Labels, labels, labels

ACCgirl's picture

Is there anything to say? I am on the back porch. My ass, which is in the first place sore from walking the sugar beet fields, is resting agitatedly on the metal bars of my mother’s decorative porch chairs which have been stripped of their cushions. She intends to buy new ones, she tells me, but then never does. Now there are only metal bars and one old beige cushion heaped in the corner of the deck, ravished by small animals looking for home insulation, all its white fluffy guts tumbling out with the breeze.

I am thinking of what it means to be gay – this stream of thought periodically interrupted by gray, furry movements in the garden or the outlandish squawks of nearby blackbirds – and how I am less and less sure about labels as I grow older (yes, to the ripe old age of 19). At fifteen, I thought it was my occupation to go around sticking labels on the world, and there was no better place to stick them than on myself. And now what? I packed my pillow and my blankets and shirts and books and I went to the big city with its hulking university where I fell for a Wisconsin girl who plays brass in the marching band. What does that say? I don’t sit well under the “lesbian” label. I don’t see women walking in the street and find myself pining after their bodies. I don’t know how I feel about the idea of participating in girl-girl sex, or more accurately, I had an aversion to the idea until I met the girl that I’m with now. Now, touch has an electricity it never had before, and if it started to happen one night, if we found ourselves caught up in something, wanting more of each other, I can’t see myself wanting to stop her hands, her lips, her hunger, if it ever came to that. Save for her, I'm not sure I have ever actually been attracted to another girl’s physical body – to the point where I really wanted it. There were girls that captured my affection through their personalities and their dispositions, but there was never a girl whose arms I would’ve felt comfortable in or whose lips wouldn’t cause me to recoil had they been pressed to mine. I had thought about it before—way before I met her—but if it had happened, I think I would have regretted the experience afterward.

I suppose labels stop mattering when you find someone. Your heart is no longer pacing behind advertisement signs to the world, and instead, it rests comfortably in the hand of one particular person. You’re done with the ridiculous struggle of determining what it is, exactly, that you want, because there is someone that takes all of your previous wants and wishes and throws them out the window for time to slide over and forget. You fall in love, and suddenly one girl or boy has the power to give you something that is a million times lovelier than any little fantasy you could have dreamt up.

The wind is distracting me, and I found a bug crawling in my hair. Because I am in many ways a very typical girl and have fulfilled my need for the sun and have been sufficiently disgusted by the various insects that populate the world outside the windows and walls of my empty brown house, I think I’ll go back in. For me, nothing is ever accomplished by thinking like this anyway, and there are so many books to read.