We fell in lust twenty years ago this past full moon. I was a teacher for the kindergarteners and she was a teacher for the three and four-year olds. We met on the stairs of the old Vermont school. I was coming down from my classroom and she was going up to the office. She said “Hi”. I grunted and faked a smile. She was married and I was socially moronic lesbian doing as all young lesbians do, riding out a relationship until a better one distracted me. Well, I gave her no thought. That is until she persisted in getting to know me. That to me, is code in lesbian speak for I want to move in with you. I was officially distracted. I left my prior relationship, moved into a pink trailer with a mini washing machine and boomerang formica table and proceeded to seduce her away from her husband. It was far less of a challenge that I expected(her husband ran off to New York and proclaimed his desire for men and lots of them). So, after her dog bit the child of her new roommate and she recovered from coxsackey, she loaded up her old yellow Volvo station wagon and drove to the trailer park. Of course it was pouring rain and dark(what heart wrenching love story doesn’t have the metaphorical storm?). All I could see as she pulled in were vicous yellow eyes, fangs and grey fur matted all over her windshield. Thus began the foibles of our romantic story: one old dog euthanized due to dangerous dementia, one feral cat, one Einstein cat (taught himself to pee in the toilet),one tiny pink trailer, a little red motorcycle, a big old Volvo, a sleepy Vermont town embroiled in a scandal, her insatiable need for pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, my menstrual messes(the couch littered with crumpled blankets, empty pain-killer bottles, mounds of tissues and a leaky hot water bottle, plus a few candy wrappers) and us.
I think back through the years and wonder what the glue was that held us together? Sure, sure, there is all the lovey-dovey stuff. You know: beautiful eyes, hot sex, deep admiration, respect, understanding, compassion, all that stuff is there. But truly, no matter what situation we found ourselves in, from awkward arguments to the saddest of funerals, a well placed fart, be it loud,deadly silent, mine, hers, our someone else’s, would always draw us back to one another with a twinkle of inquisitive eyes, a firm hand squeeze, or hearty tear-jerking laugh.
It all started with those tender young moments of unfamiliar love, sleepily holding onto one another in my double bed. The jalousey window was open. We could hear the peepers calling, the mocking-bird talking himself to sleep, and the old man in the trailer not much more than an arm’s length away arguing with himself. It was peaceful, comforting and yet, oh so tenuous. About a month had passed and we were still suave. The Pandora’s box of unmentionable human conditions hadn’t cracked open. We had yet to admit that we pooped, burped, bled through our tampons, picked our noses, barfed, smelled or even had bad breath. It is amazing how we are able to hide all this when courting. Inevitably, living together due to desperate circumstances and in a teeny trailer made it far more difficult to conceal. Getting out of bed every time one had to fart became frightfully suspicious and one evening when we were spooning I did my usual slow and controlled fart, praying that it didn’t stink. I hardly moved a muscle! “You just farted, didn’t you?” she whispered to me. “What? I didn’t fart. Why? Do you smell something?’ I asked as I put my head under the covers. She started laughing. I protested. She laughed harder. “What? What? What’s so funny?” Her laughter had crossed the threshold to hysteria. Tears were streaming from her eyes and the laughter had escalated to silent seizures with escaping squeals of delight. “Alright! Alright! I admit it. I was farting. How did you know?” At the pace of one word per gasp between giggles she revealed what I already knew of her but didn’t let on. “You….tightened…your…stomach!” And she burst into laughter again.
The box was now wide open! Burping was audible and passionate. Pooping, if interesting, was described and even displayed before flushing. We’ve had donuts, soft serve ice cream, large ones that rise up out of the water, even white ones! Tampons are no longer neatly wrapped in toilet paper and hidden under layers of trash. Nose picking is undeniable. And the farts? Oh the farts! No need to describe the silent but deadly kind with one exception. The tercel fart. We owned a little Toyota Tercel and had just parked it in the lot of the grocery store. I lingered to let out an evil fart. I didn’t want to fart in the store for I was sure it was going to stink. Disgusted, we both bolted from the car. Which is unusual because I generally like the smell of my own farts, as we all do. Anyway, many moments later(almost an hour!) we returned to the car. It stilled smelled! Days later it still smelled. We had to clean the interior with nearly a whole bottle of Armour All to make it go away. I wish I knew what I ate that day. I may be the master of stink but my partner? She is the master conductor of orchestral farting. The variety of sound are endless: fog horns, squealing balloons, whoopie cushion, pneumatic brakes; and they speak too: disappointed child(aaww) What? Hmmm? Uh-oh. They are the musical symphony that compositionally ties all the threads of our delightfully fun lives together! So yes, we have love and lots of it, but nothing beats a good laugh with your loved one in the middle of the night as she farts her way down the stairs in perfect crescendo to pee.