A few months back, I was having dinner with a good friend of mine. We were romping happily through our third, rather cheeky, glass of wine chatting about our relationships when she said with a sigh:
“Sometimes I wonder if I’m gay. I just… love boobs.”
“I understand,” I said, nodding sagely.
This isn’t the first time that a “straight” woman has quietly divulged her inner Sapphic to me. One friend asked coyly where I thought she was on the spectrum; another laughed when I referred to her as a straight woman and said she “wasn’t so sure about that”; yet another couldn’t work out if she fancied beautiful women or just wanted to be them.
I often meet women who, when I tell them I’m gay, look at me with a bright, curious spark in their eyes. I know that look; I used to give it to lesbians before I came out. I can sense that there’s something brewing: a question mark, a wondering.
I meet one of these women at a brunch thrown by one of my best friends. She’s smart, witty and exuberant; a passionate traveller who bubbles up with stories of life off the beaten track.
“You should totally go out with her,” my friend whispers whilst she’s off in the loos.
“Is she gay?” I whisper back.
“No idea,” she rasps. “Could be.”
At the end of the brunch I say goodbye to the Traveller.
“I’m heading to Zambia this weekend but we should definitely hang out!” she says at the end of the brunch, giving me a squidge and a smile.
“We should!” I say, tapping my number into her phone.
Is she just looking for a partner in crime? A fellow singleton to go out on the piss with, swapping stories and heartache over pancakes the next morning? Am I an itch to scratch? A box to tick? A kiss, fondle or fuck that she can cross off her bucket list with a flourish? Are her lingering looks a sign of Sapphic tendencies or have I misplaced my gaydar in outer Mongolia?
Whatever she wants, I feel like I’m finally, falteringly, starting to get over Blue Eyes. So, when I suggest to Blue Eyes we meet up to hand over our stuff and she suggests a pint, I agree.
After all, there’s no harm in a nice, casual pint between friends, is there?