Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

My Heterosexual Life Partner

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

My Heterosexual Life Partner

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The first time Emma and I took a trip together, it was spring break of our sophomore year of college and we went camping in the Virgin Islands. We found our other traveling companion difficult, and a tarantula in our tent t was on that trip late at night at a picnic table, that Emma asked me what I fantasized about and I told her the truth: "lesbians." We both agreed this was weird and mysterious.

Years later, after we'd both moved to New York City and my first girlfriend had just broken my heart, I went to meet Emma in Southeast Asia. She'd just been to Bali, where she'd gorged on Australian surfer boys she met at a place called the Sari Club. I was swimming in grief, and Emma was giddy from all the attention and riptides.

In Cambodia we rode on the backs of motorcycles through the rice paddies and walked for hours in the wet heat to visit a Buddha or a beach or a shrine. We saw caves full of skulls, the victims of the Khmer Rouge, and the famous killing fields, which were grown over with grass and trees, haunted meadows. We sat on crowded buses, not sure if we were going to the right places, and ate meat from indeterminate animals. Mostly we talked, for hours on end, on the teak porch of a guesthouse or in loud, steaming soup halls that smelled like fish sauce and chili. She imitated the accents of the Aussies, and I told her that I didn't know what was worse: missing my ex or dating her. …

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