The True Colors Tour

The Next Family

By: Tanya Dodd-Hise

We soon found ourselves, our small group of friends, together once again for a summer concert – the same that we had attended the previous summer and where I had first met Erikka.  It was hot, and we had lawn seats; we threw blankets on the ground and I dressed in as little as possible.  Erikka was there again, husband in tow, but this time I wasn’t too loud and she didn’t seem weird or too quiet.  I was very happy to see her again, and still very unsure about the attraction that I was feeling towards her.  But she made me smile, especially when she glanced at me without saying a word, but just looking at me with a shy, sheepish grin that melted my butter.  This year’s True Colors concert was very different; and I was different, more confident in myself.  There was heat in the air (and I don’t mean the temperature or weather) –this time it was US.  An electricity was there, a combination of being in an open arena with thousands of openly (and probably many not-so-openly) gay and lesbian people, as well as the excitement of having another woman look at me with something in her eyes that said she might be interested in me.  I hadn’t had anyone look at me like that in a very long time, and I kept thinking to myself that I was imagining it, because there was no way that this intelligent and very good-looking woman could be the least bit even curious about me.  Nevertheless, it DID seem that whenever her husband was off in line for concessions or to the restrooms, we chatted more, laughed more, and had just a generally relaxed, good time.  There was flirting between us, even if only she and I knew that’s what it was.  I wanted to remember every moment of the day, and I was thankful that it was a long, drawn-out concert with many bands, because that meant that I would be there with her even longer – even if I DID have to be careful of what I said and did.  When it was over, I left thinking, “What am I doing?  She is married!  But wait.  She was flirting with ME!  WHY is she flirting with ME?  She is married!”

Over the next few days I would replay the concert over and over in my head.  What had happened that had been so pivotal between us?  Was it the last party that Holly had at her house?  Was it the last game night, where her beautiful eyes had become so crystal clear in my vision and memory?  When had we crossed the line between a new friendship and the beginnings of a flirtatious tryst that was sure to happen if we didn’t do something to stop it?  I felt like I had the two little characters sitting on my shoulders that represented my conscious – good and evil.  The evil little devil would sit, whispering into my ear, and tell me about how nice it was to have this hot, redheaded chick flirting with me, and how it was alright since she was in an unhappy marriage to someone who didn’t appreciate her (like I surely would).  Then the little angel would sit, whispering into my other ear, about how I could never be the cause of a marriage falling apart, no matter how good or bad it might be.  This one would tell me that although I was a single woman, I had vowed to not date women ever again.  This was the voice that reminded me of all of the hail storms that I had experienced the other TWO times that I had attempted to come out –the isolation from family and friends and the loss of many of the same.  Was I willing to go through all of that again?  I didn’t know.  I was so unsure of so much, but I was very sure of one thing:  that I couldn’t take the flirting beyond what it was, especially with someone who wasn’t free to explore these things.  As much as I wanted to see where things would go with her, I didn’t know how that could ever happen, which led me to wonder…why.  Why would I even develop feelings for someone with whom I could not ultimately try to form a relationship?  I knew as well as she did that she was in no position to leave her marriage nor had plans to, and ultimately decided that the flirting would be only just that.  I had no idea at the time how wrong I was, or how different things would be in just a little over a month.

That was June.

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{Photo Credit: jimdavidson]

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