The L Word : Behind the Scenes

The L Word Bette Porter Tina Kennard


Secrets I Keep – #TheLWord – (19) Touch Tones

Tina_Phone_ArmLifted_MovietrailersStudio City — Tina

Being neurotic in broad daylight takes energy and resolve and a certain focus to keep moving in order to hide it. Falling into a heap – which I’m teetering on doing now, and continually reminding myself to breathe to keep from freaking – means I’m done, means I never was worthy, means I never got my turn to go for The Brass Ring. Means I never make it to the top of . . .

Hollywood sign - clouds


I pray that’s not me. A washed out one-race-streaker, who’s let horse’s asses – like Jenny, Aaron, and William – fuck me at the starting gate.

I bite my lip, a facial tic I know I have that betrays my lack of confidence. I need more days to maneuver before Aaron gets his knees broken – one by one – by a giant scary man, The Enforcer for The Bookie, who I hear is coming by on Friday.

On my end of grabbing onto Aaron’s woes, I’d like to catch my Studio Chief sneaking money for himself out of the free-flowing catering accounts, or from transpo, or locations. All places I’ve flagged and know to watch . . . but I want someone to ride shotgun with me. A partner to test my strategies, and run my five-steps-ahead-of-the-game theories by.

I need someone borderline crazy, and evilly smart. I need Bette, but I know she’ll never agree.


It might be Helena.

Recently out of Federal custody, and away from exotic fruit plantations, and Dusty, her jailhouse lover — Helena’s very possibly a wise casting choice for my Hollywood Mobster drama.

My mind dials three lovers back, and Helena’s fuck-out-of-doors, in the most barely hidden, and unusual kinds of places, returns to me in a body memory, I blush at remembering.

Leaving Peggy’s hotel suite in San Francisco one night, instead of the spacious rooftop garden – where I thought we were headed – Helena took me to the edges of the bay, then into a park where a labyrinth was glowing threaded through the trees.

labyrinth - Secrets story

In the maze under the cliffs, at first I’d thought I’d be chilled by the breezes coming off the water. The lights surrounding us had flickered and seemed to swim out in all directions.  My dress had disappeared over my head, and my eyes had closed to the possibilities of hidden onlookers, and I’d given myself over to the rolling spasms of my rawest desires.

Those were the months I’d seen Bette as the most perplexed. Her hating me, but fighting for me anyway, had sent Helena into overdrive, and anything I could dream up – even things I didn’t want – were mine, regardless of the hour.

Maybe Bette and I had gotten what we came for, out of the bloodsport of trying to conquer each other willfully, and as painful as it was, living alone now I had sometimes wondered, if the consuming chaos of Helena, and my elliptical trip to another land with Henry, weren’t spotlights on how my loneliness had replaced our intimacy?  How dinnertime had become TV, how bestsellers by my bedside had replaced sex, and that I’d had about all that I could take, when I’d seen the cracks first appearing between her and Jodi.

First, I’d glossed over any offhanded mentions or any gripes that things weren’t going well between them. Next, I’d gathered intel, and Alice had plotted Jodi’s relationships on The Chart, so we could see the names of her exes fanned out around her own.  Those we’d interviewed for clues.

After a few emails, Alice had compiled our notes, and a picture had emerged, along with a timetable that I knew I could exploit.  Jodi’s, set your clock to it wanderlust – always about six months in – had been confirmed by the many women she’d left behind.  By my calculations, the suggestion to keep their relationship open would be ‘Coming Soon’ to a volcano near me, and I’d laughed out loud all the way home — just thinking about it.

Bette Power suit unhappy NEW image

To have been a fly on Bette’s wall, as Jodi’s sign language and hand gestures had insinuated . . . that her necessary infidelities were coming soon . . . and to have seen Bette’s face, as it had dawned on her that Jodi – the also Alpha-lover – by way of signing with her fingers and otherwise,  intended to fuck someone else . . . to this day, I’m still sorry that I missed.

Yet, I’d worried anyway that maybe they did have great chemistry in bed, or that unbeknownst to me Bette had somehow changed, and possessiveness wasn’t her ‘go to’ leach any longer for control. Maybe, they’d get into threesomes to liven things up, and that image had unnerved me.

They were an interesting couple to be sure. They could’ve certainly pulled it off, and drawn in lots of takers for the sex, and the nude skinny dipping in what I’d still thought of – as my and Angelica’s swimming pool.  Their ménage à trois could’ve gone on for years, with Bette having the time of her life, with her tongue that I had wanted back with me.

Nighttime sky spiral

In my own fog of possessiveness, I’d returned to doubting how the many women, coming and going and coming again – but mostly her sharing them all with Jodi – was really possible in the closed universe of her being The Star, and the only one who could ring her lovers far out past the farthest moons of Saturn, before bringing them shivering back to Earth again.

When my haze had lifted, I was able to see this scenario as never working, and I’d consoled myself that she’d never endanger her sexual prowess, but I’d gone to the Gypsy’s house in Hancock Park, and I’d left there with a Love Charm — just to be sure.

It’s not that I wanted Bette returned to me twisted off and wracked with pain and confusion, but that she would be miserable was step four, and step five would be her home with me.  My plotting – alongside her swings from certain to uncertain behavior – had made me trust in my readings with the Gypsy more and more.

Gypsy's Love Charm Spell

When the spell had been cast, and a piece of silk had been wound around the magical ingredients and tightened, to draw in the magnetism I’d been assured still existed, but was yet to come; I’d secreted the Love Charm behind a zipper in her luggage packed for Big Bear, and had waved so-long with utter confidence, as she drove away.

Since then, I’ve wondered more than a few times, if I should tell her about the Gypsy. Let her know – in words – that I’d wanted her back, just as much as she did in the end? Or if I should let it be, and let it go, and let us roll on with my secret kept for a little while longer?

As I walk myself back through my treacherous steps, and how I’d waited for the right combinations of things to appear in my love life, I’m convinced I have the same cunningness for the movie business. My takeover of Shaolin feels imminent, and I need Joyce for a new contract, and me, and everybody else? Needs to have a little faith.

I stop by the studio canteen for an iced latte, and taking a deep breath I call James. When seven had been inked into Bette’s calendar, Joyce’s battle-hardened gatekeeper, Jean, was my next call.

“Joyce Wischnia’s office, Jean Rawlins speaking.”

“Ms. Rawlins, Tina Kennard calling. It’s last minute I know, but is Joyce free for dinner tonight?”

“Oh, let’s see Tina. She doesn’t tell me everything.” I hear Jean tapping keys, and I have a hard time believing she’s in the dark – for even one minute – when it comes to Joyce’s billable time. “What did you have in mind?”

“Joyce loves which red wine again?”

“Oof! Tina that stuff’s hard to find, and very expensive,” Jean emphasizes.

“Consider me warned. What’s her favorite though?”

“They’re two of them actually. From consecutive years, 1968 and 69.”

Joyce's favorite wine

“Any clue who carries it?”

“At two hundred and fifty dollars a bottle? The Wine Shoppe on Beverly.”

“I’m on it. I have an account there. Can you get her to my house by seven?”

“Yours and Bette’s place, right?”

“God, yes! I’m back home!” I realize I’m shouting. ”Can she come? At seven?”

Jean’s voice sounds amused. “She’s nodding her head, yes, Tina.  So, looks like she’ll see you then.”

Joyce garden - dinner party

Bette and Tina’s House – 7:15 pm – Tina

The closer to three hundred dollar bottle of wine is breathing, Bette is late, and Joyce and I are touring the garden with Angelica. ”Did you know I have a house in Santa Fe?” Joyce asks.

”Did I? No.”

”I was there last month, and I gotta ask you . . . what was Bette’s mother like?  I can’t imagine.”

”Lovely, really. A very talented, interesting woman with, as you know, a very unusual story.”

”No signs of shadowy gangsters disguised as Indians?” Joyce smiles down at Angelica who spins streams of bubbles out of a wand.

Soap bubble - Secrets story

Then one lands inches from me, and I stare into it amazed and whisper, ”Bette’s mother’s an older lady painting in the desert, and friendly with the Native Americans. She fits in.”

”A perfect camouflage!” Joyce booms, which makes Angelica rush up to her, and the bubble bursts.


”I don’t know about that.” Joyce laughs. ”Can’t you think of something scarier?”

”Alley-ga-tor! Alley gator took a bite out of Mommy.” Angelica pats her stomach three times.

Inside the house Bette throws open the front door, and Joyce looks at me puzzled. ”That sounds impossible,” Joyce muses, “even for her.”

I wave away my daughter’s indiscretions. ”Should we try the wine?”

”I’m home! God! I’m so sorry I’m late!” Bette calls from somewhere inside.

”Let’s go in.” I motion Joyce toward the French doors that lead into the kitchen.

”The wine’s not the only reason I came tonight.” Joyce lifts up her goblet for a sip.  ”But this is very nice of you. I’m curious what’s up? Wasn’t that her coming in?”

”Actually, I need to talk to you both about . . .”

Bette_Tina CU Atlanta Kiss

From around the corner, Bette zooms into the kitchen with a vase full of flowers for me, and placing them on the counter, after a warm hello to Joyce, she sweeps me into a kiss.

”How are you?! I had the most incredible day! I got a Building Fund check for so much money! ”  Then, she lets me loose, and over her shoulder calls, ”Hang on, there’s more, but wait!  There’s a crate of cantaloupes in the car.”

”Why a crate?” My voice sails out after her.

Leaning against my kitchen counter, with a look of amusement on her face, Joyce asks, ”What’s for dinner? I don’t smell anything cooking.”

Bette kicks back open the front door, and sure enough, she’s hauling in a crate of cantaloupes. ”Joyce, please take some home.” Then to me, ”Baby, I’m thirsty, and I’m starved. What’s for dinner?”

Joyce pours her a glass of wine, and then winks toward the label. ”Take it slow, not your speed I know, but try to savor it.”

Bette blows back a lock of hair from her face, then locks her eyes onto Joyce. ”You do not need to lecture me about how to drink wine.”

”We’re ordering in from Puccini’s. I hope that’s alright.” I fetch the menus from the drawer.

”Puccini’s?”  Joyce opens the refrigerator, and sticks her head inside. ”Do you mind if I see what you’ve got in here? I’m a great cook.”

”Actually, so am I.” Bette opens the door wider, and standing side by side, I can sense between them a developing competition. Joyce tosses a package of uncooked pasta onto the counter, while Bette unloads produce from the drawer.

”What are you thinking Porter?”

”Hmm.” Bette takes a sip of wine. ”I challenge you to a linguine. You can make any kind you want, but mine is clams. What’s yours?”

”I’ll run get whatever you guys want,” I offer.

”You’re on, and you’re going down.” Joyce rolls up her sleeves. ”Tina, one second before you go.  I’ve got a few things for your list.”


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Bette’s Cooking Lesson

Kit_vertical shot

The Planet – Alice

Shane and I walk into The Planet for a mysterious “emergency” meeting called by Bette, I see something I’ve never seen before – Bette and Kit back in the kitchen. It’s appears they are cooking. This gives me pause.

“Lil Sister has brought a bushel basket of muddy ass kale up in here and dumped it all over my counters.” Kit fusses in that singing way she has, while giving me a look that says, “Help!”

I shy away from the piles of greens to be washed. “I don’t know. Where’d all the mud come from?”

Bette hooks a red apron around my neck and points me back to the sink.  “That’s how it grows, Alice, in the earth.”

“I don’t like kale, guys. It’s a fad. Okay? Just saying.” I tie back my apron. I haven’t worn one of these since that naughty role playing bit I did with Dana. She was the organic grower from the co-op farm . . .well, on second thought I could be convinced to like kale.
Shane Med shot Blue shirt

“Hey guys!” Shane saunters in and puts my beer on the shelf above the sink. My hands are submerged in darkening gritty water, and Bette continues to dump clump after muddy clump of greens into the sink. Looking over my shoulder at Shane I give her my best, ‘Run for your life!’ look but Bette’s too fast for me.

“You know how to cook?” Bette drops an apron over Shane’s neck and trusses her second hostage. Well, at least I’ll have company.

“Yes! Yes, I do know how to cook.” But I can tell she’s trying to think of what cooking really means in Bette’s current state of mind. Does it mean heating something up? Does it mean from scratch? Does it apply to Shane’s Alice B. Toklas Brownie Recipe?

Does Kit – God forbid – need us to actually cook something for the dinner menu tonight?

“Excellent!” Bette seems almost manic, as she finishes knotting Shane’s apron with a flair. Where’s Jodie? Supposedly, she’s an excellent cook.

Kit lifts up a checkered towel and rolled into a nice sized ball is fresh pizza dough. “Sis, the sourdough’s all done.”

Shaking off my hands I dry them on my apron. “Kale pizza?” I make a face.


“No, the kale is for green lemonade. Different subject, Alice.” Bette opens the lid to a deep red tomato sauce bubbling over a flame.

“This is all because of me. Lil Sis has got in her head ’cause the Doc told me I’ve got to watch my weight, and my cholesterol and what else?”

“Your blood sugar, Kit.” Bette says over her shoulder.

“Right, right. You know what?” Kit begins to hum a bluesy riff. “Blood sugar, umpf umpf. Blood sugar, my sugar umpf, yay-yay, umpf. I’m liking it. That would make a damn good tune.” She sways with her eyes closed lost to her musical reverie, and I notice for the moment that Bette lets her be.  I wish I knew how to sing.

Standing in the middle of the kitchen Bette takes a poll of her prisoners. “So, I don’t know how to cook; Kit doesn’t either. Alice?”

“Latkes? Do they count?” I offer hopefully, still not sure what Kit’s medical news has to do with kale.

“Chili. I can make Texas chili.” Shane pitches in her native dish.

Being in a kitchen hot or otherwise makes me thirsty. I swig down my beer. “Bette, what can you make? I’m getting the feeling here we’re all one note players.”

Bette tea ColorCorrected_nice muscles

“My specialty is actually breakfast.”

Shane nods her head, “I can see that. I bet you’re good at it. Flowers on the tray? A little sweet present inside a dish? A few more surprises to follow?”

“Okay, okay! We get the picture. Let’s move Bette’s morning along.” I wave at Shane to keep quiet while I try to figure out what’s going on in Bette’s mind.

“So, what I’m seeing here is you’ve got breakfast covered. Shane’s got chili. That could be lunch or dinner. I’ve got latkes so I’m of no help except during Jewish holy days. Sorry. But Kit’s improved our chances of survival with pizza.” I add it all up to something that makes no sense to me.

“The entire population of humans under thirty would be dead without pizza.” Shane looks around for agreement as to the pizza pie’s life saving qualities.

“Shane’s right. Without pizza the tech empire would crumble. No Internet!” I shout, suddenly alarmed at the thought.

“Doesn’t matter! We’re learning how to cook, so we can be healthier and live longer.”

“Wait! I thought that’s what sushi was for?” Shane says seriously.

“Eating fucking fishing bait. You realize you people are crazy?” Kit snorts.

Much later that night –


Bette’s bedroom – Bette

In my dream it’s morning and an omelet is browning in a skillet. I rush in from the garden with cut flowers, and I turn off the gas flame and slide the perfectly browned cheesy egg dish onto a plate.

I hear Tina’s voice. “Babe, can you bring in a bowl of strawberries, too? And why won’t you let me get up? I feel like I should help.”

“You haven’t wiggled free of your ropes yet, have you?” I ask playfully walking into our bedroom with her breakfast tray.

Popping a strawberry into her mouth Tina says, “Like I’m ever letting you do that to me.”

I lean in to kiss her, but she’s involved in munching. Well, it’s the thought that counts.

“We’re splitting this, right? You’re having most of this omelet, Bette. This is huge.”

Lying down my robe falls open, and she runs her hands down to my belly and scratches me like a beast. I sigh contentedly.  “Nope, all yours. I’m just going to lie in your lap and watch you eat it.”

My view up to her face is through the foreground of her breasts. A beautiful view of the woman I’m in love with on this Sunday morning, as she lightly scratches parts of me awake.  I chew the berry she pops in my mouth, and sigh contentedly some more.


It’s very true that women appreciate breakfast in bed. They like it on a tray. They like it pretty and they like it hot. The heat shows effort I’ve come to understand, and it makes them happy. Because of this discovery of mine, over time I’ve become a master chef of omelets. No one can trump me. And as the old adage says, “It’s all in the wrist.” So true for breakfast food and hopefully what follows. That flexible joint is key.

“Bette, here open your mouth. This is too good.” Tina slides a bite past my lips. It’s gooey and warm. The cheese I selected, perfect. Everything on a Sunday morning like today is foreplay. I reach up and circle her nipple with my fingertips. All night her body was mine and for hours we’d played on the fiery edges of possession. I lean up and suck on her nipple, when she brings another bite of breakfast to my lips.

“Not so fast.” She presses under my chin.

“If I help you eat this, will you do something for me?” I take a sip of coffee.

“You have a habit of asking these open-ended questions, Bette, as if you think I’ll ever fall for them.”

“Did you ever read Zap comics, any stories about, the Checkered Demon?” I ask.

“A comic book? No, I don’t read comic books. Do you?”

“Okay, well you missed something crazy and pretty great. See there was this demon frog in the story, Tina. The Checkered Demon, and when he wasn’t killing bad guys he was this great stud fuck kind of a demon. It was either, Star-Eyed Stella or Ruby the Dyke, who taunted him when he was boasting about his fucking abilities and one ’em said, “I bet I could lay under you all day, eat fried chicken, and do my nails all at the same time.”

“I’m so confused.” Tina leans back with her coffee balanced on her chest. “So, you actually read comic books?”

“These were extraordinary comic books, Tina. But the point is, I’ll eat the rest of the omelet, and leave you half the toast, and all the strawberries, if after breakfast you’ll try to give yourself a manicure. Let’s see how far you get.”

“So you’re going for beating the record of a frog demon? You want me to play Star-Eyed Stella, or what was the other one?”

“Well, you have actually have three to chose from. I neglected to mention, Lady Coozette and then there’s, Ruby the Dyke.”

“I’m Lady Coozette.”

“So perfect.” I smile as Tina gets sold on the idea.

“Anything else I should know?”  She hands me a glass of water from her nightstand.  “Jesus, Bette, don’t eat so fast.”

“Well, there is the matter of the length of this demon’s tongue.”

“Hmm. Lady Coozette is ready.”  She opens the drawer and takes out her nail polish, “I bet I can get a whole hand done, maybe more.”

“I’ll bet you three fingers, tops.”

“Bette, you have crumbs on your face.”

“Sorry,” I brush my chin, as I move away the breakfast tray. “Not for long.” I lie between her legs and hear her shaking the polish.

I begin to a lovely tempo as a lusty verse from D. H. Lawrence’s fig poem floats through my mind.

Folded upon itself, enclosed like any Mohammedan woman,
Its nakedness all within-walls, its flowering forever unseen,
One small way of access only, and this close-curtained from
the light;

Tina breaks into the verse of the poem running through my mind. “Oh, dear God.” But I keep my tongue to its focus, moving deeper into her concentration, and now, she’s opening just for me.

“Bette, you have to stop. You never make love to me so fast. I’m not sure I like it.”

“No.” I shake my head, as I take a deep breath.

Fig, fruit of the female mystery, covert and inward,
Mediterranean fruit, with your covert nakedness,

“Sweet Jesus. I don’t know what you’re doing.” Tina takes my curls in her hands and grabs the back of my neck. She pushes herself deeper up the length of my tongue. I can only smile inside, my lips and mouth are otherwise engaged.

Where everything happens invisible, flowering and fertilization, and fruiting.

I replay a circular licking tempo over and over. It’s one of her favorites, and when, I feel she’s there, I slowly slip my fingers out from her.

In the inwardness of your you, that eye will never see
Till it’s finished, and you’re over-ripe, and you burst to give
up your ghost.

“Oh, for Christsake! Please come up here and fuck me. I give up. I promise you, I give up.”

“So, the Checkered Demon wins?” I ask lying on top of her.

Bette's Tongue.2 on top

“Bette, God, you’re insane and I love you. Yes, the Checkered Demon wins!”

“I love you to, Baby. Is this what you want?”

“I didn’t even get past one finger!” She holds me as we kiss. “This is a rigged game the way you play, isn’t it?”

“How can you say that? Everybody, absolutely everybody wins.” I sigh as she slides down deeper onto my fingers. She looks at me while we make love. In her eyes I see myself in a tiny reflection before each one of her blinks.

My dream changes.

white wolf growl moonlight

Running through a field with each sprint I have wolf paws that claw into the earth. But who’s chasing me? I feel my breathing, now so ragged, as I crest a hill and try to break through a thicket of thorns. They wrap themselves around my legs and scratch into me as fight them for freedom.

A massive tangle of iron and parts of houses and cars, and the broken detritus of people’s lives swing from cables in a massive sculpture that hangs between the forest trees. I leap onto a platform inside the sculpture and spin fast around to see what’s following me.

On a slow spinning cylinder of shiny metal I see words and curious symbols engraved into it. What does it say? Stop spinning! What does it say? I stretch my neck up to see and out from my throat comes a wolf’s howling that sounds like a cry that awakens me drenched in sweat.

I lie in bed and rub my chest to steady and calm my breath.

My house is too quiet and my panting unnerves me.  I remember bad dreams after my mother left. I had them for years and searching for her all night long became what I did. Over and over again it happened. When I closed my eyes at night I hunted for her.

Goddammit! Why does this keep fucking happening to me? I think I give them everything they want but they still leave. This one’s not doing that. She’s not leaving me without a fucking word as to why. She can’t. Jodi, you can’t. I love you and I’m going to find you and make you come back. If Tina won’t come home then, you sure as hell will.

I roll over and push the pillows around. I’m tired of all this abandoning bullshit. This rotating door in my heart is ridiculous and painful and I’m about fucking finished with letting this happen to me again. I was happy with Jodi. Yes, she was a pain in the ass, but she was here and she’d started to be mine.

And punch the pillows again, I’m going to find her – wherever she is – and bring her back to me.


28. A Drink with the Gypsy

Tina panics and returns to the Gypsy for more insight, and she leaves with a powerful plan.

The L Word, Bette Porter, Tina Kennard, The L Word, Bette Porter, Tina Kennard, The L Word, Bette Porter, Tina Kennard, The L Word, Bette Porter, Tina Kennard, The L Word, Bette Porter, Tina Kennard,


The Ant Farm Bette Porter L Word Tina Kennard

Baby Angelica in Bette's arms

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.” Wm Faulkner – Light in August

Bette’s Garden – Tina

As I finish my jarring story, Bette looks at me with the most unusual expression. “What Gypsy? Where’d she come from?”

“Can you whistle, Bette?”

“A tune?”

“No. Can you whistle with your fingers, like for a cab or a dog?” I explain.

She puts two fingers in her mouth and sends out an alert in two beats. “Like this?”

From inside the house I hear Shane call out, “Yo!”

“What? You can’t do that?” Bette asks me in disbelief that mighty whistles are all that unique.

“No. I can’t do that.” I shake my head.

“It’s a tongue thing, really.” Bette says nonchalantly.

“It always is with you.”

Shane greets us back inside, “Hey! Stay and hang out with us, Tina. Alice has pizza warming in the oven.”

“Caesar salad, too.” Alice appears from Bette’s bedroom with a white jasmine scented candle. One I’d bought last spring and never lit. Alice places it next to Dana’s remains, and nods the bottle of wine at me. I should stay. I need to stay. They want me here.

Bette pours Merlot into the goblet we shared as I went back in time twenty years. “For you, T. It would be good if you stayed with us.” She reaches high up to the top cabinet’s latches. The ones I always had to get the stool for unless she was nearby to help. I look sadly at the soiled Starbucks cup that sits on the counter containing Dana’s ashes we stole earlier.

“Alice, I think I have a few nice jars and porcelain we can sort through for Dana. How many do you want? Four, three, six? What?”

It was uncomfortable going through all those emotions again. Feel drained, feeling disoriented by reliving them. I can almost feel the long, long arms of the Gypsy’s catching hold of me.

I remember the sawdust flying up as my feet dug in to run away. But the woman had held onto me and said, “You’ve been really hurt, child,” and the blood on my hand as I’d touched my back had confirmed a growing patch of wetness. She had told me not to worry, like her I would always have a Gypsy scar.


Remembering Me – Part One

Bette_Tina intheSheets


Lying in bed next to Tina, our baby asleep nearby in her cradle, my mind begins its uncertain drift – in and out of a satisfied state.  It’s been a wholly new experience having Tina back, after so much uncertainty.  After controlling my rage to not wrap my belt around Helena’s neck in revenge for all the damage she’s done.  Well, nearly did…before Tina regained her senses, finished her payback fling, and came home.

It’s also not lost on me that I’m relating with total strangers on the Internet, instead of with any of my friends. Or someone else involved in all of this – Tina springs to mind, but not yet, I can’t talk to her about what feels obsessive to me.

So, who in our circle of friends could, first of all keep a fucking confidence, or relate to any of my questions about being a new parent?

Alice has gone off the rails. Her obsession with Dana is all consuming. Tina feels really badly about it, and so do I. If we weren’t juggling with Angelica’s uncertain schedule of sleeping, feeding and pooping, followed by a fourth ball in the air, her blistering screams sometimes just for the hell of it, I know we’d either be admitting Alice into a psyche ward, or taking a long walk down the beach with her to size up the need for it.

Other’s neuroses aside, my quest for today is to understand this: When the primal bond between baby and mother is imprinting Tina as the sole provider of mother’s milk, what is left for me? Where do I fit in?

I stare out the window and wonder. Could I’ve predicted these lesbian Daddy blues?

More clouds roll in off the ocean and I feel lost.

LA Remembering Me Sky

If it’s being their provider, I never open my power suit closet any more. By now, I’ve probably forgotten how to walk in heels and not crash into a busboy.  I do, however; recognize the part of me who’s half-heartedly sending out her CV for job prospects every morning, but mostly, I stare at the professional listings letting my tea grow cold.

And without guilt, I like the new me, who has no desire to work, or wrestle with people’s egos, who mistakenly believe they know more than me. No. Fuck them. I’d rather spend my early mornings painting watercolors of Tina and the baby while they sleep, and my afternoons fantasizing about having sex some day, one day, any day again.

My eyes drift down from the clouds and I hope the secret blog I started will have answers today.  My cravings for the milkiness of Tina’s breasts, a very new scent in my house, has me tuned to it like a hungry dog.

I slip out of bed and stealthily make my way to my computer in the dining room.

Twenty minutes later –

I hear the shower cutting off and I switch my browser to NPR. On a low volume, Fresh Air with Terry Gross plays through the speakers, as Tina comes down the hallway and breezes past me on her way to the kitchen.

The refrigerator opens and closes.

“Bette, I’m going out shopping to buy grapes. What else do we need?”

”There’s a list around here somewhere.” I slap at my hips, but for the eighth day in a row I’m still in pajamas, no pockets.

”Here it is. Okay, got it,” I say, as her head appears around the corner of the dining room. “I found it under a notebook.”

”Bye!” she says, taking the list. “The baby’s fed and she’ll need changing soon.”

“I got this.” I answer, as Tina scoops up her keys and leaves.

Immediately, I reconnect to my blog, ostensibly about breast feeding, but I’m actually seeking more.

I see a post from DaisyMae33 and I clap my hands together.  Maybe today I’ll get some answers!

DaisyMae33 writes:

”This is my first pregnancy, and I really didn’t know what to expect. My hometown is far away from where I live so, I’m pretty much doing this alone with my boyfriend. Do any other new mothers have this going on? My boyfriend has lost his mind over sucking my breast milk.”

I stop reading and my mouth drops open.

Jesus, I’m not alone…

”At first, when I got home from the hospital he was really good about keeping away from me, but then, one night after I’d gotten some rest, he was on me like a thunder for my milk.”

I repeat her description aloud in what I guess is her rural accent, “on me like a thunder.”

Nodding my head, I read on.

”It’s something I’ve never dreamed of mixing with sex. It’d felt strange at first, cause it was meant for the baby, but he loves it so.

“Last night he came home, after talking to his older sister about her having babies, and said, if I wanted to I could keep lactating after the baby was weened.  I know he’s getting serious about this new thing between us, and honestly, I’m thinking about it. Any of you other new mothers being asked about this?”

I lean back in my chair. Would Tina ever, ever, ever in a million years…?

The next post is from BabyRuth123:

”This is our first child, and I’m not the daddy exactly. My girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last month, and every body if you need to, just get over it ’cause we’re lesbians.

“Where we live there aren’t any women, who are so openly gay they wanna hang a big sign over their heads by having a baby, but we finally just didn’t give a hoot anymore, and we live out of town on my ranch, anyway.

“The baby’s schedule’s finally settling down, but my girlfriend’s hormones are still running the show! Anybody got any thoughts on how long this new mother phase lasts? I’m starting to feel a little sex crazy out here.”

I write my post using my handle, MilkyWay33, and describe my own breast milk dilemma with Tina.

”My partner had a C-section, not by design but by emergency. Her scar is healing, but she’s still sore and the baby never sleeps through the night.  So, what we do share is not much sleeping, but no lovemaking either.”

I lean back in my chair wondering: why it feels so good to confess my problems to total strangers?

I continue, ”A few night ago she came to bed with her breasts still full of milk. Maybe she’d forgotten to pump after feeding the baby, or maybe she was just too tired – I don’t know how it happened – but it did.  Now, every time night falls and the baby’s had her last feeding, I want her milk again.

“Helpful advice from new mothers and their partners welcome.”

I never have days like this.

I hit ‘Send’.

One hour later –

Angelica is in her baby carrier in the bathroom with me. My plan is to shower and take a much needed reevaluating look at myself in the mirror. Should I get job? Or should I borrow money until I can support us on my newly discovered fixation of painting mother and child watercolors? I suppose that’s a plan,…if I’m feeling delusional.

No sooner do my pajamas hit the tile floor, and the much needed shower spray hits my skin, the baby begins to fuss and cry. I ignore it, as the smells of me having been away from soap and water too long begin to wash away.

After a minute or two I peek from behind the shower door to see Angelica red-faced and really pissed off at me. I hurriedly wash my hair, while the baby continues her incessant yowling.

On the sensitive subject of baby crying Tina and I are back and forth about how long to let it go on, but this fit is really escalating into a hurricane of a wail.

I abandon my efforts at showering.

“Okay, okay, listen here, you’re fine.” I try talking Angelica down, when I’m faced with two monumental decisions.

Drawstrings on my pants today? Or elastic to hold them up?

I toss the towel back toward the bathroom door, and go with blue Nike drawstrings.

Tucked between the bed pillows, the baby continues to wail.  If she weren’t so obviously safe, so over-the-moon cared for, and a thousand pictures of her taken everyday by three, I’d worry about her, but I think she’s just letting off steam.

“Baby, baby, baby, what’s the trouble here? Not enough colors in the rainbow for you today? ” I tickle her tiny foot, but that only proves to be more infuriating.

Wow! This child can scream, when suddenly, the bedroom door flies opens and Tina,  wet patches spreading across the her blouse, charges in.

“What?” I shrug, sure of my innocence. “I didn’t do anything at all to get her twisted off like this.”  To prove my point I pick the baby up and rock her. “See we’re good. I was just putting some clean clothes on.”

Angelica still cries in my arms, but her volcanic bellowing has subsided.

Exasperated, Tina looks at her soaking wet blouse. “Bette, just give her to me. I’ll take her and feed her. I mean…look at me!”

“I know we’re a handful. You’ve got it hard.” I laugh sympathetically and hand Angelica over to Tina. “How was the outside world anyway?”

“They put a new wood-fired pizza oven at the market, and the smog’s not too bad today.”  She walks out of the room calling over her shoulder, “Will you put the groceries away, while I feed the baby? I didn’t buy much at all. Grapes, a few things, you’ll see.”

Instinctively, my nose follows the whiffs of her breast milk down the hallway. and my hungry horny dog is back.

A few hours later –

I sneak back to see if anyone’s answered my blog confession.

LibertyBell33 writes:

“To tell the truth y’all, it does get better. Hang in there Mommas! It may sound simple but, as soon as you can, go find somethings you used to do regular, and then go do them two days in a row. I swear it’ll make you feel yourself again. I know it’s just a little thing, but don’t dismiss it.”

The next post is from RodeoRider77:

“Good, another gay mom! Glad 2 CU BabyRuth.  My baby’s and mine sex life really did flip flop around there for a while. I finally had to take a firm hand about it with her one day and remind her that it was time, so let’s go. And it was trouble only a few times after that.

“If this seems like your style, then I’d say, quit wasting time reading my post about it and get on with your business.”

I switch back to on my browser page and look at the time.

Four o’clock.

Not enough information to gauge how I might pull this off, or if it’s even possible.  Four o’clock could mean any number of things.

Quickly, I rinse the bunch of grapes and put them in a bowl. Next, I make two lemonades, spiking mine with vodka and wonder…a flower on the tray, maybe?

No, too much. Just the grapes and twenty uninterrupted fucking minutes.

I walk out to the pool where Tina’s sitting on the steps doing baby dips into the salt water with Angelia. I sip my spiked lemonade. “Delicious!” I say, handing her a plastic tumbler.

“Come join us. You want to take her? She loves this!” Tina sips her lemonade, while Angelica comes to bounce in the shallow water with me.

“I thought it might be nice for us to have a drink and visit a little.”

“’bout what?” Tina fishes a lemon seed out of her drink.

“Hm. Oh. About. . . did you see that hummingbird just now? Early for this time of year.”

“I didn’t,” Tina says, and we look around our garden for hummingbirds that were never there.

“Tee, look at me for a second.” I crook the baby in my arms sideways and she wiggles to swim away. I lean over and kiss Tina’s lips once, twice and I wait an inch from her mouth. She kisses me back softly.


I draw her into a deeper kiss, lovelier even still, when a rapping comes from Shane’s side of the fence.

“Hey, are you guys cool with me dropping off a gift for the baby?” Shane’s voice carries into our garden.

Tina looks at me for my answer.

“I was enjoying this…between us…what’d you want to do?” I ask the ‘Question of the Hour’.

“I hate to turn her away,”  Tina says, hesitantly.

Hearing no answer from our side, Shane calls, “Look, I’ll just come back…whenever.”

I shout over the fence to her, “Shane, how about you watch Angelica for half an hour? Could you do that for me?”

The gate creaks open and Shane walks through with an armload of crazily wrapped packages.

Tina says, “Bette! Look at these handmade papers!” Then to Shane, “This is so sweet of you.”

I nod my head in definite agreement while silently mouthing, “T H I R T Y…M I N U T E S,” behind Tina’s head.

Shane plays it cool. “I was just messing around with the airbrush yesterday at the skate shop.” She leans down to Angelica, who sends back a delighted baby-blubber of giggles, and that’s my cue to leave.

I hand the baby off to Shane. “My friend, this means the fucking world to me right now. You have no idea.”

Shane_Med_bluegreen bckgrd

“I have an idea.” She rocks the baby in her arms. “I’m gonna take her home, and not hang out here by your pool.”

Almost at the gate, she turns back and says, “You look good, Bette. Not working suits you.”

“I’ll find you in about…?”

“An hour is fine. Whatever. Hey, you don’t mind if I smoke weed around the baby, do you?”

“Puff away.” I bow to Shane and run inside my house.

Down the hall I hear the shower running. I can do that again! I strip off my clothes in the hallway and throw open the door to the bathroom.

“Good God! What are you doing?” Tina shouts, as I collide with her. “Did something happen? Is the baby all right?” Then she looks curiously at me. “Bette, where are your clothes?”

This brings me up short. Make a move or die time.

I go for it.

Gripping her by the hair at the back of her head, I kiss her with everything I’ve got and send up a flare to all the other frustrated motherfuckers out there, everything’s a negotiation, absolutely everything.

Here’s my point: This next kiss must go well.

I hear a sports announcer’s voice narrating in my head.  “This dive is very important. It all rides on this, doesn’t it Cecily?”

Cecily says,”You’re so right, Lance. Her form, how she enters the pool, how many back flips she makes, all determine this diver’s score.”

Lance says,  “Let’s show our viewers a graphic of Porter’s double-flip-twist combo.”

Cecily’s voice over continues, “Impressive!  But can she do it from such a high diving platform?”

Lance sounds excited to be a witness to my feat of greatness, “I’ve gotta admit, she’s very, very high up there. . .eight hundred feet above the water.”


Cecily finishes breathlessly, “Let’s see what the judges say, as she makes her final diving attempt now…for the gold.”

Bedroom –

In a series of diagonal backwards steps and sudden turns I lead Tina through doorways and around corners and now, softly down.

I make wind of her clothing. Some fly to the left, more off to the right, everywhere but still on her.

From the bed, she watches my stomach muscles flexing as I pant and wait and lean over her…waiting…waiting…waiting…because I don’t want to forget this look in her eye of remembering me.


My tongue moves down her neck to awaken the milk in her breasts. Sucking, sucking, sucking her nipple, until it weeps a salty-sweet milk flow.

She massages her breast while whispering, “Bette, you have no idea what this feels like with you. You can’t. But I think somehow you do.”

A mist appears between us.

I can’t wait.

“Ohhh…Babe,” Tina cries, as we slide and slide together.

“I love you.”

“Oooo…you feel good.”  She lifts me up from her nipple by my chin.  “But I promise, I don’t have the stamina, Bette, for one of your long journeys to the edge and back again.”

”But you know, I’m no good at quickies. I’m just not built for it.”

”Yes, you are.”  She quickens our pace, thrusting her hips against mine. ”Bette, it’s a known fact.  You know exactly how to make me orgasm.”

”Well, when you ask for it so nicely…”

”Ooooo…ohh…” she moans, as her muscles throb up and down my fingers.

”We won’t wait.”  I shake my milk haze away and concentrate on making love to her.

“Don’t wait. Don’t wait.”

I lick the milk dripping from her nipples and feel her touch moving round and round on my clitoris.

Arching my back, reaching deep into her with beats against her cervix, ripples of orgasm shake her body.

She cries out, “Oh that hurts, hurts, hurts…with perfect pain.”

Knowing I’ll never stop, no matter what she says, we go over the edge and our orgasm breaks in waves between us.

She moans until our last shutter.

Finally, breaking our kiss, she says, “Bette, we have to find a babysitter.”


Remembering Me Part Two is here: