Karen came to Long Island, Bahamas in part as a vacation but specifically there because she'd purchased two parcels of ocean front property she'd discovered online. With the stock market eating away at her savings she felt the land to be a better investment. Ocean front property in the Bahamas with its stable government and proximity to the U.S. seemed like a better idea than Central America. Staying at Chez Pierre known more for it's food than accommodations Karen told us she was determined to befriend the fussy French Canadian proprietor Pierre. Trip Advisor warned guests Pierre was temperamental.” I decided before I left I was going to win this man over, make him like me." she'd said. It sounded strange to want to win someone over you didn't even know, especially someone known for being an asshole. Who cares what he thinks of you? I thought. But Karen, accustomed to dealing with artists, decided attitude was something that came with the territory for those who sought perfection.
The way she was eating her shrimp you could tell she was interested in what we were saying. Either that or the shrimp weren't that good. Karen was the conductor for the Illinois Symphony. And though I didn't know any maestros something about her looked the part, in certain ways reminding me of other women I knew in the arts. She wore a face that reminds you of Emma Thompson but larger. At over six foot tall, it's fair to say she was big boned; she'd have been quite fat if it weren't for her height. We were talking sailing with our friend Gary when Anna invited her to join us at our table.
“Gotta keep my belly full Gotta keep my belly full
Like a Rasta I don’t eat no pork
But I’ll eat a lobster
without a knife and a fork
Gotta keep my belly full”
At the rental house Bren and Philip, still flirting, unpacked the to go boxes and plated dinner for everyone. Conversation at dinner became overtly sexual. Bren was winking and whispering to Anna. Philip was winking at Bren and Karen looked strung out. She made a comment I can’t quite recall, likely because I was startled when she began to remove her shirt. I had the bad feeling everyone was about to get naked and since I was only interested in seeing one person at the table naked I was thankful when Karen put her shirt back down and with that the conversation changed directions. But after dinner the conversation moved back towards sex when Karen sat on the floor while Bren, Anna and I sat on one couch and Philip on the other. Karen became hyper-talkative. Karen and Bren talked about vibrators, shapes, designs, wattage. She made Bren out to be a sort of wishy washy lesbian because she used to be married. Karen only had sex with a man once, when she was in her mid twenties and described it as awful and completely unsatisfying. Her entire life her Christian family made her afraid of sex with men. It was treated as something bad and dirty; to be avoided and so not to disappoint them family she became a lesbian. “Maybe I need to give men another chance, just for the hell of It.,” she said. Eventually Bren went to bed and Anna and I did shortly after. As I was getting a glass of water Philip and Karen were looking out the window at the lightning.
“Dude I have to tell you something.”
“What?” I whispered back
“I had sex with Karen.”
“Really? What? Oh my god Philip. Not uh. Really? She’s a lesbian.”
“Yea. I know. She came out of her room and was like Philip I want to have sex with you.”
“If anything I thought you’d have sex with Bren or both of them.”
“I know me too. How old do you think she is?”
“Old. But it doesn’t matter. You did the right thing. She was having a bad day. Philip, just think, how many men can say they slept with a lesbian, orchestra conductor nearly twice their size and age?"