Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I'll be sending in the first vlog within a week and hope to have it up on Afterellen soon for everyone to see.
It looks great ya'll. Thanks to everyone for all of the support.
Monday, August 24, 2009
You know how this goes. I sigh --
EXT. RUNYON CANYON - HOLLYWOOD
Dirt and hills for days, or so it seems. I am breathless, but it's a good breathless. My Friend walks beside me, not the least bit tired.
This is the moment where we forget about our target heart rate and focus on love.
Me: "So, when was the last time you were on a date?"
You know me and my questions...
Friend: "Honestly, I don't even think I know how to kiss anymore."
I stop in my tracks for a moment as she continues walking, the rocks crushing beneath her feet.
Me: "Dang, I didn't expect that to come out of your mouth."
Friend: "I'm serious. I just feel like it's so difficult...and awkward."
Me: "Yeah, I haven't been with a woman in a loooong time. But, as far as dating, I think it should be fun. It ain't always easy, sure, but maybe you're meeting the wrong women."
Friend: "Or, maybe monogamy is overrated. Maybe it's too much to ask someone to not sleep with other people if it's what they want."
Me: "Okay, hold up. I guess we're talking about relationships and not dating. In terms of relationships, I'm not into cheating and I fully expect my future partner to be the same way if that's what we've discussed prior to being together."
Friend: "I don't know if that's realistic or not though."
Me: "You mean realistic to find someone who doesn't have sex with other folks?
I stay silent for a moment and it hits me that this may be a sensitive subject. There's hurt here. Where isn't it?
Me: "Has someone cheated on you before?"
Friend: "...yeah. Multiple times."
Me: "I'm so sorry, but please remember that everyone is different. There are plenty of people out there who are faithful, loving, and committed. And, who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated."
Me: "Gurl, I'm serious. It's all about breaking it down and expressing your needs. If you get with a woman who says she can't be monogamous then you probably don't want to be with her. But, if there's someone who can respect you and your needs, then you're golden."
Friend: "Yeah, I still don't know."
We start to run, leaving the subject behind us. Though we're quiet, my mind isn't. It's amazing how one relationship and one person can totally change what we think is possible.
This isn't about cheating or about two women who haven't gotten some action in a long time (even though that sucks). It's about moving on without letting the past still break out heart every day.
I totally get why we carry bags of luggage into other relationships, at times, without realizing it. It's understandable. We've all been there. I know I have. But, there comes a time when we must toss 'em out and move da hell on.
Okay, it ain't that easy. I know. However, it's possible.
For the longest time I told my Friend I wouldn't go hiking with her. That it was too hard and that I didn't want to fall on my ass. In other words, I was holding myself back. Then, last week, I said to myself -- "life's too damn short. If I fall, I fall. At least I would have tried."
Straight up, it was hard. I huffed and puffed and got dirty. I needed help getting up a hill, which was no problem due to some nice strangers. And, I definitely had to take a lot of short breaks. But hey, ya know what?
I didn't fall.
Maybe this is what it comes down to. Letting go of your fears and being willing to fall flat on your face. We all have the power to believe in something -- whether it's aliens or monogamy -- as long as we do one thing...
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This is Lady Gaga.
Lady G's style does look a lot like Roisin Murphy's. I'm just being real.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tomorrow is the first day of shooting my new web show, "3 Minute Conversations," which will air on Afterellen in the next few weeks. You can also view it here.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
(photo found here)
What if love could be like pomegranates?
Good for you. Make you look and feel better. Provide nourishment.
Maybe that's what it's like when you got it good. Ya know, after you've found a perfect match. But, isn't all love -- even if didn't work out -- good for you? At least most of can say we came out a stronger person and learned something.
In that regard, it's a positive thang...at least in my eyes. A life lived. Hard. Even if you've gotten your heart broken time and time again.
It's good to have your world shattered
It's good to wake up scared and lonely
It's good to crumble every now 'n then
And that's what makes us beautiful and imperfect and so damn good.
Big Shocker, I know.
What caught my attention about this story were the incessant attacks and questions regarding her gender.
(Photo found here)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Crowded with family. Food is everywhere – potato salad, friend chicken, meatloaf, green beans, etc. I walk into what is called “the den” and sit down next to my seventy-four year old Family Member. He, like his prosthetic leg, is strong as a mule. Threaten to take away his driver’s license and he’ll sue you…no lie.
Family Member: “I remember growing up out here and having to read from the old textbooks that the white kids got. Their names would be in ‘em…pages would be torn out. Oh boy, they’d be in bad shape.”
Person: “Oh yeah, I remember that, too.”
Wow, I can’t even imagine how that felt. I grew up with new and clean textbooks. No other name in ‘em besides, Lauren.
Me: “That must have been hard to deal with...I know I would have been an angry kid.”
Family Member: “Well, of course it was. I had dem white boys beating on me when I went to school all the time. And, you know, we had to sit in the back of the bus. Even if the bus had empty seats in the front. Us 'niggas' didn’t touch ‘em though.
Family Member: “But, you know what, us black folk had to be closer back then. It was family, school, and church. Now, black folks is scattered everywhere. We lost that connection.”
Person: “True, but it’s better in a lot of ways.”
Family Member: “Oh you betta believe it. I hear these people say we had it betta before. Oh, no we didn’t. I don’t miss having diarrhea and having to go 100 feet to the outhouse at 2 in the morning. I’ll tell ya that right now.”
Ew. We all laugh.
Person: “I hear ya. But, boy was that fun…even when it was segregated. We had a great little baseball team. Hand-me-downs from the white boys' teams—but it didn’t matter. We all had a great time.”
Family Member: “I'll tell ya what else I don't miss -- getting hit with those switches from my teacher. Whenever I’d get into trouble she’d have one of my classmates go get a switch in the yard. And those suckas always picked the biggest, longest, hardest one for her to hit on me with.”
We all laugh. Again. Yeah, it’s f-cked up, but it’s funny.
Family Member: “I’ll never forget it, one day the white boys were throwing rocks at us and I didn’t do anything. I wasn’t involved for once, but the teacher called us in and gave us all a whoopin’. Even when I told her I had nothing to do with it, she bent my butt ova and smacked me. But, they don’t do that anymore.”
No, they sure don’t. Geesh, I had it good in school. All I got was a ten second time out, but that usually included a soda.
Another family member we'll call Man, a quiet soul, chimes in –
Man: “I remember one white boy who would pick on me every day on the way to school with his friends. He’d always call me a nigger. One day I caught him alone and beat the dirt outta him. I pounded his face in and said, say you’re a 'nigga' and he kept saying, “no way in hell imma say that.”
Person: “Even as you beat him up he wouldn’t say it?”
Man: “Naw, he wouldn’t.
Family Member: “Wow.”
I sit there, letting his words sink in. How blessed I am to be able to walk on the streets and not be beat, hit, ridiculed, or attacked for the color of my skin. It hits me that because of what my family, ancestors, and others fought for, I am able to be where I am today.
Later, that next day, I find Person outside and run over to him; I was on a mission to learn more about my Family Member, a truly amazing man --
Me: "Hey, how did he lose his leg?"
Person begins to take the dirty sheets off his bed. Grandmommy told him to do it and, like the obedient son he is, he responded in the way he always does: "yes, ma'am."
Person: "During peace time in the military. When he was in Walter Reed Hospital getting better I would come everyday and play cards with him. For two months I did that. All day, everyday."
Gotta love my family. We know what love is all about.
Person: "And, when he finally got his prosthetic leg, they discharged him within a short amount of time. One of the first things he did with the money he received from the government was buy himself a new car."
Me: "Cool. Was it a good one?"
Person takes a break from gathering the linen and stands in the middle of the room, right underneath the fan that is spinning wildly. If he was one inch taller, his head wouldn't be lookin' so good.
Person: "Oh yeah, it ran real nice. One day he came and picked me up so we could race some rednecks down the street. He liked to speed, ya know, like me."
That's where I get that from.
Person: "So, we go down there and see this trash talkin' redneck. He says, "you ain't gonna beat me. Trust me on that one." And, sure enough, he smoked us in his fast car."
Me: "Oh no, what did ya'll do?"
Person smiles brightly, loving this moment. His hands gesturing wildly in the air. I only see him this animated when he's talking about family or women.
Person: "Well, he took himself back down to the car dealership and said, "I want the fasted thang you got here on dis lot." And, they told him, "Sir, you just this vehicle and it's fast." He yelled, "I want the fastest car you got. Right now." Sure enough, he traded that one in and got himself a new car."
Me: "What kinda car was it?"
Person: "A Chevy 396."
I have no idea what that looks like, but I write it in my phone to save the name.
Me: "Did ya'll go back?"
Dad smiles even more, a prideful look on his face.
Person: "Oh yeah, and we smoked that redneck...bad. That thang was fast. One day we were going over 120 MPH and zoomed past a cop. He pulled us over--a young white dude (picture Smokey and the Bandits) -- and said, "you see this here gray hair I got? If ya'll keep speeding like that you won't have any of this."
I laugh, not really getting what the cop meant.
Me: "Did you get a ticket?"
Person: "Naw. He just said, "my radar ain't pick ya'll up, so you betta get going on outta here." And, sure enough, we left before you could say Hillbilly."
I laugh even harder, loving this moment. Kinfolk and memories. Gotta love it.
As you get older, these moments become easy and breezy. You find that adults in the family begin to open up and talk about things you never discussed as a kid. And ya know what --
It's freakin' great...if ya listen.
Flowers. Everywhere. Day lilies for days. I can smell them even as I stand in the entrance of the church, looking at all of the People who came to show their respect for my Great Aunt Lib. I look inside my jacket and see that it’s torn. Is it too late to go back home and sew it? For a second I thought I heard it scream back, “YES!!” knowing I was trying to find an excuse to leave.
I’m not a fan of death.
But, I stay put and begin to scan the church. Can God--whomever that is--see me? I wonder what he or she thinks of my jacket. Hopefully I won’t go to Hell for loose fabric. A smile brightens my face as I see my grandparents in the front pew with other Kinfolk nearby, ready to serve them in any way possible, even if that includes wiping a tear from their cheek. Protected. That’s how I feel. Even on this sad day.
My Cousin stomps over to me in her cute dress and long black hair. She’s just as bossy as my grandmother, which is why I adore her.
Cousin: “Okay, so all of the family’s going to the classroom and then we’ll walk down the aisle with the pallbearers.”
Me: “Sounds good.”
I’d rather pretend like I know what she’s talking about than act like I don’t and get an “are you dumb?” look from her.
Cousin: “Ten ‘til 2…got it?”
Me: “Uh…do we all have to do it?”
She gives me a hard look.
Me: “Got it. Ten until 2pm.”
I ain’t trying to die. I can see the headline already: “Lauren Hamilton Killed By Cousin Who Wanted Her to Walk Down the Aisle of Her Aunt’s Funeral.” Hmm, who can break it down for me? Ohh, I know -- Dad.
Me: “Dad, what’s a pale bearer?”
Dad: “Pallbearer. It’s when family members carry the casket to the cemetery. Typically 4-8 people.”
Hmm, good idea not to put me on that job. I'm strong, but not that strong. Fast forward to twenty minutes later and I’m sitting down on the left side with my aunts and uncles while the choir sings. What song…I don’t remember. But, it was a beautiful one.
The last time I can remember being at a funeral was after my young cousin got shot and killed during a drive by in Inglewood. I was maybe 8 years old at the time. Yeah, I didn't know anything about death. So, when I was taken to see the open casket, it blew my mind and heart away. Not in the good sense either. His young, lifeless body totally shook my insides and I ran out, frightened beyond words could say.
But, on that day, I was an adult. That's right. A-d-u-l-t. And, it was time to suck it up and be there for the family. It felt good to be hard and steady in the pew. Looking around and making sure my kinfolk was okay...whatever that means, until the choir started to sing.
It only took a few minutes for me to feel 8 years old again.
The elders started to weep. And, this was something I had never seen. It was like seeing your favorite tree cut down after. Ya know, the one you passed by for 18 years on your way to school.
My eyes start to burn.
I look. Again.
My other great aunts and uncles begin to cry.
My eyes burn even more.
I look. Again.
Oh, shit. I just realized -- we're at a freakin' funeral!
Yes, at this sad moment it hit me: an amazing woman is gone from this Earth, from this life. This is when I remembered that this is the woman who brought up her young siblings from a young age when they had no one else to watch over them during World War II. This is when I realized that she meant as much to the community as she did to her own daughter. The woman who took me to lunch as a small child, even when I insisted that she wait until after my talk show was finished. And she always did.
I hear someone sobbing – a non family member—and turn my head to see who it is. A nice looking woman in her 60s.
Me: “Ma’am, you okay?"
She says nothing.
Me: "Ma'am, how did you know my Aunt Lib?”
Woman: “I worked with her and she was my friend of 40 years.”
It took all of her heart and soul to get those words out in between the tears. I immediately wanted to cry as well, for her…for me…and for everyone in the room. But, I didn’t. Instead, my eyes landed on my dad. A rock. Then, my grandfather. Even harder. And, suddenly, I feel stronger. My jacket does not feel so important, nor does the traffic ticket I received the week before. Who knows where or who God is, but I know he or she would say --
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
It's of those summer evenings. Again. Plus, a gorgeous sky. I look good in my pink earrings and shiny lip gloss. Two adorable Guys sit with me at a table as they sip on drinks and give their two cents about the current discussion we're having...
You know how this goes.
Guy 1: "...so, you still think about her?"
Me: "Yeah, but that's because I'll always care. I mean, you don't stop thinking about those you were once with no matter how bad or good it was."
Guy 2: "Speak for yourself, gurl."
Guy 1: "Oh, shut up, you cynic. Lauren, I want to know why you don't reach out to her since you clearly love her."
Me: "I've tried the past two years, but receive no response. What am I going to do, keep gettin' rejected? And, at some point I have to ask myself why I am reaching out to someone who clearly doesn't want a friendship?"
Guy 2: "I agree with that. If she ain't responding, then let it go. From the sound of it, this woman won't ever say anything."
Guy 1: "Well, do you still love her? I think that's what matters the most."
Me: "Yes, I do. Absolutely. But, I don't want a romantic relationship. Totally not a good idea."
Guy 2: "I think the real question is this: is she on your mind because you want what you can't have, or because you genuinely love her?"
Me: "Truthfully, it's because I care and love her. And, I don't think that's a bad thing. I have love for all of the people I was with, and this one...it's always been a tough situation."
Guy 2: "Gurl, it still is."
Me: "Who knows what the truth is, but I do know that I wish it wasn't so lame. A simple call and exchanging words over the phone isn't hard. Why call and hang up on me several times and say nothing as opposed to, "I don't want to be friends" or, "Let's never talk again?"
Guy 2: "Well, I'd probably hang up, too, after finding out it was you...I wouldn't want to go back in the past. I would want to keep it movin' and forget about it. I can hold a grudge easily, but when I get sucked back in...that's when I lose control."
Me: "So, it's all about control and power? Really? Because, if it is then that's even lamer."
Guy 1: "Well, men are different. If it's a good fuck, we can usually get over it fast."
Guy 2: "Not me. I can hold a grudge for lifetimes. And hey, you're the one who knows her, not us. Listen to your intuition. What is it saying?"
Me: "It's saying to let it be. What's meant to be will be. I am here when she's ready for a friendship."
Guy 1: "Would you date her again?"
Guy 2: "Oh, God...stop already."
Guy 1: "I'm a romantic, okay! Let me talk. Lauren, would you?"
Me: "No. We were not good for each other and that's the truth. We didn't get along well as lovers."
Guy 1: "This is funny because I'm sure what you're saying now is stuff she's saying to her friends, too."
Me: "We'll never know, will we?"
Guy 1: "Do you want to?"
Guy 2: "Another question: she sounds selfish and mean, so why do you want to have her in your life?"
Got me there. Guess I need more therapy?
Me: "I don't know what I want from her, if anything at all. Honestly, if she's the same person, then I don't want anything to do with her."
Guy 1: "Uh-o. Expectations..."
Guy 2: "Yeah, ya'll won't be talking ever again I'm sure. It sounds like a crash waiting to happen."
I sit there wondering, why do I sometimes crave a reconnection with one of my previous partners, particularly if we weren't even a good match? It's something I can't wrap my head around and wish I could forget about with a nice glass of wine. But, I take a sip of my sparking water instead, and accept things for what they are, even under a bright skin.
Who knows what's right and what's wrong.
Honestly, I think it's all about the Present moment. Whatever you do, you do it for a reason. I don't know why I still think about some of the people I do from my past, whether it's a family member or a previous lover, but the fact is that I do. And, that's okay.
However, I'm simply talkin' about thinking. I'm not talking about reaching out or trying to reestablish a relationship with folks who have been abusive. That's a different story. At times, we must let go of individuals who are too toxic in our life while we still think of him or her occasionally. In other words, if a fool hits you, run and don't ever go back.
On the realz, I think we over think things in our society -- oftentimes with our Ego. Yeah, I may reach out to someone who has been "mean" or "selfish," but in that moment, it's what I felt even if it wasn't the wisest decision.
Sometimes it isn't as easy as a therapist saying, "Consider not doing that." Sometimes you have to, in a healthy way, listen to your heart because there's always something to learn in the end.
There's power and strength in letting things come to you. What's meant to be, will be. But hey, don't be afraid to take a few risks every now 'n then.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
(photo found here)
At an event in Africa, a Congolese student asked about what Bill Clinton thought regarding an international financial matter. Here's what she said in response --
"My husband is not secretary of state, I am," she snapped. "I am not going to be channeling my husband."
I gotta say, I understand where she's coming from on this one. Everything she does is compared to Bill Clinton. At some point, I would definitely get a chip on my shoulder and fight back. And, let's be real, Hillary is a smart ass woman who deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. She has done mucho for this country although some of us may not agree with certain decisions she has made or the way she has acted in the past.
Plus, she already gets enough bad press 'cause of those cackles she's rockin'. So, let's not make life harder on her. Check out this article.
Monday, August 10, 2009
It's one of those beautiful, breezy summer nights. The kind where you only need a tank top and shorts.
I got on jeans and cowboy boots. That's how I roll.
I walk to my car after my friend tells me she can't come out to Truckstop. My heart is half disappointed and half relieved; the ladies on Friday nights wear me out. Lots of pretty faces, too many games.
Watch reads = 9 pm.
Okay, I have a choice. I can keep walking and go home or turn around and pretend like I'm having a good time in an empty bar.
Hmm...yeah...I've never been a good actress. And frankly, my heart isn't feelin' WeHo tonight. At this moment, I can feel it asking me to "give in" a little bit --
Heart: "Hey, what's the deal here? I'd like to skip a beat or two before you turn 80!"
Me: "Huh? You skip all the time."
Heart: "I'm not talkin' about when you're drinking wine or working out. Don't play dumb with me."
Me: "...you can't force love."
Heart: "Get that from Oprah or Dr. Laura?"
Me: "I got it from you."
Heart: "Good one, but seriously, help me out. I'm sick of looking at the walls you got up all around me."
Me: "Walls. Right. Stop trippin'."
Heart: "Remember how you used to be...vulnerable...exposed...fearless. You ain't a romantic. Romantics want love."
Wow, I didn't know my heart was so opinionated.
Me: "I do want love, but it's tough. I can't deal with it right now."
Heart: "It shouldn't be a chore. And ya know why you feel that way? Because we haven't found the right one! Trust me, I'm your heart. I know. All I'm asking is that you consider letting go a little bit more. I want to be in love again. Plus, Cupid owes me money. A lot. Once I see that fool, he's gonna pay. Like really --"
Me: "Okay, I'll work on it."
As my imagination runs wild, the sound of a honking CAR takes me back to reality. I automatically assume that I was in the way, but I wasn't. Hmm, why the hell did she honk?
Woman: "Hey, you leaving?"
This town or this parking space? Oh, I get it...my space.
Me: "Yes, yes I am."
Woman: "Awesome. You're the best."
Her words hit me. Hard. In the way that I need. As I get into my car, I feel my lips curve into a huge smile. This is what life's about -- being reminded that you're amazing just as you are at this Present moment...even if it is from a stranger.
I speed off, knowing that the Woman feels like I gave her a great gift in the form of a parking space.
Little does she know that she's the one with wrapping paper in her hair.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I didn’t hear anything
Minus the silence and my throbbing heart
My eyes must have said what my mouth couldn’t as you turn and yell --
“The door was closed!”
“Baby, don’t do that” I faintly whisper,
“Don’t pretend like you didn’t close it when I wasn’t looking.”
Saturday, August 8, 2009
(photo found here)
Kelly Clarkson = a classy and sexy ass role model for girls.
That, peeps, is hard to find. I won't call out any names, like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton.
And, just as Kelly likes to keep it real, so do I. No one can deny that she looks different on the September cover of Self Magazine then she does right now, in reality. Take a look --
(Photo found here)
Current Kelly --
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Doctor: "4-10 glasses a week isn't healthy...not to preach or anything."
Me: "How about a bottle a week?"
Doctor: "More like half a bottle a month would be better."
Me: "You're killing me, doc. You're killing me."
Doctor: "Well, in a way, you are. Just wait thirty years until your liver gets progressively worse and worse...I can't say it will for sure, but there is a VERY high chance the way you're drinking."
Me: "Oh, come on. Isn't a glass of wine a night good for you?"
Doctor: "It's alcohol. No. Not at all. Some studies will say it is, but no one knows for sure. It's all about moderation."
The woman is right. I can already feel my heart as it falls to the ground and cries. I will miss having wine several times a week, but at least this will make me enjoy it during the rare times that I do.
Sometimes we need to take a breath and slow down to enjoy the Present moment. Sometimes having things taken away will only then allow us to appreciate it more. Yes, this includes people as well. I am already looking forward to that day when I can take that beautiful glass of wine and sip on it slowly...
Doctor: "Remember, just one cup...Lauren...not two or three or four."
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I forgot to mention that I'm going to have a video blog on Afterellen later this month called "3 Minute Conversations."
1 question - real talk - 3 minutes
If you have any suggestions for questions you'd like me to ask, please send them to me or post 'em in a comment on my blog. Your opinion is very important to me. For real.
And, I have to say --thanks for reading. I am working hard to make ya'll proud.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Trousers = dopeness.
(photo found here)
That's why I was shocked to hear about the story of a Sudanese journalist, Lubna-Ahmed al-Hussein, who was prosecuted for wearing pants at a restaurant. I bet many of you, like me, were thinking she got a citation or a minor ticket. Boy were we wrong --
Punishment = 40 lashes.
Not eye lashes, folks. We're talkin' Denzel Washington Glory lashes. All for wearing a piece of clothing that isn't indecent, in my opinion. To make matters worse, 12 other women were charged as well. I don't know much about the Sudanese culture, but here's something that was informative from an article I read:
Sudanese law calls for 40 lashes for anyone "who commits an indecent act which violates public morality or wears indecent clothing." For women, indecent clothing includes the outfit Hussein wore when she was arrested and again during her first hearing on July 29: a loose-fitting top, headscarf and green slacks.I don't want to disrespect another culture or country's laws, but this does seem harsh to me. How would you respond to this? As an American, it's easy for me to say I would fight it because that's what we're taught to do. But, I've never lived in a country where I would be whipped or beaten for wearing a certain piece of clothing. I've never experienced that type of fear in my life. So, I can truly say what I would do if I was this woman. Maybe I'd suck it up and endure the lashes or maybe I'd fight it like Lubna-Ahmed says she will --
"If I'm sentenced to be whipped, or to anything else, I will appeal. I will see it through to the end, to the constitutional court if necessary, and if the constitutional court says the law is constitutional, I'm ready to be whipped not 40 but 40,000 times."
Strength. I think that's what it comes down to no matter who you are or where you live. I have a feeling that she would fight any injustice if it were important enough to her.
We can all learn from Lubna-Ahmed al-Hussein. Seriously. Cross your fingers for her as she'll be judged at court Tuesday and plans to wear the same "indecent" outfit.
I gotta go lift some weights...
Monday, August 3, 2009
The wind is blowing in my hair as my new Friend sits next to me. The sun is shining, like us. In between our words is a plate of purple grapes and red wine.
We are strangers who know each other well.
She's leaving for Sweden in a few hours and wants to end her time with me. You know how this goes. I sigh --
Friend: "I don't know what I'm looking for, but it's not men...not anymore."
I grab a grape and pop it in my mouth. Her accent sounds like soft music that I can sleep to every night.
Me: "Have you been with a woman before?"
Friend: "Well, not really. I mean, I've kissed a few. You being one of them."
She smiles. I blush.
Me: "I would have never guessed."
Friend: "I feel like, with men, there is nothing there for me. I want more. I'm always left wanting more. This man I was once with tries to be with me all of the time, but I don't want him."
Me: "I hear you. I think it's great that you're discovering that now. It's never too late."
Friend: "I hope it isn't. I used to be so depressed over it. I didn't know what to do, but now I feel a little bit like myself."
I feel like I know her from somewhere. Maybe not. She's so pure.
Me: "That's great. I used to have a hard time accepting women who are bisexual or inexperienced with other women. Now I realize that we're all people and labels/judgements don't do us any good."
Friend: "People have no right to be mean to me for who I am. I hate that. Who cares if I want to be with a man or a woman?"
Me: "I know, it's not fair. I strive to be a person who one day has no judgments."
She stops for a moment and looks at me with her wine glass in hand.
Friend: "You're so open and sincere. I don't even notice your age. It's so...how do you say it in English..."
I look at her, not knowing what she means.
I blush. She smiles, takes a sip of her wine. I eat a grape and enjoy the silence as we sit on the old bench in front of a grave with flowers and sunglasses on top of it. Even the dead in Hollywood has to look fabulous.
Friend: "I like this...spending my last day at a famous cemetery. It reminds me of Paris."
Paris. Love. Nice.
Me: "Is Paris romantic?"
I start to think to myself, what if I was her first girl-on-girl experience? Naw, this isn't about anything physical. We're together in these brief hours for a different purpose...maybe to hold her, but with my words and compassion. Yes...perhaps she needs this. Maybe I do, too.
Friend: "Look at me."
I glance over at her and she now has her cell phone pointed at me. Should I smile?
Me: "I'm shy."
Friend: "Oh, come on. Just smile. That's all you have to do."
And of course, I obey. Click, click. A memory she'll have of me forever...maybe. Perhaps to keep her company on a train or when she randomly thinks about that time in Los Angeles when she hung out with a woman they call Lauren who told her it's okay to be whomever she wants.
Me: "Are you ready to go?"
I expected my heart to sigh, but it didn't. Instead, I felt it smile.
Sometimes it's so refreshing to spend time with another person and just...talk. And, to not feel judged.
Who knows what purpose she is supposed to serve in my life, but I still feel invigorated by her presence. She made me realize there are many women and people out there who can be loving, kind, honest, and compassionate all of the time. Yes, I know they're out there but sometimes we have our moments where we feel like the grass ain't ever going to get greener.
Thank you, Sweden. Thank you.