The Center

Why am I doing this? Shampoo got up off the floor feeling dazed. She just couldn’t get her katas right.

She tried to focus on a swooping crane move, the one move she used often on Ranma Saotome in order to embrace him. She leapt into the air, did a somersault….

And fell flat on her face.

If this was any other ordinary woman, someone would have called 911. However, everyone knew that Shampoo, aka “The Lucky Klutzy,” had done worst. It was only two weeks ago that Shampoo had tripped over a row of bamboo and crashed face forward into a brick wall. However, she got up undazed and even walked all the way down the block to get her favorite tapioca drink, smiling along the way. Shampoo herself knew that much worse had happened in China. She had dealt with random explosions, jumped out of high buildings, ran hundreds of miles, danced on rooftops, anything that probably would have the “Don’t Try this at home” disclaimer if it were ever shown on TV.

However, Supergirl knew that her current problem was not being caused by her common klutziness.

There was something else on her mind.

Shampoo could not stop thinking about her Cosmopolitan experience. Why was she suddenly attracted to women? Why had she always been attracted to women? And why hadn’t the sexual tension emerged until now.

Shampoo did a roundhouse kick and fell on her butt. The smooth mat in the dojo broke her fall. She looked around. Class wasn’t going to begin for another half hour and the large space was empty.

Sensei Jeanette Hayakawa entered the room. She had short black hair, thick framed silver glasses over a somewhat aged face. The chin pressed downwrds, wrinkles appeared on the forehead, but the smooth skin looked as young as an Asian lotus blossom would look. Hayakawa looked very frail, her large white karate gi covering her thin and body. However, Shampoo knew that Hayakawa was not someone to be messed with. She had as much experience as Shampoo’s own great grandmother Cologne.

“Shampoo, I have a task for you,” Hayakawa’s voice was shrill like a siren.

“Hai,” Shampoo bowed to her sensei. After all, she was getting paid to do this. “I am organizing a ‘Women Against Rape’ session for any women interested in learning self defense against attackers,” Sensei Hayakawa started.

“Hai,” Shampoo replied. “If you need any help in showing people…”

“I know, I know,” Hayakawa replied. “You are a survivor. But first of all, I need you to bring fliers to the Women’s Center and Gender-Sexuality exploration center.”

Did she just say the “Sexuality Exploration Center?”

But before she could say a thing, Shampoo was thrusted a box full of dark red pamphlets.

“Give Sharon my regards,” Hayakawa replied. “And do come back before class starts.”

Great. Shampoo had a feeling that somewhere in the cosmos, someone was laughing at her.

Jane sat at the desk typing away on the computer in the Sexuality Exploration Center. Meanwhile, super queen Mike Ming was showing off his brand new bellybutton ring to everyone at the center. He proudly lifted his tight silver shirt to show the jewel now encrusted in his naval.

“Omigod,” the high pitched shrill continued behind Jane. “The guy said it looked so cute on me so, like, I bought two of them. One for the morning and one for the evening.”

Is there something else you could do in your life than money and men? Jane wondered.

The Center was noisy as usual. It was post lecture time and everyone who was anyone at the center had flooded in.

Unfortunately, Jane had to do her volunteer shift and was unable to join the conversation. Instead, she had a much more fun task- folding and stuffing envelopes thanking sponsors for Pride Week.

However, Jane’s attention diverged to the woman who walked into the room.

Rainbows. Rainbows everywhere. A large rainbow flag greeted visitors. Even the front desk had a rainbow on it.

Shampoo wanted to pretend she was on the set of Rainbow Brite but she knew that this was far from it. She had walked onto the set of The Twilight Zone except everything was technicolor and exuberantly flamboyant.

She had never been in the Gender and Sexuality Center, aka the ‘Lesbo Lounge” the “Fag Factory,” “the Gay House.” She knew every other nickname for the center other than its own real name. Shampoo had never exactly visited the center. She dashed into the bathroom (which was stocked with female condoms and latex gloves conveying the actual use of the place) and quickly ran out as fast as she could.

But this time, she had to talk to someone.

“Excuse me,” Shampoo said to the woman at the front desk. “Um, I’m supposed to leave these flyers at the center. You know, for women who need to deal with rape or something.” Stop babbling like an idiot.

The woman turned her head. Shampoo silently gasped.

“No problem,” Jane replied. “We just leave a stack out in the front for people to take.” Shampoo looked tough but beautiful in her karate gi. As the Chinese woman put the package down, Jane tried not to stare at the two perky breasts that were not well hidden by the cotton uniform.

“Thank you,” Shampoo smiled. They both looked at each other silently for a moment.

“Would you like a tour of the center?” Jane asked.

“Oh!” Shampoo gasped. “Thank you but I’ve got to start class right now.”

“That’s okay,” Jane said crestfallen.

“But do come to the karate session,” Shampoo smiled. “It will be a lot of fun.”

Jane felt something about this woman that didn’t seem right. It was like she was trying to hide something underneath her perkiness. “Yeah, I think I will.”

“I will be very much looking forward to seeing you,” Shampoo replied enthusiastically. “Come early so you could be my partner! Have a nice day!” She dashed out as fast as she could.

Jane looked at her paper again, trying to eliminate the visions of her pummeling the sexually energetic Chinese goddess all over the mat.

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