Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last Night and This Morning

Yesterday evening, I tried to make sure I had my paperwork for the divorce done and I took it over to my wife. She says she’s looking for closure. She wants it done as soon as we can get it done. The marriage is over. That saddens me a great deal. I really don’t know what I’m holding onto. It’s been over for a long time. But I don’t want it to be over. I miss her laugh and her smile. The bright twinkle in her eyes.

After dropping off the paperwork, I went home with the assignment that I was to write and email to our lawyer. I couldn’t get to it. I kept putting it off. I just couldn’t make myself do it. I was in such a sad place that I couldn’t approach the email. Finally, around 11:00PM, I was able to force my way through it and get it sent off. A phrase from a Bobby Vinton song [I think] seems appropriate. “Blue on Blue, Heartache on Heartache...” I feel like someone is slowly pulling my heart out through a small hole.

I expected to better this morning and I was for a while. I got an email from my son. The first since I’ve come out. He was responding to an email I sent to him, the first from my new Shannon email address. I signed mine “Dad," I don’t think he would have been pleased for me to sign it “Shannon.” I had asked about open mic opportunities for a friend who wants to share her poetry. He told me how things are going in seminary. He’s having a great time. Then he got to the meat of his email. He gave me a few ideas of where my friend could go to share her poetry. And he made it crystal clear that he didn’t want her to go to his favorite poetry night. He said it would feel like an invasion of his privacy. This saddened me. I could see where going there would not be appropriate for me. But to paint my friend guilty because of her association with me just isn’t right. Especially because I know under other circumstances, Jake would like her a lot.

So, on what is usually one of the high points of my week, I’m feeling a little down.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dancin', Dancin', Dancin'

I went dancin’ at the 4women women’s dance in Bellingham last night. The first social event I’ve gone to as a woman-identified women-oriented person was the dance in Bellingham a month ago. I’ve been dancin’ every Saturday but one since then. I’ve loved the dancing! Last night, I gave a woman from Edmonds a ride up to the dance and it was nice to meet and get to know someone new to me. I dressed nice, in my “Goddess” wear as Gabrielle calls it. I decided to wear my 3+“ heels. I’ve not done a lot of walkin’ in my heels and NO dancing! I figured if I wasn’t comfortable, I’d just dance barefoot. I wasn’t at all sure I could really ‘dance’ in the shoes. I like to move around. I did alright. I almost turned an ankle 3 times I think but I did ok. I got nice compliments on my outfit. Was asked to dance by 4 or 5 different women and danced a lot longer than my previous dances. One of the women led me [and every other woman she danced with] by hand up to the dance floor. And one time gave me a pat on the butt when she brought me back down *major grin*! [there may actually be hope!]. Again, I had a marvelous time! I am not going to hesitate to wear my ”Goddess wear“ or my heels.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I've never done that before...

Yesterday, I went with a friend to my first poetry reading other than to hear my daughter or son. The featured poet was a lesbian whose work my friend has been reading for over twenty years and that was who she wanted me to hear. There was a rap artist, another woman author and a Seattle man who normally does poetry [in iambic pentameter and rhyme. no less!]. It was held at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle’s Central District, a place and organization that exhibits and promotes the Literary arts.

We found some seats and started looking around. Gabrielle, the woman I came with, thought she saw some people she knew but she wasn’t sure. I didn’t see anyone I knew and didn’t expect to.

The presentation started with Macklemore, a rap artist. He seemed to be pretty good... it was hard for me to tell. His style [maybe it is rap style?] was not real clear for me to hear. I’m not a big rap fan, anyway. He was followed by Keri Healey reading some of her writings. Eric McHenry read a really nice piece about moving back to his hometown of Topeka [a moment of silence for the loss of a great Seattle poet...]

At intermission, my friend went out to stretch her legs. I was just sitting there looking around and saw this tall, innocent-looking blonde kid sitting off to the side. The kid and my son were roommates at college for 5 years! I was pretty sure he saw me and I wondered what to do. I’ve always been concerned about meeting the friends of my kids as myself. I told my friend when she came back. She encouraged me to go say hello. So I did. I said hello and he asked me how I was doing and we chatted for a bit. It went well I thought. I’m not sure what he would say to my son or how my son would take it, but... things are what they are and my son will someday need to accept that this is who I am.

The second half started with Macklemore again and he had some nice stuff really, or I enjoyed it anyway. Macklemore rapped from his awareness of the disparities that exist in our culture. There were some insightful comments in the rap. The headline was Rebecca Brown. She is doing something a little different for her? She said that she was going to be reading from a historical fictional autobiography (?). It was a lyrical telling of an episode set in high school and in Texas and, later, Washington, D.C. I thought it was very good, but this episode ended sadly.

After the last reading, there was buffet and a chance to talk to folks and just take things in. It was a nice evening. I’ve been to readings my son has been involved in which were usually his friends and fellow college students. I’ve never been to this kinda of reading where people who were big in the literary scene. This was alright! I’m not any kind of expert; I just enjoy what I enjoy.

Driving home we talked about our writings [my few] and what we liked. I told her about my son’s writing. When I got home I sent her the url to my favorite poem that my son wrote. He really is a good poet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Falling On The Floor, Laughing My Ass Off...

... scared my friends to death last night! I got a bit concerned too, to be honest. Puzzlement was my strongest feeling, tho.

Our gender support group is between 5 and 10 folks on a given Wednesday. We all have warped senses of humor none of them the same. And I love it, Once in awhile we have a night that is almost totally sober. Those are good nights too. Many times the humor strikes so that I’m laughing so hard I can’t catch my breath. Last night was one of _those_ nights! It was a small but intimate group and everybody was doin ok. A new woman was there and we were trying to let her know she wasn’t alone. My turn to check in came up and as usual I approached a lot of my life with my off the wall sense of humor. Well, something kicked over and I was laughing again, laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I recognized it and figured I’d work through it like I usually do. I bent over to my right to the chair that was there cus I was laughing so hard and... The next thing I now my friends are waking me up out of nice nap and a great dream [I was gonna get the girl for once!] and helped me sit up on the floor. What was I doin’ on the floor? Why was everyone standing over me looking so concerned? Apparently I had blacked out and toppled over backward to the floor. Dani gave me an 8 for the dive but them Texas judges are biased. I got up into my chair assured everybody I was alright and we got on with check in. Other funny things came up during the evening, everyone would turn to me and demand, “Don’t Laugh!” If I canna laugh I’ll go crazy! It’s like tyin’ a mime’s hands behind his back.

But I feel just fine. I’m gonna send a note to my Doc asking if I should come in or not. But I don’t feel like I really need to.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drinking milk after the "Use By" date

Today, My wife and I met at the insurance agents office to change the insurance on the house and the car policies. Part of the separation and divorce actions. She came from work and I came from the apartment. She was looking really good. She always does. Though she didn’t have a smile for me. I always hope she will but it’s getting more and more rare. When she smiles she lights up the room and I know everything is gonna be alright. I told her it looked like she’d lost some weight and she has. We talked about little stuff, she had my mail in the car and did the dentist get hold of me about my appointment? There was a lull in the conversation and I turned to look at something. When I turned back... she was just turning away and I am sure she didn’t see me turn back. She’d been looking at me and he had a look on her face and a little shake to her head like she had just finished drinking a glass of milk that was past it’s “Use by:” date. That was very painful to see. I know she sees me now and probably forever as the Man she spent 29 years with. It would be nice if she could lie to me once in a while and politely say, “You look nice.”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Saturday

Was a very long day. I have joined a meetup group called Eastside Lesbians? They had Koffee Klatch in Issaquah and I met 12 new women. It was a nice time. I was invited to lunch with 4 of the women and had a great time. Our waitress was a hot little butch. She was flirtin' hard with one of the women. We don't know for sure she's part of the family but we were all willing to bet that way. Again, I had a really good time. I got home in the early afternoon and got ready for the Hot Flashes Retro dance at Neighbors. Took a short nap and headed off to Capital Hill... the Eastside Lesbians were getting together for dinner before the Dance. Met another 6 or 8 women.

After the dinner we went over to Neighbors [first time I'd ever been there.] and started dancing. I ran into Pat and Sue, which was something. Neighbors was packed! Lots of butch women and a fair amount of definitely femme women too. I danced with several different people, mostly with the Eastside Lesbian women. Sometimes singular and sometimes as a group. They were a fun bunch. A couple of the Eastside women would dance slow together... It was bittersweet for me to see. Particularly when they started kissing. Anyway, the music was loud and the floor was too crowded for my tastes. I like to move around and not stand in one place and that wasn't possible most of the time. I don't think I'll go back to the Hot Flash dances.

Walking back to my truck.... I got to thinking of the women dancing together and kissing and I had to think about dancing with my wife. We met at square dance lessons. Dancing with her... She has a smile that is just electric! Her laugh, a bright cackle, can light up a room! I got to remembering all the good times... I started choking up... almost couldn't breathe. In my truck driving home wasn't any better. lotsa fun crying and driving... It was a long night... I've needed to grieve the loss of wife. It was a hard night when I got bak to my apartment.... I didn’t get to bed ‘til after 2. I’ve no idea when I got to sleep. My friends all say to call ‘em when I need to talk but it’s real hard for me to call someone at 12:30, 1 o’clock in the morning.

I need to grieve still but at least I scratched the surface. I have a full plate of issues that I need to be honest with my feelings with. I shut them down for a while, mostly to survive. I need to do my personal work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Equality March...

Yesterday was the first time I've ever turned out for any kind of protest. I'm trying to remember all the images and impressions from yesterday.

Michelle, a woman from the gender support group I've been going to, and I went to Seattle. The plan was to attend the opening speeches and then "march" down to the Federal building and then I'd catch a taxi back. I had my camera [sometimes I think I'm a photographer] Thinking I'm gonna document this for myself. Turned out I was too busy watching everybody. So many different people! All sorts of groups of people, too. At least 3 and I think 4 different socialist groups. Reminded me of college at Western in the early 70's. [maybe that's why I'm listening to Peter, Paul and Mary] Some people I could sense anger from [usually the socialists, but that's my prejudice], but mostly there was joy [if not happiness] and hope and determination. Lotsa baby dykes... a lot of really young folks. I canna imagine being 17, 18, 20, 23, and not _expecting!_ things to change, _knowing_ it _has_ to change. I'm an old broad. I have my hopes, but my certainty isn't the same, nor is my outrage. It probably takes some of the urgency away from me because I've "had my marriage." But the truth that I have to hold on tight to is I still dream to have a woman to be married with and I need to demand that for myself and for my brothers and sisters. For _me_, marriage is a commitment before my God between myself and partner. More simply, marriage is the solemn commitment, the covenant, between two people, period.


We finally started off from the park. The transfolks seemed to be at the end of the march, but we were there. Michelle kinda hovered around me always asking how I was doing. We both knew that my clots in my lungs made the march an interesting proposition. [P,P&M are singing Dylan's "The Times, They Are A Changin'] I did ok... my calves were not happy with me but it had nothing to do with the clots. There was a really nice convoy of Seattle Police on bikes keeping pace with us. Michelle told me before that I should be ready for the "haters" because they'd be there. But I ever saw a one; it was totally peaceful all the way to the Fed building. Lotsa people came out from their businesses to give us support along the way. It was a really positive experience for me. We got to the Fed building, sat down for a bit... actually I kinda went "plop", I was outa breath but it was outa-shape outa breath. After a bit and more speeches, Michelle and I decided to head back. I tried to see what a cab would cost. It was more than I had with me; that left us to walk it... Uphill... Oh dear! So we started out. My calves had stretched out good so that wasn't a problem. And we went sow. Michelle slowed me down several times when I got into "march" mode. I did ok. I was tired and a bit worn. I had real issues with the 20 or so steps up by the park but at the top I could rest a bit. And we were back. I was really proud and happy to go and lend my voice and support. Oh, and survive too .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lost In Thought

I remember "Lost In Space" from when I was a kid.  I had a crush on Angela Cartwright, mostly 'cus that's who I wanted to be: very attractive girl-next-door with long dark hair.  The thing is I didn't understand then that I wanted to _be_ like her. I was _supposed_ to be a boy, so I simply had a crush on her.

I digress.  Lost In Space and, for me, lost in thought are really similar.  Sometimes, I don't know what hope I have of finding home.  Again, shooting rapids without a paddle.  The two months I have been out and essentially full-time as a woman learning who I am and just being me have been at times overwhelming!  Like being in the valley in the shadow of a mountain and suddenly the morning sun bursts over the ridge to reveal the beauty and the glory of what God has made.  Such glory is awesome! and exhilarating! and, also, at least a little frightening.  My heart has seen new and wonderful things and felt a kaleidoscope of joy and happiness I had not guessed was waiting for me!

And my heart has pondered a lot of new questions or maybe old questions reexamined.  Sometimes I find answers easily and I am happy with the new directions the answers have taken me.  I've decided I want to have breast augmentation.  This is new for me.  I am very comfortable with my forms.  I like and maybe even enjoy the warmth and the weight that is part of the forms.  But I feel something is missing when I am not wearing them.  I wear them almost 16 hours a day every day; They feel _right_! to me.  I am just a kind of light grey sad when I take them off at night?  I think augmentation is a good answer for me.

Some questions are a surprise; I thought I had answered them a long time ago.  I had no plans to revisit them.  The Plan (tm) had been to live as a woman with my breast forms and then to get an orchiectomy and be rid of those nasty! testosterone factories not to mention the silly lumps that get in the way when I'm trying to cross my legs like a Proper Lady.

In the space adventure science fiction I read the authors are fond of reminding readers, "No plan survives contact with the enemy!"  I find myself thinking that maybe I, um, want to have something that passes for and functions like a vagina.  Where the hell! did that come from?  I don't know.  I ask myself this  question: What would it mean to me to have a vagina?  I _do not_ have an answer.  And my thoughts and feelings are lost in space.