There was this girl with long, wavy hair. Her face was kind and she wore a stunning, tight tank top, slightly see-through, revealing a dark bra. She was beautiful.
She had a booth at the Ateneo bazaar yesterday, selling shirts and handbags.
I couldn't resist seeing her up close, so I took a look at the stuff she was selling. I took my time, asking questions slowly, like dunking a tea bag into my cupful of hot water one lazy afternoon. Do you make these? Pause. Look at a bag. Do you have any other designs? Pause. Pretend to be mulling over something. How much if I buy five bags? Pause. Change topic. Do you have a store? Pause. Then I slip a personal question. Are you an Atenean? Pause. Do you have a mirror? I want to see how this bag looks. Pause. Can I see that bag down there, by the chair?
She turned around, looking for where I was pointing.
Her hair moved slowly, swinging like a mist of rain. Her body flexed and her shirt shifted, revealing the skin above the waist of her jeans.
You look familiar, she said to me, handing me the bag.
I know, I exclaimed. You remind me of a friend. You could be her sister.
At that moment, we were officially acquaintances. Her cell phone rang and she answered it. Excuse me, she said, turning her eyes away. I took her in, head to toe. Perfect. I wonder how it feels to be with her.
There you are!--a voice from behind me.
It was my date for the day. I was trying to shake him off, because I wanted to look around. So many pretty girls here.
I'm not yet done, I said in the girliest voice I can make. I gave him a peck and squeezed his hand. Can you please go around for a few more minutes while I shop?
He agreed and wandered off. I'm so mean. Poor boy. I needed a ride to Ateneo from Makati, and back, of course. I may have to kiss him tonight, maybe even wrestle a bit. Nothing more. He's a nice boy, but no tingles, you see.
Sorry about that, she said. Oh, no problem, I said. Is your sister P---?
Yes, she is, she said. Her eyes lighted up, confirming a connection.
But usually, that's as far as it goes. We may become good friends, trading kwentos about boyfriends and dates and clothes and families and magazine articles. It's hard to find women who are looking for women.
I don't like hanging out in dyke clubs, because they're all so aggressive and smelly, with all that cigarette smoke and beer. I prefer bi groups. At least they're kinda normal.
This girl in front of me feels like a girl. I feel like a girl. Women are so lovely. This is what straight women will never understand. It is like returning to that mirror stage in our life, where the world is part and parcel of yourself. Being a bi, a lesbian, allows me to indulge that. As I touch a woman's body, it's as if I'm touching myself. And it all is like that.
Say hi to her for me, I said, nearing my closing statements. Then I took a dare--
Um, I'm going to look for something to eat. Do you want to join me?
For a moment, I saw that look in her eyes. That awkwardness of being surprised, hiya, and confusion. Then it changed quickly.
She turned to her partner--I'll just take a break, ok? Her partner nodded and smiled.
Ok, let's go, she said. Let's get a drink first.
Yes, yes, yes, I said inside. In my head, I imagined my date getting slightly pissed at having to look for me. Happily, my new friend and I joined the milling bazaar crowd. Damn the world--I smiled.