I think this’ll make a dynamite short, and I could shoot it myself….but it would still be hard.
Because it’s about me. There’s no getting around it. Oh sure, I’ll change the names to protect the innocent (and the guilty), but it’s about me.
I’ve known I was gay ever since the age of about 12. Before that, I never really thought about who or what I wanted to get hot and sweaty with at all (I’m always kinda taken aback by people who say they knew they were gay when they were 4 or something…..how does anyone know anything about the subject that early on?). The town I grew up in (and the house I grew up in — but that’s another story), that kind of thing wasn’t exactly accepted. So I hid. I dated a few guys while I was in high school, even had sex with a couple of them (no gold star for me), but I never felt like that was me. I came out while I was at university and while it cost me a lot, I can’t imagine my life having taken any different turn.
Some people like to say they’re so opposed to labels, and don’t try to label everything, and don’t put yourself in a box, and this that and the other. But the thing about putting yourself in a box is once you’re in one, at least you know where you are. Being a lesbian was one of the cornerstones of my identity (and to the 90% of you out there — yeah, being straight is a cornerstone of your identity. The fact that you don’t hold parades about it doesn’t change that). I’ve been with 10-15 other girls since I came out (is it weird that I can’t remember exactly, when it’s not exactly an astronomical number?). I was pretty comfortable with who I was.
And then I met Brady.
I met him at the gym (the little cafe in the gym, to be precise). Place was getting a little crowded, so he asked if he could split the table with me. I said sure, whatever. We didn’t say much for a few minutes, and then, we started talking more and really hit it off. I don’t know, I just felt drawn to him. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before — at least not towards someone with a Y chromosome.
That’s been about a month ago. We’ve gone out quite a few times since then (the first few, I must admit, I really didn’t realise they were ‘dates’ at first, but they sure were). And I like him like crazy. I could see myself even saying that other four-letter word that begins with L about him, but let’s not go crazy after a month. It’s not just “I like him as a friend” either (though I do). We’ve advanced to kissing, and, well….the me of six months ago would throw up at the sound of this, but I could see myself getting intimate with him. I’ve even done a little ‘research’ 😉
I think I’m gonna be able to be happy being happy with this man, but I’m just not certain. I feel like a part of my identity has been lost. Maybe it’s been replaced with something new (am I bisexual? Is that what this means? Just another box), but maybe it hasn’t. In case you didn’t figure it out before, I’ve never been one of the “don’t label it” people. I like knowing who I am. And I’m not sure I do these days. Maybe I’ll get past it, maybe I won’t. Maybe it’ll matter, maybe it won’t. I don’t know yet. Brady knows all about me, but there’s some friends that I haven’t yet told about him. And I feel like me dating a guy might make us less close as friends. Before you go there — no, it wouldn’t make them petty bitches if so. You have someone down alongside you fighting in the trenches, and now they’re not anymore? That’s gonna sting a little.
When I stop to examine this whirlwind, I can’t help but feel like there’s a story here. A story I can write, and a story I can shoot. It would be even simpler to shoot than The House Call, which I’ve long said was the first movie I’ll ever make. This one would need multiple locations, but while The House Call will require, oh, about a half-dozen (very very simple) visual effects shots, this one is pure dialogue. Pure talking of heads. It’s as character-driven as you could ever imagine. That’s also why it would be a short. You can have threads that thin stitch something together for 15 minutes. For 90, you need more. And there isn’t any more to it.
The only working title I can think of is Erasure. It evokes the notion of bisexual erasure from queer studies, but that’s not really the point. It’s more about losing a long-held identity, like I mentioned above.
I just don’t know if I’d have the courage to make this one. In case you somehow don’t already know, I really don’t do happy endings in my stories, and this one would be no different. I’m kinda thinking of it as the way things might go with me and Brady — but I hope they don’t.
There’s something of me in nearly every protagonist I write. But this feels different somehow. I guess maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. Like a lot right now, I’m conflicted as to whether this truly has the emotional power I think it does. Or whether that power is broad enough. But first is to decide whether this is an avenue I want to pursue at all.