You: hot and confusing and a really decent person, hopefully thriving in 2021
Me: no longer a baby dyke but still occasionally thinking of what might have been in 2010
I’m sorry I chose going to the gym over letting you fuck me in my twin bed at the end of my senior year of college. That sentence sounds so ridiculous when I read it over now, more than ten years later, but let me explain!
I had only just realized I was queer and I was very attracted to you and I was also still dealing with a lot of internalized fatphobia that made going to the gym feel very important and I had signed up for sessions with a trainer as a graduation gift to myself and it just didn’t seem feasible to cancel with such short notice because when you came over to study for our gender studies final I really had no expectation of anything happening at all, because you’d made it clear you were in love with your RA who was cheating on her partner with you sometimes, and also because my best friend had overheard you talking with one of your friends about how desperate I seemed when I texted you too many times in a row while she waited in line for a mediocre omelette at our favorite dining hall, so obviously I had tried to release any hopes and dreams my fragile baby dyke heart had been holding that we may ever make out again like we did at the Gender Bender Ball a couple of months earlier when I complained that no one ever knew I was queer and you smirked and said, “how could they not know,” before pressing me against the wall and putting your mouth on mine, you know? I had been spending a lot of time lying on the floor and listening to Tegan and Sara’s “Call It Off”! I was trying to move on!!!
So when you texted me out of the blue to ask if I could help you study for our exam and suddenly you were in my apartment and my roommate wasn’t home and the light was streaming through the cheap sheer curtains I’d bought at Bed Bath & Beyond and we were sitting kind of close to each other on the uncomfortable lime green futon I’d bought from the knock-off-IKEA furniture store just a few blocks away, I wasn’t thinking, wow it’s a real bummer I have to be at the gym in just a couple of hours, that is NOT enough time to have sex with this girl who I am clearly hung up on, I was more thinking, should I tell her that thinking about her and the night we kissed while watching Sara wrap an array of colorful rainbow telephone calls around Tegan while singing the lyrics ‘Maybe you would have been something I’d be good at,’ is as much a part of my senior year college experience as staying up late to finish my thesis? and the answer seemed pretty clearly uh, no, do not say that you weirdo!!!
Imagine my surprise when, in the middle of studying, you asked to see my bookshelf, and then we were in my bedroom and I looked at the clock and said “wow, I should get ready for the gym,” and then you pushed me onto my bed and suddenly I was not rummaging in my drawers for a clean pair of black spandex leggings but rather I was lying on my back staring up at the super high ceiling, the one redeeming feature of that teeny tiny bedroom, and you were kneeling between my legs and moving my underwear to the side, asking if this was okay, pausing to kiss me hard, telling me to skip the gym.
But I couldn’t! Or I didn’t! I don’t know! I was 21 and very worried about the way my body looked and I liked you so much but maybe that was the problem, I don’t know. Or maybe I just made a dumb decision! Who can say! I made you stop though, that I know for sure, and you laughed and shook your head while I tried to collect myself and fasten my sports bra all at the same time, and then you walked me a few blocks away to my gym and I said, “I hope we can do that again sometime,” and you laughed and nodded, but then you didn’t respond to my texts and I saw on Facebook that you were officially dating your RA and I didn’t want to text you after that because I had some pride, just a little, and we never kissed again.
You messaged me later that summer to apologize for blowing me off and we made fantastical plans that never materialized; we went out for drinks a few years later when I was back in the city and drank too much tequila and flirted and flirted and flirted but we both had girlfriends and when I said, “do you think if we were single we’d be making out right now” you narrowed your eyes and cocked your head like you didn’t know if I was serious and then you said, “if we were single I would’ve taken you home two drinks ago.”
All of that was more than a decade ago. We both have partners now and we don’t really know each other anymore, if we ever did. When my dad died a few months ago you saw on Instagram and you messaged me to say you were sorry, then sent me money so I could buy myself dinner. If we lived in the same place I’d cook you a meal, you wrote. It was really fucking nice, a really decent thing to do. It’s not even that I want you to fuck me anymore — and I certainly don’t want anyone to fuck me on a twin bed ever again. But I wish I’d let it happen that sunny spring day my senior year when I was a baby dyke with a huge open heart and a terrible self image and all the hope and idealism and absurdity that can only live inside a newly out 21 year old queer. Maybe I would have been something you’d be good at.
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