They rode over the silver
Shampoo felt like she was in one of those harlequin romance novels. Only dykier. Her flowing hair blew with the wind, except for the bunch that was trapped under the tight, nearly unbreathable helmet. But she was with Jane at last. The smoothness of skin underneath clothing. And Jane’s hair oddly smelled like some kind of pineapple shampoo.
They rode on the right-most
lane. And the view was breathtaking. The blood-orange sunset
sky above. The emerald green sea below. Soon
Shampoo wanted to ride forever.
As Jane promised, they stopped at the newly redesigned Embarcadero Pier, with its proud clock tower and its fancy restaurants and delis. Shampoo absolutely loved Shampoo and its chaos. It was around 5 p.m. and businesspersons everywhere were trying to find some place to eat. Except for the two college girls playing hooky.
Shampoo licked the rum raisin sorbet. It was small. It was expensive. It was an impulse purchase, but Jane was paying for it.
They sat out at the pier and continued to enjoy the view. Professionals in business suits scampered around them, too busy to enjoy the tranquil sights of ships soaring across the pristine ocean.
But the college girls could.
“Sometimes, I come down here just to get away from it all,” Jane said. “Just by myself, especially when the college air feels far too congested.”
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Shampoo replied.
“It’s quite freeing being here,” Jane said. “I don’t have to put up with anyone’s shit. Like Alex and the dyke drama at LDL, the center and all of its self-righteous bullshit…the bitches from Cal Q&A.”
“Hey, I’m one of those Cal Q&A bitches,” Shampoo snapped.
“They’re not as cute as you,” Jane said. Then she looked away quickly and took another swig of root beer. “Look, I’m all for gay Asian empowerment, but they are such separatists. They live in their own fantasy bubble and hide in a different kind of closet.”
“What would that be?” Shampoo finished up her gelato
“Don’t you get sick of all the late night parties and the shallow bickering?” Jane said. “And, god forbid, if you hook up with someone in this small world. You’re news the very next day.”
Shampoo nodded. Jane was right. Three years ago, Jane was in Shampoo’s place, almost. As Jane had told Shampoo earlier on their “date,” she came out in high school and never turned back. She instantly lived in the rainbow dorm and started volunteering at The Center and even took up a Queer Studies major. However, years of queer college drama had jaded Jane into isolation and she kept her distance from the gay college community.
“There is more to this,” Jane continued. “The four years of college fly by faster than the wind. Unless you’re on the five year plan. One day that bubble pops and you’re forced to be in the real world, with everybody that you wanted to avoid all through college. “
Shampoo finished her sorbet.
“I had plans too,” Shampoo said. “I was going to marry Ben, become a
“Now, I don’t know where I’m going,” Shampoo continued. “So, I’m hanging onto the last bit of sanity that I have, even if it means living in a bubble with closeted gay people.”
They watched a few seagulls fly away into the blood red setting sun. Jane’s chestnut brown hair blew with the wind. She pulled out a cigarette and placed it to her ruby lips. Her gleaming green eyes never stopped looking at Shampoo.
And all Shampoo wanted to do was kiss her. Not now. Not yet.
“So,” Shampoo said. “What do you want to do when you’re done with this gilded prison?” Jane inhaled and the cigarette glowed as bright red as Shampoo’s face. The soft gray smoke came out like silk ribbons.
“If you didn’t know already, I’m wealthy,” Jane said. “I could do whatever I wanted to in the world and my family would pay for it. But I really want to do something great. I don’t know what it is, but it’s got to be something great.” She turned back to Shampoo. “And you?”
“I’ve been busy living in my little bubble,” Shampoo laughed nervously. “I’ve never thought about it. Cal Q&A wants me to run for their board. I’m pledging for LDL, even though I hate it there. I’m helping organize the prom.”
“I guess I’m just so grateful for all the support that I have received that I feel like I need to give back,” Shampoo continued.
“Don’t,” Jane said. “You’ve been following orders from everyone. That’s the sorority-type of life. What do you want?”
You. Shampoo thought really quickly. But before she could say that or something equally embarrassing or mushy, her phone rang. It was Michael. She didn’t want to pick up. Not right now.
The stars were starting to come out over the Bay. The color of the waves had now transformed into liquid black pearls without the light to guide them. As Shampoo shut off her phone, Jane took some time to check her phone too.
“Well, there’s rush hour on the bridge,” Jane said. She smiled. “We’re going to have to wait before we go back to our world.”
“That’s fine with me,” Shampoo smiled back. “I’m hungry. Do you know your salads as well as you do your sorbets? I’m on the sorority girl diet.”
The Jane cigarette scene was inspired by an L-Word episode where Bette and Jodi “shotgun.” And my boyfriend James smokes too.
We leave Jane and Shampoo here for a little while, but they’ll be back. What you think happens is up to your imagination. I want to get back to the hot sexy drama that is unfurling around Ryan and Ranma.