth in her fingers.
I’m going to marry her, this sweet woman. She sits beside me and tries to smooth through the pauses in conversation. She touches my hand with the tips of her fingers. My heart plummets deep down to my stomach. Now I am the one silently screaming, ‘What are you doing?’ I look down, down, down. I can feel her great grandmother looking. I can feel her seeing – even though there seems to be some understood pact that no one in her family will actually see. I am marrying this woman and I don’t like to hold her hand here.
We are sitting on her grandmother’s porch; I am so afraid.
My heart has fled down to my feet. I feel a wave of nausea. I can’t do it. I yank my hand away to grab at my phone and I feel like I could cry.