Youíve heard of Bridget Jonesís Diary? A Dueser who prefers to remain un-named asked The Moo to tell a story from the point of view of a minor character. For some reason it has prompted The Moo to moo-ve into territory sheís never been in before. Well, here goes.

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Tuesday, January 13

 

Fraser came into the office today, wanting something in the evidence logs for a case. I knew before that he was with the RCMP but at the Art Center he always comes in jeans. Today I saw how he looks in his police uniform. He posed a handsome figure, without doubt, if you one is into male handsome figures. The other officer with him, well, I could tell he found poor Fraser stimulating.

 

You have to feel sorry for men. Well I do, anyway. Imagine your own body giving you away so blatantly Ė just because you may like what you see. A case in point is that detective that came along with Fraser today. If I hadnít made out the bulge of his gun under his shirt in a shoulder holster, Iíd have thought for sure he carries his weapon in his pants. That old Mae West line Ė I love it. The blond man was happy to see Fraser, undoubtedly. I wonder if Fraserís is aware of it.

 

Monday, January 19

 

Anderson scheduled me for more overtime this week. He doesnít ask any of the staff our preferences. He just makes the schedule and assumes we are going to agree. Heavens! I appreciate the extra money but it means I have to miss my throat-singing class again this week. Thatís most disheartening. Fraser and I were going to do an Inuit-style competition and I was looking forward to it immensely.

 

Anderson wouldnít try to push us around like this if the staff were all men. If I didnít need the job, what wouldnít I tell that y-chromosomed miscreant!

 

Speaking of male people, but in this case nice ones (yes, Jocelyn, remind yourself there ARE men that are actually human) was it ever comical, the look on Fraserís face when I told him that the Mongolian throat-singers can produce two tones simultaneously. Such a woe-begone expression he had. You could see right away that Fraser felt inadequate for not being able to do it. I assured him that was no fault of his own. The Inuit only do single tone throat singing so of course he wouldnít have had the opportunity to learn polyphonics yet.Dear Fraser. Typically male he needed his ego soothed.

 

I have to be a little envious of Fraser, though. Imagine living in a place where there is ANY throat-singing to hear live and in person. I wonder if Iíll ever visit the far north some day?

 

I have to admit I, too, find the idea of over-toning intriguing. We asked Paul if he knew how and he said heíd teach us next week.

 

Shame about the competition, though. Maybe we can do it next month. I donít think the Paul will mind re-scheduling. Fraser and I are the major participants anyway, so I donít think heíll want to alienate the two of us by refusing to accommodate us. On the other hand maybe Fraser will prefer to spend the time on the new over-tone technique. Iím not sure I wouldnít prefer that myself, now that I think about it.

 

Fraserís got a phone now that heís living in his office. Sometimes I feel like Iím living in my office too, with so much overtime Iím doing these days. It would certainly save on rent.

 

Fraserís a good friend even if he is gender-challenged. Sometimes I wish he were a woman. Oh well.

 

Tuesday, January 20

 

Iíll be going out with Carla again Friday night. More for physical release than anything else. Sheís so stimulating in bed that I often forget how dreary she is out of bed.

 

Must remember to stop off at Herbís Herbs to see if that bark tea came in. I promised Fraser Iíd make him some. I hope he doesnít think Iím making advances. Usually you can tell if a man is gay but Fraser is very staid . . . Sometimes I wonder if he has ANY sex at all.

 

Sunday, January 25

 

I think Iím going to break it off with Carla. The sex is good but she has all the intellect of a flea. She wanted to see me last night again but I told her I was going to be busy.

 

Now hereís something cute: Fraser the Mountie came to my rescue. He called yesterday morning to ask if he could come over that night. So that meant I was telling Carla the truth and wasnít lying when I said I was going to be busy. A fortunate happenstance.

 

This also makes it clear to me that, gay or straight, Fraser is not dating much if heís inviting himself over on a Saturday night. I was half expecting he had come over to express a romantic interest in ME. Well, itís happened before.

 

Fortunately that wasnít the case. Heís just lonely, I believe. I didnít know what heíd like to snack on so I obtained an assortment of different comestibles to go with the tea. He ignored the cake and cookies and ate the salty things.So now I know if he comes over again what to get. I think he will come over again. He appears to have enjoyed himself.

 

Friday, January 30

 

Anderson has discontinued our flex-time. The beast! Weíre covering the core hours as it is Ė he has no cause at all to try to change things. Except, like anyone with a penis, heís just trying to show his dominance. Itís so difficult not to remonstrate him right in front of everyone. Calm down, Jocelyn. Thereís nothing to be gained by losing your temper. I imagine men are put on this planet to test us.

 

Saturday, January 31

 

The throat-singing competition isnít going to happen after all. Fraser has become obsessed with multi-pitched harmonics to the exclusion of any other kind of throat-singing. Last week Paul told him that the people of Tuva in Outer Mongolia can sing in six pitches at once. Fraserís now determined to achieve six tones or die in the attempt. Typically male.

 

No, thatís unfair. Fraser in not typical.

 

He came over again tonight. At first he pretended it was to practice but he really just wants a friend to talk to. That blond man I saw with him the other week, it seems heís his partner. Iím not sure how this partner business works since theyíre both from different police forces. Some inter-governmental arrangement perhaps.

 

Sunday, February 1

 

I finally told Fraser I was a lesbian when he was over last night. To say someoneís relief was palpable could be an unforgivably trite way of putting it. But it is the truth. He physically shuddered all over, all at once. You know how people will do a funny kind of ďtakeĒ in a movie, just sort of jerk their body all at once? I swear thatís what he looked like.

 

Besides the tea and salty snacks, I also got him some Romanian cheese-pies. He liked those. Iíll have to remember to ask Mr. Oprisan at the bakery to make more.

 

Fraser was able to relax and really confide after he realized I wasnít interested in him as a lover. You know, I never really thought about things from the point of view of a stunningly good-looking straight male. He knows what itís like to be treated like a sex object and he resents it. This may go to show you canít judge a whole gender by a few bad apples. Or maybe heís just the exception that proves the rule.

 

Anyway, he told me the story of a woman who hurt him very badly. Most elegantly named ďVictoriaĒ. He claims he is over her now but he still carries her picture in his wallet. Of course he offered to show me and of course I had to look. I certainly wouldnít go out with her! Emaciated, her hair all stringy and frizzled.Fraser could do better, if it is really women that interest him.

 

Hereís a funny thought that just came to me right now. Suppose Fraserís partnerís erection was for ME that day. I donít think so, but itís not impossible. A foolish thought, Jocelyn. Iím not all that attractive and you know how men are. Whatís that bit from Romeo and Juliet about how men love with their eyes?

 

This is making me think back to being forced to study Romeo and Juliet in grade nine. I had a crush on Rosaline, gorgeous with black hair . . . and I actually felt ashamed. I was very confused when I was young.

 

Thursday, February 12

 

In throat-singing class tonight Paul told us about some Sardinian shepherds that have been doing polyphonic singing for more than a thousand years. He didnít have a recording though. Benton and I were disappointed. I wonder if I can find a recording on the net?

 

Paul also brought in a book ďThe SŠmi People of ScandinaviaĒ. These people do throat songs called ďyoicksĒ. Isnít that whimsical? Yikes, they do yoicks.

 

Monday, February 16

 

Benton was over last night and I had to stay up with him through the wee hours. I couldnít get him to go home, he was just too upset. Talking and crying.

 

Do you notice Iím calling him ďBentonĒ now? Weíre on first name basis after last night.

 

Funny how some men cry, as though they donít really know the technique of it. They cry in these great gulps, almost like coughing sometimes. Benton was different. You could see he knew how to cry, really cry. First he leaked a few tears and was wiping them away with the back of his fist, like a little kid. Then he cried more and more. Weeping into his open hands. I couldnít stand it. I had to take him against my shoulder (we were sitting on the couch so the height difference didnít matter) and pat him on the back.

 

It seems he found out his partner, the blond man, is bi. Iím not sure why thatís such a shock to Fraser in this day and age. If theyíre together so much, youíd think heíd notice. The partner, his nameís ďRayĒ, was married and still has feelings for his ex-wife. The way Benton tells it, that made him think his friend was straight so he never suspected this Ray found him attractive as well.

 

So many people seem to be confused about the direction of their sexuality these days. Well, I shouldnít be so smug. I suffered enough before realizing the truth about myself.

 

Ray finally came out and told him how he (Ray) felt. Bentonís a basket case over it. Which, as far as Iím concerned, means he must feel the same way himself otherwise heíd just tell this Ray he wasnít interested.

 

I tried as best I could to make him feel better. You donít want to push somebody when theyíre upset like that. Seems if Benton had such a hard time with women, and heís so attractive, that must means something. I guess heís in denial.

 

Yes, if Iím honest with myself, I DO know what THAT feels like. Praise God that part of my life is over but I can remember the anguish of not being sure.

 

Friday, March 5

 

Anderson has completely backed down and re-instated flex-time. Iíd like to take all the credit but Phyllis and Lynn and I all went in to his office today and confronted him. Iím so proud of us. We also got him to consult with us over the over-time scheduling. Now, heíll tell us what hours are needed and weíll decide amongst us how to divide the work. This is a real load off my mind. I was beginning to think I would have to look for a new job.

 

Phyllis wants all the over-time this week and thatís fine with me. Iíll be able to work on my lecture on ďGeopolitics in the Post Colonial Burmese Puppet TheatreĒ. I was hoping Benton would help me with that project. I remember how he called me a ďscampĒ when I told him I was working on it. But he hasnít called me in a while. And Ė this really worries me Ė he hasnít shown up at throat singing class either.

 

I hope he hasnít gone and done something desperate. I keep thinking about Ronald. There are other men Iíve heard of but didnít know personally, who actually killed themselves rather than face being gay.Imagine turning down love when you can have it.

 

I hope this Ray really loves Benton and isnít just after his body. Thatís a lot to hope for where men are concerned but I know some of them are capable of real affection.

 

Iím going to call Benton at work on Monday to see if heís okay.

 

As for my own romantic life, Carla has stopped calling. Thereís no one new on the horizon.

 

Sunday, March 7

 

I didnít have to wait for Monday to find out how Benton was. He showed up at my door tonight, despondent. He says heís homesick and I think heís made himself believe thatís what the problem is. He was saying heís been having dreams about his mother who died when he was little.

 

Hm. When I first told Mom I was a lesbian she said sheíd rather be die than hear that news. Well, I wonít think about that now. I was talking about Bentonís problems.

 

Even for a male, heís confused. There are two women he thinks he likes Ė one wants to settle down and have lots of babies with him and the other Ė his superior officer of all things Ė wants them to just go on working together but be lovers secretly on the side. What a dilemma. Bentonís intelligent enough (mirabile dictu, after all heís a man) to realize heís got the extreme ends of the spectrum to deal with here. No wonder he canít cope with the extra added attraction of his friendís, um, attraction.

 

I was trying to prompt him. You know, active listening to get him going, so I asked him what he thought he might do next. You know what he said? That he would go ice-fishing.

 

At least he was coherent this time. Not all broken up and crying. I guess denial has its uses.

 

Thursday, March 11

 

Benton wasnít at work when I called to see if he was coming to class tonight. None of the Mounties were there, just the regular consular staff. The receptionist wouldnít tell us where he was. I tried to leave a message on his machine but his voicemail was full. This sounds serious. Iím going to send him and email to the office address, even though he doesnít like me doing that. I do hope heís all right.

 

Tuesday, March 23

 

I finally got an email from Benton. Thank God heís okay. Iím so relieved.

 

Iím putting his whole email into this clip:

 

(Jocelyn. I apologize for not being in touch with you sooner. A lot has been happening since we talked last. The details of where I have been and what I have been doing are mostly classified but I can certainly share with you the personal matters.

 

The first things that happened were that I realized that as much as I care for my partnerís sister, I donít love her enough to commit to her for the rest of my life. And, as for the Inspector, (why should I hide the details from you, my dear confidante) we made love at last and after that we made peace with the fact that we could neither be happy in the otherís world.

 

It was only after I had settled my situation with these women that I felt ready to cope with Ray and my feelings for him.

 

In literature characters often find a threat to their lives clarify things for them instantly. Real life is somewhat different. On March 11 I found myself taking part in an actual battle and yet I still did not truly understand my own mind.

 

After the battle, I saw my mother. Yes, I told you she was dead. But I truly saw her, and I saw her and my father (also dead Ė Iíll tell you about that some other time) go off together hand in hand into some part of the afterworld. I could see that they had a love that transcended even death itself. I know that sounds very much like a clichť, but clichťs have their basis in truth or they wouldnít have become clichťs in the first place, donít you think?

 

In the days that followed things began to fall into place for me. I communicated with my partnerís sister that we would not have a life together. It pained me to do that but it would have been even worse pain to begin a marriage that would not have been happy. As for the Inspector, ever proud she took off on her own. I canít reveal where but I hope she will find it fulfilling. And I found myself, in the security of familiar surroundings, confident enough to take a hard and honest look at my feelings about women in general and Victoria in particular.

 

How obvious the truth is when we finally see it and how foolish we feel to have denied it! At least thatís how it was for me. What worse woman could I have tried to fall for than a criminal, a liar, a thief and murderess? And, on a more mundane note, sheís far too skinny to survive in the wilderness. The ability to retain body fat is a trait we prize in the north almost as much as sharp teeth. In my denial I chose to pour my affections on the ugliest woman, physically and spiritually, I could find.

 

Mind you, she had a beautiful voice. Not as lovely as yours though, and I certainly couldnít imagine her being able to handle the demands of over-tone throat singing.

 

I digress. I guess I can reveal to you what you have already guessed, that I have been in the far north. My brain cleared in the familiar cold atmosphere and I looked, in the clean light we have up here, at my Ray. Iím not certain that I can love him as he wants me to but at least now I am free to explore that possibility. So, he and I are going off alone for some time Ė Iím not sure for how long.

 

To quote ďRomeo and JulietĒ (yes, dear friend, I know it is not one of your favourites but the quote is apt) ďIíll look to like, if looking liking move.Ē Ray deserves no less.

 

I think I will find that I love him as much as he loves me. But I have lived so long under different assumptions that I know Iíll need time to come to terms with it.

 

Please give my regards to Paul and the rest of class, and Mr. Oprisan at the bakery. Iíll miss his cheese pies.

 

Take care of yourself, my dear friend. Strive ever for all six notes at once. I hope when we see each other weíll both have found the love we crave.

 

Benton)

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