|An Excerpt from Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher|
Later, they both lay on the blanket, Elaine’s head pillowed on Bobby’s shoulder. They’d consumed the picnic Elaine had brought, as ravenous for the food as they’d been for each other. Bobby had her hand curled around the last beer. Elaine lit a cigarette, and Bobby watched the haze of blue-gray smoke slowly rise and dissipate in the clear country air. “Want one?” Elaine asked.
“I’m in training,” Bobby replied automatically.
Elaine turned to look at Bobby, propping her head on her hand. Her large brown eyes, fringed with dark lashes, were extraordinarily beautiful, and Bobby wanted to dive into them and die a delicious death by drowning. She leaned forward, intending to kiss the freckled tip of Elaine’s nose, but the other girl blocked her, taking a drag on her cigarette.
“In training for what?” Elaine asked. “You’re not on a field hockey team anymore. You’re not going pro, like you planned.”
The words sounded harsh, issuing from those velvety red lips. Bobby leaned back and looked at the sky. “No, I’m not on a team anymore.” Not on a team. Not a right wing. Not going out with the rest of the girls for early morning sprints and drills. On her own. “But I’m a physical education instructor now—”
“Gym Teacher!” Elaine hooted. “I still can’t believe Metamora hired you!”
“What do you mean? Why not?”
“Metamora…well, it’s just not you Bobby. It has a reputation. Famous women have gone to Metamora—like Mamie McArdle, the columnist, Harriet Hurd, the diplomat, and Vivian Mercer-Mayer, the socially-prominent heiress. Metamora’s caviar on toast points, and you, you’re more pork and beans.” She added hastily, “Don’t get me wrong darling, you know I love pork and beans.”
Bobby didn’t mind the comparison. She liked pork and beans too. But she was curious about Elaine’s sudden expertise. “How do you know so much about Metamora?”
“Elsie Cooper went there,” said Elaine as if this explained everything. Sometimes she forgot that she’d never introduced Bobby to anyone in her social circle. “Actually she almost had a nervous breakdown when she was rejected by Metamora’s chapter of the Daughters of the American Pioneers. You know,” she said, as Bobby looked at her blankly. “That high school society. The chapter at Metamora is supposed to be terribly exclusive.”
“Well, the teachers aren’t exclusive. They’re all nice and friendly.” Bobby made a mental reservation in the case of Enid Butler. “Besides, Miss Watkins said—”
“Oh, those silly tests,” Elaine dismissed the vocational counselor with a wave of her hand. “Are you honestly going to turn yourself into a gym teacher because a punch card tells you to?”
Elaine took her hand and Bobby felt instantly the almost electric charge between them, a current that pulled its power from the sneaking around, their little spats, the famous Ellman name, the innocent candy-striper uniform, even Bobby’s new status as a teacher.