In a Cafe on a Rainy Day

I’m sitting on the second floor of a coffee shop with a nice view overlooking the street. Across the way are a home decor store and a tea shop and just below are the hustle-bustle of pedestrians. There’s a Starbucks next door, of course. Sitting at the table behind me is a toddler who is killing my concentration. I have no idea what she’s talking about, but it’s high-pitched, involves a lot of squeals, and is nonstop. I’m drinking the only thing on the menu that doesn’t contain caffeine. It’s called “smoky roasted.” Smoky roasted what? Who knows? It has a very earthy flavor. Oh, it just started raining, and I don’t have an umbrella with me.

The last time I was here was a few weeks ago when I filled in my ballot and got it ready for mailing. It took a lot longer than I expected. They sure don’t make absentee ballots easy. At least not for PA.

I’ve figured out some first steps with my book. It’s a submission process that takes some time and effort and I don’t quite have it in me right now. There’s the toddler (who suddenly just went quiet), but my nervous system hasn’t been in good shape, lately. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I’ve felt frayed for the past couple of weeks.

Over the weekend, I re-watched The Matrix and looked for transgender subtext. I wasn’t disappointed. I saw in the theater in 1999, and I kept trying to recall: what did I think of this scene/idea/image the first time I saw it? I couldn’t remember. I’ve seen the movie enough times that my memory of the first viewing has been completely recoded. I remember that I liked it for its philosophical implications and that I knew nothing about the transgender experience back then. I remember sometime in 1994-5 being online and chatting with someone who was gender fluid and being utterly confused. They told me that sometimes they presented as female and other times male and easily passed as either, and I thought, “That’s not possible.” Maybe if I’d actually seen the person, I’d have been able to conceptualize it better. Back then, sharing an image on the internet was a really arduous process.

Twenty years later, I see trans people as understanding personal identity in a much deeper way than cis people. There is so much to learn. Of course, there’s always so much to learn about so many things, isn’t there?

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