Up until the day I had my oldest child, I lived every day by just winging it. I could leave to go to the store for a gallon of milk and somehow end up four states away and gone for a month. I made no plans and the let the wind blow me where it would. This went on from the time I was fifteen until 2008 when she was born. Instantly, I straightened out and grew roots, gathered dust.
I don’t regret that in any way. Yet, I have so many interesting stories to tell because of the way I used to live my life. This is one of those stories. This is how I met the two girls that I think of as sisters. Keep in mind that none of us are biologically related but you couldn’t tell. We’ve been together for so long that people even say we look alike. As I’m sure Flutterby and Kitty will be mentioned quite a bit, I thought it might be fun to tell their stories.
Oh, and if I wanted to, I could sit down and spin a tale making us all legally related at one point or another- albeit distantly- by unrelated and strange twists of fate.
Now, on with the story!
I had just turned eighteen, still in high school. It was starting to get cold outside and Proxy and I (the girl I was living with at the time) had just had a huge fight. As we argued, driving, we passed a friend of mine, standing on the side of the road.
In a fit of child like rage, I got out of the car at the next stop sign, slammed the door and walked off. My friend was all too happy to see me though he seemed perturbed by my backpack. I lived out of said backpack and he knew it.
Him: What…are you doing?
Me: I’m getting so sick of her shit, man. I’m going to find someplace else to stay.
Me: Hell if I know, I’ll camp if I have to. (Yes, I did things like this.)
Him: Nah, too cold for that, you can live with me.
Now, he and I, like Proxy, had grown up together- since we were the tiniest of street urchins. I knew him to be just as homeless as I was so I was highly confused by this “live with him” business. He had no place to live, after all. It was just the way things were.
Still, I followed him. Now, we’re standing in the middle of town, so it wasn’t as long as a walk as it could have been. He led me to a mobile home I’d never happened to notice before, tucked in behind a house that- I swear to this day- reminds me of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house from the movies. In we went. Inside was a boy I vaguely remembered suddenly vanishing after being hit by a truck. I had honestly thought he was dead. In the kitchen, a girl I’d never met before. This was Flutterby.
“Hey, Flutterby,” he says, “this is Val. She’s going to be staying here.”
My mouth dropped. How rude was that? I don’t know this girl, she doesn’t know me! He doesn’t actually live here, as far as I know and here he is- just waltzing in there- and being *rude*. She looks up at me from whatever it was she was doing (I can’t remember) and shrugs. Then she says,
“you get the couch.”
The next year or so was spent in that two bedroom trailer, within walking distance of school and between four and fifteen people living there with us at any given time. There was whiskey…there were a lot of things and…let’s say that we had plenty of adventures and my more shy side began to die out. Flutterby and I became inseparable. It’s been that way ever since. All of the others, every single one, dropped out in the years after, disappearing, dying, and just drifting away but Flutterby and I remain close. In fact, my first tattoo was a matching one with her to commemorate those years.
Now Kitty…she’s…well, she’s…let’s just say, she’s one of a kind. She is so…one of a kind…that I often warn any girlfriends or new friends of her existence and…let’s say “abstract behavior”, before meeting her. Because, the way I see it, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s almost become a test over the years, survive Kitty without fear or a nervous twitch and you’re in.
I was fully aware at the time that I met Kitty that I was a lesbian. I was a brand new freshman in high school and very, very deep in the closet. Because it was safe there. I was the first person to come out of the closet while still in that devil school, as a homosexual. Why? Because…fuck. That’s why. It was a scary, scary town where I assure you, I was not welcome.
So, one day, shy and quiet and never talking me (so not me now) was sitting in class, minding my own damned business. I believe I was ignoring the teacher in favor of drawing Invader Zim characters on my paper. In fact, I guarantee that’s what I was doing. Said teacher was a strange one. Do you remember watching Men In Black when Will Smith finds out his teacher was an alien? You know how one of your old teachers popped into your mind as a reference? She’s that, for me. This time, she had decided that we should all get to know each other.
This town’s population is slim to none, okay? The majority of us are related. We had five hundred students (fact! I’m not making that up!) in the entire school, four years, five hundred students. No one moves there, no one escapes, that’s how it is. Still, she insisted we play a game.
So, each of us wrote our names, one article of clothing that we were wearing, and something about us no one knew. She then read out everything but our names and had everyone try to guess who was who.
I wasn’t playing. Zim is far more important. I stand by that, to this day. Then I hear,
“I have on tiny cowboy boots, and my mom is….” And the teacher blushed. She had my attention, as it was clearly awkward. I didn’t think she was going to say it. After some prodding from the louder students,
“I have on tiny cowboy boots and my mom is a lesbian.”
“Lesbian” was said like some scandalous secret not to be spoken in good company. My friends gathered around me, snickered. They knew who it was. I had no idea. No one was guessing because, *gasp*, lesbians! No one says “lesbian” in public, my god!
Then she stood up, right beside me. I hadn’t even noticed her. She’s a strange looking girl with a broad nose and huge lips and stands about five foot three. Her hair is blonde, her eyes kind of yellow (I swear) and her skin is always really tan. She sure enough had on what can only be described as “tiny cowboy boots”. She then raised her hand as everyone turned to stare at her, gawking, and in the most something-anonymous voice you ever heard, said, “hello, my name is Kitty and my mom is a lesbian.”
I imagine that, to this day, I’ve never met anyone else with such an accurate gaydar. She immediately looked me dead in the eyes and grinned.
Best friends, ever since.
Whereas Flutterby tends to me the Romey to my Michelle, Kitty is the Shawn to my Corey. Cheers.