I'm taking a long drag when Vicky comes up behind me. She slips her hands around my waist and rests her chin on my shoulder.
"Janey, baby," she drawls.
Vicky is completely dirty looking with her brown hair bleached yellow in sections and the faded jeans she draws all over. She's my best friend.
I still find her unattractive because she's too much like me, but there's nothing wrong with having someone to whom I can almost relate.
The same goes for all my friends. We're all the same kids with boots and Converses and greasy hair and torn up jeans. Repeats and cliches of everyone hopeless enough to be considered different.
I'm the most feminine of the girls here because I look like a hooker today.
My mom wishes I would dress like a classier whore and dye my hair blonde instead of the purply-red color it is. I always tell her a whore is a whore, loudly and often in front of her dates.
I remove the cigarette from my lips and twist my head back. Vicky and I make out while Ryan takes a picture with his phone. All the guys who are hanging out with us cheer. Vicky breaks the kiss, then touches my breasts, whining, "I want your tits. Mine are so fucking small." Megan joins in, poking and prodding with her stubby black nails. It's a game. It's a show we put on every single day.
Being bisexual is easy for girls. Bisexual girls are easy. Their boyfriends let them cheat if it's with a female. So many say they're confused. It's always the grungy girls, the punky ones, the Gothy ones. They're bi because they want to be different. Because they're more open-minded.
And most importantly, because boys think it's hot.
They won't admit that; they'll all say they're the real deal even when they're not. But to me, it doesn't matter how they get there. It doesn't matter if they're truly bi or if they'll "turn" straight in a couple of years. They'll still make out with me for now.
It's not that I have much of a desire to be with any of my friends. If they were my type, there's no way they'd be my friends.
Linda is my type.
Kissing my female friends is an excuse to practice for Linda, an excuse to imagine it is Linda.
A boy dressed up as Linda could hold me off for a while.
"Janey," says Vicky when everyone has averted his or her attention from all the girly touching. "Come to the bathroom with me. I need to fix my eyeliner." She's talking softly so the boys don't "Oooh" the way they did before. Or so Meg doesn't ask to join us in the bathroom.
And Vicky isn't really going to fix her eyeliner. It's all runny and messed up, but she looks in the mirror and doesn't care.
Vicky has what I like to call Real Problems.
"So, yesterday Joe and I were talking about our fantasies so we could act them out."
I nod. Joe is her boyfriend. He doesn't go to our school because he's twenty-three.
"His was a blow job, a fucking blow job. Well, I guess I'd never given him a blow job before. So I gave him his fucking blow job."
"For real?" I laugh. "Does that even count?"
"Apparently so! Anyway, he already knew mine. Even though he gets awkward about it. I mean, I've already told him he looks kind of like---"
"Yeah," I say.
Vicky doesn't have to explain it to me again. She could, though, and she wouldn't cry. She likes to talk about it, how Joe looks just like the man who molested her when she was eight. How she was molested when she was eight. And I feel weird listening to it.
She dragged me here because everyone we hang out with also feels weird listening to it, and none of them even believe her anymore.
But she needs someone who will listen. That's what I'm for.
"So does he still feel awkward about it?" I say.
Vicky likes to role play. She likes to pretend the man is her attacker, and she's a little girl all over again. That's what she thinks about when she touches herself, too.
"Yeah! He said he forgot and he should never have brought up the fantasy thing. I told him we could have a safe word and everything, and it would go fine, and that I'd enjoy it, honestly, but he said he was uncomfortable with it. And we haven't spoken since. He's so not dominant. We're so not compatible. I know he can't fulfill my sexual needs, Janey, but I really like him."
And I want to say she really likes him because none of her other boyfriends have looked so much like her rapist.
What feels like love is really just the manifestation of childhood trauma.
And instead I say, "Well, if you really love him, it shouldn't be all about the sex."
Someone has to be the positive one in our gloomy circle of friends. And I'm the only one who doesn't have Real Problems.
"Yeah, you're probably right, Janey."
Compared to Vicky, I'm the pure one, the logical one, the normal one. Compare me to Linda, and I'm as fucked up as they come.
Liking girls shouldn't be hard when all your friends are bi-curious. It's not hard for them.
Fucking Linda being my fucking type. Plain, boring, clean Linda. Pure, normal Linda. And I don't even want to corrupt her. Not really.
Because then she'd like me. Then she'd stop being my type.