In celebration of the release of the second collection of my lesbian erotica, I’m posting a snippet and a nugget of background about each of the five stories in the volume.
The middle story, Glory B. spans a lifetime in 1,700 words. An imaginary friend is a comfort for many children, but what if she is real? What if she is, quite simply, the love of your life? The protagonist knows she’s being fanciful, but she can’t stop looking for Glory B. in the corners of her life, and in the women she forms relationships with.
This story sprang into my head when I was having breakfast in a diner in Baltimore and the waitress’ name tag read Glory B. I was just back from Ireland, where Catholicism permeates daily life to the point where you absorb the terminology and flavor of it through everyday interactions. The Glory Be is a short prayer that brackets the longer prayers of the rosary. I’m not religious, but the play on words and the timbre of the prayer seemed to sum up the story I wanted to tell: “Glory be … As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end …”
Glory B. is possibly my favorite story in this collection. It appeals to my romantic, optimistic side. Love will arrive. And love does. It appeals to my loyal side as well – the narrator stays true to the Glory B. in her head, even as she lives a successful life. I also loved the challenge of trying to compress a life into few words and trying to make it meaningful and not a dry list of facts. I hope I succeeded in this, but you can be the judge by reading Glory B for yourself.
When I was young I had an imaginary friend and her name was Glory B.
“Gloria?” said my mother, indulgently. “That’s a pretty name.”
“No. Her name is Glory Brown, but she calls herself Glory B. She’s prettier than I am, and her hair is in cornrows, but they’re too tight and her head aches. She lives where it’s hot, and sometimes she can’t sleep at night because she hurts, and because of the yelling, and that’s when she comes to see me. She has a gap in her front teeth, where they pulled a tooth out when it ached, and her skin is black. She’s blacker than the space under my bed, and she tastes of guava juice.”
“Oh,” said my mother, faintly. “Oh.”
Glory B. was there during my teen years, and she told me it didn’t matter that I could run faster than the boys, that it was a good thing to do, that she wished she could.
“I think I’m different,” I whispered to her at night, into the pillow.
“I know,” came back the answer, weaving through the fantasies in my head. “So am I.”
“I can’t get a prom date,” I told her, when I was seventeen. “The boys think I’m strange, and I don’t like them. And no girl will go with me.”
“Sssssh,” she whispered soothingly. “It will be all right in the end.”
If I opened my eyes, I could sometimes see her outline on my bed. Lying on her stomach, her round rump enticing, and her hair still in the cornrows. She would always fade, but like Alice’s Cheshire cat, her grin would be the last to leave.
When my mother pressured her oldest friend so that her son took me to the Prom, Glory B. told me to relax and enjoy the night. “I’ll be here when you come home,” she said. “You can tell me all about it.”
So she was the one who heard how Danny covered my mouth with his meaty paw, and forced my compliance with his solid thighs. Glory B. soothed my tears and gently wiped me down.
“It hurts,” I whimpered.
“I know,” she soothed, and then she kissed me.