When we last met, in the place that cannot be revealed, we discussed how we could keep in touch given the issues of time, place and space — the things you say don’t really exist. You mentioned telepathy as the primary method of communication for the day-to-day stuff and I was thinking about the wisdom of that and was about to ask you something, hoping it would not sound like a dumb question but then, then you got that look. The look you get when you are about to veer far off the mandated (womandated?) Goddess path. So I didn’t ask you anything and waited instead for you to talk.
You looked at me the way you look at me when you want something and said in the voice you use when you want something from a mere mortal.
“I want you to do something for me,” you said. “Will you?”
I dared not think what it could be, and since I do not blindly answer yes — even for you — I said nothing and waited for you to continue.
“I want to receive a letter, in an envelope. Something I can touch, breathe in.”
A letter? Oh Goddess, of all the human experiences to have, you want the experience of getting a letter? I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I did not say a thing.
You went on to explain that you wanted to receive a letter with human questions and wonderings that only you could answer. I continued to listen and say nothing. I wondered if you would ever consider watching Downton Abbey: it might help you understand the soap opera of everyday human life. Sadly, there is nothing anywhere that captures the soap opera of lesbian life. My thoughts were wandering. I brought them back.
You stopped explaining things for a moment, looked at me and continued, asking me if I would, at a time of my convenience, send you a letter c/o the place that cannot be named, addressed to the human alias that you use. You asked that this letter be a handwritten one, signed with my full — first, middle and family — names. You asked me if I would do you the honour. And if I would do you the honour, would I then mark the paper with a kiss, my lips coloured with red wine or lipstick.
My first thought was, um, no, I am not going to do that for you. I don’t kiss paper for anyone. My next thought was wine or lipstick?
I looked at you intently as you asked me these things, wondering why you were asking me these things. You must have read my thoughts because you switched gears just then and asked rather pointedly that if I wish to, I could write you instead about things which confuse me. I remember how you laughed at my reaction when you said that, as my chin raised ever-so-slightly, as my eyebrow arched. You were goading me.
You smiled that smile. We both know I can say no, even to you and I smiled my smile, saying I’d think about it and then we were all air kisses and shoulder hugs and you were gone and I was back in the busy world that concerns itself with its own busy-ness and as it turned out, writing about everything and to everyone but you.
I made you no promise except to think about it, so I was certain that it mattered not one little bit that I hadn’t written you and had no plans to do so.
Perhaps Goddess, you grew impatient? Perhaps in your impatience, you created something to capture my attention? Pulled the rainbow threads? After all, you are an old-school Goddess, aren’t you? Full of human wonders and weaknesses and an obsession to meddle in the lives of us mortals for your own amusement, especially us lesbian mortals. Well, if that’s what you did, it worked.
The impulse to write you fairly flew into my mind. I got out my finest linen paper. My favourite Mont Blanc pen. Unplugged the phone, put my cell phone away and turned off the computer. Sat in my favourite spot in the house to write you a letter because there’s something that’s bothering me and it seems you are the only one I can turn to for answers. You see a few weeks ago, I received two questions in my email:
- “what are the words that turn a lesbian on?” and
- “what does it take to turn a straight married woman into a lesbian.”
My initial reaction? I gagged and couldn’t breathe and broke out in enormous hives — I am seriously allergic reaction to dumb questions. I rescued myself with my EpiPen.
My second reaction was simple: Shouldn’t these questions be going to you? But then I realized that perhaps these are simply questions about sex and power. So yes, they should be going to you and not me.
My third reaction was not as simple: Did you plant those questions? They can’t possibly be real questions asked by real people. Can they? If they are questions by real people, are they serious questions? And if they are serious questions, are they questions from anyone of any intelligence? Maybe these are questions sent by the drones from the highly secretive but effective Cult of the Dumb Question. That’s the group sworn to prove that evolution is wrong and to turn the clock back to 1855.
Then I got to work once the swelling went down from my initial reaction:
- First, I wrote the questions on a piece of wood. Big letters.
- Then I asked one of my more power-tool inclined lesbian friends to carve out each letter of each word in question.
- Next, I mounted each letter on a pole, and assembled the letterpoles forming the words in the questions.
- Finally, I stuck the letter poles in a two different marble bases. Each marble base is one question, in full 3D colour. Life size, because I needed to get the questions out of my head. To see them. Touch them. I figured that if Duchamp could mount a urinal in a gallery and called it art, I could create sculptures of questions that people asked me, even if the questions were asked by people and not a Goddess playing tricks.
Once the sculptures were assembled, I walked around each question and when I finished doing that, sat in front of each one, in half lotus, to meditate and contemplate the meaning of the question. I thought of each question separately, deeply.
Words to turn on a lesbian? Because reading from a shopping list of words in a certain order unlocks the keys to a woman’s mind. Or body. Silly people. It’s not like I’m going to give such a well-guarded secret away. I’d be disbarred from every secret lesbian organization I don’t belong to and one or two that I do. Goddess, tell me true: did you or did you not plant that question? Either way, I am not going to answer it.
As for the other one, you know I don’t agree with the tribe of lesbian hunters who view straight women as prey particularly straight, married women. Worse than many men, those lesbian hunters are.
If these questions aren’t from you, or from the cult, are they from women who think that they might be lesbians and who wonder how to go about meeting other lesbians? Or are they simply dumb questions asked by dumb people? You know my position on dumb questions — contrary to public opinion and grinning human resource/therapist and workshop facilitator types: there are indeed dumb questions in this world. Everywhere, every day. In fact there are so many dumb questions just about lesbians in the queue of the National Dumb Question Collection Centre that I wasn’t able to pawn the questions off there either: it has a seven-year backlog.
Here’s the thing: Maybe I don’t hafta answer anything. Maybe I’m not gonna. Maybe I’ll pretend that both questions were lost in the spam file and that I never saw them.
So the truth is that I don’t know what to think about these questions. They are confusing. What is the real question behind each of those questions? Should I care? Should I answer? I’m sure you can see why I am writing you this letter. Goddess, I need your help. Please. I need to be unconfused and only you can unconfuse me about these questions.
My hope is that this letter provides some of what you wanted and that you have an answer to ease my confusion. Perhaps a dream intervention? Or a worldwide ban on dumb questions about lesbians? To be honest, I continue to harbour a suspicion that you’re behind it and if you or one of your minions are behind these questions, you and me need to talk. Immediately.
For now, I will hold my suspicions and my confusion in abeyance until I hear from you. Until I get answers: What is it with all these dumb questions about lesbians?
With the warmest of lesbian regards, a hope for a swift Goddess response…
… and many air kisses and shoulder hugs,