relationshipping, trans talk



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.”
“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.


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.

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.


about Japan, trans talk



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.


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.



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.”

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?

But what else is  there?



Her 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.
“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.)


about Japan

Cats and shit

Cats and shit

on a walk.

I see various exotic creatures on a leash in Tokyo.  Especially in Shibuya, aka loud and crowded young kids shopping paradise.  Ferrets, bunnies, monkeys on leashes.  Or a random pet squirrel, perched on its owner’s shoulder.

The other day I’m walking, eyes glued to my phone screen when my peripheral vision spies a puff-ball on the ground.  Really?  My eyeballs scan and the puffs increase— there are five.  I focus my gaze and see three more in a stroller.  Fat, delicious Persians on shoestring (but probably more like crazy-luxe designer) leashes.  They’re all smoke-tipped cream puffs.  Scrumptious.  I peer closer to check out why the man leading this fuzz brigade is stopped in the middle of a fucking busy sidewalk.  I’m also about to take a shot of this curious and happy sight.

Until I see Cat-Nanny-Daddy wiping an— whoa, the smell hits at the exact moment I see the uncontrollable mess.  I hope he’s got so many more tissues than what I see in his hand.  Oh god.  The poor others in the stroller, trying to shy away from the unfortunate one and their wispy-long coats are brushing against the mess.  This is hilarious in its absolute hideousness.  I could take a picture but I can’t.  All I can think of is the poor undignified quadruped having lost its shit and getting cleaned up in such plain view, garnering some sympathy from passersby but mostly indignation.

Poor kitty.
Poor human.

Um also, the tissues— where’s he going to put that biohazardous crap?

about Japan

Don’t touch that


Don't touch



I’ve not been a lesbian slut-puppy (I mean with a natal woman) in Tokyo so I mostly hear pube-chat from my het-guy friends and there are many a reference to Japanese women not shaving.  This strikes me as odd since all other body hair must go.  Really.  Laser is the norm for arms, legs, face.  Get rid of that forever.  BUT.  Don’t touch the snatch.

Recently, S and I have awesome ōnsen (hot springs) time and we are getting major once-overs by the slew of naked ladies around us.  Correction— our muffs are because they’re the only clean-shaven bitches in this bathhouse.  So I stare back and…trimming is nonexistent.  We’re talking super voluminous-natural, like need to blow dry that shit so your panties aren’t sopping.  Very curious.

It’s such a phenom to be clean-shaven that S’s student asks to see and touch her because it’s so unfathomable.  S obliges and her student delights in the novelty.

Caveat: if you’re a t(w)een with a mother who thinks you’ve got the goods to be a model, everything— yes, your crotch— is getting the laser treatment.  Truth and ouch.

Also, hooray to S’s first ōnsen on the girls’ side!  It was great fun.  Definitely nerve-wrecking but the first time usually is, yes?

random love



“failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor”

                                                          ~Truman Capote

then I don’t fail enough.


I fail at little things, quite often: lacking discipline, producing enough, achieving balance.
I sweat the small shit.  I allow stress an easy in.  I’m impatient.
But an epic fail that forces me to get wise, Quick?

I don’t think so.
Because if said failure had happened I doubt I would be so scared.

I avoid getting hurt, which I feel is weak.
I have problems being vulnerable.  I protect myself.  I don’t risk enough.

I attempt growth: I risk, I jump, I expect.
There’s no palpable achievement, no net and free-fall is my second skin before I hit the ground, and it’s not graceful.
Disappointment happens, I hurt and I am hurt.
I cry a lot as a result and I think I’m stressing out my heart because when feeling especially neurotic, I swear its beat is damn irregular.

But life’s still fun and funny.

People surprise me.
Better yet, they impress the hell out of me.

about Japan

東京 road rage

東京 road rage

is curious.

I’m high up in a memorable Tokyo landmark…the Cocoon Tower in Shinjuku.  I sit in front of my glowing screen in a room with many bare, fluorescent bulbs amidst a very typical-for-an-office, dropped ceiling.  We don’t sit in cubicles but our work stations are divided into open cubicle-like sections.  I like my neighbor because he has a cheery, chubby face and his snacking habits make me feel at home.  The 30th floor is nice; I have a great, 360° view of the city and that alone makes me smile every time I’m here.  I’m a tourist in my workplace as I click my camera as the light changes, natural warmth disappears and electric candy-show-time starts blinking.

Blink-blink, red and blue neon.
Blink-blink, orbs of white.

Today, in this fun tower, I learn what 20-something Tokyo boys consider rude-ass behavior.  I should qualify that they love cars, driving and racing so they really only care about what gives them road rage.

Which comes down to:
1) Jaywalking.  No matter where you are in this world, pedestrians always win and jaywalking families in the ‘burbs that jump out from nowhere makes these boys’ blood roil-boil.
2) Not yielding to allow passing on a slope.  Basically, the driver going uphill has the right of way on a one-lane road but apparently many a time, the downhill driver will just sit there, and a game of chicken starts.  It’s particularly en-fucking-raging at night when the downhill driver is in a van or other high vehicle because they fail to turn off their lights and end up blinding the driver who has the right of way.  One dude slams his fist on the table; this shit behavior really makes him mad.
3) No hazard light click-click= ‘Thank You’ after they slow down to let a car merge into their lane.  Not doing that is “fucking rude“.

There’s plenty of other shit that pisses them off, most of it revolving around people who have zero spatial awareness and/or consideration for others.  These guys can seem rough around the edges, as their language is rough and their body language discourages approach but actually these guys are rather old-school-gentlemanly.  They’re judgemental as fuck but it’s rather endearing because they simply want people to care about other people.

Makes me go aww…



Grant me the sereni— 

grant me the sereni—

I curse my attempt to breathe and get peaceful.

Try again:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

I tell her, “It’s this damn hope I have that’s starting to make me feel duped.  I can’t change my current difficult, seemingly impossible situation but I don’t want to give up.”

Which reminds me of the man who flew halfway around the world to meet S.
They’re good friends.  For a solid year they talk, Skype, text nearly everyday.  I heard the tail end of a phone call about six months into their friendship.
“S, he likes you.”
Uh-oh she’s turning red.
“Um you’re turning red.”
“Shut up, Rumi!”
“You know he likes you.”
“He has a girlfriend.  Besides, what makes you say that?”
“Because no guy stays on the phone for that long to be ‘nice’.  He really likes you.”
“Do you like him?  I mean, if he didn’t have a girlfriend would you consider going out with him?”

Yeah, he and his girlfriend broke up not too long after that conversation.  And he and S became more than friends.  Which brings me back to his flying out to Tokyo.  I mean you have to meet in the real to see if it’s real, no?

I check out of the apartment while he’s in town because, as if I’m going to witness potential crazy-honeymoon-period-doing it (but I’ll gladly listen to her tell me the gory deets).

I meet up with them and it’s immediately clear that he’s really, really into her.  I mean he can barely ask me a question because he’s so glued onto her.  I’m pretty sure he thinks he loves her.  So I look over at her and…S doesn’t have to say anything for me to know that something’s not right.  Nothing is outright wrong but something’s off.

Two days later, she and I meet up to chat.
“I’m just not attracted to him.  I think it’s pheromones.”
“Aww…I’m sorry, S.  That sucks.  He really likes you.”
“I know.  I feel terrible.  He’s so nice and he thinks I’m beautiful and awesome.  But I just…can’t.”
“No, you sure as hell can’t.  You can’t make that X-factor chemical attraction happen.”
“I tried…”

And how’s this for fucked up:
Even though this really sweet guy is guilty of nothing but showing her love and affection, I’m protective of S to the point where I’m cursing this dude for making her feel so down.  Yes, the sympathy unbalance is definitely fucked up.

My words echo between my ears:
“I can’t change the current difficult, seemingly impossible situation but I don’t want to give up.”

And I’m finally able to be sympathetic towards the poor dude who faces definitive, unrequited love…there’s no going back.

“You don’t want to give up…I guess that’s where the rest of the prayer comes in.”
“Oh crap, how’s the rest go?  I forget ’cause I always get stuck on trying to accept the shit I can’t change.”
“You have to change what you can.”
“I can’t change the situation.”
“Maybe you have to take yourself out of the situation…?”
“Yeah…  But that’s so fucking hard.”
“I think that’s why they say that ‘courage to change the things I can’t’ bit.”
“And then there’s the wisdom to know the difference…”