We’re at the airport going through security, taking off our shoes and belts, putting them back on, waiting to board, and finally listening to the flight attendant inform us on how to survive if this baby goes down. This is what I assume the rest of the passengers are doing at least. I am completely distracted. I pray the flight goes smoothly because I couldn’t tell you where my floaty device thingy is located. My mind is on a trip of its own.
I remember when my husband told me we were moving to Louisiana. He, of course, did not just tell me. He “discussed it” with me, although it sure did feel like telling. Something about his firm wanting to expand in uncharted waters, something about me needing a break and not having to work so hard, something about starting a family. That was when the room started to spin.
I loved my husband; I wanted a family, but I also loved my job and my life in the city. I’d lived in big cities since I was a child in Los Angeles. My biggest adjustment was moving to New York for college. It took time but city life was city life. New York was just bigger and faster. I fit in perfectly. How I was going to survive in Louisiana, I had no idea. But like I said, I loved my husband. Only three months after this “discussion” we were off to the Bayou. I think that’s what they call it. I’m not too sure.
Sensing my nerves, he reaches over seat 26B into 26A, takes my hand and tells me everything will be fine. His voice fades into a distant buzz in my ears. The vibrating noise turns my mind to the bugs I have yet to meet. I am moving to the South, to the Bayou and I haven’t even considered the bugs. I almost yell out for an emergency landing.
Three weeks later we’re efficiently unpacked as if my husband and I and all of our belongings have been nestled here for decades. He’s off to work and I’m on my own. I see neighbors through the banana yellow curtains approaching with welcome slash “let me get a good look” at you pies. Without hesitation, I sneak out the back door to pursue whatever adventure I can find.
Five minutes and about twenty weeping willows later, I come across a small white shack labeled: Bruce’s BBQ. I go in, order a sweet tea and take a seat. The heat is already sweltering and I need a hide out from the mob. I take a seat in the back corner booth and hear the bell above the door ring. One look at the figure moving through that door and feelings I haven’t acknowledged in over ten years come flooding back.
She wears a short, white cotton dress that clings to her body in the heat. Its hint of transparency instantly excites me, scares me. Her skin glistens and her wavy brown hair flows down her back, thick in the moist air.
That’s when I know.
Vegas was more than just Vegas. It was more than just an intoxicated gift to my husband. Time stands still. I hope the orgasmic moans singing in my head aren’t actually escaping my lips. I can’t turn away from her beauty.
She sways to the counter and orders; I can’t hear what. A large, sweaty man places meat in a to-go container, tops it with two pieces of bread, closes the container and hands the box to this goddess. The woman in the white cotton dress slides a five-dollar bill across the counter with a quiet, tantalizing, “Thanks”.
Her eyes meet mine. I freeze and can’t look away. Without missing a step she sashays in my direction and asks to join me. With a dry throat I quietly oblige. She smells as sweet as sin. She tells me her name and asks where I’m from. Everyone knows everyone around here. She can tell I’m new. My eyes rest on her mouth as she speaks. It all happens so fast but I’m powerless against her entrapment. Her simple presence makes it clear who I am and what I want.
I am a woman bored with her husband. I am a woman that is curious. I am a woman powerlessly falling in lust with another woman, all within this thirty second span, with this glistening, Creole goddess. I am a woman who is determined to know her, to taste her, inside and out. My husband will no longer have to fear my aversion for the Bayou. Suddenly, this sticky, small town feels like home.
At that very moment, a mosquito lands on my left arm. I watch it suck my blood.