December 4, 2020

Bisexual Bundt Cake

At the Horseshoe Inn in Burns, Oregon we all three wake up slowly: the tiny trashcan full with old half-sandwiches and empty 40 ounce cans. Frost covers the expanse of grass at the center of the motel’s half circle and, as the sun is just rising through the curtain, she briefly wraps her arm around me.

In my hometown, I am twenty-six and watching my way through stacks of queer VHS tapes. The Midnight Cowboy soundtrack plays in the background of my summer months, bringing with it the shape of the word “gay” on a woman’s dyed lips… the shame of a heavy club foot.

Winter now, my hair is thin and dry and lazy. It stumbles loosely down the paths of my neck paved one morning by her fingertips, lines of soft shadow cast by a yellow sun through lace.

In 1972, three years after the release of Midnight Cowboy, a mother writes in to Life magazine with a revelation. “I have started sewing decoration to the end seams of all my son’s shirts,” she says, “and now he’s great about tucking in his tails!”

Somewhere else, a video of a young model circulates the internet. She delivers a bundt cake to her unwitting parents, setting it down in front of them and standing back expectantly as they read the pink frosting aloud. “I’m… bisexual?” the dad announces. Everyone cries.

Me? I’m up late and thinking about the Wachowski sisters and complexity, about the way a leather dress fits a body. A black cotton t-shirt, weighted with guns. I’m wondering whether my sexuality will always be trimmed with that same erotic wrong-doing, whether I will continue to tuck it in.

This letter is my bisexual bundt cake, my queer movie, my visible decoration… just as unnecessary and, with any luck, just as therapeutic.