Lisa, the lesbian


l_1ccce7ed2fadeee0bbecfb04870ab93bThe day I fell in love with Lisa was the day she showed up on my doorstep, unannounced, with three forties of malt liquor and a small gardenia she’d stolen from someone’s front yard.  She pulled an empty bottle from the recycling, rinsed it out and placed the gardenia inside it.

“There,” she said.  “Two of your passions, brought together to live for the next 36 hours.”

Lisa had an old, beat up Volvo that she’d drive us around in, to bridges, beaches, wrecking yards and parks.  She chain-smoked, drank straight from the bottle as she drove, and told me bizarre anecdotes about family members and past lovers.  She drove like a maniac, seeming not to pay attention as she flew along at neck-break speeds down the street, though never hitting anything.  Sometimes, she’d pull up onto the sidewalk and drive there instead.  As pedestrians dove for cover, she laughed her ass off.

In her glove compartment, she kept bubble gum, a vibrator and her prescription pills that we never used properly.  She blew stop signs, ignored traffic lights and speed limits.  She ranted and raved on her phone while shifting gears, eating gummy bears and smoking Lucky Strikes.  For reasons I’ll never understand, the cops never pulled her over.  She was somehow beyond their jurisdiction.

Lisa was always busy with something—an art project, a failing relationship, a double shift at the bar.  Someone was always breaking up, dead, dying or going completely insane.  She was always knee deep in a paperback written by some no-name science fiction author.  She was always tipsy, yet hardly ever drunk.  She never exercised, all she did was eat cheese fries and drink cheap red wine and smoke cigarettes, yet her complexion and body were immaculate.  It took me years to realize that, sometimes, exceptions are made.

When she sat in the park, children and animals flocked to her like she was some kind of Walt Disney heroine.  She was stronger than any man I had ever known.  Had more balls, too.

One day as we laid in a hammock near the beach in Oceanside, she said, “Too bad you’re not a girl, Knox.”  Much as I live and die for just about everything concerning women, well. . . Lisa was the only woman to make me truly wish that I were one myself.

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