Monday, November 1, 2010

My Teabagger, My Love - Part 1

During my three excruciating years as a member of what was called support staff at the biggest fascist law firm in San Francisco, which had offices on multiple floors of three different buildings, I fell hopelessly in love with one of the telephone operators, solely on the basis of her voice. Compared to her, Kathleen Turner as Jessica Rabbit sounded like Sara Vowell on This American Life. She would growl, for instance, “Mr. Phelps. Please call the operator, Mr. Robert Phelps,” and I would lose all sense of where or even who I was. Hearing her, I could picture her reclining tauntingly on a bed in a black lace corset, seamed stockings, and gleaming stilettos, washing down bon-bons with champagne, smoking through a long, rhinestone-bedecked cigaret holder, and sneering. I always imagined that she was going to say, “…if you dare, little man,” at the end. From the sound of her, there’d never been a femme quite so fatale. I’ve always found scarily self-confident women in corsets quite irresistible, and conspired to meet her.

She turned out to be presentable, but hardly gorgeous. As any boy who’s ever been to what used to be called junior high knows, though, you don’t [copulate with] the face, and I thought that just hearing her voice in my ear as we made love would more than compensate for her being a bit stumpy for my taste. I was still a couple of years from losing my looks back then, and got myself invited over to her condo in moribund Rohnert Park. It was clear from her voice that she smoked, but it hadn’t occurred to me that she might smoke so much as to foul her own nest, to make her condo absolutely reek of cigarettes — albeit not as badly as it reeked of cats. I was there for only a few minutes before remembering urgent business elsewhere.

Much more recently, I fell in love with another speaking voice, that of the woman on my TomTom GPS, but was unable to persuade anyone at TomTom to reveal her contact details to me, or even her name. I had reconciled myself to living out the rest of my life in solitude when, at last Wednesday afternoon’s Tea Party-sponsored Common Sense Conservative Solutions for Problems We Don’t Begin to Understand rally at Pete Seeger Park here in Beacon, I met someone — someone wonderful, someone who has transformed my life.

Her name is Barbara, but she asked me to call her Trish, to preclude my calling her Babs; she finds Babs preciously retro, as I have always found Trish, but I have said nothing. She is the product of a broken home that her carpenter father was unable to fix because of his alcoholism. Both her elder brothers became substance abusers, but she found Jesus, and became a wife at 18 and a mother at 19. She and her husband Todd divorced last year when she was 33 after discovering that they were, in her words, “two different people,” as I’d have hoped for them to notice even on the verge of adulthood.

Trish’s younger daughter was 15 at the time of the divorce, and more than old enough to become a latchkey child, so Trish returned to school to get the degree she’d promised her parents she would pursue, though her dad had probably been too drunk to remember. Proving that feminism can walk hand in hand with conservatism — though not very far, in the high heels in which most fellow prefer to see their gals — she successfully sued her college for sex discrimination when she wasn’t chosen for the cheerleading team, though all the other cheerleaders were female, and actually dated the second-string quarterback briefly, at least until he came out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, which is contrary to her own personal beliefs, to which she is entitled.

She believes that it’s fine, and even desirable, for such persons to reside together, in a marriage-like arrangement, because domesticity keeps them from preying on defenseless young persons. But she believes that to officially sanction such relationships would be in contravention of Scripture. One of her bumper stickers urges, “Let’s keep the holy in holy matrimony.”

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