Chapter 5: Samantha, Part 1

Chatting up a lesbian with AIDS.

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On the top floor, there are only two apartments: mine, and my neighbour Samantha’s. Samantha is a lesbian living with her cat, Balthazar, and AIDS. I know Samantha has AIDS because I saw her in the park one day chilling out on the grass. She was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I have AIDS, get used to it!”

We’d seen each other a few times in the lift and said hi, but I never got to know her that well. This seemed like opportune moment and I jumped at it.

“Do you really?” I asked.

“What, have AIDS?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

Normally, that would have been a conversation killer, but while I stared at her wondering if this would be an appropriate time to bring up Jennifer Aniston, she proved to be no ordinary girl.

“Why don’t you join me? Grab a grassy pew, as it were,” she said, smiling widely.

Up until she was diagnosed, Samantha was a prostitute*, and that was how she got AIDS.

*A lot of people don’t like the word “prostitute” and demand that you say “sex worker”. But first of all, the word “prostitute” has been around longer than “sex worker”, and I have noticed that people who demand political correctness are often the same people who protest outside old buildings that are about to be demolished, harping on about the importance of preserving history, so I personally have never hesitated to say “prostitute”, because those types of people annoy me.

“Isn’t it dreadful how you have to be HIV positive in order to get AIDS? You would expect the people who come up with these terms to be more sympathetic for surely it is the most negative thing in the world to look forward to.”

Samantha told me she had been writing the story of her life for the past two months and was worried she would never complete it as she had only written 364 words so far.

“Don’t worry,” I said reassuringly, “one more word and it’ll be a year’s worth!”

She laughed and told me her girlfriend would shortly be joining us. She had such a beautiful laugh, I felt like I was listening to the kind of bells that only ring out in Christmas songs. I considered asking her if she would be interested in providing a sample for my friend Fred who worked as a DJ but thought it premature. She would probably be more inclined to agree to being featured on Fred’s Coconut Rasta Remix 2010 after a few drinks. As would anyone else.

As I studied her small face, I found myself drawn to her. She wasn’t very pretty, but displayed great strength you wouldn’t expect from such a small frame. I asked if she was bisexual, she said she only fancied women. That was how I confirmed she was a lesbian.

“So you only had female clients when you used to… turn tricks?” (I was rather proud of myself for remembering this term I had learnt from watching Pretty Woman — it made me feel like I was “down with it”. Whatever that meant.)

“No, they were all men. It’s like any bloody job, isn’t it? You always gotta do what you don’t like to do.”

Another little jingle rang out to tell us that an ice cream truck was nearby and Samantha started talking about the last boyfriend she had.

To be continued…

Copyright 2011 June Low All Rights Reserved

June is down with lesbians, contrary to popular belief.


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