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Frankie’s Friday

June 4th, 2010 by admin

Frankie lives, modestly but mortgage-free, on the Kapiti Coast. She takes the train to work part-time in Wellington three days a week. This schedule keeps her from getting burned out by the nonsense at the Department of Stodge, and gives her time for her own pursuits.

Frankie and some of her artsy friends have a tradition of Friday afternoon tea at one of their abodes, a crumbling cottage in Paekakariki. Despite having to drive there through lashing wind and rain, life is good.  One of her poems has just been accepted by a journal. And her girlfriend has just sent her a sweet text from Palmerston North.

Hipsters from other lands who move to Wellington often try and figure out where Wellington’s “gay neighborhood” is. Newtown is gay-ish. Cuba Street has a queer history. Some claim that Thorndon is gay, which is up for debate.  There’s a bar here, a cafe there, the men’s bathhouse. The truth is that most Kiwi GLBQT’s who care about being urban have moved to Sydney or Melbourne. Those who remain are classic Kiwis, often fond of gardening, animals, and the occasional toke, with an eye on both their privacy and their budgets. So, often, Kiwi queers who aren’t right downtown are tucked into odd corners of the Kapiti Coast or the Hutt Valley, making them that much odder.

Inside this cottage, a fire is going. A man in a frilly skirt is doling out mugs of tea. Two women nestle on a couch, half chatting, half canoodling. Karin Kapiti, too tall to be really comfortable as she folds into an Art Deco chair, is decked out in 80s vintage clothing, leaning elbows on knees as she talks very intensely to an amused-looking fellow.  Frankie knows both of them. “Hey, Chester, hey, Karin, you’ll never guess, Karin. Your sister is my boss now.”

Chester’s eyes twinkle. “Karin’s sister! Sounds like trouble!”

“No worries, she’s not a hard case, nothing at all like you, Karin.” Shrieks of laughter from everyone, including Karin.

Frankie says, stoutly, “I like her. We had lunch on Tuesday. Very sweet, very concerned. A bit brittle. Can’t blame her after what happened to her predecessor. She’ll relax after a while.”

“No, she won’t,” growls Karin.

“Didn’t she just get back from years in London? Poms, so uptight…”

“Yes, but she was always like that. Even as a littlie.”

Frankie shrugs. Then her cellphone chirps again, with another love note.

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