3 min

No neutral space

There's no divide like geography

Credit: Xtra West files

It’s not that we always agree, but we do try, through discussion and compromise, to eventually speak with one voice. It’s part of the trial and joy of co-authorship. Sure, in any given column one or the other of us feels that we should have said more, or we Crossed The Line. But usually, we make it work. Not this time. It was almost the end of a blissful relationship. Bubba explains how it happened.

Having gotten all the proper vaccinations and papers, I actually crossed a bridge and left the West End (Ann: “It’s not a bridge, actually, it’s a viaduct. But I’m beginning to see the problem.”).

I met Ann at a delightful coffeeshop/bakery just off Commercial Drive. I think it was called orgasm rising, or organic something. We ate croissants and drank something called fair trade coffee (I found it bitter) and eventually Ann spotted one of the dykes and dogs in her posse walking by and she left me alone for a moment. I looked over at the table beside me and there were two women with cropped salt-and-pepper hair, and they were looking at me.

I caught one woman’s eye and she smiled at me. Oh my god, I thought. She’s cruising me in a bakery! Then the other one looked at me and also smiled. Oh my god again squared! They’re both cruising me! Ann returned at this point and I said behind my hand, “Those two women are cruising me! Look they’re smiling!” (Ann: “That’s called ‘being friendly.'” Bubba: “Really? That’s just too weird, I couldn’t possibly live over here.”

And then began what was nearly the end of a longstanding truce about Which is Better: The Gaybourhood or Sappho Drive? Now to look at us, you’d peg me as the New Age granola type, and Ann as “she who hangs with the fags.” But read on: looks deceive.

Bubba: “I can’t see a single reason to move over here.”

Ann: “Well, for one thing, you can actually live in a place larger than a postage stamp. And since women make less than men, and two women even less than two men, you can see why lesbians might come over here.”

Bubba: “But that’s terrible! Anything bigger than a studio and before you know it, that girl has moved in. The less space, the more readily you realize that the clothes she “accidentally” left behind are really the advance guard of a home invasion.”

Ann: “Oh, you’re paranoid. Besides what if you want children? You couldn’t possibly have children in a studio apartment.”

Bubba: “That’s true. We don’t allow children in the West End for that very reason.”

Ann: “What??? Of course you have children in the West End. You live right across from an elementary school!”

Bubba: “Really? I thought that was a movie set for one of those films where the monster comes and eats all the little people. Those are really children? How on earth did you ever figure that out?”

Ann: “And beside, Commercial Drive has better politics, food co-ops, organic bakeries and all that stuff.”

Bubba: “But look at the rest of your lifestyle. You have to drive your big cars a really long way to take your dog to the beach. In the West End we walk places; we’re so much more environmentally sound”.

Ann: “You probably think the sex-toy of the moment is the Jack Pack. The Drive area has a much higher concentration of dyke-oriented silicone.”

Bubba: “Okay, what else have you got?”

Ann: “Well, let’s see. There’s the Cultch with all that fabulous dance and theater.”

Bubba: “Yuck, sitting around with straight people in the dark. I can watch queers wiggle and engage in High Drama right at The PumpJack. What about food? We have more kinds of take out-food per square dot than any place outside of Manhattan.”

Ann: “My point exactly; your apartments are so small you can’t even cook in them.”

Bubba: “Cook? You mean people cook at home on purpose? That proves my point. In your neighbourhood, you have to cook at home because you’d get killed walking down the street between those big houses trying to find your way to a restaurant. Oh, I forgot. You just drive.

Ann: “Oh, this is ridiculous. Thank god they invented the Internet because if we had to actually go to each other’s houses very often, we might come to blows. We’ll have to find a neutral space in between. What’s the next nearest queer space between the West End and Commercial Drive?

Bubba: “Uh, New West?”

Ann: “You’re hopeless! I know you only just moved here, but that’s neither between us, nor gay.”

Bubba: What the fuck?