I open my laptop, and there’s a popup on the right hand side of the screen--“Reminder: Valentine’s day tomorrow.”
I hit ‘snooze’ on that reminder. Which seems like an odd way of dealing with “Valentine’s Day tomorrow” but I’m good with that. Because --
A few minutes ago I came home to my apartment and found a note on my empty, half made bed. A note, as well as a small chocolate bar that said ‘girl power’ on the wrapper, and the only copy of a photo booth picture of me and her. Her being Montreal Bae. Or I should say, Marcey my Montreal Bae. But Marcey isn’t such a sexy name for a butch lesbian, so mostly I will just call her Montreal Bae.
Montreal Bae was my Valentine this year.
Montreal Bae and I met when my family went on a vacation to Montreal over winter break. For 14 hours I sat in a car with my family, who I am not completely out to- which bothers me. It bothers me because my family and I are really close. We tell each other everything. But the subtle hints and less subtle hints I’ve made about my queerness have been met with little to no response. Which is leading me to believe they know, but are just pretending to not know. And it bothers me. So, as a coping mechanism I spend most of the 14 hour car ride swiping through tinder. I match with ladies all through Michigan, on to Ontario, and all the way up to Montreal. Like Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind them on their journey. Except my trail was marked not by bread crumbs, but by soft butches and non-binary cuties.
I updated my tinder profile; “visiting Montreal for the week, show me where the cool kids hang out”
I match with a girl named Marcey. She messages me, saying, she knows where all the cool kids hang out, and she’ll be my tour guide tonight at 10pm. If I’m free.
Montreal Bae picks me up from my hotel. She is dressed in tight skinny jeans, a button up short sleeve jean shirt, and a black snapback that she wears backwards. This could be an outfit that any of the people I have dated would wear. My best friend Jen describes my type, pretty accurately, as “Girls who dress like stylish Asian men.”
Montreal Bae takes us to a swanky bar in the basement of an old factory. The room was dimly lit with Christmas lights. She puts her hand on my leg when she laughs, and says my name often. She’s funny when she talks. She says stupid things, but they seem endearing with her strong Canadian accent.
After a couple strong mixed drinks, we’re tipsy, and kiss outside the bar. We park the car behind a nearby High School, and make out till early morning.
And this happens again the next night. She picks me up at 10pm, after a day of sightseeing with my family. She takes me to a new, dimly lit bar. We drink strong drinks, and makeout. Then we park behind a nearby High School, and hook up. I sneak back into my hotel room around 3:00 am, and wake up at 7:00am.
On the last night of the vacation, we say goodbye. Montreal Bae and I decide we’ll say in touch. We’ll be penpals. She has a close friend who’s studying at University of Chicago, so maybe she’ll even visit one day. It’s simple, sweet, and lovely.
Back in the states, a few weeks after the vacation, Montreal Bae and I text occasionally.
I can’t remember how it happened exactly, but she starts sexting me all the time. I’d never sexted much before, so I call my best friend Jen for advice. Jen says that as a writer, I could look at this as a writing exercise. I quickly go from a sexting newb to an old pro. Tailoring my writing style, and tone. Using a variety of mediums to keep things interesting. A descriptive text here, followed by some short bullet points, maybe sprinkle in a voice recording, short snapchat video, or that tool on iPhones where if you turn the texting page sideways you can draw a picture.We’re sexting all the time. It’s hardly even sexual for me at this point.
I hide my phone when I’m in public because chances are Montreal Bae has left me an explicit text. Which is exactly what I’m expecting when I receive a text from her one afternoon. But to my surprise, the text reads “You’re going to be so excited! I bought a plane ticket to Chicago. I’m coming to visit you next week.”
A week passes, and with little planning on my part, Montreal Bae is landing in Chicago, and I’m at the airport to pick her up. First thing she does when she sees me is hand me a postcard that reads:
I knew I would see you again one day!! You’re smart and into art! I hope you never have to hear me fart! You’re all about Pussy Power!! Oh Baby I cannot wait to eat your Flower. I am excited for the weekend away & for today & the next day!! Cuz I get to spend it with you woo hoo!
For the next three and a half days, or 84 hours we'll be together. Nonstop.
Here’s the highlights of the weekend;
I pick her up from the airport.
We meet up with her friend who studies at University of Chicago and his uppity hipster girlfriend in wicker park.
We walk around an art gallery.
She is always holding my hand and touching me.
We take two shots of Fireball.
We go out to a queer lady’s dance party at this bar called Big Chicks.
We get inline outside the bar, directly behind my ex and their new partner.
I panic and run into a nearby convenience store.
I compose myself and join Montreal Bae back in line.
The line is very long, and Montreal Bae is upset by how many men are in line. She yells loudly “If you don’t have a vagina, go home”
… sidenote; there is so much wrong with this statement, I don’t know where to begin.
My ex and their new partner, who are wearing matching pom pom hats, are beyond appalled.
My ex says “plenty of people who identify as women don’t have vaginas, and deserve to be here just as much as you.”
Montreal Bae’s arm is around me throughout this entire interaction, and I think I’m going to die.
I think about the possibility of getting into the bar, losing Montreal in the crowd, and going home without her, but all her stuff is at my place, so it wouldn’t work.
To cope with my extreme discomfort I get drunk and aggressively make out with Montreal Bae in front of my ex.
I throw up outside of Big Chicks.
We go back to my apartment.
She falls asleep. I can’t sleep because she snores so loudly.
After a night of not sleeping, I receive a text from my ex, saying they were glad to see me last night and ends with ‘looks like you two were having a good time...’
I go into the bathroom and cry.
I feel guilty for going into the bathroom to cry, because Montreal Bae came all the way from Montreal to see me.
We go downtown to the Bean.
We take couple-y pictures at the bean.
We bicker after I say I don’t always want to be holding hands.
We met up with my best friend Jen.
We walk down State Street.
Monreal Bae goes to Pacsun.
I roll my eyes because Pacsun is a store for emo high schoolers with skateboards…
Sidenote; she’s 30 years old, do you know anyone who’s 30 that shops at Pacsun?
Jen asks me how things are going. I tell her that maybe 84 hours together, nonstop, was not a great idea.
We leave Jen.
We go out for a Valentine’s dinner.
We meet up with her friend and his uppity hipster girlfriend at a bar in Wicker Park.
We take photo booth pictures.
We go home.
I still can’t sleep because she snores so loudly.
We wake up and go to an expensive brunch and I worry about how much money I’ve been spending.
We go home.
We bicker over what to do that night. She wants to go out for her last night here. I say I don’t want to spend anymore money.
We get pizza and bicker over who should pay for it. I say that I’ve been spending a lot of money, and she says that she’s “the one that bought a plane ticket to visit!” To which, I yell “I never told you to do that!”
We talk a break from each other, me in my room, her in my living room.
We eat the delivered personal deep dish pizzas in silence.
We fall asleep on opposite sides of my couch watch “Ants” on Netflix.
The next morning, we apologies for fighting the night before.
I get ready for work. I’m teaching a one hour class this morning.
Before I leave, we make plans to get lunch before I take her to the airport
She says “see you when you get back.”
I leave to go to work for an hour.
I come home and hour later.
I open the door to my bedroom and see note on my empty, half made bed. A note, as well as a small chocolate bar that says “girl power” on the wrapper, and the only copy of the photo booth picture of me and her. The note reads:
I left. I wanted to tell you face to face, but I knew how important today was for you. I didn’t want to fuck that up for you....
Sidenote; it was just a normal day at my job.
Honestly deep down inside I know you already know this … but we are just not for each other. This may hurt at first, because trust me I’m sad too but soon I know you will see it too, if you don’t already. You deserve to be with someone who compliments you. I truly believe you only really like the idea of me. It hurt at first but now I see I’m just not right for you & I don’t think you’re right for me either. I had an amazing time thou, please know that. Please look back & smile.
And she is gone.
And all her stuff is gone.
And everything she had brought, from Canada for me, is now laying in an organized line on my bed. All that stuff she’d already given to me, that was in different areas of my house, she’d gathered, and placed in a line on my bed, along with this book which she hadn’t given me, I bought it myself, we had never even talked about it. I don’t know what that book was doing in the pile.
The second I finish reading the note, Jen calls me. Immediately I start crying, “ I didn’t even like her” I say, “ I’m just mad that I didn’t get to break things off myself. Didn’t get to end things on my terms.”
I open my laptop, and there’s a popup on the right hand side of the screen “Reminder: Valentine’s day tomorrow.” I hit ‘snooze’ on that reminder. I clear her stuff off my bed, and for the first time in 84 hours I fall asleep.
About the author...
Anna Rose Wolfe is an writer / performer. She is the co founder of Scout & Birdie. Anna is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies. She performs regularly with The LIVINGroom, a solo performance ensemble. Anna has been featured in venues and fests around Chicago, such as Life Line Theater’s Fillet of Solo Festival, Greenhouse Theatre Center’s Solo Celebration, Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival, National Cool Shorts, Flat Iron Comedy, Greenhouse Theatre Center's SoloPerformance Lab, The Plagiarists Salon, and The Election Monologues.
Want to read more of Anna's work?
Check out her piece, Gan Israel, from our First Impressions issue!