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?”
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?”
This guy was brilliant. I could totally see why she wanted him.
“To light my cigarette.”
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?”
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.
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.
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.