Reservations

I didn’t make it to the noon meeting of the Albany County Human Rights Coalition.   It’s not easy to park around Lark, and I wasn’t at all sure what benefit my presence would have, but I did get ready to go and punted.

When I saw myself in the mirror I had reservations.  I couldn’t see anything but a big slab of flesh dressed silly. When I can’t see anything good, and the world has limits, well, it’s hard to get the energy up.

One of the reasons I have had reservations is because I have had to spend a lot of time making reservations.  After spending Tuesday morning making reservations for them, I spent a half hour on Tuesday night trying to get through to my parents in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Then,  yesterday I spoke to them early before they drove into new Orleans.  Last night I had to dial a dozen times to get though in Jackson Missisippi, listen to my mother talk over a heinous hum coming from computer equipment in their bad room, and have my father pull out the broken phone plug.  I redialed for 20 minutes, getting busy, and when I got through the computer system didn’t have them properly registered so I couldn’t dial trough to their room.

This morning it was three more calls to that buzzfest, while trying to help them understand their options and to choose someplace for tonight in Monroe Louisiana.  All of this ended at about 11:10 this morning, 10:10 their time, just when I needed to leave.  All this and one of those brusque “You better have the hard things done when we get home,” well, it made it hard to see anything in the mirror but a shithead in a dress.

It’s so easy to have reservations and not committ to the power and beauty I know I have inside me.  The line from Sondheim’s Company echoes through me, “Want something, Robert.  Want something.”   What I want isn’t different from what other people want: I want someone to see me and smile like I make them happy.  It’s just that isn’t something that comes easily.  It starts with being centered, self confident and potent, and then expressing that in the world with joy, freedom and release.

Me?  I have reservations.  And the spiral of those reservations, well, if you can’t be present, why go?  Too much effort.

My sister used to tell the same joke at the Thanksgiving table for years.  “Why is there always room for Jell-o?  Because Jell-o calls ahead for reservations.” 

My reservations are renewed all the time.  It’s just that I the reservations I have don’t lead me anywhere but to the thought that checking out is the best choice.

 

Maybe She Likes Your Rage

I told a friend that the Legendary Alexandra Billings had commented postively on a post I wrote.

“Maybe she likes your rage,” my friend said.

My rage.  Raging, Outraged, Outrageous.   It’s where the most scary intensity lies.

My rage as a teen was strong.  I once kicked a hole in the drywall with my foot.  “Maybe next time you should do it without your shoe and break your foot.  That would be a lesson,” my father told me.

I didn’t break my foot, though I might have liked to.  It wasn’t rage that was the point for me, it was pain, confusion, struggle.  I wanted caring, but then again, who doesn’t need love the most when we are most unloveable?

I learned early that people couldn’t or wouldn’t handle me at full voltage.   I learned to eat my feelings, my intensity, my pain, my rage, turn it inward.  If I didn’t, all I would get was instructions about keeping in control, being appropriate, or being isolated from what I need.   My passion never lead to compassion.

A friend once said that a quote from Harlan Ellison reminded her of me.  He said that after he got a new partner and after a few months she would ask when things got back to normal, got away from intense.  He told her that this was it, and in a few more months, she was gone.  They liked his rage, his intensity, just not as a regular diet.  It’s like Stacey on House — she had her fill of curry, even if she craved down the road again.

I eat my own rage.  That’s why it always is a surprise to me when I get to speak it out loud and it sounds so crisp, so clean and so sharp.   It’s not stupid this rage, rather it is funny, full of insight and dead on.

On a list, someone did a trannypride rap that sounded very good, talking about how respected we can be, how we can transcend being the victim to be potent.  Problem was that she did it after she did this sarcastic little passive-agressive turd about “Sure, why don’t we all give up like you want to!  They said this was good, but probably they are wrong and you are right…”   In other words, her first response was hurting, slapping  & defensive, and it was only when she considered that response, maybe with the help of her partner, that she came back positive.

It’s great to come back positive, to explain that even if you “like being a threat,” that doesn’t mean you can’t work together to make things happen.  After all, that’s how change has always worked, someone to smash through, and then others coming up behind, more centrist, to consolidate the gains.

Watching a Canadian show about a trendy resturant in Vancouver called Godivas.  In one episode they worry that thee resturant is going too gay, “but at least we don’t have drag queens.”   Of course, it’s when a couple of trannys come in that they know something has to be done.

What’s interesting to me is how I see bits of myself in every tranny archetype.  Ms. Rachelle has noted that I am more transsexual than many of the gals she knew who ran through surgery.  I live across worlds in transgender.  And I love my false eyelashes and my rage. 

There is very little as potent as a raging queen, even if most drags today are as mushy as packaged mashed potatoes.   Few have the queer edge that slices, and as gay becomes more and more mainstream, so do performers.

The flip side, though, is how I know I don’t fit those archetypes either.  I never imagined that genital reconstruction would make me real,  think gender is a potent and valuable system of communication, and have never, ever been a gay man.  Men have never made my head snap, though the more I see the world as a woman, the more I see their value as partners.

My rage.  Raging, Outraged, Outrageous.   It’s where the most scary intensity lies.

In fact, I fear it is where I lie, because in that rage there is a sweet compassion that just sees things as they could be and asks why not.  My rage contains my hope for a better, more considered and more caring world.  My rage feels like a way to help. 

A visionary has to have vision, and without passion, that vision is just flat. 

With passion, though, that vision is raging, outraged, outrageous.

Maybe it’s nice that somebody likes my rage.