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I (Heart) Pocahontas
By Katie Ford

I was once single for so long that I became jealous when I saw two cartoon characters kiss.

It was involuntary -- a pang of longing and a gong of loneliness. Sure, they were good-looking cartoon characters, (I believe it was the Disney film Pocahontas) but they were cartoon characters, for Gods sake. And on top of it, they were straight.

I'd never known the singular horror of being alone too long. Don't get me wrong, I love being alone. Even though I am a twin, my sister lives three thousand miles and one trip through customs and immigration away. Apart from a psychic twinge in my back when she lifts something heavy (not really) we are apart and separate for months on end. I was not born alone, but barring some sick, twisted suicide pact (which I have no plans for) I will die alone. And that is even fine. It really was those 2 1/2 years that almost killed me.

Oh, I got out of it everything I could. I learned to love myself more. I learned that a romantic relationship is not the priority in life -- that romantic love does not supercede, or even often incorporate, higher forms of love -- blah blah blah.

I was jealous of cartoon characters.

And the midget from Seinfeld.

The actor is very talented and funny and I've seen him in many things. But when I saw him at Basix Café, having dinner with a beautiful, doting woman, I saw politically incorrect red. I couldn't hear my own thoughts past the ringing gong of loneliness.

Great. Even the midget from Seinfeld has a girlfriend.

For saying 'Midget,' for marginalizing and putting down a fellow human being for no good reason, I was wrong. But it was a thought. I didn't say it but GONNGGGGGG I thought it.

My being single wasn't for lack of trying on my part. Or maybe it was. The bar scene in L.A. ---eeeeew. Gross. Either an alcoholic in a cowboy hat or a mean L.A. Lez or just simply 'No.' I wanted someone different. Someone beautiful, someone who didn't set off the Lez-Detector at LAX.

I had had a long list of girlfriends since I was 16 when I dated my first girlfriend who was 26. I'll not say her name but I will tell you her boyfriend at the time wrote Flashdance. You may take a minute and go to IMDB. And no, it's not Joe Esterhaus. I doubt any bi-sexual in her right mind would be with Joe Esterhaus. The facial hair, not to mention the hair hair and the fact that he wrote Showgirls -- that has straight woman written all over it. I never understood the Chewbacca look -- the aim required for a kiss on the lips alone would be exhausting.

Anyway, I had had quite a few girlfriend girlfriends (not affairs). Some wonderful and many straight. I will not say the names of the straight ones or even list their guest credits on the TV Shows. But one I loved unconditionally even as she bitterly ran around the house in curlers and pantyhose during pilot season, (after seeing that I decided not to live with anyone again) left me to be with men again. Then later she got cast on a TV show only to find out after signing on the dotted line that the character would be made gay. That was sweet - ish. But it was during that time that I was alone.


I used to go hang out with friends then I would cry all the way on the drive home as I listened to FM radio's "Love Songs on the Coast."

At least I had Lambsie.

No, she wasn't my Philipino mail order gay bride. She is my little white dog with a sweet essence and a bossy bark. She'd be happy every time I came home.

I gave up hope.

I didn't understand why it was happening. Why I had to suffer through it -- then I saw something. I was driving near Gelson's Market in West Hollywood and I saw an old woman walking with a younger woman (probably 30s) -- the old woman walked slowly, cautiously. The younger woman matched her pace and put her arm around the old woman. Protective, loving, casual. It almost made me cry. They were lovers and they didn't care who noticed.

It was when that younger pretty woman did that -- it was like in that moment I knew what beauty felt like. And it changed me.

I was never superficial but I always bowed down to beauty. But pretty wasn't beauty and gorgeous wasn't beauty, sexy was close and kind was closer and caring and refined and compassionate -- that was it.

I got it.

And the bitterness faded away and the loneliness lifted. I realized I was here to do more than just have someone for my cartoon kiss or my dinner at Basix. I was to try and be those things -- to reach out or over so others didn't have to hear the gong of loneliness. And I will look for it in others because it's true. And it's quiet, beauty. So gone, too, is my ability to see the other beauty -- I feel nothing when I see Heidi Klum, and honestly, I fake it when I say "You're right. Jennifer Connelly is hot." But if I saw them together rescuing a cat that would be a whole different story.

I met someone shortly thereafter. The relationship didn't work out but I love her still.

And now I have a beautiful woman and all that that means.

And Lambsie loves me still. Or maybe she's just hungry.

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