The whole passel of us, about twelve or thirteen people, headed out to the dance floor after a while. I'd handed out Ecstasy to all present, for which they were grateful. We'd waited about thirty or forty minutes, so everyone could have a couple more drinks and let the drugs dissolve in their systems. Since Mallory had taken hers earlier with us, it had kicked in, and she was very happy with its effects. She was talkative, animated, and outgoing, flitting around and talking to everyone. Perhaps Ecstasy is the cure for being Minnesotan. When I was handing out hits to people, she was assuring everyone that it was fine. In fact, it was incredible.
"This is such an amazing feeling," Mallory said. "Right now I want to do a bunch of things, all at once. I want to dance, I want to get together with a girl in a big way, I want to write, I want to stand in the middle of Stone Arch Bridge naked and sing songs from 'Oklahoma.' I never knew a drug could make someone feel this way, I thought all drugs dulled you, made you feel slow in the head."
"And many of them do," I told her. "Generally, people take drugs to remove the burden of having to think. Alcohol is by far the most popular drug on the planet for exactly that reason. Cocaine picks you up, but it only lasts for a couple hours, and a lot of times, what you thought was a brilliant idea while on coke was fucking idiotic once you take a closer look at it. Meth picks you up in a big way and you're in a positive, confident mindframe, but it will also keep you awake for long periods of time, which scares some people. LSD and other psychedelics will keep you awake, but they don't give you energy like meth or coke, and anyways, you're too busy staring at the pretty patterns on your wall to do anything to begin with."
"Wow, you've taken LSD?" Mallory asked.
"Oh yeah. One hit is five dollars, and is a guaranteed cure for boredom for about twelve hours. Haw, it makes driving a car a very interesting experience."
"I've heard it can cause permanent brain damage."
"Oh, I've met a few acid victims," I responded. "Yeah, take too much for too long, and acid will ream out your skull like a watermelon rind. On that tick, I will warn you: Ecstasy is a weekend only drug, if you're taking it more than once a week, you're taking it too much. Heavy use wreaks havoc on your mental stability. People who try to party with it all the time end up having deep depressive crashes, it's like taking the drug used up the parts of your brain that make you happy. My ex-boss was eating six hits a day, every day. It took us nearly a month to get him straightened out, he just wanted to lie in bed and stare at the wall, like he was waiting to die. So take Ecstasy on special occasions, not as a matter of course."
"Oh, it'll be easy for me to not take it," Mallory said. "I haven't the slightest clue where to find it. Ecstasy is really expensive anyway, isn't it?"
"Smiley, what you took tonight, goes for $25 in California. I know it goes for $40 in New York City. No clue what it costs in Minneapolis. I'm sure it's around, but it would take some searching." I pulled the bag of pills out of my jacket and handed it to her. "Here, that's about 120 hits right there. That should keep you and your friends busy for a while, I suggest handing out more tonight, when you run across people you haven't seen yet."
Mallory had the sense to hold the bag low and close to her body as she stared at it in amazement. She looked up at me and said, "Lenny, are you serious? You're going to just give all these to me? I can't, you said how much they cost...."
I smiled and said, "I told you the street price. If I told you how much I pay for them, you probably wouldn't believe me. Just trust me when I say giving you those is no expense to me at all, and let it lie. Remember, it's drugs, it's not anything valuable or important. Get me?"
She tucked them in her purse, smiled at me, and gave me a hug. "So are you nice to everyone, or just dykes from the Midwest?" she asked.
"I'm nice to my friends. I'll help out strangers, but I don't give them free drugs."
The dance floor was well packed. Bekka and I went out together, but she kept getting tapped by the different girls who had asked her to dance earlier, and I felt like an idiot dancing by myself. Yeah, this isn't a waltz, but I'm just self-conscious enough that I have to be with someone else on a dance floor. Besides, I didn't want to give any of the guys the idea I was on the cruise. Our little pack of friends was mostly on the floor, with a few hanging out by the wall near an emergency exit. They were guarding bags, purses, and jackets. The timing always seemed to work: those by the wall would just be itching to get into action at the same time a few people on the floor were ready for a break, so the pile of stuff was always attended.
I leaned down to Bekka's ear and told her I was getting off the floor, and to have fun, she'd know where to find me.... After I hit the bar. When the bartender saw me waiting to order, he stepped to me with a wide smile. "Thank you for sending Becky to see me," he said.
"No sweat. Bottle of Miller and a double Johnnie Walker over ice, please."
He got my drinks and said, "You're a lucky man, I suppose. Your wife is stunning, and very friendly and charming, not what I expected at all."
I cocked an eyebrow at him. "Oh yeah? How so?"
"Well.... To be frank, I was expecting her to be aloof, you know, a celebrity having to humor one of the peons. A Hollywood attitude. No offense meant."
"Except we're not Hollywood. Our studio is down in San Diego, far away from the entertainment industry. While Becky will always be a bit on guard when we're out in public, she never picked up the 'us versus them' feeling other stars get. Not being in Hollywood means not picking up their bad habits.... and bad attitudes."
An older butch chick, about forty, sidled up next to me at the bar. From her appearance, she had been at the bar on more than a few occasions that night. She whacked me on the arm and said, "Hey! There's a rumor going around that you're Becky Page's husband."
"I can confirm that rumor as accurate. Are you a fan?"
"Damn, she's a little hottie. I got a couple posters of her up in my place. Never bothered with her movies, I don't want to see her with a man. But she's a hottie. Don't take this the wrong way, but I could cure her of her interest in peckers in one night."
"I'm sure you'd give it the old college try," I sighed. "I know there are a few people in this place who are bugged by Becky's bisexuality. I take it you're not one of them."
The older lesbian sipped at her rum and said, "Naw. Them young little bi chicks like her just haven't made up their minds yet, they'll figure it out."
"Becky already has. She's bisexual. To quote a comment she made earlier, it's sex, not soccer. You don't need to choose one side or the other. Have you never had an interest in men? Not when you were young, or just occasional little moments of thinking it would be fun to get together with a guy?"
"Aw, I thought I liked men when I was still a teenager. I knew I liked women, but, you know, you're supposed to like the opposite sex, that's what's pounded into your friggin' head in this world. Shit. Men are dirty morons, they only think with their peckers. I learned that in high school, dating guys. Men are just selfish children, I don't know how any woman could spend their lives around one."
I considered her briefly, and said, "So you based your opinion of men on the behaviors of guys in high school? There's a problem there. They weren't men, they were boys, and adolescent ones. I'm sure they were horny, crass, vulgar, greedy, demanding, and selfish. Big surprise. Puberty had handed them a new toy which they loved to play with, but didn't know how to share it. The good news is, they grew up. You can't base your feelings towards men on the actions of dumb-ass, stiff-dicked sixteen year olds."
I got a frown. "Naw, they stay the same. Shit, look at the guys here. Every one of 'em is hoping to get in the bathroom with another guy, so they can suck each others peckers in a stall. Not even knowing the other guy's name. All men care about is getting off."
Shrugging, I said, "It's true, men are much more sexually impulsive. Depends on the guy. Personally, if I was queer, cruising would have no appeal. Okay, you can get busy with someone, but hell, I learned by the time I was eighteen that sex is better with someone you know, who you get along with. And while I'm sure there are plenty of guys here to cruise, I'll bet there's just as many queers at home right now, who consider cruising a soulless, emotionally vacant endeavor. Certainly not in good taste.
"Besides, to tell a tale, I've seen dykes act just as crass. I was at a house party when I was twenty. I was one of two dudes there, and there were about twenty-five girls, all lesbians. Holy shit. At least the dudes cruising around here go in the bathroom to fool around. The girls at this party were going down on each other in the living room. And they'd known each other as long as any of the guys here will have known each other, when they go to blow each other in a stall."
She gave me a surprised look. "Damn. Where the hell was this?"
"San Diego. My friend Cathy had invited me, she knew I didn't give a shit about whether a chick was dyke or not, she was, and she was a good friend. Cathy apologized to me the next day, she wasn't expecting shit like that to happen. She felt it was in very bad taste."
"Well, shit. That's California for ya. Is everybody in California crazy? Personally, you gotta be to live there."
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
"You got earthquakes there!" she exclaimed. "That state is gonna end up falling in the damn ocean. You all drive like you're nuts, from what I saw when I was in Los Angeles for a visit. And you got Mexicans everywhere, too. Buncha damn brown little criminals."
I counted to ten while I stared at her. Then I said, "You know what? I am not going to continue with this conversation. I have a feeling that you will reveal yourself as a very unpleasant person. I'm going to join the people I met tonight, goodbye." I grabbed my Miller and left the bar.
Back at the wall, I nodded in greeting to the two girls hanging around. I'd been introduced, but I was blanking on their names, and it was too loud to converse anyway. I sipped my Miller slowly, not wanting to go back in the bar anytime soon, in case the racist dyke was still there. After about fifteen minutes, Bekka got off the dance floor, looking a bit damp and breathless. She was with two femme chicks, holding each one by the hand.
"Your dance card still full?" I asked.
"Oh boy. There are girls on the floor counting the seconds until I get back, so they can dance with Becky Page. I don't know if you remember these two, we gave them hits while we were still in the bar. They've never had Ecstasy before, and have decided the three of us should be inseparable. They're already together, now they've got me. We'll be a nice little menage a trois. We're going to buy an RV and travel all over the country, seeing everything. And we'll have a dog, a doberman, named Fluffy."
"Goodness me," I replied. "And when do these plans go into effect?"
"According to them, in about three hours. They revealed all this to me on the dance floor, over a period of about fifteen minutes. I was surprised as you. Oh, and I'm the most beautiful woman in the world, and they both want to be dominated by me, and I have a really sexy pussy."
"I already know two of those things. And uh, how is this going to be paid for?"
"According to them, I'm throwing you out of the house, then selling it. And draining our savings, and cashing in our IRAs. Then we buy the RV and take off. Oh yeah, they're going to call me 'Mommy.' They'll be my little darlings, who apparently will need to regularly be tied to a bed and spanked. They haven't mentioned why, though."
I chuckled. "Okay, the 'Mommy' thing is disturbing and creepy, but I can easily see you being the domme for two subs at once. Goodness me. So, is this something they've been planning for a while, or just since the Ecstasy kicked in?"
Bekka chuckled back and said, "I get the impression that being dominated by Becky Page has been on their minds for a while, but me running off with them is new. They never expected to meet me in their lives, but now here I am, so they're going to take advantage of the situation. And they've already told me I have to go back to their apartment tonight, so I can take advantage of them."
"Wow. You know, if one of your male fans was telling you all of this, I'd have already ripped his spine out of his back and tied it around his neck. This shit coming from these two is actually kind of sweet, in a delusional and pathetic way. I hope they don't have their hopes up too high, that any of this is reflected in reality."
"Don't worry. Right now, I think we could escape just by giving them a bright shiny object to play with . They'd be entertained for hours."
The two girls were still standing there on each side of Bekka, still holding her hands. Both had big smiles, big eyes, and huge pupils. They were high as shit. They looked at me, because that's where Bekka was looking. There was no malice on their faces, they didn't think of me as That Bastard Who Married Becky Page So Now She's Off The Market, I was just... Some guy, another male breeder, and only the tiniest of obstacles in their little MDMA-inspired plans for the future.
As I was the center of their attention, I gave my most patronizing smile. Not knowing their names, I simply dubbed them Frick and Frack, for convenience sake. I asked them, "So, you plan on taking my wife away?"
Frick said, "Yes, she will come home with us...."
Frack continued, ".... tonight, and we will show her what good little girls we can be."
"She will know how much we love our Mommy, and that...."
".... she doesn't need anyone else but us."
In unison the two said, "It's nothing personal."
Okay, that was creepy. I looked at Bekka and saw she was creeped out too. I asked, "Do you two always finish each other's sentences like that?"
Frack started, "Oh yes, we always know what the...."
".... other one is thinking, we are somehow linked," Frick went on. "When you talk to one...."
".... of us, you talk to both of us. We have no...."
Gathering my nerve, I queried, "So, uh, what are your names?"
"We are Danielle," they chorused
"And have you always been Danielle, individually?"
Frick began, "We first met when we were sixteen. We were from...."
".... small towns up north," said Frack. "Our high schools had...."
".... gotten together and chartered a bus so us and our classmates could...."
".... visit the Mall of America. When we met on the bus, we both immediately had a feeling...."
".... of finally being complete, of being whole. And our sexual attraction was...."
".... overwhelming. We spent most of the day trying to find secluded places where we...."
".... could make out. When we graduated high school, we both came out to our parents...."
".... and friends and churches, we'd decided to burn our bridges. We arrived in Minneapolis with...."
".... ninety dollars and a 1977 Chrysler Cordoba."
Again in chorus, the two stated, "And we have been Danielle ever since."
I gave them a quick once-over. Two girls about my age, maybe a bit younger, who seemed to have the same sense of style as a Fifties bobby-soxer. A couple inches shorter than Bekka, they were the same basic size and build, but didn't hold much physical resemblance to each other. Their hair was styled differently, one smoked and one didn't, one had a pierced nose, lip,and eyebrow, plus about seven rings in each ear. The other had studs in each lobe, and that was it. Except for their clothing, sort of, the collective consciousness they seemed to have didn't seem to dictate their outward appearance. But the group effort they put into communicating with people was goddamn creepy. There was no gap between one of them stopping speaking ant the other picking up where the first left off.
Bekka said, "Ladies, let go of me now. I need to visit the bathroom and the bar, and I won't need your help to do either one. Go back out on the dance floor, or something."
Frick and Frack didn't respond, but let go of Bekka's hands and kissed her on each cheek. Bekka walked off, giving me a God-help-us-all eye roll as she went past. The two girls stepped up next to each other and held hands. I was still a source of fascination for them. I couldn't tell if their placid smiles and big-eyed staring was part of their routine, or just an effect of the Ecstasy. They observed me as if I was one of those two-headed snakes at a reptile house, a slightly strange but harmless curiosity.
Flicking my eyes between the two, I said, "You seem to have big plans for my wife. Has she agreed to any of this? And more importantly, do you believe I'm going to give up the woman I love without any kind of blowback or fight? To be honest, if I had some dude relaying the sort of plans you two are, I'd already be toe to toe with you, trying to decide which arm I was going to rip off first."
Frack uttered, "Once we have shared ourselves with Becky, she...."
".... will understand," Frick finished. "Becky will truly know pure love, and be our mommy. She will...."
".... realize that hetero love is flawed and ugly, that her marriage was a mistake. Unless you try...."
".... to somehow imprison her, she will leave you."
"Again, it's nothing personal," the two harmonized.
I was getting a bit steamed. "Oh, but it is," I responded. "Listen, you goddamn psychic Muppets, Bekka --- her real name is Bekka, not Becky --- and I have been through too much heavy shit together for her to just cut bait and run off with a couple little Tootsie Pop lesbians she hasn't known two hours. Each of us has killed to protect the other one's life. That sort of shit tends to really tighten bonds." I peeled off my jacket and shoulder holster at the same time, lifting my shirt and pointing at the space below my left shoulder. "I've caught lead protecting Bekka. I've had to bounce around some seriously psycho Becky Page fans to keep her safe. Truly? I have you both pegged as more psycho fans, the only difference is instead of the standard issue obsessed and delusional men I've had to contend with, you both have two X chromosomes. Go obsess over some other famous bisexual chick. Make a pilgrimage to Billie Holliday's grave or something."
Frick and Frack gave me Spock-like analyzing frowns. Frick said, "Becky has violence in her life precisely because she...."
".... is with you," continued Frack. "It is a permanent state for those cursed with testosterone, especially those who breed. With us, Becky would...."
".... be free of violence, she would live in serenity."
"Bullshit," I shot back. "XX or XY chromosome, it doesn't matter, people are fucked up, period. People are short-sighted, obsessive, violent, and cruel. Jesus Christ, don't tell me you're unaware of the diesel dykes who hate Becky Page on general principle, just because she's bi. Some drunk dagger could decide to get in Becky's face, and you two would be as effective as a doggie door in an elephant house in protecting her. And Becky would have to respond. With violence. Becky carries a gun, and not because it matches her shoes. She's also a whiz with a butterfly knife. That's just how life is, in our experience."
I felt a hand on my shoulder, then on the other one. I looked around to see Mallory standing on my left, and Jill, the six foot four muscle-bound femme, on my right. They both smiled at me, then focused on the girls known as Danielle. Mallory said, "Sweeties, I ran into Bekka --- Becky --- in the bar. It's very precious you two are so ga-ga over Becky Page, but you're creeping her out. Go dance some more, and leave her alone for the rest of the night."
"But Becky should be our mistress, and we...." started Frick.
".... will be her supplicants, her little darlings," finished Frack.
"No, you're quite incorrect," said Mallory. "Bekka has a career, and a life, and the love of a very good person. This man here. You're letting your fantasies overwhelm your common sense, once again. For gosh sakes, two months ago you'd decided that Jill was going to be the domme influence in your lives you both seem to crave so badly. Remember how that turned out?"
Frick and Frack didn't respond, but sprouted identical angry scowls. For my benefit, Jill said, "These two were stalking me. I'd told them right off the bat that even if I am big, I'm not a domme, and they aren't even my type, anyway. They wouldn't listen. They were showing up at my job, at my gym, at my apartment, trying to get all touchy-feely with me, and calling me 'mommy.' I finally got fed up and hung one of 'em up by her bra from a telephone pole foot-peg. I told them if they didn't fuck off and leave me alone, I'd destroy their car with my bare hands, then go after them."
"Car?" I asked.
"They got a 1962 Volvo they love, totally pristine, it really is a classic. But yeah, they want a heavily dominant femme, which is a bit of a rare breed, you know? I guess they thought your wife would fit the bill." Jill stepped towards the two girls, bent down, and gestured with her arm. "Get back on the dance floor until your brains roll back in place. Go. Now."
With looks of mild panic, Frick and Frack did what they were told. Jill stepped back to me and winked. I ran my hands through my hair and said, "Wow. Thank you both. I was just thinking it was their own little MDMA fantasy, that would wear off with the drugs."
"No, they would have stuck to Bekka like dog poop on a shoe all night," said Mallory. "They're a little frustrating. I mean, gee whiz, they have each other already. They don't know how lucky they are, I would love to be in a long-term relationship, you know? No, they decided they need a third to be happy. And the whole 'singular personality' thing really freaks people out. I don't believe they're somehow mentally connected, I think ESP is hooey, but they sure do have their act down tight."
I briefly pondered and said, "My advice to them would be to make the migration to the central Bay Area. San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley. They'll find what they want a lot more easily. It's kinda weird, comparing the dyke scene in the Bay Area with here. In the Bay Area, the butch chicks don't feel like they have to play it up all the time, I guess. You'll see a chick with cropped hair and Levis and logging boots, but then your realize she's also got painted fingernails and mascara. Hell, the ones I know giggle with each other. The butch chicks out here wouldn't giggle if you taped an oxygen mask running nitrous oxide to their faces.
"And damn, not even hair is a tip-off. Anywhere in urban California, but particularly the Bay Area, short hair on a woman does not mean she's a dyke. It's just trendy. Assuming a chick is a lesbian just because her hair is short and she's got facial piercings in California will result in a lot of awkward conversations and vague insult. Especially in San Francisco, it doesn't matter if a chick is butch, femme, or totally vanilla. If she's a dyke, you'll know it in the first thirty seconds of conversation. Heh, the dyke bicycle messengers in the City are awesome. They're all young, butch, and horny as hell. All the messengers hang out on Market Street near the Sharper Image outlet, and the butch girls will hoot and catcall like goddamn construction workers at women in short skirts, or better yet, yuppie queens who like to jog on their lunch hour wearing those tiny shorts. Total gender reversal, it's pretty damn funny."
Jill and Mallory were amazed and amused by this information. "Wow, lesbians sexually harassing straight women?" asked Jill. "Are you serious?"
I replied, "Well, you gotta keep in mind that bicycle messengers are a pretty savage tribe to begin with, they're all considered to be these sweaty psychos, with a pathological hatred of anything resembling white collar culture, and who like to play Chicken with MUNI buses for fun. Being a loud, obnoxious, and fairly abrasive person is a tribal trait for bicycle messengers, and the dyke messengers --- of which there are plenty --- see no reason to not rather crudely express their appreciation for sexy-looking women. Lesbians in general aren't going to do that shit, but like I said, the dyke messengers all seem to be horny as hell. It's like they all stole their libidos from sixteen year old boys."
Jill queried, "I have to ask, how did you become familiar with the dyke scene in the Bay Area?"
"Bekka and I are friends with a band called Chromewagon from San Francisco, especially their lead singer, Dolly. Chromewagon is dyke-rock, punk with aggressively lesbian lyrics and attitude. All the members of Chromewagon are messengers, so we'd go up to visit and would end up hanging around with their friends. Our familiarity with the overall lesbian scene up there is kind of limited, actually. We spend our time around younger dykes who are heavily into rock and roll. All generally butch, too, but like I mentioned, they don't insist on living the stereotype. They do what they feel."
"Wow, that is really awesome," said Mallory. "San Francisco is seen as.... It's kind of a love/hate thing going on. Okay, in San Francisco you can be queer and live openly and freely, which everyone would love to do. At the same time, people around here feel like the queers in SF are kind of snobs. They'd see a scene like the one in Minneapolis, and see how people live, and assume we're all cowards because we aren't all living really openly. They probably think we're scared hicks."
I frowned. "I dunno. Sure, Minneapolis isn't Manhattan or Chicago, but it's still seen as a genuine urban area. My opinion? San Francisco queers would probably write off how subtle the scene is here as an example of the Midwestern tendency to not make waves, no matter who you are. I doubt they would see cowardice, somehow."
Bekka walked up clutching four beers, handing out three of them. She commented, "I see the little darlings have gone."
"I exiled them to the dance floor," said Jill. "It has been made very clear they are to leave you alone."
Mallory commented, "Lenny was really teeing off on them, can't say I blame him. I've never understood how anyone can have their attitude, a bigotry almost. Queers have been called perverts for a long time. So how is it right for queers to say straight love is somehow hopelessly flawed? I could tell, Lenny was getting really hot under the collar."
I snorted. "Yeah, I can't lie. I was desperately praying they'd both sprout dicks and grow six inches, so I could take a swing at them without any guilt."
"We were behind you for a little bit. When we first walked up, you were calling them 'Tootsie Pop lesbians,' I've got to remember that line." Mallory made a deprecatory sound. "And the nerve of those two! You shared very good, very expensive drugs with them, and that's how they treat you?"
I shrugged. "Between their attitudes and being high, they weren't seeing a person when they looked at me. They just saw, well, not only a testosterone carrier, but also a breeder. They had me pigeonholed twice, they didn't need to put any thought into me. That's another thing. Around here, the breaking point seems to be, 'Is he straight?' In San Francisco, it's more like, 'Is he cool?' I mean, me and Bekka spent an afternoon drinking at a leather bar called The Stud and had a great time. We weren't being tourists, we weren't being aloof, we were cool, so people were cool with us."
"Even the daddies who tried to hit on you," smirked Bekka.
"Heh, well, I think they did appreciate that I'd always buy them a drink, and just have a normal fuckin' barroom conversation with them. You know, how's life, what's new, the Giants are looking good this year, hope Steve Young's arm is healed by NFL preseason. I really didn't give a shit that the place looked like a convention of Rob Halford impersonators, they're still just some dudes hanging around a bar in the afternoon."
"Who's Rob Halford?" asked Jill.
I put on my own smirk and answered, "Rob Halford is the lead singer for the heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is a leather daddy, and he is ragingly queer. Rob Halford has made more suburban stoner and headbanger dudes confront their own homophobia than a thousand Pride Parades could ever accomplish."
Bekka began laughing. "Oh, all those poor conflicted stoner boys. 'Oh my God, Rob Halford is a fag! But.... but.... Judas Priest is so awesome!' I always hoped Eddie Van Halen would suddenly out himself, admit all those teenage girls he fucked were to keep up the image, under pressure from his record label."
"Aw shit," I added. "I was always amused at the ability of stoners to spend all day using the word 'fag' as an insult, then go home and listen to the most outlandish glam-metal bands in the world. Fuckin' Cinderella, Motley Crue, Poison.... Jesus Christ. All the members of those bands looked like alcoholic housewives."
"Let's hit the dance floor again," said Jill. "We'll be sure to avoid the Doublemint Twins."
We started walking that way, but I angled off. "Where are you going?" asked Bekka.
"I'm gonna bug the DJ into playing some Whitesnake," I replied. "Or Warrant."