The heavy rain was pouring down massively, as the paramedics made their way between the small crowd, and bent down towards the woman lying there. She was frozen. They could not establish if she was still breathing. They checked her pulse. After a few moments, an unclear beat was pounding vaguely, but they were not sure she could make it. They gazed at each other, wondering: should they try to warm her with some blankets, or with a warm IV?
The crowd had scattered away. People don’t have too much patience these days for others, nor to be in one place to a large extent. Why would they care about a stranger? She was not related to them.
One of the paramedics put her ear close to the anonymous mouth, as no vapours were shown in the freezing air. Nothing. She was to rise and stand up, as she saw the woman’s lips moving. She bent again. “What, love?” she tried hard to hear.
“Ja…z…m…in”, said the stranger with her last breath, whispering. “I…s…ra…e…l…”
Novella in several parts (last part is due the coming week)
They were standing on the hill overlooking the sea, the magic rustle of the wavelets beneath, float jointly with holy words the Rabba chanted, accompanied by the gathering of people: family members, friends. Two women stood under the silky purple Chupa, getting together for life, for better and best, for health and wealth. A tender breeze glided softly, caressing the excited faces. At last, they came to express their love officially, publicly.
At last. Etta James promised that the lonely days were gone, as she found the dream she could call her own. “At last”, Sara’le sang the words she knew by heart, as she was praying those most of her adult life.
“Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov!” People burst in blessing the newly wedded warmly, as the Rabba finished the ceremony with hope the couple will live happily ever after.
Jazmin took Sara’le in her arms and hugged her, holding her tightly, pressing her to her heart. “My wife”, she whispered into her beloved one’s ears, “my woman, for ever and ever.”
“For ever and more”, corrected Sara’le, “and not even one day before.”
Novella in several parts (I’ll post the rest in the coming weeks)
“I can’t stop loving you, can’t stop…” Jazmin was lying on top of her, murmuring out of exhaustion. “Oh, my love, thank you for coming into my life.”
Sara’le caressed her white curled Kepale gently, pouring her loving emotions into this gesture. Her body was so relaxed, her mind so peaceful. Who would imagine that I would find my soul mate at this period of my life? Certainly not me, even if I wished so. So many years of looking, searching, yearning, longing… So many years… a waste of a lifetime… and now, suddenly, she is here, in my bed, in my arms. So nice to hold her. Her skin so smooth, silky, tender… My woman.
OMG!!! I’ve never felt this way before! So deep, so intense! Jazmin gazed at her lovingly. This is my woman, she said to herself mutely. A surge of pride filled her at the sight of her lush beloved. My woman… Sooooooo sexy!
Three months have passed since that horrible day. She was so devoted, sat patiently at my bed in the hospital, day after day, from morning to night, fed me, bathed me, talked to me, making me laugh, trying to lift my spirits, being there for me, being my guardian angel. My sweet woman.
What is she thinking about? She seems to immerge into a deep world of her own. I hope she’ll let me in, as she allowed me to be with her. Lovely Jazmin…
My ticket is due for another month, and then – I don’t know if she will have me. She was very kind to host me when I checked out of the hospital. I could change the date and go back then, but she took me under her wings and didn’t want to hear anything about me going back. I love this woman, I fell in love with her from the moment I laid eyes on her there, at the JGLG, when she came and introduced herself to me. I love this woman…
Novella in several parts (I’ll post the rest in the coming weeks)
The annoying ringing of the phone awoke her from the nap she was taking after her treatment. She woke up that morning, the gloomy weather causing her pain in her bones. Coming from a warm welcoming country, she hated this damp climate, the cold, chilly, wintry, apathetic people, the illnesses this reserved bloody kingdom caused her.
Slowly, she dragged her bare feet on the warm wooden floor. Oh, my G-d! my hair is a mess! She lamented when she saw her image in the mirror in the entrance hall, lifting quickly her hand to sort it out a bit. “Nu, sha! Sha!” She protested, “I’m coming! I’M COMING!!!” I wish, she murmured to the walls, I really wish.
“Lady Sarah?” A formal voice enquired.
Uh? This doesn’t sound good. “Speaking.” Not so fluently, as I’m not quite awake yet, but I am able to emit some syllables, also comprehend, if it’s not to heavy an issue… This sounds heavy, though.
“Do you know a person by the name of Jazmin?”
The thunder exploded all over, causing the windows to shudder, this was nothing compared to the tremor which grasped her tightly. The phone fell from her quivering hand. Jazmin?
“Y… ye-s…” The surprised syllables barely left her mouth. She remembered how Jazmin came to her later that evening, asking her when she will have the time to show her around the city, her eyes beseeching her. Her busy schedule couldn’t allow her to respond immediately, so she asked Jazmin to call her. As the call didn’t come, she assumed the Pishwoman did it, so her services were no longer required.
“This is the emergency of St. George’s Hospital, we’ve found your business card in her handbag. How do you know this person?”
HOSPITAL??? “W… wh… wh-at?”
“Are you a relative?”
She forced herself to be businesslike, practical: “Well, I’m not a relative, but I’m not quite sure she has relatives in London. As far as I know, she was staying with a friend.”
“Do you know that friend’s name or her number, perhaps?”
Do I know? The Pishwoman… that’s all I know, but I can’t tell him that… “What happened? Is she all right?” nu, well, apparently not, if they are calling from the hospital…
“She was brought here a couple of hours ago. Can you come to here? I think it would be helpful if you came over.”
A couple of hours ago? What was I doing then? OMG-OMG-OMG! She is in the hospital! OMG! Oh, no! STOP-STOP-STOP! I must stop wandering around, wringing my hands and cracking my knuckles. I must focus. Where did he say the hospital is? She studied the note, where she wrote down the details he gave her. It’s in London, a bit of a schlep, but never mind. I hope she is not too bad.
Dark… Soooooooo dark… Where am I? She could hear weak noises, as if they where coming from very far. Someone or something was moving near her, a silhouette, very blurry, she couldn’t figure out what it was, but somehow it brought her some comfort. She sunk again into her darkness.
I think I saw her eyes blink. Should I call a nurse? I’m not sure what I should do. I’m sitting here since noon. I should go home soon. Need to eat, not mentioning also to rest. At least I got Jane to feed the cats. She seems so calm in her deep sleep. I hope she will be better in the morning. She probably needs rest. Who knows what happened to her? They said she was found lying on the pavement. Nobody could say for how long, but apparently, it was long enough to be frozen. November, it’s freezing outside. Poor Jazmin… It’s weird she had my card. What about the Pishwoman? Should I bother to look for her? Maybe at the JGLG somebody would have her number. Or not…
Novella in several parts (I’ll post the rest in the coming weeks)
Heavy pouring rain. She wandered through the streets of London like a wet lonely cat, schlepping her belongings with the last ounce of energy left in her. Her clothes were all soaked. Her shocked, gloomy face, was struggling hard to restrain her agony from bursting into a long wounded howl. She stopped, unable to move further. Her legs couldn’t endure the weight of what she was carrying anymore – both herself, loaded with suppressed emotions, and her stuff, hanging from all over her. Her arms were burning out of pain, craving for rest. Submitting to despair, she didn’t care to park her wet bottom on the freezing low stone fence. The rain was flowing silently, cutting through the thick deep smog.
Not letting out the meowing she felt inside, was very hard. She wanted to curl up into a warm lap, but not the one she left half an hour ago, and stay there forever. What should I do? What should I do? What should I do… Her bewildered mind was tormented. What should I do? What should I do? A few pupils passed her, hurrying to get to school on time. Cars went by, their motors roaring, leaving a trail of smoke. She detained her breath, trying to impede pollution from harming her. Nu, what should I do?
A deafening thunder pierced her spine, causing her whole body to shiver. The street was now empty. Nobody sane would stick their nose out of their warm, cozy home. Oh, home… I miss home sooooooo much! What possessed me to leave home and come to this insane horrible sick woman? What did she think, that somebody could actually fall for her? Nu, well, I suppose there could be someone who would seek this sick kind of relationship. I don’t think they are capable of loving, really loving. They are occupied with causing each other pain and misery, how could they feel love for each other? This is not the love I need. I want rapport, affinity, bonding. I need to feel wrapped with love by the woman I will love back with all of my heart, to melt to her touch, to…
Another earsplitting thunder extracted her from her thoughts. The rain was pouring cats and dogs. A black cab stopped near her. The taxi driver rolled the window down a bit, not daring to stick his head out. “Hey, love”, he yelled in a loud voice, “are you all right?”
She blinked surprisingly. Am I all right? Yeah, right – sitting on this freezing stone, my butt could be served as an ice-cream, I’m soggy duch and duch, deep into my bone marrow, I don’t know what to do, as I mindlessly collected my unpacked luggage to rush away her, I’m even quite sure where I am. I know I headed to the train station she showed me once, but didn’t get there. I don’t think I ever was in this neighbourhood before. I’m not such a good navigator, to say the least…
“Well, lady, where do you need to go?”
Where do I need to go? Home, I guess. But home is so far away, 8,047 kilometres, or 5000 miles, as they measure here, how can I get there? I have no English money. A mazel I have some in shekels. I suppose I would be able to exchange in a bank. Although I could, I had no intention to take the notes she scattered around her house, in prominent places. I guess I’m not the first to run away from her, so she was “generous” to assist… Nu, well, a woman with so many lovers behind her, having their bleeding scalps hanging from her belt, probably should predict future events. No, I didn’t take her money. I hope she suffocates with on it. Damn P.
Without thinking, she opened the back door of the cab, throwing in her plastic bags. The driver didn’t move an inch to assist her. Probably it wasn’t in his job description. He just moved the handle of the trunk, so she could put in her trolley and the other four over packed bags. Feeling relieved, she closed the trunk’s door, glancing around, hoping the rain will stop already. She was heading to the passenger’s door, thinking she could use a brake of these showers pouring on her, as the driver quickly slammed the back door and fled with his brakes squealing.
“Ma…” The word didn’t even pass her lips. She remained standing there, unable to move her gaze affixed to the spot where the cab disappeared.
Novella in several parts (I’ll post the rest in the coming weeks)
Nice of her to take me to this meeting. It’s interesting to attend such a ceremony. At home, I would never dream of doing that, but it’s an opportunity to meet other people, and maybe, if I’m lucky, I will find love… I needed so much to get out of there, to breath fresh air, see another country, other people and open myself to the world. I have been alone for such a long time. She came into my life at the right time. Alas she wasn’t the right woman…
It is nice here. The Rabba is holding a lovely ceremony. One can feel the holiness in the air. Shabbat is Shabbat, even in London, so far away from home. I miss home. Yes, already. How would I cope with being here for so long, as she planned for me? She likes to control. I have no issue with it. I came here for the British passport, nothing else. I never told her I loved her. She asked me a few times how I feel towards her, why don’t I say these words to her. As if one is obliged to do so after being showered with these words continuously and so persistently. I always answered I’m not sure, as it isn’t my nature to fall in love with a picture, not even with one that moves, such as on Messenger. She declared her love to me and invited me to come and live with her. London is a good place to vent a lonely soul, I thought, and the G-ddess all mighty knew how much I needed to get out of this pressure cooker called Israel. The 2nd Lebanon war just ended and I felt I needed a big brake. I’ve never been abroad before, so it was an opportunity to travel and see the world, as she promised to take me wherever I would like to.
The Rabba started a prayer in honour of the people who died of AIDS, then she invited people to share, to talk about their loved ones they lost to this horrible disease. Thank the G-ddess, I didn’t lose anybody, also I don’t know people who suffered such a loss. Hope I will never know this bitter taste.
P went to say hello to some friends, so she said. I wondered how come she didn’t bring them to meet me. Weird. This P woman is weird. I can’t figure her out yet, but my little voice is telling me she definitely is not the one for me. I can do much better. I didn’t like her looks on the internet, let alone when we met in person. She’s a year younger than me, but looks much older. Not that I use to fall for the looks, but there must be something basic, like taking care of yourself. If you don’t look like my lovely, the ultimate Farrah Fawcett, at least do something with yourself: have your face lift, hair done, dress properly – not with schmates, like she does. I wonder how she allowed herself to buy me the ticket, when she is so cheap on herself.
Someone shared, causing each eye to tear. I wiped mine. There must be chemistry between two people, otherwise it’s not it. She didn’t appeal to me at all. I couldn’t connect to her inner soul, which is crucial for me. She is illusive, unstable, someone I couldn’t bond with. Bonding is essential for me. I don’t want to be with a woman I can’t bare my soul to. She is not the one. Definitely. However, she will do for my goals. Once we get married, I’ll have this civil partnership, I can do whatever I want too. I can work, have some savings, and in a few years get the British passport. In the meantime, she promised to support me with the tuition money, as I expressed my wish to study at the university. 5 years is a long time, I’d better get a degree if I can, why not?
Where did she disappear? Never mind her. I think I’ll go have something to eat. They displayed nice food here. I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll meet nice people to befriend.
“Hello.” I looked at the lush sexy woman standing in front of me, her hesitating smile so lovely. A large wave of joy flooded my whole body, from head to toe.
Gratefully, I beamed, hoped my grin was inviting. “Hi”, I answered. She is sooooooo-sooooooo charming, wow! My heart stopped it’s beating, my breath shortened. Wow! To be honest, I never met such a big woman in my whole life. She stood there, her lovely lips curved with a shy smile, capturing my heart. I knew instantly that SHE is the right woman for me. But I couldn’t do anything, as I promised P to be with her. I never break my promises.
The gorgeous woman in front of me gazed through me. I didn’t think to interrupt her in her meditation. When she finally landed, I expressed my hope she was in a good place, even if here is also nice. I was being playful, didn’t mean to get serious.
The lovely woman seemed as if she was pulled out of thoughtland. “Oh, yes, oh, so sorry”, she hurried to apologize and added: “I didn’t mean to…” What didn’t she mean? I don’t know. The woman caused my head to spin, I felt dizzy. In the background, other people shared, but their words became just fading noises. I was mesmerized by her flaming gaze. I shouldn’t stare, it’s not polite, but I can’t help it, she definitely had something in her that was sooooooo appealing. Amazing. I wished I never met P. Had we met just two months earlier, it could make the difference. Only two months! I was waiting for this fabulous woman for sooooooo looooooonnnnnnnggggggg. So-so long. Why couldn’t she come earlier? Just my rotten luck, unlucky me.
I assured her there’s no need to apologize. I can understand people have dreams. I also tend to do so.
“I’m Sarah”, she introduced herself.
“Jazmin”, I answered. Should I reach to shake her hand? What are the correct manners here?
“I hope that you won’t find it rude, but your accent, seems to be east European. May I ask where are you from?” The marvellous woman showed her interest in me, or maybe she was just small-talking? The English are known of that quality.
Proudly, I answered: “I’m from Israel, the Jews’ homeland.” Why did I add the last three words? I really have no idea. When I am excited, my mouth does speak by itself, without allowing me control over the words I should or should not sprout. This woman caused me excitement, no doubt about it. Hidden senses, I had suppressed a long time ago with no hope of feeling, started bubbling deep-deep in me. I think it was the first time in my whole life that I felt I actually have a heart. Until then, it was merely a pump, keeping me alive, not more.
“Oh, how nice!” Her face were a mixture of surprise and wonder. I wondered if I was her first Israeli… “Did you see the city already?” She continued to enquire.
“No, I haven’t managed to do that yet, as I just came here last Sunday”, I explained. I wish she would offer to show me the city.
The woman must be reading my mind… “Oh, I see. Would you like to get together and have a coffee someday?”
Some day? What does she mean by that? Why not tomorrow, maximum the day after tomorrow? When is this ‘some day’? I couldn’t restrain my joy though. My lips widened in a big smile. “Yes, I would love to, very much.” Do I sound eager enough? I was going to ask her when is convenient for her to meet, when P appeared from wherever she was, clinging to me, enclosing her gaunt arms around me, declaring her ownership. I don’t like her touch. It repels me. She does. In front of the lady of my dreams, she blurted out demandingly: “Hey, who are you talking to?”
“This is Sarah,” I answered reluctantly, moving myself away from her grasp. Then, I turned to my real lady: “Sarah, this is P.”
I could sense the tension. P was clenching her jaws together in a motion I never saw before, but nonetheless it did not proclaim good tidings. Her expression said she is not allowing anybody to enter her territory. I was the property she was going to defend. Sarah excused herself and fled for her life. I can’t blame her, P looked quite scary.
“I see you are socializing.” The words flew from her twisted mouth, her face deforming mockingly. She didn’t even smile.
At some point in our lives, being Queer forces us to engage with negative messages from family, religion and the larger culture. Many of us are not taught how to gain access to or trust our deepest emotions and intuitions that might shed much-needed light and healing. Without validation, those negative messages can make us question our desires and identifications — and, sadly, sometimes we ingest that negativity. Although the ways in which we seek our truths are different for each of us, many of us spend a lifetime discovering who we are, what we have to offer the world and how to express that best as Queer creative, spiritual, human beings. Here I share a portion of my journey via the interaction of art with my own body and how that brings up new questions, pathways, and creative expression.
30 years ago I clip out a photo of this powerful sculpture from a magazine. But I neglect to include the artists’ name or its title*, so I don’t know anything about the image — except that it speaks to me.
Four jesters, adorned with only striped body-art and tasseled hair are in various poses; I see each has a different body position, gaze and perspective. It seemed to me that while searching, each jester feels at ease and content in their physical body, with an inner secret, a wry sense of humor — and an open, curious nature. …
Zelda is a multifaceted artist who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality and gender. Zelda has recently developed, under an Individual Artist Commission awarded by Arts Mid-Hudson, Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) as is currently producing ZELDA’S Happenings, a series of black-light, body-painting, percussion dance parties that will produce original wearable art for a new UpState Artists Clothing Collection representing artists of the region. Zelda co-founded The Fine Line Actors Theatre in Washington DC and performed at such venues as Source, GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Kennedy Center in DC, in NYC at WOW Café Theatre and Dixon Place, at the Lace Mill and with the TMI Project in Kingston. She published in Inside Arts magazine, The Washington Post, and American Theatre magazine. Keep up to date on Zelda’s Happenings, the development process of Que Será, Será, or visit her healing website: Zelda’s Body Breathing.
LESTER MAYERS is a Brooklyn native who is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Theatre Performance at SUNY New Paltz School of Fine and Performing Arts. Lester is a published writer, poet and actor. His work can be found in the Sojourner Truth Library, I am from Driftwood LGBTQ archive, and the Huffington Post. Lester’s performance credits includes: SUNY Oswego, SUNY FLCC, Pace University, SUNY UB, and countless others. Gay, black, feminine, and a feminist, Lester tackles issues that have historically been ignored by the public.
Today, my boss apologizes for misgendering me and I thank her.
I work in a very grey office out of a very grey cubicle in a big grey building where a little grey headset streams to me a constant flood of angry patrons who every day find a new way to assume my womanhood based on my voice. My boss, who is by all accounts a very nice woman, is usually very good about my pronouns. I know that every time she talks to or about me I would be able to breathe for a moment – something I do very rarely on the job.
For some reason, however, she misgendered me last week.
I felt as though my one tie to reality in a place where I constantly feel unreal had betrayed me. Office atmospheres are deceiving – they turn everything into the mundane. It is easy to seem like you are not crushed because everybody behind a computer screen and a cubicle is always some level of crushed. Pain simply fades into the white noise of the place.
I knew this and I couldn’t stand it. I had to make sure she knew this mattered to me. I needed to know I could look hold onto this tiny anchor of sanity to which my boss was the tether.
I sent an email. This was a big deal for me. The last time I tried to assert my pronouns in a work setting, I was assaulted and then fired.
Raine (he/him/his) is Queeries Blog founder and 27 year-old playwright, director, and WGSS/Theatrical scholar whose work focuses on theatre as a form of social activism. He continues to use his “out and proud” attitude to educate people on LGBTIA+ rights and visibility.
Bright eyed and ready for the new year, Queeries returns with new content starting tomorrow!
A lot has happened in the world since we last wrote for you.
Like, a lot a lot.
Let’s make some art about it.
Check back every Monday and Friday for new work!
And keep in mind we’re still selling the second Volume of Queeries Zine – “SAFE” to benefit Trans Lifeline! Pick up a digital or print copy at a pay-what-you-can price here! The zine will only be on sale until we release our new seasonal zine come March, so purchase it to while you still can and start your collection today!