Tag Archive | Friendships

Reintroductions

IMG_20160603_210251I’m about set to take another road trip down to visit a friend of mine next weekend. I can’t wait. I’m working to get my car ready as my air condition decided it no longer needed to work. I think I’ve located the leak, I’ve ordered the part, and I’m hoping it arrives before I leave. The Texas heat has begun to settle in, and I’m not looking forward to making that drive sans air conditioning.

I’m also looking forward to it because I’m planning on making the drive as Stefani. I did it last time, back in March, but I pulled over before I got to her house, changed back into boy mode, so that her husband wouldn’t see me. He doesn’t know, and as macho, right-wing man, anyone that doesn’t subscribe to traditional gender roles is to be ridiculed.

So I’m leaving early Friday morning, around five in the morning, and I asked my friend to be off that day. I want to introduce Stefani to her, even though she already knows. I send the occasional photo, but she hasn’t seen me dressed yet. At least not since 2000. I can’t believe it’ been that long.

She was the first person, back in ’97, that met Stefani. In fact, she’s the one that asked if I had a name. Back then, I dressed in secret, and though I came out to a friend even before then, it was still more of a fetish thing, one that filled me with shame and regret.

I came out to her as a joke. We worked at the same place, a Burger King on campus of the university we were attending. I kind of fell in love with her, which is strange to say now as she is my best friend. Then, I didn’t know her, but I thought she was cute, and we had that awkward banter that two people who are into each other fall into.

I would joke how I probably looked better in a dress than she did, as I recall. She laughed, but then she called my bluff. She told me where she lived and invited me over. To my everlasting surprise, I went over. I’m not sure if I actually put no a dress on that occasion, but I eventually did. I remember her pulling out a short, black dress. That I could have put it on is nothing short of amazing, considering how thin she was back in those days. Come to think of it, I was a lot thinner, too. Ugh, I feel fat!

Back to my story. She’s the one who helped me accept myself for who I was. She exhorted me to stop feeling guilty and to embrace the woman within. She taught me how to dress, showed me who to do make up, and encouraged me to leave the house, which I did. We went our during the day, me in short shorts with hose, and a sleeveless blouse. I totally rocked the look back then. It helped that I actually wore my hair long back then. We even went to Lubbock once and shopped around, if I recall correctly.

A lot can change in over the years. I’m no longer a thin wraith, and I don’t pass as well as I did back then. We dated for a while, broke up, but remained friends. She married, and I did as well, before divorcing five years later. The only constant is our friendship. And though I hid Stefani away for years, she never wavered in her acceptance of a person I tried to deny.

So here I am, ready to reintroduce myself to the woman who helped create my identity all those years ago. I can’t wait to make that drive, to step out of that car, and have her see me again.

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The meeting has met

coffee2Meeting was a complete disaster. Okay, not really. But I totally forgot my wallet at home this morning so I couldn’t by myself a scone. Disaster! Honestly, I don’t know if they even sell scones so I’m being overly dramatic about nothing. Sorry. I did have enough cash for a coffee, actually a hazelnut latte. Yum!

I arrived a few minutes before he did. I’ll use the male pronouns since we both were in boy mode. I had gotten off work about ten minutes before I arrived. I wanted a chance to sit and collect my thoughts before this meeting took place. I also needed a few minutes to myself just to veg out a bit. Part of me was hoping he would have canceled on me, but he walked in, waved, and proceeded to the counter to by himself a coffee.

Soon thereafter, he joined me at my table as I fidgeted nervously with my phone. I’m horrible about that. It’s a nervous tic, one that I wish would go away, but it’s part of my anxiety. I function at work because I’m in control, most of the time. It’s a familiar place and I have a certain expertise – please don’t laugh at me! – in my department. Sure, there are times when I’m stymied, but for the most part I know what to say and how to best direct my customers to what they need.

There at the coffeehouse, I was at a loss. This wasn’t rehearsed. I didn’t have a script to lead me into the conversation. It was a real interaction, and I so suck at them. I’m an arch-introvert, though you may not have guessed it on here, what with all the nonsense I seem to post online. I’m reclusive to a fault, preferring my own company or that of a few close friends. I’m not good at making new ones. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how I made friends with the ones I have!

We sat there, two strangers meeting for what I’ll consider to be the first time. We waded in slowly, talking banalities for several minutes, mostly about work and the colleges we attended. We discussed reading and the kinds of books we enjoyed. Our discussion only grazed superficially the subject we both desperately needed to talk about, but we didn’t have any privacy, a casualty of my paranoia. My bad.

Our conversation lasted maybe forty to fifty minutes before he decided he needed to leave. It wasn’t what either of us imagined this conversation would be, but I’m okay with that. I’m a cautious person, pathologically so, and I open up only after I’m comfortable with you, and I opened up a lot more than I would have liked to begin with!

I don’t know if we’ll meet again, but I’m open to it. I’ll confess that I’ve been trying to research him and his day job, to no success whatsoever. I could never be an investigator. I totally suck at it. That’s okay. Taking for granted that he’s completely honest, I hope we’ll reach a level of trust that we can dispense, to a degree, our exclusivity between out dual personas. Besides, I think a little quid pro quo is in order. He knows where I work, shouldn’t I know where he does?!

Maybe I should drop it. In addition to my paranoia, I do tend to obsess over things. I also have a habit of over thinking situations until they become so over-wrought with possibilities, mostly of the disastrous kinds, that rarely – okay, never! – come to pass. It’s part and parcel of being a writer. I spend all days imagining stories and possible plots and twists, that I can’t help myself. I don’t know how to turn me off!

So, yes the scone fiasco was a disaster, but the meeting itself was a success, in its limited way. I pray that we can learn to trust one another, and I’m talking mostly about me. I’m a nut-job, remember? I would love to have a sister to talk to about what I’ve gone through, and what she’s gone through. If I’m lucky, I hope I can meet more girls like us, and I promise to try to not be such a paranoid little twit.