It’s odd. I never really saw myself spending my life with anyone. I would be on my own, and I was content. I knew I was queer, and loved it, but it didn’t really seem important. It was just a part of who I was.
Then there was the Oresteia. Yes, Greek Tragedy: The only way to fall in love.
Kibbles was in the cast of Oresteia too. I’d met her at the start of the school year at our arts high school, the Academy. We were both in the Visual Arts department before long, we had became the best of friends, and I had convinced her to join the show with me at Oddfellows Playhouse.
My birthday fell two months before the show, and a bunch of my friends and I had my house to ourselves to eat cake, make music, play with henna, and paint all over one another shirtless. It was the best birthday ever. The night was surreal, and I was documenting the event, mainly taking photos of Kibz playing guitar. Before we collapsed on blankets in bunches around the house, Kibz called “Dibs on Viv!” (That’s me.) I’ve never tried so hard not to touch someone’s hair than when she slept next to me on the floor that night.
Upon developing the film, I told my friend Jack in photo class that there was a serious problem. If I printed these pictures, I was going to fall in love with Kibz. (It was a problem, he said. She was still dating our friend at the time.) I knew it was too late.
Fast forward about a month to Academy Prom. We sat as far from the dancing as we could, and talked (she dressed as Harlequin, I in my tux), and got yelled at for not dancing with anyone. I’d never forgotten the world existed for as long as that night where I slept curled up, on the floor again, next to her, surrounded by friends with her girlfriend on her other side.
Their relationship ended soon after. It was long and justified in its coming.
By opening night of the show, I’d realized that the start of Act II was absolutely my favorite thing in the entire world. We stood lined up backstage in the dark, and each night, my stage-fright jitters were replaced by the anticipation of her fingers wrapped around my ribs and her head against my shoulder.
Week two of the show: We couldn’t be separated Saturday night once the show ended, so I went to sleep over her house, completely exhausted but happy.
Around two a.m. I nearly fell asleep curled up in her lap, on her bed, surrounded by the dulcet sounds of P!nk and the blue light of her clock, with her fingers in my hair, tracing patterns on my face. But I didn’t.
As her fingers brushed my lips, I knew, somehow, that it was very important that I stay awake long enough to smile. So I did, and opened my eyes enough to see her gazing down at me, dipping her head, and she kissed me. And I kissed her. And we didn’t sleep that night.
The next day, noontime, after we’d slept a few hours, we stumbled down the street to our friend Joshie’s house. As we ducked around the banister, we snuck another kiss, unwilling to leave our dreamland from the night before. “I saw that!” he called, from his room around the corner. “I saw that coming a mile away.”
(Seven months later I’m away in college, and still I realize every day, all over again, how much I love this girl.)