Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sabbatical

Hello amazing readers!

I am going on Sabbatical because I’ve always wanted to say that and it sounds way more cool than I need to make some money. But don’t despair, I’m going to actually get paid to write. It’s just not about teenage sex and drugs.

This blog is my soul. On a platter. If you find yourself jonesing for a fix, just start from the beginning again. I bet we’ll meet up right at the perfect time.

I shall return once I learn to balance my new gigs. Until then, I give you the last beat of my heart.

Christie

It was time to shop for a new, rad friend. A boss. One who would propel me to new social heights. And she had to be Goth; I made up my mind that my future was going to be black.

Oh, and it was. Just wait.

I met my best friend Sandy where the smokers hung out, so I threw my badass on and moseyed over to the sidewalk across the street where we smokers got our 10 minutes of nicotine meditation on.

Christie said she was 5’ tall, but she was lying. She was 90 pounds kitty cat wet, but she rode horses so she was all muscle. She could jump horseback hurdles without the fucking horse.

And she was Goth. Openly. At school. She didn’t give a fuck.

The second I met her, I knew she was trouble. It’s what drew her to me and eventually tore us apart.

I watched her flail around as she excitedly talked to a small group about the probability of aliens. And the probability that they had probed her anus. And she was literally bouncing.

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Christie was like Tigger on crack. With a dark side.

 

She bounded up to me and did one of the best Bill the Cat impressions I’ve seen TO DATE.

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How did she know about my obsession with Bloom County? That I had all the books and read them over and over?

My drawings of Bill were as good as her impersonation. I drew Bill the Cat on everything including the notebook I was… holding.

In hindsight, it was quite fitting that the mutual love of a derelict drug addict cat was our bond.

She grabbed me by my notebook and spun me around with great force.

“Cut with me. I have cloves.”

She had me at “with me.”

We walked two miles to the cemetery. It was obvious we were cutting for the rest of the day. Christie sang some song about dead poets the whole way and I realized that I was going to have to bone up on my literature to become Goth.

Christie took me to an unlocked tomb and we crawled inside. It was empty. The sun streaming in through stained glass made it feel like a tiny church. A sense of calm pervaded my senses. When my family lived in Mexico, I used to hide from my abusive father in church. It was the only other time I felt that all over body peace without using drugs and alcohol.

We sat on the stoop and Christie handed me a clove cigarette.*

“Hold the clove between your fingers and then make a circle with that hand and cup it with your other hand. No take a huge hit and hold it as long as you can.

I’d been smoking pot long enough to come off overqualified.

The promise of distorted reality was always a carrot I would chase, even if it meant possible death.

I exhaled and I had a sweet buzz on. The cloves tasted like strawberry. It was a perfect cemetery day.

Signature Christie, right in the middle of my buzz, picked me up and spun me around and around and around. Like a record, baby.

The only predictable thing about this girl was that she was completely unpredictable. And hyper as shit.

“Now lay down, take a power hit and listen to this.”

I lay where Mary Buford made her final resting place. I imagined her 6-feet under me in a coffin. Decaying. I felt so Goth.

I was beginning to feel like a slave to her whims. But of course I would do what she said rather than face the consequences of standing up for myself. This girl was my only touchstone to the world I wanted so badly to belong to. I was no victim in this scenario; I was definitely a volunteer.

The only other person I knew in the scene was Ethan, but he made me want to puke and he wasn’t even Goth.

She put her headphones over my ears. I took the hit. She pressed play on the Walkman. It was My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult – I’d never heard them. The song was A Daisy Chain 4 Satan. Right when the song started, I was floating. I was in the music. I was the music. I felt that peace wash over me again, but this time it stayed.

I knew this was going to save me. I was going to reinvent myself. I was going to be untouchable. No one would break my heart again. No one would know about my deep shame of losing the Brie Lesbian Attempt.

I tried vulnerability. It didn’t fucking work. I suddenly understood why punkers wore those thick leather jackets. I was in need of a shell.

I felt breath on my face.

I batted my spider legs open. Christie was an inch away from my face studying me as if I was her very own science experiment.

“Stay over at my house Friday night. We’ll go to Club Underground and do some fry.”

I felt like Charlie getting the golden ticket to Goth. I had no idea what fry was, but if it was half as good as cloves, I was in.

*Clove cigarettes were illegal in Nevada, but Reno is only a 45-minute drive from the state line. It wasn’t as rad as having weed, but it still meant you drove or kicked it with people who drove, which made you badass.

 

First Love

The good thing about sleeping until Saturday afternoon and being promised sex that night was at least we slept the first half of the day away.

It was still a zillion hours until my parents went to bed. Which was strange, because they went to bed at 7:30pm.

1983-terms-of-endearment-04

Brie and I distracted ourselves by watching my VHS tape of Terms of Endearment on the couch. I pulled my comforter off of my bed and put it over us. I sat so close to Brie that our complete side bodies were touching one another.

Then I put my hand on her thigh, more than halfway up her thigh. She didn’t move away. About 23 minutes later – just an approximation – she put her hand ON MY UNDERWEAR.

There was no way in hell she was going to pass out on me tonight.

Approximately 10 seconds after my parents went to bed, we were in my bedroom.

“What should we do? Where should we do this?”

Brie was concerned with practicing bisexuality correctly. Before I could answer, sheer brilliance danced out of her mouth.

“Let’s take a bath. With candles. Lots of candles.”

“I’ll get it ready. You just relax.”

I was clearly the dominant in our relationship. It seemed pretty obvious that the person who wanted something from the other (sex) is the dominant one. That whole “she’s the man, she’s the woman” thing is like trying to organize clouds. There’s no point and they’ll just blow away and change shape anyway.

I drew a bath. (Courtney Rule of Life #35: if you ever have the opportunity to use a fancy phrase, do so.)

I put candles all over my boom box; after all it was as high as a small table. I already had two handcrafted mix tapes ready to roll – my boom box had a double tape deck, of course.

The first song was Somebody by Depeche Mode. Right out of the gate, I laid my heart on the chopping block with this song; after all, it was used to destroy me at one time. I was weak then; now, I was unafraid.

The only fear in love for me was and still is regret. I offered her my pound of flesh. It was hers for the taking. If she rejected me, then at least I wouldn’t regret not showing her all of me. Heartbreak is a painful enough event without bringing feelings of regret into the ring.

The bathroom was transformed into a lesbian paradise. The bath was steaming, the candles glowing.

Before I knew it, we were facing each other in my small linoleum and wallpapered bathroom. We took off our clothes at the same time, piece by piece, while looking into each other’s eyes. Approximately 47 days later, we were naked.

It was heaven to truly take in her naked body – without fear of getting caught. I had full eyeball freedom. I felt the freedom of a bird for a split second.

She was the most beautiful a human could ever be. Every curve was perfection. If she saw what I saw, Brie would never have been insecure again.

We got in the tub, slowly, staring at each other. I was unsure of my body. My mom and sister had anorexia, so they always called me “the stocky one.” I was solid. I was extremely unsure of my small, incredibly perky breasts. I wished they would just calm down – they were practically around my neck they were so high.

I knew my face was beautiful but I was totally out of touch with my body.

We sat cross-legged, staring in each other’s eyes. Then she leaned in toward me, lips slightly open. Everything was in slow motion, but it was all going far too fast. I wanted tonight to last forever. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was so sensual and such a dream come true, that my inner addict wanted to schedule at least three more play dates in pen.

This couldn’t be the only time.

When her lips touched mine, electricity ran through my body. And then her tongue. I could barely breathe it was so intense.

Even in hindsight, this was possibly the most amazingly sensual experience of my life. Her lips were so soft. Her touch was softer.

When we came up for breath, she opened her eyes and smiled.

We kissed and heavily petted each other until the water was cold, then I took her to my bed and made love to her.

I hate the phrase “made love,” it’s so cheesy. But it’s what it was. It wasn’t fucking. It wasn’t just sex. I was deeply in love with her and showing her with my body.

Every single part of it made sense. My body knew what to do; so did hers. There was nothing unnatural about making love to a woman. Comparing it to the one time I got fucked by a guy was like comparing Oingo Boingo to Mozart.

Of course, after that night, I thought every night would be the same. Ends up the experiment was truly only an experiment for her. The next time I spent the night I assumed we would make love again, so I started busting my moves and she stopped me. Her face held the look of disgust and judgment.

She stood up and said, “I’m not gay. I like men.”

Somewhere off in the distance on a foggy knoll, I can still hear the sound of my heart shattering into a zillion pieces. I would have future sexual encounters with women but none, and I mean none, ever compared to Brie.

Her tone of the word “gay” was ugly. I felt deeply ashamed for my wants. I didn’t even know if I was gay or not, but I knew if she said “yes,” I would’ve been proud to be her girlfriend.

Our friendship became distant. Our long weekends were less and less. Her insane mother accused me of stealing her diamond earrings.

She found them a year later. By then, Brie and my friendship was nothing more than passing each other in school halls.

We never launched our clothing line.

And we never went to Paris.

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And… Action!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Logo #5

Brie recounted her conversation with Ethan approximately 453 times on the car ride home. So many times that I still remember every word.

Here’s how it went down:

Brie walked right up to Ethan, cigarette between her moisturized and cuticle-free fingers.

“Can I get a light?”
“Sorry.”

Awkward moment. Ethan wiped his coked up nose as Brie begged the universe to give her a sign of what to do next. Then it came to her.

“Can I use your cigarette?”
“Huh?”

This guy was brilliant. I could totally see why she wanted him.

“To light my cigarette.”
“Oh sure.”

Then he did something beyond magical… he SMILED at her. This smile alone kept hope alive for poor Brie for approximately another two years.

He handed her his smoke. She used it to light hers. Where did she learn this technique? If you guessed “her amazing friend, Courtney” then you guessed correctly.

“Have I seen you at Rocky?”

Oh Lord.

And that’s how we ended up at Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight the following Friday night with not only Brie’s mom, but my mom as well.

I couldn’t make this shit up if I wanted to.

I was expecting an Italian man in boxing shorts, not a transvestite in fishnets. And talk about feeling like everyone was in on the joke but us. Everyone yelled back at the screen, in unison, throughout the film as if they’d been practicing for years.

Ends up they had been.

I got up to sneak a cigarette in the bathroom and two girls were going at it FULL ON in the stall next to me.

From what I could see through the stall cracks, one of them was the prettiest Goth girl of them all – the one who lit Ethan’s smoke.

She was beyond cool. Well beyond. Like if cool was Saturn, she was Pluto. Like that. Only slightly cooler. And we all agree that Pluto is the coolest planet in our solar system. Duh, it’s the only controversial planet-moon-no-longer-a-planet-yes-it-is-no-it’s-not around.

I ran into the theatre and grabbed Brie. I finally had a method to get my point across right there in black lipstick and panties-on-the-ground. I dragged her into the bathroom and pointed to the stall.

“Tres chic.”

Yes, that is what actually came out of my mouth. Again, I wish I was making this up.

She was enthralled. Thank you God!

“Bisexuality is very common in France,” she whispered to me.

Why yes, Brie, it is. Of course, so is not wearing deodorant, but I wasn’t about to bring that shit up.

“Do you want to try it?”

Please oh please oh please oh please say yes. I just handed her my vulnerability on the chopping block. My heart was racing. This was the do or die moment.

I didn’t want to die, but if she waited one more second to mull it over, I might have perished right then and there in that grimy ass bathroom.

“Yes. We should try everything French once.”

And with that, we planned to practice bisexuality when we got back to my place.

Rocky was waaaaay too long. I feared I’d die before I could kiss that mouth. Those lips. The anticipation was too much to bear.

That damned movie was 870 hours long.

We finally got back to my place at 3:30am and Brie’s eyes were heavy. And then she yawned.

And then she passed out on my bed.

Epic fail.

Over French Toast (yes, really) the next afternoon, my heart started pounding really hard. It still does this to me when I better say something or live to regret the hell out of a missed opportunity.

I’m not a fan of missed opportunities.

“Can you stay over tonight?”

“I have to ask my mom.”

Dammit. Brie’s mom was never a huge fan of mine. I secretly thought she saw through me. She saw my lust for her daughter. But it was just a feeling.

Her looks made me feel ashamed. That’s all I knew. I knew it wasn’t OK to have these feelings for my friend, but I couldn’t fight them even if I tried.

And, of course, I didn’t want to fight them because I wanted Brie to be mine.

But it was OK in Paris. I think that’s what made it OK for me. Because when we were together, we weren’t in Reno. That’s why they call it “gay Paris,” oui?

Her mother said yes. I took back all my nasty thoughts about her right then.

Yes…

Yes.

Yes!

 

The Math of Lesbianism

Brie hated smoking. She thought it was gross. Whenever she caught me smoking, she’d pluck it out of my lips and stomp it out.

Thankfully I smoked generics.

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Back when he showered.

I tried and tried to convince her that smoking was trés chic. I pointed out smoking in the French films we watched together. Johnny Depp from “21 Jump Street” smoked and he was my new number one and her number two, behind George, of course.

 

 

But nothing, I mean nothing, could get that girl to smoke.

Then, at that very moment, at the other end of the club, Ethan put a cigarette in between his perfect lips and, as if on cue, the most gorgeous goth girls of them all pulled out a lighter and lit his smoke for him.

And yes, it did all happen in slow motion if you were wondering.

Here’s the math:

George Michael = G, Ethan Johnston = E, Brie = B, Smoking = S

G ≥ E, E=S B=S

Brie had a cigarette between her pouty lips quicker than I could throw away every colorful item of clothing I owned and buy a box of hair bleach.

She made her way to Ethan and asked him for a light, knowing full well that he didn’t have one, but that’s how we rolled. I don’t think I would’ve ever gotten a boyfriend if I had a lighter. Or at least pretended like I didn’t have a lighter.

So now I was alone in the club wearing pink and chain smoking. I studied the girls glaring and laughing at me knowing that next time I came here, I would look just like them and they wouldn’t recognize me as the Betty from the week before.

 

Then it happened. Another defining moment in my life. A moment that changed me forever.

Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode blasted through the nightclub speakers.

The dance floor grew thick with kids. I knew this song and all the lyrics which made me super goth. I sang along, loudly, and smoked at them. The song was about betrayal, a subject I knew all too well.

My despair intensified with every flip of Brie’s hair. With every fake drag off her cigarette. With every word Ethan spoke to her. The pain that she wanted him and not me coursed through my blood.

My face got very serious.

I now had two things going for me:

  1. Smoking
  2. Serious face

I was already Goth on the inside, now my outsides just had to catch up.

The music pulsed through me. I fell in love with at least 12 men on the dance floor. I studied the dance style so I could practice once I got home.

I could do this. I could be Goth. No problem. I knew pain. I knew sadness. I looked forward to stop pretending like I was happy because I hadn’t really been happy since the horrible day we moved to Sparks and before that I was only happy for about six months.

My life before we moved to Reno was hell. My biological father was a violent alcoholic who tried to murder my mother on a nightly basis. And we lived outside a fishing village in the middle of Mexico. Now I was excited to delve into my sadness with other people who understood. I could tell they understood. That they were like me.

If these Goth kids wanted to have a sad-off, I’d wipe the dance floor clean with all I’d survived.

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Then, in the middle of my smoking sad-a-thon, a ray of sunshine broke through the smoke clouds. There they were – beautiful, fantastic and trés chic.

TWO CHICKS WERE FULL-ON MAKING OUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!!!!!

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My sad face was totally destroyed. I was grinning from ear-to-ear. Let’s go back to the blackboard:

Brie = B, Goth = G, Courtney = C, Trés Chic = T, Kissing Chicks = K

G=T, C=G, B=G, G=T, K=T ∴ B+C=K!!!

It. Was. On.

I’d even let Ethan watch if that was a stipulation.

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