Switch-hitter Jodie

Spring, 1985 Lynn, Massachusetts

Four days before my 27th birthday the Revere Girl and I had our final blow out. She told me we were absolutely through and our 10 month off and on again emotional rollercoaster crashed. I was devasted and not sure where to go or what to do next. As disoriented and defeated as I felt, I knew I didn’t want to be alone.

So one day I’m at  work and I meet this girl Jodie. She told me she was bisexual, and that she wasn’t pursuing any long term relationships. I wasn’t super attracted to her but  I was tired of drinking alone at the Coachman after work so when she asked me if I wanted to get together I said “okay”. We had a couple of beers and went back to my apartment. I found out when she wasn’t wearing men’s flannel shirts she was actually kind of pretty, and she was pretty fun to be with.  We started hanging out together, sometimes going to clubs in Boston, sometimes going to my bedroom, other times going out with her and one or more female friends to roller skate or hang  out at  a mystical apartment in Jamaica Plain…not sure to this day why I went there but I woke up with a fat happy Angorra cat on my chest and a tall tough looking tattooed lady peeking in the room, cracking a smile and saying “she usually doesn’t like men”…

Jodie and I weren’t in love but we would make frenzied love at times and then go  out for some other amusement. We went to see Simple Minds play at the Wang Center and I remember my friend Brian from work teasing me “I don’t think she knows who they are or what they play!” Nonetheless it was a good time. Sometimes I wouldn’t see her for days. She almost never went to her home in Swampscott and usually I had to call her at work or catch her when she stayed at her grandmother’s apartment on Revere Beach Boulevard. One Sunday morning in June we learned that Valerie,  one of the developmentally disabled women at a group home we worked at had died in her sleep during an epileptic seizure. The night before I had visited while Jodie was working with her  and we remembered her warm cheery goodnight-  Valerie was so proud of the progress she’d been making. Jodie  found her the next morning. I was worried that Jodie would be traumatized, but she seemed very stoic. “I liked Valerie and it’s sad but I guess it was her time” was all she said. I remember my supervisor Lisa saying she thought it was weird that Jodie was so calm, and I just said “Everyone has their own way of dealing with these things”.

For several months Jodie and I drifted in and out of each others lives, always with happy reunions. Eventually we both fell for the same girl, and suddenly things were complicated.


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Written by PaulPallazola

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