The final story, Flannel and Fleece is set in a small town in the Colorado Rockies (Yes, I did have a specific town in my head when I wrote it) tells the story of Jude and Jan, on the surface two very different women. The story is told by Jude–a liberal, trendy newcomer to the town–who falls for Jan, who’s been there for ever and is everything Jude is not.
A happy ending to Jude and Jan’s story, and a happy ending to my second collection of lesbian erotica.
I live in a mountain town in Colorado. It’s small, becoming trendy, and the people are a mix of those who have been here forever, and those who have recently arrived, attracted by the outdoor lifestyle.
The newcomers are organic food-eating, non-smoking, holistically inclined, white-water rafting, snowboarding fitness freaks with children called Phoebe and Jacob. They drive SUVs with Australian Shepherds in the back wearing bandanas. In summer they wear baggy cotton shorts and Tevas. In winter they wear fleece and Levis. I call them Fleeces.
Those who have been here forever are BBQ-eating, Republican voting, elk-hunting, Coors-drinking, walking heart attacks with children called Wayne and Jolene. They drive dual-cab pickups with gun racks in the back. In summer they wear flannel shirts and Wranglers. In winter they wear flannel shirts and Wranglers. I call them Flannels.
We are all such stereotypes.
People rallied around after Tom left. The women’s co-operative gave me a “hardship discount” and told me I was lucky I didn’t have kids to cramp my development as an independent woman. The Flannel neighbors brought around casseroles and said they were so sorry I hadn’t been blessed with children as they would have been a comfort and a reason to go on.
Really, both extremes were enough to make my eyes roll so fast it was a wonder they didn’t spin down the sidewalk and into the river.
I got a job as a care assistant in the medical center. I went hiking with the women’s group. I was invited (not for the first time) to join two different congregations, and (not for the last time) I politely refused. Because I was a Fleece, I drank in Colby’s where the happy hour margaritas were big and icy and they allowed dogs on the patio. The Flannel crowd drank happy hour pints of Coors Light in the dimness of The Doubleheader Saloon. Both crowds rubbed along amicably in The Mountain Pearl, where the long wooden bar jostled fleece and flannel elbows and the pressed tin ceilings were high enough that any differences evaporated into the air conditioning.
I got asked out now that I was an unattached woman. I turned down most of the offers, although I had a few dates with a river guide and a one-night stand with the guy who ran the computer store in town.
Tom’s words often ran through my head, and if I ever caught myself staring at a woman I’d divert my gaze. I wasn’t ready to go there. It wasn’t that I had a problem with lesbians; it was just that I didn’t see myself in that basket. After all, I’d been married. I slept with men. I thought that was how my wiring ran.
There was just one problem. Everywhere I went in town, I kept bumping into Jan.