In which Mistress Matisse risks minor puncture wounds (“ohnoes!”) for the pleasures of flustering a lab tech:

So I went into the lab area and sat down to get the draw. The tech was a good-looking young woman, maybe early twenties, and just slightly butch-of-center, who I strongly suspect was a lesbian. She gave me The Look, you see.

What’s The Look? It’s a look that straight women do not give other females. You only get it from women who are sexual with women. It’s usually just for a moment, unless she’s seriously cruising you, but it is, shall we say, an acknowledgement of sexual possibility. Usually it’s just the woman acknowledging it to herself, not to you, but if you watch closely, you’ll see it. The eyes widen for a minute when she looks at you, that’s always a tip-off.

Not seeing The Look doesn’t mean that a woman is heterosexual – she might just be very subtle, or just not in the headspace. But if you do get it, it definitely means the woman giving it to you is not 100% straight.

I got it from the tech. How nice. I don’t think she meant me to see it, I just think she’s just young and hasn’t yet learned how to school her expressions. So I gave it back to her, somewhat less subtly. And that seemed to completely throw her for a loop. Even nicer.

She began sort of fumbling around with syringes, stammering, and left the area – twice – to get various vials and labels and such that she needed. I just sat there smiling at her with one arched eyebrow, like she was a sweet but clumsy submissive.

It did occur to me that deliberately flustering someone who was about to jab me with a needle might not be the best idea. But I’ve actually been stuck with needles by some extremely mean people, and I handled that, so I figured I could deal with this. Because it was fun.

She dithered around a bit more, and then tied the rubber strap around my upper arm. “Um, is that – is that okay??

“That’s just fine,? I said, slowly, holding her gaze. “Don’t worry. I’m pretty easy to get blood from.?

“Um, great, okay…? She dropped her eyes. I watched her focus on the vein in the bend of my elbow and stick the needle in. She glanced up at me as she did so. I didn’t flinch. I smiled.

“Sorry,? she said, for no apparent reason. “I mean… it’s no fun getting stuck with a needle.?

I contemplated answers I might make to that, but my conscience spoke up. Matisse, don’t mess with the kid’s head anymore, unless you’re serious. And you’re not.

So I just said pleasantly, “It’s fine.? We both watched my dark red blood fill the three vials.

“You’re right,? she said. “You are easy to get blood from.?

I couldn’t resist. “I’m pretty good at taking it, too.?

She blinked uncertainly and was quiet for a moment. “Um, well, thank you for being so, uh, helpful.?

I think I was probably the opposite of helpful, but I sat silently and let her fuss with taping the cotton ball to my arm. Then I stood up and gave her The Look again, just because I’m bad that way.

“Goodbye,? I said with a meaningful half-smile, and stalked off down the hall.

And that’s flirtation in the naked city, twenty-first century style.