For You Know Who,

I hope you have found what you are looking for.

Now, normally, I'd like to believe that everything in the universe has a rational explanation if you dig deep enough. I would like to believe that there is no such thing as ESP or any other spooky force interacting on the human brain, and consciousness and intelligence are just side effects of a large data set and a massively parallel brain.

So one might ask why this came up? Well here's the situation. I was walking home after eating a fine dinner of rice and beans and lemonade. On my way home, I had an overwhelming urge to stop in at this neighborhood bar that's on my way home, that I go to rarely, but often enough that the bartender remembers me. The funny thing is, I had a specific vision of meeting a good friend of mine there who I've not seen very much of in the past few months due to his changing jobs and therefore having a much different schedule. Now, this isn't too far fetched, because the bartender is one of my friend's brothers, but still, this guy doesn't get out all that often to begin with.

So, here's the kicker. I walk in, and there's my friend. This is the first time in like a month and a half that I've wandered into this place, and it's the first time in a month that my friend has stopped by after work, and there we meet, have a brew, and chat about life, exactly as in my vision. Very spooky. I really enjoyed hanging out with him, and I'm glad I didn't write off my feeling that he'd be there as some random voodoo and walk past. Life is full of surprises.

I was married, once upon a time. True story. Despite the transgenderedness that I now use to obstruct the possibility of a current or future relationship, I was once a husband. For approximately six weeks, I was married. From August 4, 2001 to September 21, 2001, in fact. The wedding day was so wonderful; it was happiness embodied, not even considering the fact that it was also my twenty-fifth birthday. The wedding took place in the courtyard of a French Quarter hotel, on a humid, overcast day, before most of my immediate family and a veritable gaggle of friends and acquaintences. I remember being so nervous in the hours leading up to 7:00PM, when the ceremony was to take place. But it wasn't nervous like when a cop pulls you over for speeding and you know you're going to get a ticket. It was more of a giddy, intoxicating kind of nervousness that made my spine tingle and my hands numb. I smoked a whole pack of clove cigarettes that day, and laughed at how marvelous coughing felt, to say nothing of the beauty the rest of the day possessed. I wandered around in a daze for most of the day, unable to process how lucky I felt to have found such a perfect girl that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, the wonderful girl that I was going to grow old and eventually die with. All my life prior to that day I had failed to understand why anyone would want to get married; all of my previous twenty-four years of knowledge and wisdom had done little more than spout off about tax classifications, useless social rituals, and pervasive patriarchy. Yet, in front of the pagan altar, as our hands were fasted, I knew what it was to be married -- to become one with the person you know best, the person you love best, the person who talks to your soul, the person that knows just how to touch you -- and the tears I cried at the moment it was done stained my joy and made little wet marks on my jacket, and slid slowly down my wife's bare shoulder, mingling there with her own. Never before or since have I known what it is to be a part of something, or to act with such permanence.

But it was not to be. Two weeks after the wedding, she snapped suddenly, and stopped coming home after work. One day, she was smilingly telling me she loved me, the next I was calling friends asking if they'd seen her. She came back eventually, for a few hours every week, until she finally announced on September 21, 2001, that she was leaving, and that I should move out as soon as possible.

I couldn't understand it. I still don't understand it. It was as though this person, my wife, was speaking a language I was unfamiliar with. To go from the levels of joy that we both experienced on our wedding day, to what she had become is just mind-razing. The change in her was like I had just killed her mother, eaten her cat and poured sugar in her gas tank, all in one fell swoop, or like a therometer going from a steady, comfortable 72°F to a chilling, angry -40°F. What I was unable to comprehend was that I hadn't done anything to provoke this behaviour in her -- I hadn't made a single aggressive, unfaithful or devious move at all in all the time we'd been together before or after we got married. Nevertheless, it ended in the worst, most disheartening way, a way that was impossible for me (or any of the few friends I told) to comprehend. How could she have gone from such wonderful happiness to such sour depths all in the span of one day? That is the thought that torments me, still. I will never know what pushed her over the edge.

It's now six months later, and I'm living alone, about fifteen blocks from where we used to live together, actually. I haven't spoken to her or seen her since November. The end of our marriage enabled me to start on my transition from male to female, but I can't help but wonder -- why, how, what if. I hope one day to ask her, one day in the future when I'm deep into my transition, and she will be unable to recognize me. I'll ask, "Have you ever married?" and then listen with interest as she explains why she was once but is no longer married. I will then cry, and get on with my life.

Scold me, that's all you've got to say
Coldly, hurt me and turn away
You say, "I'm not sorry yet"
I'm resigned to what is next
I head for the shadows
Hold me taking it back through tears
You've told me, slowly confessed your fears
But I've got myself to protect
It's too soon for me to forget
I'll wait in the shadows
In the shadows
Though I am alone
They help me, see that
I'm the only one in your heart
So until I truly believe
that your words convey what you mean
I'll wait in the shadows
I'll wait in the shadows
I don't mind the shadows

Yo La Tengo

I turned 23 today.

Admittedly, this isn't exactly earth-shattering, or newsworthy. Not even for me, I guess. But I don't like the sound of "twenty-three"--it sounds too close to 25, which is close to thirty, which is close to 35, etc. It sounds too old, even though it is still young.

I'm 23. I work in retail, live with my parents, and sit up late at night, watching cartoons. Sadly, this is pretty typical of everyone I know, of America even. I don't know--I feel like I'm supposed to be doing something else, like I'm too old for this. In part it comes from being away at college for four years, and now coming home to the same house I lived in while in high school, and suddenly it's as though I never left--as though I didn't get any older, I was only on vacation. My adulthood has been forfited, and replaced by the ability to go to bars without worrying that they'd try to card me (which didn't happen when I was 19, but happens all the time now that I'm over 21).

Oh well.

Dear Anonymous,

I can but dream fathom some of the weight your heart must bear, my friend. I am not angy, I do not wish you pain. I am sorry for the things I have relayed to you; perhaps you were not meant to hear them. And I don't believe what is between you and she simplistic is as some may put it, nor could I ever. I have never known you to be so selfish. You mustn't let the sickly silence that grows between the world and one when thoughts are not spoken, action stands untrue, grow between she and yourself. Tell her what your feelings really are. If you do feel for her, as I suspect you may, then go to her. There should be joy in the hearts of those who have been so inviting to me.

However, if you do not feel for her, a decision which can only be made after some meditation and poderance... act with as perfect understanding as this mortal world allows. Do not let petty emotions dictate your actions. History should not be permitted to repeat itself in all our awareness.

I think you would understand were I to leave you alone, now; and forge ahead to find myself and my own happiness. I want you, and everyone, to be happy. I just can not see myself fitting in neatly.

Act with your heart.


I am seating in a coach leaving Paris for London on the overnight service. Our driver is a nice little italian man I met a couple of times before on my regular coach travels. As usual I dream of an improbable nice woman that would take the seat next to mine for the 7 hours of the journey, and as usual, I am disappointed. And here he arrives, the chinese guy. He does not ask if the seat is free nor take any sort of inquisitive attitudes to question the availability of it, to his discharge it is obvious that it is available. Not very talkative then, fair enough I do not feel like talking to him either. Another point, he does not have any hand luggage. Strange. Not strange, unusual, not rare, just unusual. He seemed to have arrived with another man similar in feature to him, thin, bonny, vaguely chinese or asian, and no hand luggage.

Here we go then to Calais, to take the ferry to the other side of the English channel. Of course, Customs make ID checks at either end of the crossing. As a supplementary measure tonight, non european travellers have to fill a landing card for Her Majesty Customs. My neighbour seems lost, in doubt the driver gives him a card to fill. More puzzled looks. At this time I begin to question his understanding of what he is meant to do with it. He tries to look over a couple of asians seated in front of us. He gently pushes my hand and make of gesture towards his cards, is he mute? I look at his passport, the photo looks quite old, it says: Bristish national living overseas in Hong Kong. Ouch. Does he qualify as european? I am not sure to be honest. He shows me an empty space on the card labelled "address". "Where do you live?" I ask him. Blank look again, he shows me his date of birth on the passport. "No, your address". Right, this guy does not understand a word of english, let alone french, the card is labelled in both languages. Tough luck. His passport is written in english, how could he posses a legal document he barely understands? He has not spoken a word, is he really mute on top of it? I give up at this point. He is likely to be removed from the coach by either the french or english customs for further questionning, at least so that he could be understood by an interpreter. Two nice young women (deep sigh) seating across the gangway try to help him as well, to no avail. Furthermore it appears that he has not even signed his passport and that there is no address of main residence at all.

I start to wonder: how on earth did he manage to get on this coach, find the coach station, book his ticket, find out about the timetable if he is illiterate in french and english? Maybe he has not left Paris for twenty years. Here, as in any city that has a chinatown,some people live without knowing a word of the language of their host country. They are helped for legal documents by the community. How sad this is or how alienated these people are, I leave it up to you. Maybe is it not the case for my neighbour after all. As predicted however, the custom officer kept his passport and a few moment later, asked him to follow her along with the other chinese guy. A quick tap to the compartment above the seats "Any hand luggage?" , "No, no". Oh, he is not mute then. I can hear the same gesture on the baggage room of the coach. The coach leaves without the two men.

In London, an announcement was made 3 times that a luggage from Paris was waiting for its owner.

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