Once upon a time, I dated one of those girls that *everyone* wanted. For the purpose of this article, let’s call her Sasha.*
Sasha wasn’t classically beautiful but she radiated a hypersexual prowess that made women feel inclined to take their clothes off when in her presence. She embodied what I like to call “vagina first” energy; meaning she led with her crotch when she walked, thus her vagina entered the room before she did. She didn’t look into your eyes when you spoke, she gazed directly at your lips—a highly advanced seduction move, only *the real* agent provocateurs are privy too.
Sasha was just my type; I always go after the ones with sex appeal. My current girlfriend has legs so long she looks like she’s wearing stilts and she rocks skin-tight leather pants every single day. I can’t help myself. I was born a horny lesbian.
The only difference is, back in the day, when I was dating Ms. Sasha, I was a savagely jealous lesbian. I was so new to the lez world, that I didn’t know how to gracefully handle myself. After all, I had spent an entire adolescence dating boys whom I had shared zero sexual connection with. I had spent two epically long decades stuffing my Sapphic desires deep down inside of myself, that by the time I set them free and began dating women, I was like a sugar-deprived kid set loose inside of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It was overwhelming. It was intense. It was wicked fun.
But deep down inside, I was secretly terrified that someone was going to creep in and snatch it all away from me and I would have to crawl back into the dark, sexless closet I had spent the past two decades suffering in.
We used to go to dingy little suburban gay clubs back in those days. At 105 pounds, I couldn’t hold my booze very well, but that didn’t stop me from trying. One night, Sasha and I went to our local gay bar for a big holiday blowout. Sasha was wearing her classic distressed black skinny jeans and a black velvet blazer. I was wearing my notorious Selena style cut-out onesie and had adhered big spidery lashes to my eyes. My body was buzzing with Champagne. Everything felt exactly the way it was supposed to feel. Until it all erupted into deadly flames, that is.
The moment we set foot in the bar, my girl alarms went off. I could feel that trouble was lurking somewhere in the room. Of course, I didn’t listen to my razor-sharp instincts. I ignored them as I did for the entirety of my 20s and I ordered an $18 glass of Champagne instead (a metaphor for my life).
Three glasses of Champagne and approximately two thousand and some cigarettes later, I realized that I had lost Sasha. “Where’s my girlfriend?” I slurred to the bitchy gay boy I had been passionately discussing designer handbags with.
The bitchy gay chuckled and flicked his cigarette into the nighttime air. “She’s talking to Frances,” he crooned, slugging back his drink.
Oh hell no, I thought to myself. I stomped over to the bar. Frances was the notoriously aggressive lesbian who hits on everyone and has zero concept of boundaries.
She flirtatiously commented on every single Facebook picture Sasha uploaded. It was always a “hey cutie” or that pathetic yellow-faced emoji with the hearts for eyes. In person, she always loudly ignored me, yet made a big, dramatic show of bestowing Sasha with a laundry list of ass-kissy compliments.
“Darling, you look gorgeous! You’re so sexy! Look at your style!” she would always squeal in her faux European accent the moment she laid her keen eyes on Sasha. My jaw would immediately turn to brick and my eyes would shoot proverbial daggers right into her chest, but I would stay quiet. Why? Because I was 21-years old and new to the scene, that’s why.
Frances was 30. Frances had been queen of the dyke scene for a decade. Frances knew exactly how to intimidate a young scrawny thing like me, and that was to completely disregard my presence. Look right through me as if I wasn’t a person, but rather… air. Dead space. Transparent. In-f*cking-visible.
This particular night, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t having it. Maybe it was the Champagne. I love to blame Champagne for all of my problems, but babe. This time it was something ~deeper~ than mere alcoholic bubbles swishing through my system. Something had snapped. Every girl is a nice girl who knows how to keep her lips neatly sealed shut until… she isn’t. You can only push a woman so far. Have you seen the show “Women Who Kill” on A & E? I rest my case.
I strode up to the bar this night with a confidence I hadn’t ever accessed until that very moment. I took a deep breath.
“Hey Frances,” I said evenly (never trust a woman who says anything evenly. She’s got a war raging inside of her).
Frances, true to form, ignored me. She was staring so intensely into my girlfriend’s eyes I thought her body was going to burst into flames.
“HEY FRANCES!” I bellowed this time, so loudly that half the bar turned and looked in my direction. Sasha scooted out of her chair and threw her arm around me in solidarity.
“Oh, is this your little girlfriend, Sash?” she purred, batting her mega lashes seductively. “She’s cute. A little young, no?”
Before Sasha had a second to open her mouth, I went in for the kill. “Listen bitch,” I whispered between clenched teeth. “BACK. THE. F*CK. OFF,” I suddenly shouted. I crazily smiled at her, probably looking and definitely feeling like a complete psychopath as I continued.”You always ignore me and you know exactly who I am, you always hit on my goddamn girlfriend and you like all of her goddam Facebook pictures and you have ZERO RESPECT for anybody. F*ck you, you washed up piece of shit!” I was screaming now. I noticed a small crowd of underage baby dykes had formed in a circle around us. I may or may not have bared my teeth at them.
You know when you catch yourself acting deranged but you just can’t stop yourself? It’s almost spiritual. It’s as if an otherworldly entity has jumped into your bones and you are channelling the demon herself.
I ascended out of my body and watched myself from the rafters. I picked up a stranger’s tumbler glass of whiskey and tossed it right into Frances’s face. Everything went into slow motion after that. The glass hitting the floor. Crash. Sasha’s jaw slowly dropping in horror. Boom. Security coming and whisking me out the door as I continued to yell profanities in Frances’s face. Pow.
Once the massive security guard got me outside and my feet landed on the cold concrete, I felt both literally and figuratively pulled back to earth. It felt like I was waking up from a deep sleep and couldn’t tell if the last several minutes had been a dream or reality.
“Holyshit, was that me?” I asked the security guard, incredulous.
“Yup,” he answered, grinning.
“Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.” I nervously fished inside my handbag for a cigarette. I pulled out a crumpled pack of Marlboros and lit up. “I’m the crazy jealous lesbian. I’m the deranged dyke your mother warns you about. This. Is. Bad.” I felt the sting of tears begin to bleed into my eyeballs.
Sasha came running out. “What the hell was that? I’ve known Frances for ten years! That was insane. Seriously. You could have hurt her! That was violent, Zara!”
Never did I expect to hear my name in the same sentence as violent, but alas, life has a funny way of taking bizarre turns in directions you don’t expect. I hung my head in shame. “I know. I’m sorry. I understand if you don’t want to be with me anymore.” I felt a fat tear run down my face. I watched it SPLAT onto the pavement.
“I don’t know. That was really weird,” Sasha said.
Two days later, I booked my first therapy appointment. I knew that I had this dark, jealous person inside of me and that she would only grow more deranged if I continued to ignore her. I knew I had to unpack my demons from the safety of a therapist’s chair before I threw another drink in another lesbian beauty queen’s face.
And I did.
I learned where this bizarro version of myself actually comes from. Over the course of the next few years, I investigated all of the sneaky little traumas I had experienced yet never dealt with. I realized that they were beginning to manifest into destructive behavior and I had to stop ignoring them.
So while I’m not proud of my tantrum at that bar, in a way, I’m grateful for it. For it made me realize that sometimes you need to let yourself have a moment of unabashed rage and honesty, in order to unearth the truth. Sometimes you need to be escorted out of a small town gay bar by a massive security guard and thrown out on the street to realize how deeply rooted your issues are and how badly you need to see a shrink.
So baby girls, don’t let the shame of your mistakes, your screw ups, your bar-side tantrums eat you alive. In fact, be done with shame, if you can. Shame is a useless emotion (as is guilt). Peel your humiliated body off the ground, gaze into your gorgeous reflection and thank yourself for making such a dire mistake. Because only those who are truly alive royally f*ck up. And you might be imperfect, but baby, at least you’re alive.
Now go and book that shrink appointment and learn to channel your crazy passionate jealousy into mind-blowing art.