This short story was titled, “Masquerading As Myself,” when it was first published. The collection of my short stories was Sugar With Spice, and copyrighted in 1989. For whatever reason, it became my signature story – the one I was asked to read during all reading and appearances. Everyone called it the ‘ABC’ story. So I’ve changed its name.
I’ve also changed a few things in the story – you might say sanitized it. Or tidied it.
However did I get to be the grand old dame of dykesdom? I had not intended on recruiting disciples. At least not until after my sixth birthday, I mused. Sighing, I narrowed my eyes. Bones were now fragile, and my arms and legs were now spindly. Ninety next week, I reflected. No more sweethearts and goddess festivals for me. But I could huddle in the confines of the nursing home room and relive those memories. I could pull up the blinds of years spent, and re-spend them through my reversed dreams. I did remember my Sapphic ABCs.
Abigail was memorable, even at six-years of age. Her coils of blonde curls caught the sunlight an if they were spun gold. At six, I had not learned the fine art of seduction. We’d gone into the huge, dim barn and bounced our frisky bodies on a hill of hay. Abby always enjoyed new games. My instructions for the latest games were easily and willingly followed. I would crawl on top of Abby and try to hold her down. In the end, I either tried too hard, or Abby didn’t try hard enough. At any rate, our game continued for the next couple of years. The barn never seemed the same after Abby’s family moved South.
Belle was one. She was an older woman. I was eight and she was nine. She was fetching when she took off her skirt and wade out into the lake. She taught me the joys of deep lake diving. A skill I would never forget. Belle became bored with me when she discovered boys were the acceptable commodity. Broke my little ten-year old heart. So much so, I gave up women until I was eleven.
Caroline brought me back to life. Fat little rosy face, freckles as large as liver spots on her face, and bright cinnamon hair that pleated down her back. She told me that it was fine if I played with her ‘down there’ whenever the spirit moved me. She talked like that because her father was a Baptist minister. I made certain that my spirit was gyrating plenty.
Desiree was an intellectual. When I was thirteen, her French family moved to town. She called the attic our maison de rendezvou. Desiree taught me all the French that I know while snuggled up together under two old bedspreads. My heart was given free-rein and our kisses were hot, deep, and damp. And everywhere. She was French.
Edith was my roommate at normal school. Prim and proper, her vow to never have a curling iron touch her hair was fine by me. Her long, silken bronze hair and sleepy copen eyes had captivated me. Masturbating, she told me, would put her in the devil’s camp and there she would be given her white cane. But I was not blind, I rebutted. She was won over after allowing me to show her my handiwork. It was nothing at all like her neatly stitched pillowcases. She married a dentist.
Frances was a runner. She entered races and taught me to swear. She was expelled for obnoxious behavior and drunkenness. As she packed her valise, she grumbled that it was just what the doctor ordered. Why hang around in a musty library when Flappers are taking over the world. Frances could move her hips in tune to anything. She would make a wonderful Flapper, I praised.
Gladys was also a teacher. It was my first position after my education was complete. Or at least I thought it was complete. Life in the small rural area would have been too boring for words had I not been rescued by Gladys and her ladies’ club. The first time I unfastened her long raven hair, and it tumbled over her ivory shoulders, I gasped. Her deep somber eyes smiled on me. And I became her mascot until her family insisted she marry. And hubby insisted that she quit work and raise a family. My ego was yanked around on that affair. But there were ice cream socials to attend.
Hortense scooped an extra large dip of strawberry ice cream and plunked it on top of my cone. She was a pious scamp with long, dexterous fingers and a cloud-white smile. She told me that she wasn’t certain if it was the heat, or if I was taking her breath away. I’d packed a picnic lunch for us the very next day. We trespassed onto some farm land, and I rested my head in her lap as we reclined under a tree near a brook. It was all very picturesque. I felt a gleam inside when we first rolled around playfully on the blanket. I picked her a bouquet of wildflowers, and they were smashed when our uncontrolled hips locked and pressed. I have always adored both ice cream and wildflowers.
Ida was a delightful trouble maker. The way most of the women back then whipped up a batter of yellow cake, she stirred trouble. I didn’t know until she had enticed me with her charm that she was that sort of woman. I only knew she had thick auburn hair and luminous hazel eyes. When she wore a frock that showed her breasts spilling and heaving, I was lost. She was witty, sarcastic, and poignant. She loved experimenting, and I loved being experimented with. But soon she turned on me, rather than turning me on. She wanted us to live together. I was extremely happy when the job I had applied for came through. I moved.
Jane was a lonely woman. There was a lusterless, introverted way about her. Her hair was ash blonde, and she wore it twisted into a saucer atop her head. She reminded me of my mother. I tried to teacher her the joy of filling one’s heart to the brim with love. She had never truly wanted to learn. Jane married a cruel man who as in the banking trade. He had very stale breath and betrayed her.
Ketti was one of the two great loves of my life. The moment I saw her flaxen tresses, and sparkling aqua eyes, her gleaming smile, and her taut breasts, I melted. She sold pastry in her father’s bakery. I was weak from the first time she slipped a sample of gingerbread between my lips. My world was dazzling when we made love. Ketti’s parents were killed during a robbery in their home. Ketti had found them and was certain that God was punishing her for her love of another woman. She vowed to give me up. My tears were nonstop for a very long time. The murderers were never apprehended.
Laura lifted my spirits. A ballroom dancing instructor, she had short, midnight-black hair that was slicked down against her oblong, thin head. Her skin was white, but she spared no rouge and no eye-makeup. Her cherry red lips were puckered into a rosebud when we met. Her gaiety touched me – aroused me. Her thin sorrel eyebrows were comically arched and she lustily moved her stick-thin body with ease and grace. I was quickly replaced and she later died of consumption.
Maureen was a very mannish woman. She enjoyed dressing the part. She was stocky, and dark. Her eyes were coal-black She knew her stuff when it came to women’s bodies. I soon tired of her objections to my reciprocating. She would rather be horse-whipped, she announced. I hated leaving her, for she had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever witnessed, but her conversation was much too tedious for me.
Norma was bright enough. She was also a teacher and she understood the value of intelligence and knowledge. She was rather a novice to the fold, but she was tender and savored love. We had a falling out over Radclyffe Hall’s belief that we are congenital inverts. One of us contended that we were made not born, the other believed we were indeed womb-dyked. I don’t recall which side I was on.
Olive and I met when the war was beginning. She worked in a factory and had never been with a woman, but she wanted to experience Lesbianism. She did everything but throw me on the floor. She had a lovely body.
Petrina was a strange duck. She had a frozen expression and was very beige. Beige skin, hair, eyes…she was the beigest person I’d ever seen. I was captivated by her dry, beige wit. Sex was lousy, mind you, and needed to be begged from her. I think she was delighted when I left, for she called me over-sexed behind my back.
Querida was my Latin lover. With pendulous Latin hips and pressing, great cantaloupe-sized breasts. My heart nearly stopped with passion for her. I had never been so warmed. She had assuredly never worn a training bra and told me she had blossomed by age ten. The flowering continued.
Ronalda was a tiny thing. Coy, she had been insatiable in bed. Her grinding pelvis and her shrieks were testimony to her joy. She was, she claimed, reincarnated from Sappho. Her spiritualist had irrefutable proof of it. Ronalda spent most of her sizable inheritance on astrology charts. When she found out our charts were mismatched, she broke off. I had provided her with Petrina’s birth date.
Sophie was my second and final great love. She was Jewish, with bronze skin that looked to be recently anointed. Her eyes were pewter gray and her beautifully coiffeured chestnut hair shined. When she first grinned teasingly in my direction, I would have followed her forever. I would have. We spend nearly sixteen years together. She died in my arms of cancer. But we had traveled Europe together on half a dozen summer vacations. And we had traveled together.
Trudy believed I was the messenger and repair person for broken wings. My mission was to make her laugh. She drove a delivery truck and drove everyone else crazy. Trudy quickly attached herself to me. She drank a six-pack of beer each night, and pretended she was Chita swinging from jungle branches. She was heavy into fantasy and I refused to wear a loin cloth. The relationship was over, almost the same time it began.
Ursula had a very bad habit of chasing every skirt she saw. She was an activist. She went dancing every night of the week, and sweat poured from her as she twirled on the dance floor. Clearly I bored the devil out of her. She filled her garage with placards for Lesbian Liberation. No More War. I couldn’t have agreed more. And I moved out.
Velma was a much younger woman. She was lovely with her lithe warm body and her glows of youth. She was insistent upon making love. I strongly suspected that she wanted to learn new tricks from an old dog. I could teach her nothing at all, but it was enchanting to try.
Wanda was a the other end of the scale. She was much too old for me. She was ready for the bone orchard and didn’t care who knew it. We got on well for attending concerts and plays and a bit of chat. She would not be called a hot number. Any sex drive that she may have had, was long ago set out with the trash. I wasn’t going through anyone’s coffee grinds to find passion.
Xaviera and I had just retired when we met. Someone to golf with, travel, and the catch-all -share companionship. After one golf game, a trip to Acapulco, and a session of talk, I’d had it. The golf greens were hideous, and Mexico was too hot, she complained. And complained. I wanted to be alone.
Yvonne was great fun. But she died.
And I became feeble. Frail, and I wondered how ever I became this Sapphic relic. Nearly ninety-years old, I mused, and wondered how the years had sped away so rapidly. Women must have worn me out, I guessed. I focused my eyes, for my daydreaming had trailed away. Another old soul was standing in the doorway of my room. I squinted. She was an attractive old bird. “Yes, dear?” I said, greeting her. “You’d like to see me?”
“I’m the new resident,” she explained. “I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. The nurse said that you’re one of the spry old chickens and that I would like you. My name is Zoe….”
A leer replaced hesitation. “Won’t you come in, Zoe. Yes, dear old girl, please do come in.”
Copyright 1989 Kieran York
If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please check out Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.