relationshipping, trans talk

Everyone feels guilty

Everyone's feels guilty

at some point.  Well, unless they’re a sociopath but I’m not going there today.

Today, I’m thinking about my parents.
Here’s the thing: nothing makes them happier than hearing I’m dating a guy.

They stopped expecting marriage or children from me since I’ve been adamantly anti both since I was eight.  But they really want me to be straight.

When I exited my lesbian relationship, not only were they suddenly really interested and present in my life, they became sincerely loving and supportive parents.  And I tried to ignore the reason for their sudden 180°, but that was difficult because by the time they decided to reconnect with me, their marked absence during those relationship years had turned them into strangers.  The inarguable bottom line was that they were thrilled they didn’t have to consider a newly single me a lesbian because there was hope that maybe, just maybe, I’d date a guy again.

They really like a certain idea of me rather than the real deal.
What can I say, most of us are guilty of this at some point in our lives.

So you can imagine their absolute joy when my BF turned out to be a transsexual.

Considering historical evidence, the anti-conformist egalitarian in me really doesn’t want to tell my parents about my breakup because it would make my mom, especially, so stupidly happy.  And I think it’s good for them to try to love me in spite of my relationship choices.

I mean it’s not going to hurt them to be in the dark about my recent relationship status, right?  It’s good to expand prejudicial spheres until they (hopefully) disappear into acceptance, no?  I’m usually of a live and let live mindset; I’m not out to push an agenda on people but if there are two people in the world I don’t feel bad about making actively uncomfortable for their prejudices, it’s my parents.

Then I remember that my dad has fucking cancer and what if it would bring him such great relief to hear that I’m not dating a transsexual?  What if knowing that makes him so happy it gives him renewed hope or vigor or whatever it is that helps people beat cancer?  Which then makes me wonder if I don’t tell him about my breakup am I depriving him ammunition to fight his cancer?

This is when I start to feel guilty, which is so messed up on so many levels.

But then I think about my next person and judging from my relationship history, that someone could be anyone.
Which means that my parents’ relief rooted in prejudice could be very short-lived.
And that makes me smile.  Guiltlessly.


Best. First. Date. Ever.

My eyeballs need cocaine

Unbeknownst to me until a few days ago, there is a magical first date formula that will impress me.

Here it is:
1) Cheap, crap Italian food with even cheaper beer and wine with a killer view.  Seriously nice Tokyo skyline, y’all.

2) Trying a new drink at an 8-seater bar in Golden Gai, where date’s beautiful and charming trans friend tends bar.  In this case, think Japanese ice pick made with sake and Oolong tea…simple and yum.

3) Conbini tall boys for the walks from bar to bar because drinking on the street is totally legal (and fun) here, so why not?

4) Last stop is a BDSM-themed bar where not only am I listening to incomprehensible French by a super cute but slightly twisted Japanese girl, the Mongolian sumo wrestler next to me buys everyone a glass of pink bubbly (which I love) before taking his penis out and receiving blow jobs from two girls at the same time.

So give me these experiences on a first date and I will end up quite smitten or at the very least pretty fucking impressed.

Thank you, I had a great time.

about Japan

My eyeballs need cocaine.

My eyeballs need cocaine

I have been fighting this horrible sinus infection for a few days where not only am I congested and suffering from rough-grit sandpaper throat, my eyeballs have been snotting green mucus.  It’s pretty terrible because if the mucus clouds aren’t sporadically rendering me blind, they are leaking out the corners of my eyes and making me wear hurtful crusty eyeliner as a result.  Gross.  And ouch.

Which reminds me of working with my Japanese friend at Toraya* (a fancy-schmance Japanese tea room) on the Upper East Side many, many years ago.  I don’t know how we started talking about cocaine but we did.
And his take on the drug:
JF: It can be really helpful.
Me: Really?
JF: Ya, eye doctors use it all the time in Japan.  It stops pain very fast.  It’s very good.  You don’t have that in America?
Me: I don’t know…I haven’t been to the eye doctor for really bad eye pain.  I haven’t heard of anyone getting cocaine eye drops; most people here use it to get high.
JF: nodding pensively…Ya, in Japan too.

So I’m sitting on my tatami floor, squinting at the screen through swollen eyelids and thinking those coke drops would be really useful about now.  Actually, any Japanese eye drops would do the trick; they are marketed like Jolt cola was back, back in the day.  Working your twelfth hour of overtime this week, and it’s Monday?  These drops of liquid menthol and speed will carry you through hour 32, no problem!

My current state of misery might trump my childhood memory of wanting to claw my eyeballs out from the very wrong burning sensation caused by said drops.  My uncle promised the drops would give my tired, red eyes soothing relief.  Said uncle also survived on three hours of sleep, woke up every morning at 5:00 without fail to start his exercise routine and worked seventy hours a week at one company for his entire work life.  Why would I trust this crazy person?  Well, I was nine.

The hypochondriac in me thinks I’m growing cataracts as my vision won’t clarify, no matter how many times I blink.
Yep, time to revisit that memory and see if this time I won’t welcome the fiery, mentholated sensation of crack drops.

*Sadly, post-9/11 Toraya had to shut its beautiful brownstone doors.

relationshipping, trans talk

The other day

she walked in dressed as a boy because she had to discuss visa matters at immigration in Japan and according to her passport she’s a male and her passport photo is of her former superbly bearded self. When she walked in all I saw was my former boyfriend wearing a familiar outfit from years ago: a simple black t-shirt and faded red jorts, messy hair haphazardly pulled back showcasing amazing bone structure belying beautiful native American genetics.

And it hit me.

I’m still in love with him.

Damn that grief as she always hits so hard and unexpectedly, it feels below the belt. I thought I was over him. I told myself I was since there’s no him anymore. Fuck, did I just fall into that trap of saying something until I believed it? And all it takes is one moment- one two-second moment that stills my heart, stops my lungs and brings me to my knees because I can’t see for the flood of tears streaming down my face.

Those two seconds feels as long as the duration of our relationship, as snapshots of our together life flashes through my head like a flip-book montage.

The very fast image reel is dizzying and this undeniable moment of truth knocks the wind out of me.

Not only am I not over him, I want him back.
But I can’t have him.
He’s not ever coming back because he doesn’t exist anymore.

And that hurts.

He made me believe two previously unthinkable things:
1) Marriage.
Usually I am very fuck marriage. I have never liked the institution of marriage and especially after having experienced the denial of this privilege in my lesbian relationship, marriage was never a want of mine. Then I met him and felt this refreshingly easy contentment without a hint of complacency. Being with him made me think that I really could til death do us part. He made me hungrier for life but didn’t leave me wanting. And he did all of those seemingly little, inconvenient things that are actually some of the most meaningful things anyone can ever do. If a more suspicious or insecure me had planned those stop-bys just to check on me because he loved me that much and wanted to make sure I was okay as tests, he beyond passed. He never stopped passing, by the way. He’d, of course, make me think that I wouldn’t be able to see him some meaningful day/night but he did that on purpose so I’d be all the more ecstatic when I did see him. It made him look good and me feel even better. Because he knew me so fucking well already.
2) Children.
I never wanted kids. Ever. Until him. He’s really good with kids; he likes them, all ages. I don’t dislike the young ones; in fact, I like them- sincerely. They even like me back. The weird ones like me a lot. But I never wanted my own; the thought of family like that simultaneously terrified, nauseated and depressed me. Yeah, he changed that. I was absolutely bewildered when I realized this but I thought about it and it made sense, we were already each other’s family. And talking about our future with some little people in it wreaking havoc made quiet sense in my bewildered mind.

Being with him made me believe in our future.

That future was a short-lived beautiful idea.
But not all ideas become reality.

I still think it could have been really great though, which makes my insides hurt.

Being with him changed me for the better.
No wonder I’m still in love with him.

random love

This is personal.

This is personalI might be one of the unhealthiest healthy people in the world.
God, what a fucking grandiose statement, right?
Who is this bitch?

Nobody, sometimes.
A damn good friend/lover/partner sometimes.

I don’t remember every minute of my small self being locked in a dark closet for hours on end, day after day, weeks in a row. But I can connect the cause and effect dots between the entrapment three-year-old me suffered and the fucked up neural pathways that scarred my brain as a result. For instance, security is incredibly important to me. Because that means options. I could give a shit about my old ass having a comfortable cushion in the sun as I get closer to inevitable death but I care immensely about always having an out. I need to know I can run if I want to. Historically, I don’t run away but when I feel I don’t have that choice, I alternately freak out and go fetal.

I don’t think that’s so healthy.

Want to know what’s even more fucked up? A pattern emerged; a deranged acceptance of being held hostage (physically, mentally, sexually, hooray) became my familiar. I had no out again (age 8) and again (age 12) and again (age 15, 18, 19)— what, was I asking for it? If asking for it means being shocked into submission and unable to make out the words NO, STOP, I’m going to tell my parents on you, I’m going to call the cops, or just screaming my fucking head off, then yeah, I sure as hell asked for it.

In an attempt to get healthy, I’ve parked my disgruntled-at-best ass in front of many a therapist. I’ve sat silent while a certified woman sat even silenter; this was beyond a Mexican standoff and I totally lost when, five minutes before end time I said, “So this is your way of helping me?” I’ve entertained the crap out of another as she made me so fucking mad with each passing minute because she sure as hell wasn’t asking difficult questions, or entertaining me for that matter. I got really hopeful when I clicked with this really awesome dude but then I ran out of money. So it goes, therapist musical chairs, a routine occurrence among the obstacle course of getting help.

Currently, I just do the best I can.

Sometimes that means really awesome: maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships, moving across the globe and successfully assimilating to a new culture and language.

Sometimes it’s disturbing: the tears freefall while I rapidly figure out how quickly I can get on a plane. Out. Of. Here. Fuck my job, lease, funds. I just want to disappear.

Usually my best is good enough. Because I’m still here. Sometimes my mind still reels me back to that dark place and I want to give up because I can’t see two inches in front of my face and I still don’t have all the tools or coordination to unlock the fucking door.

But these days I smartly use my voice (I don’t even have to scream) and it reaches those who love me. We make sure I get out of that dark place.


Tact or truth?

Truth or tact

asks my date the other night.

Always truth, I say.
I want to know where I stand; judge me openly.  Yeah, it fucking smarts at times (actually always) but truth enables me to move on after the hurtful thing is said.
And I can trust you if you’re honest.

Then I hear his reasons for tact via a three-year relationship break-up story.

Tact goes like this:
I told her it felt like we were friends more than anything else.  

The sex wasn’t good enough.
For three years not good enough.

He explains:
I figured if she read between the lines, she’d get what I was really talking about but I wouldn’t have to spell it out for her and hurt her in the process.  I’d already accidentally given her body issues.  She was fishing for it though!  She wouldn’t let up, wanting me to name a physical imperfection; so I was honest about the only part of her body that was less than fairly perfect.  And she never got over it.

In his defense, he was a professional athlete at the time; I sure as hell wouldn’t have probed hard for his opinion unless I wanted harsh motivation to tone some shit.

So when it was time for The Talk he chose tact.

It makes me see him and tact in a different light.
Wow, he’s actually a nice guy and he really cared about her feelings.

And my choosing haughty truth makes me feel like a less thoughtful, not-as-kind person.  In the realm of relationships I always thought that I wanted to be told exactly what’s up and why because then I’d know where I stand, which leads to ultimate trust.  But sometimes it takes processing time to get at the why so in the meantime, how about don’t not tell me something just to spare my feelings.

They say it’s not what you say but how you say it, which like so many clichés is so annoyingly true.  Historically, I’ve cloaked the damn truth with so many rusted daggers that, fuck communication, all I accomplish is deeply infected hurt.  So my current goal is successfully marrying tact and truth, which means I lied.

Okay, ask me again- truth or tact?
I say yes.
Because I have turned into fucking Switzerland.

open relationship

One of us

One of us

is going to be felled by stupid love. Or serious infatuation or like or whatever the beginning thing is before turning into the love.

I give myself stupid anxiety, especially when I think about that unavoidable day in the future when I just know this is going to happen. Nevermind that I don’t really know if it’s going to happen, but I can feel it’s going to happen, which makes me believe it will.

She says she’s met her Super Boy. When I picture her hero, I see a thick, short, muscle-bound character in a blue and red cape and tights get-up. Not to be taken seriously. Then I notice that she’s giddy, excited and I feel her effervescence: lots of sparkling bubbles, so much foam spilling over. And I get it. That’s how her face used to light up when she thought about me. Used to. This is a strange moment of realization.

Shock: wow, this is that day.
Sadness: I feel a definitive shift; her heart is pounding at another door.

Oh, you actually really like this guy.
Yeah, I told you he’s my Super Boy.

Heart drop.


random love

120 seconds

120 seconds

at a time is the best I can do sometimes.

The first time:
I’m on a bus in NYC, 19 years old, and why can’t I breathe normally all of a sudden?  Fuck, is this an asthma attack?  I haven’t had one of those in years and I feel so weirdly tingly, like I’m about to throw up.  I’m trapped.  I have a habit of eyeballing every exit upon entering a room.  I have to know where the bathrooms are as well.  But I’m on a bus.  And it’s crowded; god, there’s no negative space on which to focus.  It’s too busy around me; too many faces, limbs, too much air taken up, just too much.  I feel like my eyeballs are rolling in the back of my head and I might freak out.  I don’t want to freak out.  Look out the window, look at the street numbers.  Count.

5 blocks.
Hold on for five blocks.

I debate running out at every stop but I’m fucking paralyzed.  I can’t move.  My brain and body won’t fucking connect and I hate it.  I wring my hands together until my fingertips are red then white and my nails leave crescent-shaped dents on my hands from gripping tight, tighter and I don’t care if I break the skin.  If I can cause and focus on other physical pain, maybe it’ll trump this other shit that has suddenly taken over.

Three more blocks?  Eternity.  The weird numb feeling won’t go away.  I have a block in my throat and I don’t think I’m going to retch anymore because this tingly sensation is different and there’s no pre-puke hyper-salivation.  Just let me not lose it.

But I can’t get air.

I can’t swallow.  My heart’s in my throat.  My organs are choking me and I DON’T KNOW WHY.  Why is my body torturing me?  And then a memory file superfastforwards; lots of images, like worst thing that ever happened to me images flash by.  I tell myself that another part of my brain is trying to help me, like:

you got through those events so this should be ok.  you’ve made it so far.  no one is hurting you.  you’re not locked in and trapped, at someone else’s mercy.  you’re just on a bus.

Okay.  If I do lose it, what then?  If I pass out, medics and a hospital?  I’m not so scared of hospitals even though I hate them.  As much as I hate attention being called to myself, if that’s what happens I can deal.  Except I feel so fucking uncomfortable, I want to scream and if I scream then I’ll be sent to that other hospital, the one with rubbery walls and shifty eyes all around.  And then I’m grateful that my heart is in my throat, still choking me because at least it means that I can’t scream.

26th street.
Sweet fucking relief.

I made it.

This still happens, what I suppose are panic attacks.  Almost always in subways and trains these days, which doesn’t diminish my love for public transport.  Luckily it’s only occurred on train lines where it’s 2-3 minutes maximum between stations.

So I count 120 seconds.
If I can make it 120 seconds, I can run out.
I’ve made it so far.

The relief is the same as the first time: immense and so, so sweet.

random love

I want

i want

it all.  And then some.

I want my next apartment to have a really big tree rooted in it, stretching its thick branches out the windows.  But I don’t want birds to live in it because they still freak me out.  On a side note, I think some of my bird fear is easing because the birds are less aggro here. Actually, scratch that.  While I write these posts, images are suggested and this pops up:

English: The blinking eye of a Masked Lapwing ...

English: The blinking eye of a Masked Lapwing in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The nictitating membrane closes from only one side, and is translucent. The eyelids themselves do not close during blinking, but do so for sleep. Français : Le clignement de l’œil d’un vanneau soldat (sous-espèce nord, Vanellus miles miles). La membrane nictitante, translucide, est la seule à se fermer sur l’œil. L’oiseau ne ferme ses paupières que pour dormir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Um NO.  The yellow to the right makes my insides silently scream so loudly and wince repeatedly like I’ve got Tourette’s.  This muscle memory triggers the headless sparrow I narrowly side-stepped on the street today, which reminds me that when it comes to spotting shit that freaks me out, I suddenly have the best eyesight in the world.  I can draw my headless pigeon army, eyes closed.  Why do I have a vivid image file of decapitated birds on instant fucking recall?  That’s just not right.

Moving on to things I want rather than weird shit that freaks me out, I would like a rhino in her party hat, visiting my apartment for exactly 12 minutes every six months.  Yes, a rhino dance shuffle party twice a year, please.  She’s even picked me out among many potential party hosts and even though she lives in Arkansas, she’s down to visit Tokyo.  Now we just have to work out stupid logistics.  Her name is Clementine and this is her portrait:

i want it all2

© Rumi Tominaga

Speaking of friends visiting, more would be nice.  I want my bitches here.
This points to only one of two things: teleportation or Falcor.  

I want I want I want.  

Gimme big tree.
& Clementine.

i want it all