When I come back from Los Angeles Rhonda is waiting for me at the airport. We swing by Café Deeply Appreciative for a couple of fake mint chocolate chip milkshakes.
Café Deeply Appreciative is a vegan raw food restaurant and I don’t know what the fake milkshake is made of, but the chocolate chips are cacao nibs, which are like chewing on vaguely chocolatey splinters of wood.
Rhonda is on a special diet of no gluten or cow dairy, so treats like these mean the world to her. Plus, as she has not had an actual milkshake in many years she has forgotten what the original tastes like, and it happy with the facsimile.
We zoom to my house in her Honda Element which is crammed with multiple skateboards, helmets, landscaping equipment, a stray branch or two, magazines, paper towels, sacks of gluten-free snacks and the occasional bowl of oatmeal. It’s insemination time!
This is a great insemination gathering because a) It might get me pregnant! and b) Dashiell is joining us for the first time. On the downside, I haven’t gotten a positive pee stick for ovulation, and am concerned.
But my sister said I had to get back to San Francisco and get right back to it, and so we all meet up at my apartment. I try to get Quentin to pleasure himself in my bedroom again, as the atmosphere is way more moody and pretty than the brightly-lit kitchen with the spotty floor I can’t manage to Swiffer ever and the dishes always in the sink and the window facing my twentysomething neighbors who are either always on their computer, having very loud sex or out on the porch gossiping about their sex lives.
But Quentin really likes the kitchen; he is a creature of habit. I’ve rearranged my kitchen table so he can not only shut the door but barricade it with a chair to stop my cats from coming in. Cats always want to be where the action is.
Quentin has a cold and is concerned about giving it to me via his sperm, but I never care about catching colds anyway. Dashiell, I learn, feel similarly -- she just doesn’t believe in catching colds.
“I won’t get it,” she says dismissively when anyone is sick around her. She transfers this confidence to me.
“You won’t get sick,” she says. “Neither of us will. We’re too happy.”
But even people in love get colds -- remember in Judy Blume’s "Forever," how the girl gets super sick right after she loses her virginity and can’t go on a ski trip with the boy who named his penis Ralph?
But, I happen to super love magical thinking, so I decide that I’m too happy and in love with Dashiell to get a cold from Quentin’s ejaculate.
While Quentin does his thing, Dashiell moves around my room, closing my blinds. This becomes her job at all inseminations hereafter. Dashiell is a Virgo, and enjoys having a job.
After Rhonda inseminates me she leaves the room and Dashiell turns the lights down and kisses me while I use my vibrator. I feel embarrassed in a way I don’t feel when we normally have sex, and feel like I have to make dumb comments or jokes about the unwieldiness of the giant Hitachi, or apologize for its roar.
But Dashiell is a queer person and thus is not, you know, stunned by a Hitachi Magic wand. It is very nice to have her there, very sweet, as it is to have her anywhere, but especially at a moment so special.
“Is this so awkward?” I ask her, “That they’re out there and everything?”
“No,” She says. “I thought it would be, but it’s not, it’s fine.”
It is interesting that everything each of us think might be weird or awkward or gross winds up not actually being a big deal. Soon we call Rhonda and Quentin back into the room and I lay alternately with my hips propped on three pillows or doing a shoulder stand with my legs in the air.
“I got some on your floor,” Quentin confesses, but I wiped it up.’
“Thank you,” I say. Then, “Since entering my apartment, half of us have had orgasms.” We laugh at this for a minute.
The next night, Quentin comes over wearing the most insane seasonal sweater I have ever seen. It is an Autumn-themed seasonal sweater covered by a bunch of miniature Autumn-themed seasonal sweaters.
He’s concerned that his sperm might not be up to par due to tucking. Tucking, for the uninitiated, is what drag queens and assorted transgendered ladies do to get their penis and balls out of the way. They tuck it all way up between their legs and secure it there with, I’m not sure, bubble gum and twine, probably.
But Quentin worries that yanking and duct-taping his delicate sperm containers may have damaged his seed, or reduced its potency. Don’t men who wear tighty whiteys have low sperm counts or something?
But Quentin is only twenty-whatever years old, I refuse to believe there is anything wrong with his sperm. The next night Quentin is wearing a puffy vest and bearing donuts. He is shocked that no one wants to eat them.
We hang out on my bed with Rhonda and Dashiell and it feels like a slumber party. We all watch Marcel the Shell with Shoes On on Dashiell’s iPhone. Then Rhonda and Dashiell start playing Words with Friends together on their phones. Rhonda plays the word LABIA and I wonder if we should get started.
If we just hang around forever, I worry we are taking up Quentin’s precious time -- he’s applying to graduate school in between drag shows and inseminations -- but if we just get right to it I worry he will feel used for his man juice. It feels a little like managing a party, or an orgy -- you want everyone to feel included and valued and have a good time.
After I’m inseminated and me and Dashiell have our moment and Rhonda and Quentin return to my room. Rhonda takes pictures of my feet in the air because I am wearing black socks but my legs are naked and this strikes everyone as comical.
Oh -- my attire when inseminating remains my blue striped robe, and then Dashiell brings me a shabby chic blanket and I wrap it around myself like a diaper and jut my legs into the air. Dashiell is very adorable, tucking the blanket all around so I don’t accidentally moon Rhonda and Quentin. Dashiell is also very attentive to my temperature and never wants me to be cold.
What the fuck, Dashiell? Is she trying to win a prize for being the nicest person in the whole world? After already winning one for being the handsomest? We try to figure out a good time to inseminate on Friday, a tough day for Quentin as he has a big Miss Super Extra Deluxe Pandemonium show that night.
“Oh, god!” I shriek. “ Please, PLEASE come inseminate me as Pandemonium?” I beg. “Please!”
Quentin is not averse to absurdity, to overdoing it, to the way a costume can really raise the bar on a moment -- she is a drag queen, after all. I can tell he sort of likes the idea, but this time it’s just not practical.
“I could,” he muses, “but I’m wearing a big, light-up Menorah. I don’t think it would work.”
Quentin has a Menorah costume that plugs into the wall and each candle flame lights up individually, one at a time. Her head is the center candle, and she does a dance and flicks her head so that it looks like the center candle is lighting all the others, per the tradition. Quentin is amazing.
We decide that he can come over between his office’s holiday party and his Menorah drag prep, but he might be drunk.
“That’s great,” I say. “A lot of people got conceived that way.”
Next Week: Diet drugs that get you pregnant! Fertility drugs that make you skinny!