Aug 16, 2008

Across from Absinthe, down in Hayes Valley, there's a trendy restaurant with a piano man, a polished bar, a black TV, seabass for $27, and a dozen tables. The woman next to me doesn't like a man playing the piano and a TV playing a football game. A restaurant is either one or the other, she's saying. Not both. I don't reply; frankly, I'd rather watch the game.

This is a birthday party but she doesn't want to talk about that birthday person, she wants to say that "the trouble with people these days is they all want to be 'special' but they don't want to take responsibility for the need of other people to be special." And then she goes on about her kids, how they want to be special. And of course you think, 'but where did they get that from? How could that be unless you didn't give them that long ago? And no doubt you didn't get enough of that yourself along the way, so now you're neurotic, you're absolutely undone by the fear that everyone is special except you.'

I'm listening. Her hair is the length of Marines three months out of basic training. She's a trial attorney, lives in Berkeley, has two sons, the husband, the big house, the extended vacations, and the good works, don't forget that — the runs, the benefits, charity of it all.

As she's talking to me I am imagining that she is a woman who, although married, prefers the less abrasive masculinity of other women. And her in her fantasy she finds a femme, a happy submissive in pants, whom she throws up against the wall and does.

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