Dyke or Queen Choice for Halloweenbyandtheend©
Audrey used the cover of Halloween to step out of the closet.
Audrey sat on her bed staring at her reflection in the mirror and not liking what she saw. She didn't like herself very much. Always the odd one out, an outsider looking in, she envied the perception of happiness she imagined everyone else enjoyed but her. She was so depressingly sad. Even though she was born in this small town, paranoid that too many people talked about her behind her back, she never felt she fit in anywhere here.
Labeled and prejudiced against from the start, it was obvious she'd never be accepted for who she was or even given the chance to redeem herself from their unfair off-the-cuff assessments of how others perceived her. People who didn't even know her, thought they knew enough about her not to like her, to hate her even. She didn't understand how the townsfolk could label her?
Unless they were just afraid of what she was and who she was, maybe fearing that she may turn their children that way, her way, too, she didn't understand. Maybe because they feared her is why they were they prejudiced against her? Maybe their fear is why they hated her. Yet, as troubling as it was startling, how could they know what she was, when she didn't know what or even who she was herself?
If this is how she'd have to spend the rest of her life, then she hated her life. She hated herself for not being brave enough to confront her fears, to accept herself for who she was, and get on with her life. She didn't understand why the opinion of others mattered so much to her. She wished she had never been born. She wished she were dead.
She had been crying for three days over what she was about to do or not do. On one hand she didn't care what people thought of her because she was hurt and angry. On the other hand she cared a lot what people thought of her because she wanted to be accepted and loved. Going back and forth, she had been down this road many times before. What should be a happy time in her life being young, single, and free from a willful man and demanding children was pure, unadulterated misery. In reality, as she would learn in time and with maturity, she should have a problem.
"They're just jealous of you because you're pretty," said her sister, Camille, who was just as pretty as Audrey.
They all liked Camille. She fit in this small town because she was the town beauty queen, even though she hadn't competed and won a beauty contest in ten years. The townsfolk didn't like to take someone out of category, once placing them in one.
"You let me know if anyone gives you a hard time and I'll straighten them out," said her big brother, Henry.
They all liked Henry. He fit in this small town because he was the football star, even though he hadn't thrown a football in ten years. He'd always be their football star at the diner, at the bar, at the Post Office, and at the gas station.
Only, that was ten years ago, when she was a kid was when they labeled her sister a beauty queen, her brother a football star, and her a lesbian. Now, a grown woman and still struggling with the same internal monologue and fighting the same perceived demons, nothing has changed and everything is the same. Without her sister standing by her side and without her big brother ready to take to task anyone who calls her a name, she fights her own battles now, but this battle baffled her, just as much now as it did before.
Much in the way that her choices mirrored her life, split down the middle, she had purposely put out two costumes for the Halloween party that she was invited to again this year. With not much to do on a Saturday night in dullsville, except for bellying up to the bar and watching a flick at the cinema, the town closed promptly at 6pm. There was always the mall, but that was a drive away. If she had someone in her life, she could spend some quality time commiserating her miserable life with her, but she didn't. Yeah, sure, she had friends, lots of friends, but now all of her friends were married with children. Those friends kept her away from their husbands, while her other friends looked at her with a queer eye. Alone with her bad self, she only wished she had romance in her life and someone to talk to, someone who was much like her, but she didn't.
Her chosen Halloween costumes have been hanging there for weeks and each day that passes brings her no closer too making a decision which one to wear. Now the Halloween party looms larger in her mind, as if it's a monster ready to eat her, especially if she makes the wrong choice and the incorrect decision, she had a foreboding sense of panic.
If anything, with both Halloween costumes filling her mind with dread, instead of with thoughts of having a good time, even though most of the town would be in attendance, she's been contemplating staying home again this year, as she did last year and the year before. Just as she'd be going to the Halloween party alone, again, she didn't want to go as a single, when most went to the party as a couple. As she always did in the past, she'd end up drinking more than she should and dancing with men she hated and who were intent on feeling her up on the dance floor. Then, as soon as she was drunk, they'd try to get alone her outside and around back, and she'd be fighting them off in a wrestling match of inappropriate sexual behavior. Nothing changes in this small town, everything stays the same. It's a twilight zone of never ending.
As if the costumes were her final decision for her chosen lifestyle and the future of her sexual orientation, it was a real dilemma and a more difficult decision than she's faced any time in her 25-year-old life. Should she go to the dance as a princess, a queen, and wear her sister's beauty contestant gown, sash, and crown with spiked high heels or should she wear her brother's clothes a flannel shirt, jeans, and a baseball cap with shit kicker boots, and go as a trucker, a lesbian and a butch dyke? For sure, they'd laugh at her and make comments behind her back, if she dressed in her sister's clothes. For sure, they'd call her a butch dyke and laugh behind her back, if she dressed as her brother. No matter how she dressed and which costume she wore, they'd laugh at her.
Needing to be so defined and put in a box, the town's chosen category that gave the townsfolk comfort to make them think they knew who you were and what you were, everyone had an identity here. Only, she hated the label given to her by default because she was too afraid and too stubborn to set them straight by making a stand. Something she couldn't do, how could she set them straight when she didn't even know the path she'd take through life?
"Have you decided which you're going to go to the Halloween costume party, as a beauty contestant or a trucker," said her sister, Camille, when they saw one another at the grocery store.
"No, I haven't decided, yet. I may not even go," she said feeling sorry for herself.
"It would do you good to go. You keep to yourself too much. How are you going to meet someone, if you don't mingle?"
"I know. You're right. I'll probably wear your dress, if you don't mind."
"That's great. I don't mind. It's just collecting dust in my closet anyway," said Camille giving her sister a smile and a hug.
With no wiggle room in the middle, she was pressuring herself to make a stand. Would she be happier continuing and pretending that she liked men? Or would she be happier to finally give in to her feelings, wants, and needs to have a woman in her life? Even though she's never been with a woman, she knew she'd prefer being with women in the way she hated being with men.
Why was she doing this? Why must she decide right here and right now? Why not just wear her sister's damn dress, go to the party, and have a good time like everyone else? Why must she make such a fuss and a drama out of it and out of everything she does? Why? Why? Why? They were all simple questions, but questions she truly didn't have the answers.
With the Halloween party only a day away, the next day, when she bumped into her brother coming out of the hardware store, as she was going in, he asked the same question her sister did the day before. Why is her private life on everyone's mind the topic of discussion?
"Have you decided, which you're going to go to the Halloween costume party as, a trucker or a beauty queen," said her brother, Henry.
"No, I haven't decided, yet. I may not even go," she said feeling sorry for herself.
"You should go to the Halloween party this year, Audrey. You'll have a good time, no matter which costume you wear. It's just a costume. It doesn't define who you are. If you can't decide, don't even wear a costume. Some folks don't bother with costumes and just go to the party to have a good time. Besides, you might meet someone nice."
Someone nice, huh? There isn't anyone in this town that's nice enough to meet and that she doesn't already know or who's already place in a category in the way they placed her and everyone in one. Yet, every year townsfolk invite others from different counties, cousin and friends, cousins of friends and friends of cousins. It's the one day of the year that the town opens its doors and welcomes outsiders.
"I know. You're right. I'll probably go as the trucker," she said giving a sad smile to her brother.
"That's great," he said giving his sister a smile and a hug. "Whatever you decide is okay."
Without a word of encouragement from herself, without trying to change her internal monologue from negative to positive, she was in a deep funk. She had a lot of words for herself and none of them were flattering. Words used to describe her behind her back and names she's been called to her face from junior high, to high school, and even whispered about at dormitory keg parties, she was tired of hiding who she really was, a lesbian. Even though she hasn't so much as kissed a woman, felt a tit, or licked a pussy, she was afraid to accept and embrace who she really was.
"Help! Help, help! Somebody help me. Someone throw me a lifeline. I'm drowning in my life of indecision and unhappy misery because I'm afraid to show everyone who I really am. I don't want to prove them right, after they labeled me before I even labeled myself. How did they all know what I was before I did and who I was before I knew?"
If she went to the dance, except for Mary Ellen, she'd be the only lesbian there in town. She really liked Mary Ellen. Only, she didn't know if Mary Ellen liked her. Afraid to approach her, afraid to ask her the question, she didn't even know if Mary Ellen was lesbian.
She suspected she was lesbian, in the same way that everyone in town suspected that she was lesbian, too. Once you're past the age of 18-years-old and not pregnant, married, or don't even have a boyfriend, everyone thinks you're a lesbian or stuck up, too good to hitch your wagon to one of the boys in town. She figured they all gave Mary Ellen the benefit of the doubt and thought, no doubt, that she was a goody-two-shoes and stuck up, while they all thought differently about her and that she was just a lesbian.
The question still baffled her? Ready to define her, to put her in a category, how could they all know what she was, when she didn't even know herself? If she was anything, she was confused and curious, maybe. If she was anything, she was a good person. If she was anything, she was lonely, but afraid to love someone who didn't have a penis but, instead, was just like herself, a woman. If she was anything, she was sad and so tired of everyone interfering in the way she wanted to live her life. She wished everyone would just leave her alone.
The choice of which costume to wear and who to go to the Halloween party with was already decided in her mind. Even though it was an easy choice for her to make, it was a difficult decision to follow through with it. If it was up to her, without doubt, just to stop the speculation and just to annoy all those who had things to say about her, she'd go as the trucker resplendent with a dirty baseball cap and a CB antenna sticking out of her ass.
"Ten-four good buddy, how's it looking over your shoulder?"
Yet, why was she doing this? Why was she using this Halloween party as her platform, her private soapbox, and her center stage to make her own personal statement a public one by stepping out of the closet and waving her lesbian flag of sexual orientation in everyone's face at the Halloween party? She knew the whole town would be there, just as she knew they'd be talking about her the next day at the coffee shop, the gas station, the Post Office, and the grocery store. There'd be no place she could go in town where people wouldn't be talking about her, laughing at her, and shunning her. Maybe that's why. Maybe that's what she wanted to be ostracized, her way to finally be left the fuck alone.
"I'm a lesbian. Scram, before I turn you into a lesbian, too."
She couldn't help but feel a little like Sissy Spacek, when she played Carrie White, in Stephen King's Carrie. Instead of dumping pig's blood on her head, the looks she'd received from some would surely hurt just as much. Yet, why did she care what other people thought about her? This is her life. She only has the one life to live. She's an adult. It's no one's business how she chooses to live it, just as it's none of her business how they live their lives.
Now, at least glad that she survived her suicide attempt, so far beyond that dire level of fatal depression, the scar she hid wearing big bracelets and long sleeves didn't show or hurt as much as the scars she still silently kept hidden inside. They were the real festering blisters that never fully healed. Even after all the therapy she received, the doctor's words were all just a bandage that allowed her to fit in with the norm and, placating her true emotions, just covered how she truly felt. Because she told him what he needed to hear to release her from the court ordered 30 day observation and avoid a longer hospital stay, she was still angry, lonely, and confused. She wished she had someone in her life to love and be loved. She longed for someone to stroke her hair and comfort her in the way that she needed to be stroked and comforted and in the way that only a woman can.
Suddenly excited by the thought of Thelma and Louise running away from all that was expected of them, she wished she could just run away, too, and leave this small town behind, but where would she go? Even if she did flee from here, she'd still have the same unresolved issues somewhere else. At least here, she had the support of her family and friends. Even though she found herself on unfamiliar territory trying to decided if she wanted to live her life as a lesbian woman or alone, unhappy, and unfulfilled, at least here, it was a familiar place with familiar faces and with everyone already sorted in categories, there were no surprises.
It was her brother's clothes that maintained her focus and that truly identified who she was, more so than her sister's gown, sash, and crown with spiked high heels. Against everything she was, the thought of wearing her sister's gown and parading around all night, as if she was some prom queen, made her skin crawl. An affront to her sexuality, an insult to who she truly was, she wasn't like that, soft, feminine, phony, and sexy. Besides, there was no way she could walk on spiked high heels without looking bowlegged and clumsy.
Never able to make others believe she was who she wasn't, tired of lying to herself for the sake of others, she couldn't pretend anymore. She couldn't wear that damn, ugly dress. Just the thought of having to shave her legs, trim her pussy, and shave her underarms made her want to vomit.
According to the men she knew, there was nothing feminine or sexy about her. Able to throw back just as many beers, in the way she walked and in the way she talked, they more treated her as one of them, and as one of the guys. That is, until when they were drunk and found themselves alone with her and realized she was a woman with tits, an ass, and a pussy. Always it was the same wrestling matched. They tried to grope her and a few tried to rape her, fruitlessly justifying their sexual assault by telling her that having sex with them was for her own good and would make her want a man, instead of a woman.
"Get off me, Bill or I swear, I'll sock you one."
"Maybe if you had a man to love you, maybe if you felt a stiff cock in your mouth or buried in your pussy, you wouldn't want to be with a woman."
"If I had your small dick in my mouth, I'd bite it off and if I had your limp dick in my pussy, you'd convince me to be a lesbian."
"Fuck you, you frigid bitch," he said stuffing his cock back in his pants, while she put her tits back in her bra and buttoned her blouse.
For sure, having sex with one of them would make her a lesbian. It was always like that for her, always being disrespected, mauled, and being practically raped. Maybe because she was pretty and had big tits, the men wanted her. A waste of good pussy, pretty women with sexy bodies aren't supposed to be lesbians. Maybe because they couldn't have her was the reason why they all wanted her so much. Maybe just like Bill, they were hoping to convert her and bring her back from being a lesbian to being, quote, normal, unquote. Just like roping a wild horse, maybe they figured she'd be so grateful that she'd belong to one who saved her from lesbianism. Instead, she'd live a life of forced slavery with a brood of kids that looked just like their dumb assed father.
Normal? She didn't know what normal was. What is normal? She always thought that normal was whatever fit her. Yet, normal for this small town was for her to fit in the mold they had already made for her from the time she was very young.
All she knew was that she hated for a man to touch her in the way Bill and the others always did and tried to do. She'd sooner cut off his dick rather than feel it, fuck it, and/or suck it. Guys are such pigs. Guys have no class. She couldn't name how many times a guy tried to kiss her, while groping her tits. If she had a dollar for every time a guy pulled out his cock and tried to get her to touch him, stroke him, and blow him, she'd be a rich woman. She'd rather eat shit and die than to be with any one of them and making babies with one of those hillbillies.
Yet, for the women she knew who appreciated her for the woman she was, she was exactly what they wanted and what they needed, when they wanted and needed her. Even though she's yet to be with a woman, she didn't have to be with a woman to know that after the music stopped, and the lights came on for her to sober up enough to see who she was with and what she had done, she wanted something and someone who was capable of giving her more than just a one night stand. The women the next county over were just as depressed and angry as she was. It wouldn't surprise her if some of those so called happily married women with children were lesbians.
Definitely, now that she thought more about it, the real Halloween costume to wear was the one just the opposite of who she was. Yeah, the gown was more of a costume than was the men's clothes. The men's clothes was who she was and the gown was who she wasn't. Even though she'd look ridiculous wearing her sister's dress and trying to act the part of the beauty queen or the fairy princess, that outfit would more befit the spirit of Halloween.
"Trick or treat."
Nonetheless, she still wanted to go as a butch trucker. Without doubt, if she did grow a set of balls and show up wearing her brother's clothes as her Halloween costume, there'd be no turning back. There'd be no more suspicion, no more doubt, and no more wondering. They'd all know she was lesbian, a butch dyke, for sure. Her statement to make, she'd be out of the closet, for sure, and maybe she'd feel better than how she feels now. Hell, anything would be an improvement on how she feels now.