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  NIGHTSPOTS

Dateland
by Jennifer Parello
2003-04-30

This article shared 2018 times since Wed Apr 30, 2003
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I am writing this from my hospital bed. I've been in here for the past few days with an illness that once afflicted a famous lesbian. She was pictured on the cover of her magazine in her hospital gown and received many get-well gifts. I have received only one gift—a half-eaten roll of Lifesavers that my mom dug out of the bottom of her purse. The candies are coated in little bits of tobacco.

I'm sure you think the reason I'm being vague about my illness is because it is a 'female problem,' and, therefore, embarrassing to discuss. However, although I have had 'problems with females' from the day I was first introduced to my mother, I've never had a 'female problem' and never intend to. The only reason I'm not naming the disease is because it's so dreary. It's not even that serious. I suppose, in theory, it could kill me and there have been some stern warnings about my falling blood pressure and rising temperature. But I suspect that my vital signs would perk right up if I could get a decent cup of coffee in this place.

This is my first time in a hospital. I always imagined that the disease that would finally land me here would be glamorous—consumption, for example, or the mysterious illness that Ali McGraw had in Love Story. (I've watched that movie 20 times and I still don't know what killed her.) But the only thing glamorous about my illness is that it has caused half of my face to become hideously bloated. 'Let me take a picture,' my Lady Friend said before rushing me to the emergency room. 'You look like a Picasso.'

The worst thing about being in the hospital is the nurses—a lazy, shiftless bunch who refuse my repeated demands for bed baths and threaten to use the rectal thermometer on me every time I ask for another breast exam. The best thing about the hospital is the morphine. (Love it!) The second best thing is watching gavel-to-gavel coverage on Court TV of the trial of a straight woman who seduced a lesbian into killing her husband.

I've been seduced by a number of straight women. (OK, I was the seducer. Details, details.) But not one of them ever asked me to kill their husband.

They asked me to be patient. They asked me to be gentle. They asked me not to muss their hair. Frankly, it would have been a hell of a lot easier if they had just asked me to murder someone.

I'd like to thank a few people who have helped me during my incarceration: my dog Maximus, who scratched me on the face and caused the infection, but who feels really bad about it; my dad, who calls me every five minutes to remind me that the infection could travel to my brain and kill me; my mom, who grabs the phone from my father and tells me to ignore him; my friends, who have given me the new nickname of Elephant Man; and my Lady Friend, who said 'I'm calling your mother!' when I initially refused to go to the hospital, and who ruined her favorite TV weekend of the year—The Masters Golf weekend—to watch the lesbian love triangle trial with me in the hospital.

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This article shared 2018 times since Wed Apr 30, 2003
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