random love

Interlude

interlude

 

It’s been quiet and mostly drama-free ’round these parts.

I’ve been in transition (ha) about my stories.  The shit I spout here wears no mask, save a name here and there.  Recently, what I want to share goes beyond the journaling I do here.  So I think and plan my next move, which has equaled blank space.

S and I are good.  S is living her Tokyo life, juggling boys here and abroad whilst dealing with rejecting her daily (maybe they’ve slipped down to weekly) marriage proposals.

We’re still married, she renewed her Japan visa for another year and it’s about time for some day→night drinking to celebrate spring.

More updates as the cauldron reaches roaring colorful boil…currently simmering.

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about Japan, trans talk

Hot December

Hot december

makes me happy.

As does this:

“Who can be here every class to take attendance?”
“I can.”
No hesitation…what??
I would have never volunteered myself to anything that required 100% attendance, especially in college.  No way.  I study the individual who must either really like school or is one of those magical people who completes everything they set out to do simply because they decide to do so.

Let me tell you, Tokyo kids surprise me.  All the goddamned time.  And I love them for it.

I don’t know what I expected from the eager volunteer, but certainly not this lithe individual wearing a satin-back, black vest, formal white button-down with a very sharp collar, black slacks and black dress shoes.  His hair is andro and fashionably asymmetric, sweeping down over one eye and his skin— more immaculate than any I’ve seen yet, like soft snow cream.  As I take him in, I realize that he’s trans to some degree.  Call it living with S through transition or frequenting any number of trans joints on two continents or simply that my radar doesn’t lie.  Either way, I am in instant like with this volunteer (he volunteered perfect attendance, for fuck’s sake) and I wonder how free he feels to be him/herself.

Two weeks later, I walk into this snippet:
“Wow…this is you?  You know, I’ve worn makeup before.”
“Really?”
I whiplash to the male voices and it’s my sweet volunteer’s surprised reaction to the guy sitting next to him, a nice kid but not anyone that I would have pegged as being particularly sensitive or open to donning dresses and getting made up.
“Yeah…my sisters really wanted to dress me up then my friends in high school did, and I thought, why not?  By the way, it’s a cute pic.”
As he hands the card back to the volunteer, I peek at his photo, which captures the very essence of the ideal Japanese female (read: big eyes, soft features, small face = cute).
“Thanks…sometimes this is how I want to be.”

Sometimes a share about crossdressing or being trans can be that simple and without judgement.
I love this moment.

Neither of these guys lowered voices for this conversation as there’s nothing to hide, no reaction to fear if someone in the class happened to hear or see the trans talk or image.

For this easy acceptance, I love the younger generation.

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relationshipping, trans talk

Flashback:

flashback:

their first ‘out’ Halloween.
They go to New Orleans because not only is it the most fun-debauch city in the South, but also the most accepting of all types of queer.
He’s come out as a crossdresser but transsexual is not an articulated option.  Yet.

He dresses up as a femme fatale secretary with breast forms, blouse, tight pencil skirt and 5-inch black patent, Mary Jane fuck-me stilettos.  She’s a Southern belle vampire.  He’s nervous, especially riding down the elevator and walking through the posh hotel lobby but no one gives a second glance their way.  And once they step onto Bourbon Street, they are given mouth-to-mouth pink shots within minutes.  Between street shots, topless women, beads thrown for baring tits and all-around Halloween debauchery, he talks to loads of people and she is given a steady supply of absinthe and whiskey.  They go to countless bars and laugh, dance, drink and chat.  At the oldest bar in the Quarter, she sits on his secretary lap and they share a beer and a sweet, quiet kiss amidst rowdy, drunk-as-fuck jocks, professionals, costumed insanity and constantly thumping beats.

It’s after 4AM and they’re walking back to the hotel.  His feet HURT from the heels and he needs to pee.  Badly.  She suggests he take off his heels so they can get back faster and he’ll be more comfortable.  He refuses.  They trudge on.  He asks how much farther.  He wonders if there’s not a place to stop.  She tries coaxing him again to take his heels off.

“It’ll save time.  We still have a good eight to ten blocks.”
“NO.”
“Okay.  But I really doubt there’ll be a place to stop.”

She looks in all directions as they walk, wanting to relieve him of foot pain and bladder discomfort but along these smegma-lined streets that reek of old booze, there’s nothing but residences and an occasional bodega that may or may not be open.

“You’re walking too fast!”
“I’m sorry…I was trying to get us back quick.”

She turns around and he’s many feet behind her, his body language reads total exhaustion.

“What are you doing?  We’re almost there…only 10 more minutes, I think.”
“I’m in pain.  It hurts so much.”

She’s mad.  The only option is to keep going.  But he keeps stopping, which wouldn’t be so bad except he’s about to piss himself.  She’s damn frustrated that he won’t hur— no, she’s frustrated because she has become intolerant.  She can’t be nice, offer to support him, take some of his weight off those damn stilettos.  She’s too concerned wondering if this is how it’s going to be from now.  His costume isn’t just a costume, after all.

They argue back and forth, he’s too slow, she’s too fast.  She’s fed up with his complaining.  He takes off his heels.  As soon as he does, the defeat he feels is palpable; he says he just wanted to begin and end the night in his heels and he cries.  She is finally silenced and her face discloses her sadness and guilt: the heels represent a self-imposed test that he would have passed if not for her.

They deal with their own grief and regret as they silently ride the elevator and enter their room.  He immediately goes to the bathroom then to the balcony to smoke.  He looks down at the NOLA cityscape as dawn breaks.  She has crashed before he finishes his first smoke.  She wakes up after some hours to puke up excess absinthe.  She wipes the tears induced by vomiting and looks at her tired eyes in the mirror, ringed with Halloween makeup and studies the countertop: makeup strewn about, bras, underwear and various outfit incarnations.

Her face mirrors the trepidation that her heart can no longer contain.
She doesn’t know if she can be the supportive girlfriend she’s been as (s)he figures out who (s)he wants to be.

 

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random love

What are the odds?

what are the odds

I get on my train and choose car No. 6 because its doors open very close to the descending stairs of my home station.
My have-tos are done with; I’m glad I’m on my way home.

I’m lucky to get a seat and I catch up on texts.  I text to see what her ETA is.  Whoa, she replies immediately, a rare occurrence.  I must have misunderstood her work end time.  We make plans to eat together.  I try to imagine which direction she’s coming from as her work is in a ‘hood I’ve only visited once and that was for a midnight-thirty meet-up with friends for a road trip.  Occasionally I look up to check out my surroundings; no unusual suspects tonight, a welcome relief.  Women unleashing super-pungent hair spray bombs, men coming down from drugs as evidenced by scratch-slapping their faces in a pretty disturbing manner, guys peeing themselves and of course the ubiquitous drunken businessmen (please don’t puke on me, please don’t puke on me) are just a few run-ins that make me hyper-aware of the state of the people surrounding me.  It’s self-preservation on these endless lines of commuter transport, millions and millions of us standing, rushing, crowding, pushing everyday.

I continue texting her as I’m trying to gauge how long until we meet.  She’s just transferred lines and I get a nanoo-nanoo psychic-intuition tingle.  She just boarded at the station my train arrived at.  We’re on the same train.  It doesn’t make statistical sense that we would be on the same train, coming from opposite directions (including a transfer), in this megalopolis.  I mean, what are the odds?  Still, as seconds pass my heart beats faster.  I’m absolutely convinced we’re on the same train.  I quiz her about the next station on her ride…which matches mine exactly.  Shit, can we be in the same car?  Nooo…that would be too much for even my not-believing-in-coincidences self.

Still, I look around.
I don’t see her.
Damn.

I convince myself that we’re supposed to run into each other and be amazed at the odds of running into each other on this train, this Tokyo evening.  Like something out of a movie.  And we’re supposed to spot each other in the same car—No. 6— out of the twelve on this line.  We’re supposed to beat the odds even more.  Even though I don’t see her and I don’t know why I need her to be in the same car as me, I question her further.

Which car number are you on?
6, right by the doors.

Shit(!)…I knew it.

My seated self looks up and peeks through the few empty spaces between the many standing bodies before me.  I can only see one set of the eight car doors and she’s not there.  Until a guy shifts and I see the top her head.  Yes.

I see you.
She looks around; the surrounding figures keep me hidden.
No way.  You’re messing with me.

As I’m about to text what she’s wearing, doing, we arrive at the next stop and people move past me.  She keeps looking around until her eyes rest on me and a shocked smile breaks out.

“Do you realize how crazy it is that we’re on the same train, the same car, no less?!”
“It’s not crazy…after Takadanobaba (fated station name) I just knew we were on the same train.”
“It is crazy.  Things like this don’t happen.”
“But it just did!”
“I mean, think about the odds.”

She doesn’t say anything else as she shakes her head, still flabbergasted at this coincidence.

Except I don’t believe in coincidences.
It’s supposed to be this way.
I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s to remember that person, exactly as they were that day.
Maybe it’s to believe in the magic of the universe.

Like out of a movie.
Only better.

 

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about Japan, trans talk

Cut

cut

to S.
(surprise surprise.)

But seriously, the girl needs legal advice of a super specific nature.
Let’s see if I can get her need-list straight.

First, for those who aren’t aware, quick recap: we got married after we broke up because by doing so, my Japanese citizenship grants her a spousal visa which then enables her to live in Japan.  It’s hard to find an employer who will sponsor a visa and when you’re a transsexual the pickins are really fucking slim.

So this is where S’s recent questions come in.

She wants to change her passport to read sex: F because the M and tremendously male passport photo really hampers shit when looking for work.  Also, she gets questioned by authorities when she tries to clear immigration in Japan.

She can change her passport stat; she has a doctor who will vouch for her and that’s all that is required.

But.

Gay marriage is not recognised in Japan.  When it’s time to renew her visa, she must present her passport and if it reads sex: F, what happens to our marriage?  And her visa status as a result?

International living and sorting thorough visas are tricky.
A transsexual in a lesbian marriage isn’t something most countries accommodate.
Tricky gets trickier.

Things are never simple with S and I but I’m feeling doubtful of finding a lawyer in Tokyo who can answer her questions.
Of course we’ll try our damnedest.
And it’ll sure as hell be curious, frustrating and hilarious trying to pull those damn answers.

 

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relationshipping

The space in between

the space in between

is my weakness in relationships.

I mean the space between the fate of the relationship and negotiating the present without being overly influenced by the unknown future.  I often walk the fine line between picking my battles and communicating enough to allow the other person to continue getting to know me.  This entails work.

I let the small shit go but sometimes the small shit ends up being kind-of a big thing which doesn’t rear its ugly head until…well, until it does.  Communicating after (what I deem) the ideal window of time is difficult.   I’m usually emotionally annoyed at the point of confrontation but I know it’s because I let little things pile up and since my person isn’t aware that I take issue with something they’re (not) doing, it’s not fair to lash out.  Still I’m annoyed.  People in long-term committed relationships understand how to broach this, or better yet, circumvent this pile-up and I want their wisdom.

I recall a friend’s words from many years ago:

“You know, people always hate on ‘selfish takers’ but what about those who can’t accept?”
For example, her very generous neighbor who was good for any kind of support.  One day, my friend tried to give back to the woman and said woman literally couldn’t accept my friend’s generosity.  She didn’t know how.

At the time her story struck a nerve but I didn’t understand why.  I thought, I can take.  When my person does things for me, I can earnestly accept.  But over the years her words echoed in my head from time to time.  I realise now that I was successful at many things during my long-term relationship history except communicating my needs.  I have never known how to ask for exactly what I want.  Ultimately, I didn’t give them a chance to make me happy.  Does this mean I was a commitment-phobe, deep down?

It’s been very easy to segue my dissatisfaction into, “We need to break up.”
Which isn’t exactly kind.  Or fair.  (And I call myself an equality nazi; but I do also call myself a hypocrite.)
S has said that I tried to break up with her every month.  Sigh.  She’s right.

It’s obvious, even to stubborn me, that my past behaviour is lacking and stupid so I try to correct this.  After all, I like relationships.

So I try.
Convey your shit, Rumi.  Tell him what’s wrong and give him a chance to fix it before you quit before the fucking miracle.
First, breathe.
It is so new, this type of communication, that I feel bewildered and incredibly unsure of myself.  I figure this isn’t the time to dance around so I am blunt.

“I need more from you.  I really understand that you’re busy but these recent days of long silences are damaging…distance creates distance.”

I am hopeful that if I can name the thing and he cares, we can get through this.  WE can work it out. Maybe it’s a combination of redefining distance, how long is too long, what kind of communication I need.

I wait for his reaction.

“Rumi, this is the best I can do.”

Oh.
Fuck.
That wasn’t what I expected.

And what can I say to that?

Turn inwards, question my issue…He’s doing his best…but it’s not enough and I really don’t want to articulate that because that means this— we— can’t go anywhere and I don’t want us to end because I thought there was a tangible future.

Ouch, this hurts.

But I can’t do the work if the other is already maxed out.
I can appreciate his honesty and…move on?

NOooooo.
But what else is  there?

 

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relationshipping

Her turnaround

Turnaround

shocks me.

But then again, S has always had the ability to make my mouth drop.

Today, it’s this:
“I’m okay if it’s him.”
“Wait, what did you say?”
“As long as it’s he who’s your boyfriend, it’s okay.”
“Wow.  Really?”
small sigh…Yeah, Rume.”
You hated him.  What changed?”
“I see how you feel about him.”
I stare in wonderment at S.  Her capacity to change astounds me, repeatedly.

“But I’m going to hate anyone else you date.”
Her sly smile makes me think she’s kidding but the look in her eyes makes me think twice.
“What??”
“You heard me.”
“How do you know that?”
“The very unique circumstances under which I met him can’t ever be duplicated…”
And it was meaningful, I finish silently.

“Circumstances…I see…”

I will never know exactly what happened during their meet but I do know that an olive branch was extended to S and even though she really, really wanted to hold on to empty hate, she couldn’t.  It would have been a more simple reaction to continue hating the man who’s seeing the woman she still loves.

I imagine there was a moment where mutual love broke through the layers of hate that was based on who he represented, not his actual character.  Their moment gives me hope and humbles me.  I take from them both: his unrelenting efforts to make peace, her capacity to call herself out, regardless of the audience.

They’re really good people.
And they really get love.

(I also like to think she likes him at least a little.)

 

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