A Web Portal For Lesbians Of Color

Poetry & Short Stories

What Is Love?
By: Cass

I thought I knew what "in" love was. Or at least thought I knew what it looked like when I saw it headed my way. Typically (back in nineteen seventy-eight) it was tall, black and hopefully had a beard.  It was male. I remember the day it stopped being any of those things.

One morning out of the corner of my eye, minding my own business.  Hating my job and life in general.. I caught sight of this creature. I turned to see what it was and from a distance I saw nothing but blonde hair. Which is what I named it. "Oh blonde hair."  Well, "blonde hair" saw me see her. And I ended that first glance with; "humph now I wonder who that is getting ready to bug me about this damn job". I mumbled on for a few minutes. And forgot about her. Over the next few days she passed closer and closer to my area. I finally asked someone. Who is "blonde hair"? Well blonde hair was a timestudy engineer.

"Oh!! that's what that's about. She's going to time my job". That's this feeling of prey in waiting I have. (I thought). Finally she approached. That is when the music started. From the moment she opened her mouth. I was chocolate pudding.

I was set to give her my old blue collar to management, chilly, flip, kiss my ass, I am a black woman attitude... And she said "Hi are you working to a standard"? Well that was wrong... she was suppose to say.. "Get ready; I'm gonna time this job"!! I must have repeated her words in my head fifty times for the rest of the day til finally I asked myself "What the f**k I was doing that for. And my intimidating reply? "No"?

This was a damn barbie doll. I even fussed at her about her blonde hair, letting her know I thought she had too much... hoping she would walk away. She made me shake. Next day she came back with it cut. I tripped, and stumbled over and into everything in my work area. If it was Angela Davis, or Nikki Giovanni, or even the sista that worked across from me I could relate to what this might be.  Sistas!!  I had no clue.

Over the course of a year this lovely woman changed my life. She tended to my soul. Before we met, I was depressed, hated my job. Late everyday. Absent at least once, or twice a week. Forty lbs over weight, and driving like a maniac every time I got behind the wheel. We talked everyday. And would get to work about the same time and walk in together...  And every morning she would come to my area to start her day... I was drawn to her like a magnet. And she never moved away.

I quit smoking, and snorting, everything, and began stopping at every stop sign. I changed inside and out. I hung on her every word. I gave up trying to figure out who or what she was. The change became so drastic... I was in love. I glowed. I floated. I embraced. And men flocked. They asked me out in droves. Black, white, chicano asian.. I was afraid I was giving off a scent or something. And probably was. I began dating alot. But wasn't sexually active at all. I didn't know then but I know now. She probably didn't like that. She could see guys coming into my work area, and we had a huge passive aggressive, non-verbal fight that hurt to the core. But daaamn I just didn't know what to do.

She was married.... And said "maybe some other time", when I finally got up enough nerve. to ask her for coffee. Earlier when she asked me I said I was kinda busy. It was for the best. I had to put these feelings into something.. So I got married, bought a house, and had two beautiful children. I remember after not seeing her for a while she came to me one day and asked what was up? I told her. And she grabbed my arm to steady herself. I knew the feeling. My company offered a salary job to me. But I just don't like that kind of atmosphere. I am an artist. I could not have taken those cubicles. If she had asked me. You know I would have. 

I would see her at work from time to time. And that was all I needed. I did need that to keep breathing. I later transferred departments. My last day in the department I asked her after a year of this. I looked her straight in the eye and asked .."who are you"?... "what was this"? She looked as if she was going to tell me and these guys!!!! came walking up and she walked away saying.. "Its been real Boz".

Whaaaat!!!??? its been real.??? what's been real?????

I never told her how I felt in words. She never told me. I have seen her once in 20 yrs.. She quit a couple of years later, and is a professor at a local college here. I still think of her and wonder if I should ever make that call. I don't think it's necessary tho'. I have been divorced for over ten years now. No surprise there, And have had only one relationship since with a very nice sista. But I know what "in" love is. I have been recently reminded. I want the lady l love now to be chocolate pudding. I like feeling like a swan.

Cass -- 2001