“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen while one stands.”
—Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”
Next to me, fixing his face in the mirror, he stands and gives me that look before he says, “sister, you need to take at least one layer off and then meet me downstairs” and then he sashays out the door. “I’m dressed for the weather!” I yell after him, and as I peel off my sweater I know he’s going astray, and I know that I’ll follow him all the way.
We drink Bacardi out of a Sprite bottle on our way into the city on the 83. It’s 10:30; I sit, he stands, and we stare at each other, singing Roxette until his eyes go astray, following a big butt in tight jeans. I say, “sister, the night is but a fetus!” and he says he’s like the weather and I say “what the hell?” and he says he’s like the rain, he’s ready to go down.
I roll my eyes hard and tell him, “you might be ready to go down, but I’m not going to sit here and watch you have your way with that dude when I’ve got bottle service waiting. Weather your hard-on and wait for someone hotter! And later!” He stands and looks hungrily at Big Ass, who’s staring back, before saying, “Sister, I’m trusting you to not be a gobliny-ass-yaffingale, don’t lead me astray.”
Gobliny-Ass-Yaffingales are our sister gays, who lead us astray. They are green with envy, peck wood, and look shitty while trying to get down. We’ll drink together, dance together, but at closing time it’s just me and my sister watching out for each other while the gobliny-ass-yaffingales get in our way. A gobliny-ass-yaffingale is always there when you want to party but stands you up when you need her. Here’s another word for those bitches: fair-weather.
I return his look and hiss, “I’m just saying that, in this weather, the boys will be peeling off their tops. If you want to be led astray by this creeper, go for it, I’ll be down at the club doing head-stands up on twenty half-naked dudes and while I’m getting down, you’re going to be back at his place getting milky way on your face before 10:45 and you’ll say, ‘Fuck, I should have listened to my sister.’”
He sighs and sits, but smiles. “You’re right about the weather. I’m down.” His phone beeps. As his eyes go astray I write my digits on my hand and hold it way up at where Big Ass stands, happy to be a gobliny-ass-yaffingale to my dear sister.