Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unexamined Longings

Nah, nothing salacious.

Tucson changes more than any city I've ever lived in. Go away for a week--sometimes just for a weekend--and on your drive to your house on the day you return you might see a familiar business closed, a new one opened up, an old building demolished, a new one sprung up like spadefoot tads after a summer rain. So you can live in a near-constant state of anticipation, wondering what new place is going to move into the storefront that's recently been vacated and remodeled.

My thought process is remarkably constant. Hey, something new's going in. What do I hope it will be? A lesbian bar!

Then I drive another block or two and wonder why I always think I want that. We already have a serviceable dyke bar here, the Biz, not too far from the cozy abode. I've been in there maybe a dozen and a half times, hardly at all in the past couple of years. It's way too smoky--I mean, smoky to the point that you need to wash your hair a couple of times when you get home, and you might as well burn your clothes--and it's louder than I would prefer. It's a nightclub. Yeah, there are a couple of pool tables, but it's a nightclub. I want a bar. A bar with music, yes, but at a level that permits non-shouted conversation, without too much smoke, with some decent food to nibble on, quality beers on tap, and good coffee. In essence, I guess I want the bar that already exists a few blocks from my house, but for dykes.


What is it about explicit lesbian ownership or designated target clientele that is attractive? I've been happily partnered for the last five years, so it's not like I'm needing the one-stop-shopping assistance a bar might offer. I live in Tucson, where several woman-owned or at least woman-friendly businesses already thrive, yes, again, not too far from where I live. I can walk into Antigone Books, or Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, or the Blue Willow, or any U of A women's basketball or softball game and be surrounded by enough dykes to get some feeling of community.

But it's never the same concentration of big numbers in a small space that you see at the Biz. Sometimes I simply long for that kind of demographic in a well-lit, mellow atmosphere with breathable air. I don't know how often I'd go to, say, a lesbian cafe for lunch or to sit and read. There is a coffee shop down on 4th Avenue, Rainbow Planet, that I dropped into a few times after I first came out, but, at least in those days, it was sparsely populated and was mainly guys.

Just knowing it's there would be the point, I think.

No comments: