The Other Side Of The Fence

by Carrie Michael

            Louisa grabbed my hand and I stumbled behind her as she ran excitedly toward the gate.  The concert wasn’t starting for another hour, but Louisa had insisted that we get there early to check out the crowd.  I was less than excited myself.  I watched her legs, heavy from too many cocktails and 2 a.m. stops at Denny’s after the bar, as they pounded and jiggled.  Her khaki skirt was too short and showed the cellulite under her buns.  Louisa never cared.  I don’t think she even noticed.

            We got in line behind some women who were all smoking and dressed in tank tops with no bras and cut-off jean shorts.  I noticed the lack of care for their appearance and multiple earrings lining their ears.  I felt completely out of place.  My trendy outfit was definitely not hanging in their closets.  They were talking about some other woman from what I could hear, and Louisa squeezed my hand, which she was still holding.  I pulled away from her and she smiled at me, her eyes glistening with the four gin and tonics she had before we left the house.

            “We got seats on the lawn ya know,” Louisa slurred at me.

            “You told me already,” I replied.  She nodded, oblivious to my discomfort.  This was definitely not my scene. 

            The women in front of us simultaneously threw down their cigarette butts and left them burning on the sidewalk.  One who had a bandana in her hair stared at me for a minute, and I smiled weakly and looked away.  She made a “sh” sound and rolled her eyes, turning to her friends and whispering something which caused them to look at me, too.  I kept my eyes downcast and tried to blend into the people behind me.  They were all snickering at me, obviously wondering what such a preppy girl was doing at such an alternative concert.  Of course, Louisa couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

            “Hi,” she said to them.  They looked at her with a bit more approval and nodded.  She started up a big conversation with the girl donning a nose ring.  She explained how her cousin Maggie (pointing at me) was visiting from Los Angeles, and how I didn’t know much about Vicious (the band) but had agreed to come along since Vicious was her favorite band. 

I watched as she babbled on and on, and the girl with the nose ring reached over and smoothed Louisa’s hair and looked at her breasts and down at her lower extremities.  Obviously interested in Louisa for more than just talk about me and Vicious.  Louisa didn’t mind.  I had known she was a lesbian since we were in the 5th grade and I caught her and her best friend touching each other in places I didn’t think anyone should touch.  The other girls with Nose Ring Girl watched in interest, and I stood there like a total outsider. 

Lighting up another cigarette, Nose Ring Girl said to me, “You want one?”  I politely turned it down and smiled.  She then looked me up and down, taking in my nice figure, stopping at my breasts, and then looking me in the eye.  I gave her my best, I’m-not-gay look and she understood.  She went back to Louisa, telling her that we should really sit with them on the lawn.  Louisa was loving it and readily agreed, taking a cigarette from Nose Ring Girl. 

After our tickets were ripped and we entered the outdoor amphitheatre, I followed the group of girls which now included Louisa.  She and Nose Ring Girl, who I found out later was referred to as “Lick” (I can imagine why), were already digging each other, arms around each other’s waists, Nose Ring Girl’s hand resting on Louisa’s hip, right above her big butt.

I noticed, after we found a place on the lawn hill to sit, that all of the girls in the group paired up, and Lick was the only one without a partner, but now with Louisa.  I was the only one without a partner, which was fine, since there were no men to be seen.  Seriously, the only men I saw at this concert were the guys who worked there, taking tickets and seating people in the reserved seating in front of the stage. 

I sat next to Louisa and her new friend.  Lick sat down, and Louisa automatically sat in front of her so that Lick’s legs were straddling her.  I was thinking, God, I can’t believe how friendly she is being with this person she hardly knows!  Lick’s hands were resting in Louisa’s lap, which I avoided looking at.  I noticed that Louisa’s  underwear was showing, a little pink triangle at the base of her skirt, but didn’t think it was the right forum to tell her.  I was sure Lick didn’t mind.

The band started, and one of the girls took a drink order and collected money.  She came back and handed me a large Long Island Iced Tea, the strongest drink I could think of ordering, and I gulped it down fast, gasping when I finished the whole cup.  I needed to get drunk, and fast.  She cackled at me and told me I should have ordered two if I was so thirsty.  I told her she was right, and headed down the hill to the beverage stands.  I ordered another Long Island and sipped it this time, feeling the effects of the first one as it warmed my insides. 

I started to relax, and stayed by the stand for a while.  I watched all of the girls in couples, walking around, hanging on each other.  Part of me was shocked by their openness, and another part of me was somehow jealous.  They seemed so carefree, so open, so out there, and so part of a whole.  I felt like the odd duck out.  But the Long Island was fixing that. 

I sauntered back up the hill, now fully feeling the alcohol spinning in my head, and smiled lazily at people as I walked by.  Liquid Courage.  Louisa and Lick were kissing heavily, but I didn’t even care.  I sat down and started yapping about how I loved the music, and finished my drink in one gulp.  The other girls were warming up to me, and started asking me questions.  I told them all about myself.  Probably more than they wanted to hear, since they all cheered and jumped up in the middle of my story when the band roared out a new song.  I was liking the music.  It was good for my buzz. 

I leapt to my feet and joined in on their dancing.  Each couple started grinding and I kept dancing by myself, closing my eyes and losing my balance a few times, but happy to feel more comfortable.  One of the couples grabbed me and sandwiched me between them, grinding on me.  I laughed and let them, grabbing them and trying to go along with it.  They let me go and cracked up with each other.  I knew it was all a joke but didn’t care.  It didn’t turn me on or anything, I just liked being a part of the fun.

After the concert, we left the amphitheatre and headed to the parking lot.  I was stumbling, since I had downed another drink after all of the dancing.  Louisa and Lick were all over each other still, and when she told me she would be going home with Lick, I just shrugged and told her to have fun.  Everyone said goodbye to me as they headed in the opposite direction to another car.  I stood outside my car, wondering how I would drive myself back to my Aunt and Uncle’s and what I would tell them about Louisa.  Then I remembered that they were out with my parents and probably wouldn’t be home until later. 

I sat in the line to exit the parking lot for about an hour, and thought about the past few hours.  As strange as it had been to witness so many girls loving each other, to see Louisa pick up another chick and make out with her, and to be sandwiched by two lesbians, I had to admit that I had a good time.  I was glad for the drinks, though.  

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