Our friend Angela celebrated her birthday last night. Mirs and I went out to the Lower East side to a bar on 1st and 1st Called La Linea. Angela told us it was Salsa night-it was actually hip hop, R&B, and Reggae night. Normally my favorite mix of music, especially because the DJ was really good. It was a nice mix of old-school music and a few new songs sprinkled in along the way.
I would’ve had a pretty good time, except for 2 facts. 1. It was a terribly straight club and 2. Mirs and I had a drive by conversation about when we were going to be moving in together. The part I heard was “I don’t want to do it too soon” This was on the L train between Bedford and 1st Avenue. And on my mind when we walked from 1st and 14th Street to 1st & 1st. Then when we walked up Houston to Lafayette to go to the bank, and then all the way back.
I always have a hard time telling Mirs how I feel in the moment because I often let my emotions get the best of me. I haven’t processed my words or thoughts and end up speaking irrationally and emotionally rather than speaking intelligently. So instead we walked in near silence and I tried to pretend that nothing was on my mind. She saw right through it and guessed the reason for my silence.
“It’s the moving in together thing, isn’t it?”
On the L train we were talking about joining a CSA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-supported_agriculture
It runs from June through November and she was wondering how we could do it so that it was the most convenient for both of us; Harlem CSA or Brooklyn. I said, Brooklyn, naturally, because we’d been talking about moving there and it would make more since to do it like that. She gave me a funny look.
“Do you still want to live with me, Mirs?”
“Yes, I just…”
So back on the street walking from Houston back to 1st Avenue and 1st Streets she asks me about our conversation. I tell her we’ll talk about it later and we go into this club. The scene is what you’d expect on an R&B/Hip Hop night. Lots of black dudes watching the straight white girls dancing in a circle. A bigger black woman gyrating her hips on a skinny dude, and lots of dudes hanging back just watching. Not really a great place to be gay.
We settle into the booth with our friend and her friends and we’re all talking. Mirs is wearing my silk blouse and looks really adorable. Since it’s 49 degrees at 11:30 at night and the music is luring people onto the impossibly tiny dance floor it gets hot pretty quickly.
After her third cocktail Angela wants to dance. I’m only on my first and have no interest so Mirs goes to dance with her. They look adorable. I love my girlfriend and as I’m watching her cute Jewish Girl dance moves to JLo “Get Right” I wander what’s wrong. Is it me? She has a point, really. I thought we’d move in together at the end of the summer when her lease expired. Her place is teeny tiny, only comfortable for she and I at any given time. My place is large but I share it with the Sisters. When we talk it usually goes, “When we live together this or when we have a place together that” I just assumed that “when we live together” meant when your lease expires in August.
What’s that phrase my father used to say…Oh yes, “when you assume you make an ass out of u and me” I felt like an ass. It was written all over my face as I sulked on the bench sipping my gin and tonic watching my sweet girlfriend who I want to make my wife (or as close to my wife as the fucked up laws in this country allow). I wanted to scream at her, “WHY would we not move in together!?”
We spend every night together and either her place or mine. We have to commute an hour to do so, granted if I’m coming from work or she from school it only takes about a half hour. Still, my clothes and hers are displaced. I go to reach for a pair of shoes or my favorite comfortable underware and I can’t find them because they’re at her place. It makes perfect since as her lease expires and I don’t have one. So I ask again, WHY would we not move in together!?
She comes over to me to sit on the bench where I’m sulking and steals a quick kiss from me. My eyes dart around to see if any one is watching-they are. Ugh. I kiss her quickly back and she goes in for the kill, tongue and all, pressing her sweaty body onto mine. I’m hooked, now. Clearly I’m not going to push her away-her kiss makes all of my anger and frustration disappear. I kiss her back and we seem to disappear from this gross straight bar and the tipsy men’s prying eyes, sneers from the women and oblivion of our friends. It’s just Mirs and I. Until a “DAAAAMMMNN, those girls is gay!” snaps me back to reality.
“Yes, we’re gay”
We talk a bit right there, because she can tell I’m still upset. I tell her I’m mad at her, that I thought we were on the same page, that I thought I understood where we were.
“We are on the same page, baby,” She tells me, her eyes glistening with tears. ” love you so much. I want to spend my life with you, be with you, have you in my life. I just want to make sure we’re going to do this at the right time. I know too many people who rush into…”
“How is over a year rushing!?” I interrupt
She’s quiet. Thinking.
“You cant’ compare me to <em>her,” I continue. See that? Hear that insecurity from me? It’s gross, isn’t it. This is why being a girl is dumb sometimes. Here she is, telling me through tears that she’s committed to me, loves me, wants to marry me and I bring up the Ex. This has nothing to do with the Ex. This is my low blow.
She looks at me and a tear falls down her cheek. My heart breaks and I can feel myself starting to get misty-eyed. This is all my fault. Her crying here is my fault. The drinks don’t help the matter but mostly, it’s me. Why do I do this?
“I know you love me, Mirs. I’m sorry. I just thought we were thinking the same way”
I give her a hug and she keeps crying. GOD, I am such a bitch!
We talked for a bit more before Angela interrupts us ruining her birthday by dragging Mirs back onto the dance floor. I reluctantly join them for two dances before Mirs whispers into my ear, “Let’s go home”
I can’t help but think, who’s home? but I don’t say it. I just look at her and nod.
We weave our way through the crowded streets of the lower east side. The feeling on the streets that night was electric. The weather had actually warmed from day light hours into night. The clubs and bars were over poured with people. Guys in button down white shirts and jeans (Jersey boys) and girls in American Apparel tube dresses (Jersey girls) the bewildered bouncers are exhausted, not used to this spike of traffic in mid-February.
We followed a guy drunkenly walking down Essex, his girlfriend with long brown hair and too-high heels following, “What did you want me to do, baby?” he was saying. “He was a big black dude with scars on his face. I’m just a skinny white guy from the suburbs…”
Jersey, I thought as we passed them. We got to the train, passed another interracial lesbian couple waiting for the F as we ascended the stairs to the JMZ. I wonder if they had a night like ours.
When we got to Mirs’ we took off our clothes and climbed into bed silently. We talked a bit more about the move and my feelings. My problem is, I told her, that I like to plan. I plan ahead, maybe get too ahead of myself. I just thought that when we were talking about moving in together, I assumed we were talking about the end of summer.
She said that she wasn’t saying we wouldn’t. I like to know, I told her. Yes, August is a way’s off but planning for a move of that nature takes a lot of planning, I reminded her.
She snuggled into me and her body, as always, fits perfectly against mine. She smelled like wine and gin and beer-she was drunk. Her breathing was slow and steady and I kissed her forehead. She whispered her love for me and I told her I loved her too. I do.
This morning we talked about it again. The last time for a month, I told her. I do want to live with you, baby, she said. I do.