I was amazed it was that easy. Some of my frigid feelings for Blanche warmed because she had included me in this. I suppose I was just jealous of her, and of the changes she seemed to be inspiring in Alice. But this change was one I could live with, for sure. We had gotten there at what I thought was a late time, but it seemed like gays had a relative sense of fashionably late. The party was sparse and I felt shame for dragging everyone here. I saw Blanche and Alice at the bar, rolling their eyes and looking too good for everyone. Marcus and Ellen were arguing dramatically about some photographer who Marcus hated but Ellen adored, and Jess looked like she was concentrating really hard on standing upright. I sighed and looked around again, trying to scope out some potential test subjects for lesbian studies 101. I spotted a few overweight girls in cargo pants in one corner, and a few groomed boys in another. There was a third group of androgynous types, girls and boys with short hair and flat chests under wife beaters. I knew the term transgender from psych class, and I thought maybe they were, which confused me further. If they had girl parts, would I like them or would they like boys? I really didn’t get it. Were they gay men or straight men or lesbians? I needed a drink. I walked to the bar, waving at Blanche and Alice as I neared. I ordered a gin and tonic, and let the bubbles soothe my confused mind. Some of the androgynous ones were pretty cute, but I couldn’t will myself to go over and say hi. At least not til I was solidly drunk. I gulped my drink, overhearing Blanche and Alice’s idle chatter. I guess she needed someone to have girl talk with, and I was sure as hell glad it wasn’t me. Blanche’s femininity was something I didn’t have and didn’t want. I finished my drink, and felt the alcohol seep through my veins into my extremities. I pulled Marcus aside and asked him what I should do.
“Wait til it picks up.” he suggested. “Then go talk to someone.”
“Okay, okay.” I eyed the line of people filtering in, and saw a few more cute girls. It was weird to be able to check out girls without worrying if they were straight. I’m sure a few here were, like Blanche or Alice, but for the most part I felt confident that I could hit on any of them without creeping someone out. It felt good. I turned to Ellen, emboldened by my last drink, and asked her to dance.
“”Finally.” She said breathily, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask.” That struck me as a little cliché, her bad girl act was hitting one note over and over. But if I danced with her, I knew I’d send out a flag that I was into girls to the whole room. So I let her pull me on the floor, and we awkwardly placed our hands on each other’s waists. I’d only danced with a few boys, back in junior high, or danced crazy with Alice, so I was at a loss of how to sexy dance. I just followed her hip movements, swinging mine back and forth in time to the music. She smelled like shampoo, the scent wafting whenever she moved her long brown hair. I leaned closer to her, moving my hands to her lower back. It felt so natural to feel these curves like this, her breasts pushing against mine causing a heat wave to my nether regions. After the song ended, she fanned her face dramatically and said she needed a drink. We walked over to the bar, and I got two vodka tonics. I leaned back and surveyed the room again. It had gotten more crowded and I saw some girls who looked kind of like me, boyish but a little feminine. I turned to Ellen and asked if she knew anyone here.
“Um, some of those girls were in my classes.” she pointed to a group. “And that girl is a radio station DJ.” she indicated with her chin to a particularly cute girl with cropped blonde hair and almond eyes.
“Can I meet her?” I asked.
“Sure.” Ellen grabbed my hand and led me over.
“Carmen, this is Kate, she’s a recently out frosh.” I cringed at those terms in paring. Out of what? I knew she meant the closet, but I felt like I was out of my element more.
“Nice. I’m Carmen. I’m a sophomore.” she smiled at me, and I noticed exactly how cute she was. She was tall, and I normally didn’t like tall girls, but she was like a model, all thin limbs and graceful energy.
“Let’s dance, ladies.” she suggested, pointing to her friends who were already getting down to some hip hop song.
I trailed the two onto the dance floor, and felt my nerves buzz with anticipation. I was meeting real lesbians. Jesus Christ.