The Lesbian Chronicles: The Hunger

He slipped into the booth adjacent to mine this morning at the coffee shop down the street from my mother’s apartment.

He told me his name was Hugh. When I asked if Louie and Dewey were coming to join him, he did not appear to be amused. Perhaps he was averse to ducks – perhaps he was averse to me.

Hugh was lit from the inside he seemed both birthday candles and birthday cake.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

Hugh was wearing a large beaded tiger’s eye bracelet on his left wrist that immediately grabbed my attention.

I had to have one just like his, even though I had long ago given up on jewelry, even though I had long ago given up on men.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I lusted after his bracelet believing if I owned one just like Hugh’s, his super powers would flow from his bracelet to mine.

Hugh told me about Jasmine who sold her jewelry from her home across from his yoga studio.

Of course he practiced yoga, I’m sure he brought his own mat made out of organically grown hemp.

After some not so gentle prodding, Hugh gave me Jasmine’s number. I could feel myself inching closer to the magic.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I sent Jasmine a text. She replied instantly. “Come over right away! I live in St Henri.” Which meant nothing to me since I am directionally challenged on the best of days.

“Is that far?” I asked “I don’t have a car and I will be walking with my puppy Lucille.” “It’s not far at all” said Jasmine “Just walk down Greene Street, then turn left onto St. Jacques. It should take you less than twenty minutes.”

So off we go my puppy Lucille and me, intrepid Journey woman and her trusted canine companion. Except that it doesn’t take us twenty minutes or thirty minutes or even forty, but I tell myself I don’t care because it’s all downhill, because it’s a sunny day, because Lucille is happy, because the eye of the tiger is calling me home.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I reach my destination and boldly knock on her crimson coloured door. A full bodied woman wearing a vintage Japanese kimono greets us and says “Welcome, I’m Jasmine!”

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

“I've been walking on my knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.” I said “Then you must be very thirsty.” said she. She offered Lucille and me water from her well. I had never tasted water so pure and so sweet.

Jasmine brought out her baubles for me to admire. She had bracelets made of amethysts and garnet, lapis and hematite. She had bracelets made of silver and gold, copper and pewter, but no tiger’s eye in sight.

I asked Jasmine if she could make me the same bracelet that she made for Hugh. “I’m so sorry.” said Jasmine “Hugh is divine incarnate. I made that bracelet just for him.”

And just like that with one little snap, I was banished from the island where hope and hearth and family reside and I most definitely, now never will.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I couldn’t help myself, my eyes immediately filled with tears. Jasmine offered up a consolation prize, a bracelet made of hawk’s eye.

Hawk’s eye? I was not a graceful loser, always mortified to come in second. When the going got tough, I left the race, easier to escape than deal with the shame of defeat.

So there I was my tears staining her cherry wood table, when Jasmine gently took my hand and placed the bracelet on my wrist.

“Look Katharine, I think hawk’s eye suits your skin tone even better.” “Tiger’s eye is the sun, but hawk’s eye is the moon, and didn’t you just tell me that your favourite colour was grey?”

I did and it is and I keep a portrait of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon on my nightstand beside my bed.

I know my hunger- my wanting, will never be sated by cookies and cola baubles and bling winning medals of honour, or donning angel wings.

I get that, I truly do. But the wanting, my wanting, is the closest I’ve gotten to feeling tethered to something tangible.

So for a moment, that one brief wanting moment, I can stop feeling that I’m here, dangling all alone on the edge of the earth.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

K.A.L.

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