"You are not gay," said Grant, who was also drunk. To illustrate his point he grabbed Mary and planted a passionate kiss on her himself, his big slippery lips flopping over her face like two wet tentacles. "There, I just tongued her whole head, that doesn't make me straight."
"Get your hands off my girlfriend," I slurred, but Mary, who is straight, had already wandered off and was making out with Kevin, himself a hunky morsel whom Grant and I both agreed would make a nice human chew toy. Watching them I had a wistful thought. "If I were a real lesbian," I said yearningly, "just think of all the guys I could turn on!"
And right there is why fake lesbians like me probably piss the hell out of real ones, because surely the last thing on a real lesbian's list of priorities is to get a guy off. But pretending there's some possible chick-on-chick action in the wings has always been a straight girl's reliable stand-by to get a guy's attention ... and if that doesn't work, he's probably gay.
Like how I thought Lary was gay when I first met him. I mean his face was a little too chiseled, his hair a little too blond and his waist a little too thin not to spell flamer. Then I visited his home, which at the time was basically a renovated alleyway boasting little more than a bed and art supplies surrounding a bog of live mosquito larvae, and I determined that a gay man would rather rip out his own eyes with a rusty fondue fork than spend one night in that place. I myself stayed there once while Lary was on vacation, and his mattress felt like it was stuffed with bags of open switchblades. It almost renewed my suspicions that he might be gay, since his furnishings were obviously a ploy to ensure women wouldn't overstay their welcome, but since then he's upgraded the place to the point where it's almost comfortable, and I hear the spiders have all been corralled into one corner.
Now Grant, even though he was an acting straight man when I met him, wasn't fooling anybody. I saw a video of the wedding reception following his second marriage, shot only a short time before we became friends, and I had to lie down I was laughing so hard. In the video he had impeccable curly haircut in an asymmetrical flip and two-toned shoes, and he breezed through the crowd with his hips swinging like saloon doors, offering appetizers from a plate. "What a fucking fairy!" I squealed, pointing at the screen. "I don't know how this is possible, but you were more gay when you were straight!"
Also in the video was his daughter. She twirled in the foyer of the reception area, watching the hem of her velvet dress bellow outward at her knees. She looked like a perfect little buttercup, and she had Grant's smile; such a big smile for a little girl. But she's not little anymore. She's the reason Grant returned from Mexico, where he was living on an island off the coast of Cancun. He had waited until the day after his daughter graduated from high school before he made his early retirement on that island, where he spent the afternoons sleeping on a hammock overlooking the bright blue ocean, which was more like a big turquoise pond, really, with tiny warm waves lapping at his toes like a litter of liquid puppies. It was perfect, that ocean and his life, with his succession of caramel-colored young Latin lovers. No man on Earth could have brought him back here, so ironically the job fell to a young woman.
"I was so naive to think I could leave after she turned 18," Grant says now. So he's back in Atlanta, where his daughter needs him now more than ever. He's fresh off the plane, his tan has hardly faded, and his sun-bleached hair is still coiled on his head like hay. He's even wearing shorts, testimony to the fact that he was torn prematurely from his Caribbean paradise. I am beaming with selfish bliss that he's back, and occasionally I can't help myself from taunting him; "Grant loves a woman. Grant loves a woman," I singsong. To shut me up he gets me in a head-lock, and rubs his lips all over my face.