By Karma June Wayman
Me–1989: I crashed and burned. I was inspired to throw caution to the winds, squash my fastidiously nurtured ego and obliterate my whole outlook on reality, all for the happiness that might come in slim possibilities. She inspired all this and I’m ashamed.
I only met her a few weeks ago when I went out on a date with her brother. The three of us went to a movie and out to dinner at the Rio Grande Café. I liked her right away. She was funny, charming and intelligent. She had very expressive blue-green eyes that stood out. I can even say I think she’s beautiful because I’m a sensitive writer and I’ll use interesting, confident and natural looking as modifiers. I kept going out with her brother just so I could see her again.
Now, I don’t talk to her brother at all. It’s not because I don’t like him. It’s because he might know, so I avoid him. He’ll probably look at me like a dog looks at his master when he burps. I’ll gesture, “Shoo, go away! That was nothing, so pay no attention.”
Will she say anything to anyone? She doesn’t keep secrets about herself, so I doubt she’ll keep secrets about me. She’s not ashamed about anything.
“When there’s something I want, I take it!” she said. “Sometimes I crash and burn. I’ve crashed and burned many times, but I chalk these up to experience. Everyone must crash and burn.”
She’s a very good example of what inflection and emphasis can do for something meaningless because I went for it. I believed. I truly thought that it was essential to my emotional growth that I crash and burn.
I told her that I never act on impulses. I’ve spent most of my life deriving my emotional needs from fantasies. I create too many expectations from reality and I’m self-conscious because I always have ulterior motives. I’m afraid people will catch on that I’m trying to milk one of my expectations out of them.
“You must abandon expectation,” she said. “When you have no expectations, you become amazed at all the subtle things you discover. There are so many subtle discoveries when one abandons thought!”
That’s it. I thought. I must finally disregard the safety of my fantasies and my romances without the ramifications, in an attempt to woo a woman in real life. There’s a first time for everything.
I sent her a dozen white roses with tainted pink edges. If she were interested in the way that I hoped, it would have been cute. It all just seems incredibly corny to me now. I enclosed a note that said, “To Hell with the subtle discoveries when one abandons thought. I love thinking about you! Darling, I’ll crash and burn for you!”
I received roses last week from some old fart with high expectations and I didn’t appreciate it either. It costs money, pride and a friend to enhance my emotional growth. Emotional growth seems like some sort of fungus to me now.
Me – 2014: To finish the story, the woman to whom I sent those flowers finally called me and said she wanted to meet me in a hotel room so we can have our first lesbian experience together.
I enthusiastically checked into a room at The University Park Hotel and waited, but she never showed. I got really drunk and woke up with a horrendous hangover only to find out a truck ran over her while biking through City Creek Canyon earlier that day. She wore a back brace for several months and became increasingly moody on pain medication. I internalized it all as being about me, of course, and we parted ways. I was temporarily heart-broken and started journaling Memoirs of an Unsuccessful Lesbian as a coping mechanism.
What does it even mean to be a successful lesbian, anyway? I used to think if I could just find a girlfriend, my life would be complete with a butt-load of inspirational motivation to pursue my happy destiny. However, those girlfriends eventually found me and I became an alcoholic instead.
The highs and lows of love tackled me with insecurities. I needed to numb my overwhelming emotions and fears. The alcohol helped until it didn’t anymore. It was a Band-Aid that eventually needed to be ripped off revealing a festering, ugly wound.
A successful lesbian relationship offered me a home, a garden and a daily routine. In an effort to be convenient and lovable, I essentially became a doormat. I didn’t really know what I wanted anymore, so I drank to give myself some kind of reward. Slowly, codependence whittled away at me from the inside out until I was a shell of who I used to be. I ended up discarded and checked into rehab as a sad, empty container of a person. I was like GLAD disposable Tupperware.
Looking back on my Memoirs, I can only conclude that any lesbian who flaunts her relationship as a tangible trophy of success is an idiot. Infatuations or romances are never an affirmation of who we are; they are just who we love at the moment.