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Sun, May. 30th, 2004, 02:17 am

I wrote this in my Fiction Writing class last quarter, and I thought I would share with the world of LJ!

Dancing With Women

The bar was loud, but not the typical loud. Yes, of course, there was a jukebox blaring off some great oldies, but it was more than that. It was filled with life. Men screamed at each other across the green sea of a pool table, holding their pool cue as a sword or perhaps a rifle. After screaming, they would grab each other for a tight embrace. Women with short hair and red lips chatted each other up at the bar; hands and thighs intermixed so much it was hard to tell what belonged to whom. The bartender gazed out at the crowd as he lazily wiped up a vodka spill, wondering how it was that the same crowd found his bar each night.

The dance floor, oh the dance floor. That was another story in itself. Flashy-dressed “women” in short skirts, high heels, and big hair tended to take over that area. Despite that, there were a few gay couples licking their lips and shaking their hips. That is when the grinding would begin. It was another world; one that she never even knew existed.

When Claire walked in, she almost stopped short. She had never been in a bar like this before or a bar at all, for that matter. She was new at this kind of thing, being newly 21, first of all. Secondly, she was new at this sort of lifestyle, not that she had anything to hide. She began to wonder if her parents even knew what they were attempting to shelter her from. She was not brought up in this fashion. But on her 21st birthday, she bought a one-way ticket to Seattle, far away from her strict Catholic roots buried in the Dakotas. With this newfound liberty came freedom, as cheesy as it sounds. She became an able woman; unafraid. She knew, as early as age 10, that she wasn’t like every other teenage girl swooning over Brad Pitt or whoever was popular each year. She wasn’t a dyke. She’d seen those, and boy, had her parents warned her. Even if she wanted to be one, she wasn’t. She was a whole other orientation: bisexual.

People still gave her funny looks about that. Back in North Dakota, she’d only come out to a select few, and certainly not her parents. Still, everyone seemed to think she should just make up her mind. It would be absurd to be homosexual, but being one or the other was better than being both. Her peers; they didn’t understand the concept of being both. Therefore, she was pushed further away. In Seattle, she’d hoped, people could accept it. It was a big city, but not scary in the sense of New York City. It was not infamous for fags, like San Francisco. Seattle, she knew, was perfect.

With these thoughts gone, she looked around for the woman she was supposed to meet. Debbie. She said she’d be wearing red lipstick and a short black skirt. Claire, eying the counter, realized that she looked rather out-of-place in her blue knee-length skirt, long brown hair, and nude lips. She wasn’t used to fitting in with lesbians. She was used to fitting in with Catholic heterosexuals. In her opinion, they were less complex. There are different kind of gays and lesbians. She’d learned that most straights are the same. Now, how would she find Debbie? She’d never been the type to yell things out or draw attention to herself…if she wanted to do that, she could have told her parents she was bisexual.

“Hey…you Claire?” a twentysomething brunette with a pixie cut called out from a few feet down. A Camel Light was laced between her pointer and middle fingers, and in her other hand, she was tossing back a Corona. Claire, glad to have been spotted, moved forward, and slid in next to who she assumed to be Debbie.

“Hi Debbie,” she giggled shyly. “I couldn’t really tell you apart from the other girls.”

“Completely forgot what type of bar this is…I haven’t been here in ages. Anyway, it’s nice to finally meet you. I have to admit, chatting online to someone about dating…it all seems crazy-talk to me. But hey…” she trailed off.

Claire nodded, running her fingers through her hair, tapping her foot against the barstool. She motioned to the bartender. “Can I get a rum and coke please?”

“Coming right up.” He mixed the drink then slid it down to her, and she plunked her money on the table. That much she could do right.

“Whaddaya say you knock back that drink, so we can get our groove on?” Debbie re-crossed her legs, nodding over to the dance floor, where the drag queens actually decided to sit out a number.

Claire exhaled deeply and began to drink.