Story - Drowning in a Glass of Iced-Tea
There was a slight splash as the last drop of condensation hit the puddle growing around my glass of iced-tea, like a mote surrounding a castle. There I sat at a table with my mother, arms crossed and a frown on my face.
It was a cold damp day in November of 2000, an early Saturday afternoon to be precise. I was starving not to mention miserable and complaining about everything, so my mother decided that the only way to shut me up was to feed me. We ended up at my favourite restaurant The RED Devil, (which no longer exists) where we got stuck with a good-for-nothing lousy waitress named Carmin. I must have been sipping on my iced-tee for what seemed like an eternity before I had enough courage to tell my mother what was on my mind. We sat in silence.
“1523”, I said. Inconspicuously I shivered inside as the number rolled of my tongue. It was as if my soul had been filled with sharp jagged pieces of ice.
“1523?” my mother inquired with intrigue in her eyes.
You see, 1523 was the locker number of the girl I had recently fallen head over heels in love with. How was I going to explain? My voice became dry as lumps started to rise in my throat.
”Hi, can I get you some dessert or coffee maybe?” Great, saved by the twit in red. I was relieved, yet angry at the fact that she interrupted me. Finally she was gone and I was left to answer the question, which was now beginning to feel like an interrogation.
”It’s my new crush”, I answered through gulps of iced-tea.
“She’s tall, blonde, has blue eyes and before I forget she’s in O.A.C.”
Within moments I was out of the closet and boy did it feel GREAT! I was finally me again and able to share it with the only person I’ve ever loved, trusted and cared for; my mother. At first my mother was petulant then furious with rage. It was not like she didn’t know before hand, it was a relization that she had known all along but I had finally confronted her ever so boldly with the truth. I ate dessert in silence, until little miss red riding hood the stupid waitress came back.
”Can I get you anything else?”Carmin asked us with a fake smile on her face. (She was having a bad day)
“No.” I said, frustrated as hell.
This girl was really starting to get on my nerves. She continued on not hearing a word I said, asking me if I’d like a refill of iced-tea or coffee, maybe even a cappuccino. By now she was really pissing me off. I had to scream at her at the top of my lungs in the crowded restaurant to get her to leave. And with that she was gone, only to return to seconds later.
“Would you like the bill?” she asked grinning.
I groaned with frustration. She was right, I did want something else.
”God I hate her.” I said to no one in particular. We paid the bill and drove home in silence, with only the sound of remote breathing.
It was now Monday morning and it didn’t take long before the entire student body knew I was a lesbian. The only OUT lesbian at that. Day after day I was confronted by rude individuals; who only knew of ignorance, harassing me and lowering my self-esteem. I was ostracized and left alone, with only myself to confide within. I would listen to the cruel derogatory names as hard and cold as stone. It was as if the world had turned it’s back on me and left me alone to rat in self-hatred, to decay with my impure thoughts. By now Grade 9 was half way over and semester 2 had just begun. At this stage in my life my mind had given away to worship the state of abhorrence and everything that surrounded this dark path. Lauren, my crush a.k.a 1523 was a complete and self-righteous bitch, who wouldn’t give me the time of day. To add to my problems I was also told that she was the head guidance counselor’s daughter. She treated me like an outcast, just like everyone else. I will never forget her as long as I live.
By June of 2001 I was clinically depressed, suffering from anxiety attacks and suicidal. I just finished my exams so some stress was alleviated, but the torment of not being able to fit in was still thick and heavy in the air.
It was 8 months since I last saw her and she was my waitress again. At first I was thinking great I’m stuck with stupid again, however this time it wasn’t that bad. In actuality I was surprised she even talked to me from the way I previously treated her. We started off by having an immensely long conversation about chickens and vegetarianism. It was then I mentioned that I was a polo-vegetarian, I can only eat poultry. It turns out Carmin’sa pesco-vegetarian, so she can only eat fish. We had a lot in common. It wasn’t until that very moment that I felt I was part of the world again, I finally fit in. It was in that instant I fell in love, with just one glance of her light sparkling blue eyes in the subdued light. I love Carmin; and will continue to love Carmin ; she made me realize there is more to life than vengeance and hatred. She brought me back into this world proud to be me and I will never forget it. Thank you Carmin, you saved me from going through circumstances that were leading towards abhorrence, that were disrupting my mind, body and soul. No body hugs me the way you do.
Throughout my whole life up until June of 2001, it was as if I was drowning in a glass of iced-tea, the same glass of iced-tea I drank each week with nothing but an ice cube to hold onto.