The Lesbian Diaries

I am old. I am very old. How did this happen? I have always looked young for my age. I remember a summer spent in Martha’s Vineyard. I was 32 and  still being carded at the bar in Edgartown . I was so chuffed!

When  Victoria was in her early teens most people thought we were sisters, not mother and daughter. So when I woke up on my birthday last fall and took a good look in my bathroom mirror, I spoke out loud these three words, and they weren’t “I love you”.

They were “You are old!”  I was now fifty-nine years old. How did that happen? Could that grey haired chubster with the wrinkly face be me? Yikes! Double yikes! How did this happen, and more importantly how will my suddenly faded looks affect my dating life? Is this why I have not had a decent date in years? I have been online dating for about a year now, and I thought my picture looked cute.  I had placed my puppy Lucille strategically in the photo, and how could you not fall in love with a puppy?

Clearly my strategy had not worked. I have had a few ‘feh'( Yiddish word for meh) dates, and one terrible date where  the date in question had clearly not updated her photo for about, let’s say  ten years at the very least. Oy Vey. That was painful. But what to do ? Where can a zaftig  jewess lesbian of a certain age meet her love? On line dating has been a dismal failure, and I am too old for dances as they begin at 10 p.m, and that frankly, is way past my bedtime. I wish there was a coffee shop that would just cater to lesbians of a certain age, but I can’t see how  they would stay in business considering their target market. Then there is the question of how I am going to present myself to the dating world. Do I starve myself, botoxing and makeuping to make myself look more desirable? This old Jew just can’t do fake. So I will make do with what I have to work with. Still great hair, and a body that is in the best physical condition that I have ever been in, thanks to long long walks in the park with the aforementioned pup, and a nascent belief  in my own loveability, despite or perhaps because of my old age.

 

 

Songs in the key of life

I awoke this morning to a glorious sunny warm day, unusual for mid-November in Toronto.  I decided to take Lucille for a walk in our favourite ravine, perhaps for the last time until spring. The day was truly spectacular, sun streaming through the trees, lots of dogs and squirrels for Lucille to chase, warm enough for me to open my jacket showing off my brand new necklace that featured a key with the word ‘amour’ (French word for love).

We walked up and down the narrow leafy path, stopping briefly to chat with fellow hikers and their doggy companions. Often I am in my own special world and not quite in this one. I have been known to trip and fall more than the average traveller, and today was no exception. I don’t know exactly what happened but my foot must have caught on a branch that was covered by the fallen leaves. Boom ! Down I tumbled! Luckily, other than my ego, nothing was bruised. As I stopped to collect myself, Lucille came running over as if to ask ” Are you ok? ” I was touched by this act of doggy devotion, so I kissed her little head, shook myself off , grabbed Lucille’s leash and headed home.

Merde! (French word for poopoo) My keys must have fallen out when I took that tumble. As I checked in my pockets I realized that not only did I not have my house keys, but my car key with its pricey fob was gone as well. So back we trudged – actually I trudged; Lucille happily bounced along grateful to be brought back  again, to the woods.

I began looking for my keys, feeling optimistic as that is my nature, but after fifteen minutes of sifting through leaves, my bright and shiny optimism was beginning to dim. I thought of calling it a day , but my motto for 2015 has been ‘close the deal’. This particular saying works for me, because traditionally I have not stayed the course, choosing instead to check out at the first sign of difficulty.

As I began to repeat my motto (out loud, scaring small children)  a memory began to surface. I remembered reading that when Fred Rogers was a child (star of the children’s show Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood) he was disturbed with the violence that he saw on the local news. His mother told him to look for the helpers, that he will always find people who are helping.

Traditionally, I am not the person who asks for help easily. My life experience has not shown me that there were always helpers, in fact the opposite was true. I have often felt that I was alone in this world; without help and without agency. Today however, I mustered my courage and started to look for the helpers. There were people when approached that just walked/jogged on by, but a surprising number  were helpful; a gaggle of women from out of town, families walking with their children,  some solo sojourners. After searching for about an hour, Lucille and I met a man with his dog, a German Pointer. l asked the owner if his dog was a hunting dog, and he answered in the affirmative.” That’s great!” I said, “Do you think he can locate my keys?” The dog ,whose name was Gustav, started up a hill with Lucille in close pursuit. Shortly after I heard his owner say something about keys. What!! Could my keys actually be found?

I moved closer to hear what he was saying. He shouted “Your dog found your keys!” Lucille found my keys ( both sets) as well as my lip balm, and a little chain with a doggy bone on it. Lucille is my hero! I thanked the man and his dog, and began the walk home, a little tired, a little sore, but ridiculously happy.

I began singing Stevie Wonder’s ‘ Love’s in Need of Love Today’. For today, I found something more important than my keys. Today, I found goodness. Today, I found compassion.  Today, I found in myself a core of fortitude that has lain dormant all these years, just waiting for the right moment to be awakened.

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At Last

 I am not certain how I , despite having 1 sister, 15 first cousins, aunts and uncles galore, am all alone. I am the only queer one, the only one who wears a size larger than an 8, the only one who is not in that exclusive 1% , but existing on disability payments and depending on the kindness of her ex- girlfriend to provide sanctuary. To have survived my life I needed to have resilience ( check) and an ability to believe, despite the obvious that one day –( fill in the blank), will welcome me into the soft bosom of her arms and say “I’m so sorry”. This hope has cost me, and I am trying now to see people as they are, not who I want them to be. To that end, I am really really trying to get out of the/ my ‘story’.
Yes, I have a sister who I will in all likelihood never speak to again. Yes, my ex ex girlfriend will always try to keep her daughter and I apart, and to that end. I can’t pretend said daughter is mine anymore, as it has lead me down the slippery slide of lies, landing me on my luckily ample ass. Nonetheless that hard landing has done the important job of waking me out of my fairytale stupor into a brave new world where I am not sure where I belong, and who I belong to.
The Buddhist teacher Ram Dass has said ” We are all just walking each other home”. All I do know at this crucial moment in time, is that I must finally and for the first time welcome myself home, before I take on the task of inviting others on that long walk home.
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I just want to thank you

This morning, I went over to the park on the street where I live; Lucille-less. I just wanted to breathe in the fresh morning air and be in the moment, unencumbered by my little circus puppy, who is charming and funny but needs to be watched all the time; Lucille feels she alone, can eradicate those pesky squirrels from our world.

I  am terrified of big dogs, so I rarely go to this particular park even though it is literally down the street from my home , because this zaftig neurotic lesbian jewess does not think it is relaxing to be jumped on by large loping  roaming free dogs despite their owner’s protestations that Rover is ‘friendly’. However, this morning because of the recent falling back of time, I thought it might be worth the risk,  hoping that my doggie neighbours would still be fast asleep in their doggie beds.

So off I went, down the steep step of stairs that brought me directly into the park and then; boom! sun glorious sun and wide open space and no one there but me and I was so happy and so grateful to be alive and whole, arriving
here on this beautiful sunny day and just to make the morning extra delicious ,the song ‘September’ by Earth Wind and Fire came on my Ipod and I began to dance wildly and with abandon and sang loudly and badly off- key and opened my arms and my heart to this glorious perfectly flawed world.