I’m going to tell you a story about Sid and Mary. When I say the names, Sid and Mary, you might be thinking, “Sid and Nancy.” That’s not who I’m talking about, but these two did rocker-in-a-hotel-room, thrash my life around in much the same way. So, I suppose the mental connection is an apt one.
Sid was about my age and on my soccer team. She was hard to get to know. She was hard to make laugh, which is usually easy for me. But, over time, I won over Sid. She became a friend and I could tell she was loyal. Sid was one of those girls that you find yourself looking at from afar, not because she’s particularly attractive or in possession of a magnetic personality like a natural politician, but more because she possessed some kind of ultra-femininity. The kind of femininity a drag queen would kill for. Sid was supplied with a heaping of girl, but piled on when a normal body would already be full. She wasn’t particularly girly, Sid, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is if you cut her hair, rolled her around in the dirt, and dressed her up as a boy – you still wouldn’t be able to wash the girl out of her. It would be right there alongside her curves and shine and it would decidedly be the most obvious thing about her.
Mary was Sid’s older sister. She looked just like Sid, but she was warmer and easier to know. She had graduated from my school, but I knew of her before I even met her. Mary was somewhat of a legend when it came to soccer. She was a natural athlete. The kind of player that goals and finesse and speed came easier for, while Sid and me and the rest of our team struggled towards something resembling prowess. Mary was easily talked about amongst the number keeping heads hanging out in the stands. “The offensive scoring record? Well, Mary holds it, of course.” “Highest number of steals? Mary.” “Assists? Mary.” “Captain 4 years in a row? Mary.” “All American? Mary. Olympian? Mary.” “Mary, Mary. Mary.”
When I finally met her, I had heard that she was with a woman. I met the woman too, but I found her to be nothing special. She was a spiky-haired lesbo whose full-time existence seemed to revolve around all things gay. I’ve never been into people like that. I mean who and what you sleep with shouldn’t also be your hobby, right? But, time has mellowed me. Maybe these types of people simply dove in head-first to the deep end of the pool. Mary, though, Mary was perfect, in my mind. We warmed to each other right away and in an unguarded moment I told her that I couldn’t believe she was gay. The truth was -hell- if she was gay, anyone could be gay. Me, even. Portia di Rossi, maybe. I mean, she looked like every-girl and it surprised me.
But, guys liked Mary too. In fact, I liked that about her. She was appealing to everyone. Mary had a close friend named Perry who followed her everywhere she went. When Perry saw that Mary and I got along real well, Perry befriended me too. Years later I’d realize that Perry liked Mary, but back then I was way too stupid to notice or get it. Perry and Mary came over often, which should’ve been weird because both of them were out of school. However, I suppose they were both just at that age where hanging around at your old school seems like the safest thing you can do. There’s a shelf life to that. You can hang around a college until you hit about 22 and then it starts to get creepy. So, Perry and Mary must’ve been around that age and I was 19. I liked them both a lot. I’ve always loved older people. Though 19 and 22 doesn’t seem that far apart now, then, it was ages apart. After all, one of us was in school and the other two were graduated. I mean how exotic is that? At least, that’s what I must’ve thought. Exotic. Dangerous. Fun. They’d come over to my little college pad and we’d drink booze and hang out. It was great. I loved my nights with Perry and Mary.
Sid lived down the row from me when Perry and Mary would come over and yet, Sid never joined us. I almost always saw Mary and Sid separately. I got the feeling, somehow, that Sid didn’t approve. Maybe it was a little sister thing. Maybe Sid was thinking, “Jesus, Mary, you’ve graduated. Move on.”
…or maybe Sid thought Mary was up to something.
I never saw it coming. Although, I did feel my stomach drop on the night I came home from a party to find Mary sitting on my steps alone.
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