Boiled in Oil
Part One: The Promised Land
Prelude to Chaos: Angel in the Park
July 3, 1992
Instead of thinking of yourself as a third wheel, try thinking of yourself as a unicycle with training wheels. If the situation won't change, change your perspective.
I'm busy trying to change MY perspective right now. At this point in life, I've done and been everything I ever wanted to. That leaves little motivation. But the REAL problem is, that I have only reached this stalemate in the limited area I have explored. Over the years, boundaries of geography and activity have formed by default, much as a high water mark is achieved over the course of many tides. There is no chaos In my life, no spontaneity. This might seem to be a desired state, but after a few weeks, it gets much too predictable. The obvious solution is to expand my horizons.
I see now why people take up skydiving and race car driving. They are essentially putting themselves in situations over which they do not exert absolute control. This is probably the same appeal that leads to a patriotic war.
In the non-technological days, we faced a risk to our survival every moment of every day - from wild animals, droughts, and simple infections. THOSE folk needed no thrills for entertainment! But for us, insulated and isolated from the immediate cessation of life, we find ourselves without purpose and bored to tears.
Yet, for me, risking life and limb is not the most appropriate answer. Not that I wouldn't want to try those things once for the experience, but I wouldn't want to keep getting riskier in order to fuel the thrill that is undermined by familiarity.
What else can we do? Is there another way, an internal way to open the borders and explore new ground? Well, I wish I knew! So, I'm looking now. I'm looking into groups and clubs and travel and dating and so far finding nothing that excites me. I'm examining political issues and social issues and environmental issues, but they come up the same.
I truly hope I can find something that for me seems not an artificially imposed activity, engaged in simply for its newness.
If not, I guess I'll just sit here bored and wait for the wind to blow.
July 17, 1992
I've been feeling incredibly bored for the last three weeks, ever since the newness of surgery wore off. I've basically done everything and been everything I've ever wanted to be, and all my wants are gone. I feel like I'm dead in the water.
I've been working on a part of the Mental Relativity theory dealing with chaos. We see two sides of chaos from where we stand. In one direction it is randomness, unpredictability. In the other, a wall of invisibility. As it applies to my situation, I must step beyond the wall of invisibility into areas I know nothing about in order to experience the surprise of randomness.
Of course, in any area of the unknown there is the element of risk, and it is that aspect that keeps people from seeking something new. So, people content themselves with unfamiliar arrangements of familiar things. They want the parts to be familiar, they want the whole to be unfamiliar.
I've found it is time to move into new areas. Perhaps the most major area is that of relationships. When I was with Andy I didn't want any part of my maleness to be part of it. Still, I never followed through on relationships with women. Years ago when I worked at a photo finishing lab, I asked one girl out who was rather well endowed. Then, I called her up and canceled. I asked her out again, and canceled again. Finally, I asked her out one more time, then canceled at the very last minute. I knew I had hurt her, but I just couldn't go through with it. As a male, I really didn't want to do anything.
Having become female now, I have had the experience with one man of having sex. There are lots of other kinds of lovemaking to experience, and I might try other things. In fact, I've even tried to get Mary involved in an intimate moment, but she hasn't been interested.
I expressed all these thoughts to Chris, and told him I thought I would wait until the story software is released before Christmas. And Chris gave me only the second piece of advice he has ever offered. He said, "Melanie, don't wait."
And so I didn't. I started reading a new book, I started organizing things around the house, and last night I went out to a lesbian bar.
As soon as I walked in, I felt at home. I don't know what it was, but there was something in the atmosphere. Maybe it was just the way the women gathered in large groups. On the two occasions Chris invited me to join him at a gay bar, where I found medium sized groups. In the few straight bars I've been in, people mostly form couples or sit at singles - quite a contrast to what I found last night.
Then I went to a lesbian coffee shop just a few blocks away and the mood was the same. I told Chris about this, and he said he had been to such bars with some female friends and he found them rather, "homey" and "cozy". This is true. It is more like relationship time instead of "strutting your stuff" time. Even when they are dancing, it's having fun together and just expressing themselves, just being part of it. You can really feel the collective.
Now, I don't know if they are all like this. I'm sure there are some that are mini-skirted ultra-bitch type places. And I ought to see those too. But as a result of all this, I now find myself in this position: I've been married to a woman for almost seventeen years now. Now, I am a woman myself. Inside, I guess I always was.
I must be the last person to think of this. I mean, I was thinking "before I went into the relationship I was a guy, and I'm married to Mary, and we're still together because we care for each other and love each other, and I'm going out to have sex with guys so I guess I'm heterosexual, but then again maybe I'm bisexual since I can still be interested in women."
But I find more fulfillment sleeping next to Mary without making love than I did making love with Bernard. No strikes against Bernard - he's a perfect gentleman and a nice guy... but he's a guy. I don't know... I just don't understand men. I understand the Mental Relativity equations of them; I can figure it out, but I sure can't share what they feel. I don't even appreciate the way they think. I'm not saying it's bad - I appreciate they have a right to think that way, but I just don't appreciate it myself. There's more emotional communion with a woman.
The end result of all these thoughts is that I signed on to an alternative lifestyle bulletin board today, and in the questionnaire they asked, "Are you Bi or Gay?" I sat and thought about it for a couple of minutes before I figured out how to answer. I really wanted to answer "Bi", but I was on America On-line earlier and some guy approached me who was really nice. He said he was from San Diego 6'3", 200 pounds, athletic, interested in Bi women, and he wanted to get together. I kinda blew him off and said, "Hey, you know, that's nice and all well and good; send me some Email because I'm cruising tonight looking for a she, not a he." So, he said, "Oh, I'll Email you, and maybe we can get together later." And I said, "Yeah, fine, great, swell - whatever."
If I were heterosexual or Bi as a female, and on the prowl, this guy would seem very attractive. But I just wanted to contact some women. I don't even get attracted much to straight women. This isn't meant as a slight, but straight women seem so fucked up! I mean they are so inhibited - so much under the thumb of men. It's like they don't know what to do with their lives, they don't know who they are, they don't know what they want, and they just sit around moping and commiserating all the time. In contrast, when I see gay women, they seem to have their act together. They seem to say, "Hey, I know who I am: I'm self-sufficient. I don't need men. I don't necessarily have anything against them, but I don't need them."
It all comes down to the fact that I've been together so long with one woman. It says a lot about who I am and a lot about who she is. And even if she isn't willing to recognize it, I have to recognize it since it is being thrown in my face: she and I have always had a lesbian relationship.
A lesbian relationship doesn't have to involve sex. I see a lot of articles and advertisements for seminars in lesbian publications talking about how to get sex back in a relationship. Apparently many if not most lesbian relationships drop out of sex after a while, so there is a lot of talk about how to bring back the passion. Sex is really not paramount to a female relationship. If may be exciting for a while, but the thing you really get out of it is that empathy. And that's what I have with Mary. So, I ended up answering the question on the bulletin board by saying that I was gay.
July 31, 1992
Angel in the park.
Unless one of us is insincere or suffering from puppy love, we have fallen in love. I met her on the alternative lifestyle bulletin board. We spoke via on-line messages and exchanged Email for several days. Finally we spoke by phone. It was then that I told her about my past. In fact, she had already guessed (how, I don't know; she just said she suspected).
She wanted to meet first in the park, until she was sure of me. I was very nervous, feeling halfway between an immoral transgressor and a clandestine spy. My first impression was that she wasn't my type, but after we talked for a few minutes I became more attracted to her. Then, she took me to her house around the block.
As soon as we were inside, we fell gently into each other's arms and hugged for several minutes. Then, we sat on the couch and cuddled. She showed me her computer and how to get around better on the bulletin board. Then, we moved off to her bedroom and necked a bit with our clothes on. It actually got rather hot and heavy.
Later, we went to dinner together at a Mexican restaurant. Back at her place, we signed on the computer again and then went to bed. It was a night like I have never experienced. Sharing and caring and sexual equality, and something else I never felt before.
We shared a great morning, and I arrived back home at 10 AM.
I've had limited experience with men and women, but unless something changes my mind, lesbian is the way I am. There was such a non-threatening empathy in everything we shared. The gentle touching, the hot sensuality, but equally shared - neither one "doing it" to the other. Each receiving by giving. And the LOVE, the heart to heart communion of knowing intuitively that she and I were appreciating the moments exactly the same way.
Our emotions were joined. Angel touched that most hidden part of me that I had shielded since I was first rejected in kindergarten. I am seeing her again tomorrow night to meet one of her friends. She has introduced me to the community on the BBS and, as a veteran, has vouched for my authenticity as one of them. We are already planning camping trips together and other outings just to share the experience.
Either I am in for a tremendous hurt like I have never felt before, or I have finally found what I have been looking for since day one.
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