There are a fair number of you loyal readers (thank you, thank you!) who might not know about how I first realized I was gay. The full story is published in a book called Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian and Bisexual in a College Sorority, edited by Shane L. Windmeyer and Pamela W. Freeman. Perhaps I’ll post it here some time.
For the purposes of this post, however, I’ll simply set the scene by saying it was the end of my sophomore year of college, the night before my last final, and I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in three or four days because of cramming for finals. I had made the choice to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep over reading the book I would be tested on the next day (a gamble that I lost, by the way.) As life would have it, I was too tired to sleep. Or was I just tired enough to have THE REALIZATION? Either way…not many of my gay brethren can probably say they realized they were gay because they saw written on the ceiling in green neon:
YOU ARE GAY
True story. That’s really how it happened.
I like to imagine a whole host of unseen entities trying to figure out how to get me to finally realize what I’d known all my life. (‘Cause you know our lives are just reality television for entities, right?) They try all these different things until one of them puts all the pieces together: “She’s a compulsive reader and has an active imagination! Let’s just etch-a-sketch it on the ceiling and not let her sleep until she sees it!”
Needless to say, it worked.
So now fast forward almost 20 years to, well, a couple weeks ago. I was sitting on my couch, like I do, and Sofie, my little dog, was sitting on my lap. Something inspired me to lift her lip and look at her teeth (likely the result of a friend observing a few days prior that her breath was funky). What I saw was looney tunes: One of her teeth was so loose I could see it moving as she opened and closed her mouth (in an effort to bite my hand)!
I called the vet the first thing the next morning and got her an appointment. I looked at her teeth again that evening just to be sure. “Yep, that bad boy is LOOSE!” So want to guess what happened when I went to the vet? Yes. I made a total ass of myself. I was telling the tech, AS HE WAS LOOKING AT HER TEETH, that the loose one indicated to me that she really needed a dental. “Do you see the one I mean? It’s super obvious.” The cute 20-year-old kid was super sweet and nodded his head and said, “Yeah, maybe…” That tipped me off. If he’d seen what I’d seen, there would be no maybe about it! So I pulled up her lip where I’d seen the loose tooth and lo and behold, IT WAS GONE!! In its place was a tiny tooth, totally intact.
Right about now is when the veterinarian walked in. This is a new vet to me because I had to take my precious baby to the low-cost clinic (which was not a great experience and I’ll never do it again—it was like the time I tried to sell my plasma and was treated like a drug addict). He walked in with an obvious lack of bedside manner and he was very abrupt and rushed. I was in the middle of my “OMG, I’m losing my effing mind” moment, and he just looked at me like I was the biggest idiot he’d ever met. I explained my confusion while busily picking my jaw up off the floor and his response was to assure me that there’s no way she’d just lost a tooth because it would take a couple weeks to heal and he’d see the indications. So I walked outta’ there with my dog in my arms, my tail tucked, and my universe spinning around me. “So this is what it feels like to lose my mind…”
Today all the pieces aligned enough to reveal the method behind the madness. The Sofie debacle had prompted me to look at my cat’s teeth, which I could see were in dire need of help. So today I took both Sofie and Chester for dentals (Chester got to go to the upscale vet). Sofie ended up having three teeth extracted. Chester had to have one molar extracted and another root dug out where the tooth had broken off and left it exposed (which must have felt awesome for him). Clearly, this had been an urgent situation* that required my attention (as had my sexuality at the age of 20 been an urgent situation!).
So…next time I hallucinate and think I’m going crazy, please be my memory and remind me of this post. Please remind me that my hallucinations are a latent superpower.
What are your superpowers?
*Incidentally, so as not to seem a neglectful animal momma, they both checked out fine in their exams last year…