random love, relationshipping

Let’s jump ponds

Sex changesIt’s time for an adventure.

But why does anyone do an international move?
To find themselves
or to run away.

Before I started dating S, I knew I’d move from the American South but that was to be a decidedly domestic decision between my beloved NYC and possibly Philadelphia.

Then when S and I got serious, so did the international-ness of next destination- Spain or Japan.

Why Japan?

I used to give what I thought was a well thought-out answer:
I wanted to get in touch with my cultural roots.
I wanted to be in a big city again.
I wanted to be in a more creative city.

As the move-out date approaches after S comes out as trans, I begin to doubt.
I ask S on occasion, “We’re not pulling a geographic with this move, are we?”

She’s not.
She’s fulfilling her original goal of living abroad.
She’s had enough of America and her mostly very conservative and narrow-minded hometown.

But me?

I think if I name the thing I don’t want to be guilty of, it will keep it at bay. Except every time I want reassurance that I’m not running away, something in my gut sends an, uh-oh alert to my brain. As in, I’m definitely running away. Because these days more than simply wanting an adventure, I want to be in a new place. I want to consider my transsexual relationship away from the trappings of a small and (too) familiar town where everyone who finds out about S’s transsexuality has a pointed opinion they are not shy about sharing; usually it’s ultimately supportive (after many questions) but sometimes it’s downright mean.

A year and some months pass and I think about living in Japan.
I haven’t run away yet as I haven’t escaped the confrontations that come with a rigorous raking over of me and S’s future.
Case in point: we are no longer coupled and despite moments of wanting to jet on the immediate, I stay put. I work out the highs and lows of living in a far-off unfamiliar that still doesn’t feel like home. I’m also at peace knowing that I may not ever feel completely at home here; Tokyo was never intended as a final destination.

As for finding myself, that’s certainly happened and continues to, thank goodness. This life is an often funny and delightful little mindfuck in that just when I’ve figured something out, made the hard choice and breathed a sigh of, “Okay…that bit is finished,” I am shocked at what comes next.

So the next side of my never-ending relationship Rubik’s cube?
I’m just beginning to unpuzzle this one but it revolves around a specific notion of control as a new adventure begins…

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random love

Inpatient

Inpatientwas a blur and a huge cliché but with one unforgettable connection.

I don’t know how I got to thinking about this woman today.
But here we are…

Even the most severely medicated patient feels her cold wall of silence, one that staunchly taunts the staff: just try to get me to give anything up. Because no.
And fuck you.

But I meet her gaze one day and it hits me- she is trying so hard to keep it together, which makes me instantly care about her. She’s not okay but she is fighting so hard to convince herself otherwise. Call it survivor’s instinct but we identify something in each other, which leads to our first conversation on some bench-table thing outside. It feels so nice, being outside; the natural light a warm and welcome relief from many a fluorescent bulb.

She is tough.
And not just because she’s a damn tough gang member who has been living The Bluest Eye. But because she is committed to dealing with her demons, regardless of how she is perceived by her biological family (completely untrustworthy), her gang family (traitor), the father of her child (unworthy). Her life doesn’t allow for a mental health check-out without some severe consequences. So she has to make this count.

As she tells me her story, my heart sheds shocked tears.
She was Pecola.

Later that night, as I sit in my room and process, reprocess what she shared, I cry for her. Hard.

Two days later, when someone open-shuts the door to her group therapy session I happen to catch a quick earful. I hear her crying for herself. I think it’s the first time she has let herself cry in a long time. Possibly ever.

It was both of our first times in this kind of place.
I never did go back.
I never saw her again but to this day, ten years later, my heart crosses its fingers for her.

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