boarding the bus to DC, i heard the bus drivers making fun of the guy a few spaces ahead of us. “damn, look at all the scars on his arms!” “he cut himself up, ugh!” “ahh, must have fallen in a pricker bush!” and then raucous, hateful laughter. i wondered if people ever say that about me.
by the magic of fate, ray wound up sitting next to this guy. he was semi-obviously trans and his arms were covered in really thick scars. meticulous. we both wanted to reach out to him. ray thought about slipping him a note that said, “i’m trans too!” with a smiley face, because ray is stealth and totally passes. while that makes his life a lot easier, it also makes him unable to nod meaningfully at strangers. (incidentally, this guy shared a “what’s up?” nod with me. a lot of you gender-nonconformers know what i’m talking about. being genderqueer sucks in so many ways, but exchanging solidarity nods with strangers can be so sweet, sometimes.)
random bus guy seemed so sad. he got off in fredrick, MD, which also seemed kind of awful. we got off the bus too, for a ten minute smoke break. we were running around the parking lot, trying to get to the train station to exchange a kiss (because ray used to pick me up at the train station here, back when he lived in maryland) and we saw random bus guy get swooped into the arms of a tough, mouthy femme. they both looked so happy! it made us both feel kind of hopeful.
and now we are in DC, for the zinefest. we bought our bus tickets as a couple and are going together as broken-up-but-still-best-friends, as he-lets-me-cry-all-over-his-chest-after-reading-this-article-which-reminded-me-a-little-too-much-of-us. as more-than-friends-less-than-partners. as heartwrenching-but-loving. (gawd, have i used enough hyphens yet?). i don’t know what to introduce him as tomorrow. ex-boyfriend? friend? sweetheart? all of these words feel wrong. but i guess that’s the least of my problems.
dc was where things started for us, in a way, and it’s where things are ending. of course, they’d started before DC, and probably will not be over when we get home. on that magical DC trip it was bone-chillingly cold, now it’s stifilingly hot. the windchill was around 10 then, the heat index is around 107 today. nearly a hundred degrees. i always fall in love with people when it’s cold out and we break up when it’s hot. why is that. he says it’s because the cold makes you want to hold people close and the heat makes you want to push them away.
but i’m ok, i’m ok. probably moving out real soon. i can’t even think about it, really. i’m going to be traveling for 19 days in august. not all in a row, of course. i’m excited & scared. i think traveling for a long stretch is easier when you’re not looking forward to going home. when yr life is at a crossroads. so here’s to the chaos! today we went to the art museum and ate delicious food at busboys & poets. we held hands and whispered at the museum and it felt okay, like just a few degrees away from normal. i’ll take it, i guess.