So yeah, shit feels pretty generally fucked up right now. And I like to type all about things that make me feel fucked up, 'cause I think maybe it's relatable, or maybe I just want to write it down, so I can crumble it up into a little ball and flush it down the toilet. So my writing is infused with all sorts of negative thoughts, when in reality I'm living a pretty sweet life. Sure, I am at a particularly low point right now, but good things still happen. Ask anybody who rides a bicycle: everything isn't all bad.
So let me think of some good shit that's been happening since I packed up my van and drove away from Chicago.
First thing I was able to get myself to do is ride a bicycle. Haven't been doing that nearly enough, that's for sure. I looked up the Bike Kennett schedule on FarceBook, and decided to go on the Monday ride. I texted my friend, Diana, who goes on some of the rides, and she suggested we meet before the ride. The Monday ride is for beginners, which we are not, so we planned to ride some extra miles with hills. I met up with my Hoopty, which is my only current operational bicycle, but fuckit that's the one I love. I wore my first and favorite skirt that I got in Austin. Diana wore some flashy gold sparkle bike shorts. All told, it was pretty hot stuff.
I can't figure out what people think about me. I know some people like me, but are they interested in me? I thought I could sense interest last summer when we went on rides together, but I also couldn't be sure if Diana thought I was gay. I mean... I tried to explain myself a couple times, but I'm not sure my words translate. She knows I had a wife. But on the question of whether I was into guys or girls, I paused. The answer is girls, but it's a little more nuanced than that. And when it comes to pronouns, you can just assume that you're going to confuse people. Maybe I should have simply explained that I am a shy submissive genderqueer anal slut, who also likes traditional values and vanilla sex. Instead I left it vague.
Deciding to put aside for the moment that I can't stand gender norms, especially when it applies to dating, I determined that it would be a good idea to be a little bit more direct and just ask her out on a date. I have absolutely no business dating anybody right now - being that I am crushed inside - but I didn't let that stop me. So a couple days after that ride, I texted in the morning asking if she'd like to go to dinner with me next week. The response? "Of course!"
It's hard to misconstrue what that means. Asking somebody to dinner is a date, right? I still had my doubts. First of all, she started beginning all of her texts with "friend" and further, though polite about it, I don't think she really understands queerness, or at least my specific brand of it. Whatever. I could clarify at dinner. Secondly, and perhaps more important, Diana is way out of my league. Her family has horses, and she hangs out with people whose shirts have buttons up the front. She has a career. I can't compete with that. You'd have to reeeeeeally be into me. Which is technically possible, because I happen to be cool as fuck. But it's still a stretch.
Well, dinner got downgraded to lunch. When she sat about 75 feet away from me, I began feeling more confident that I was correctly reading vibes. That's ok, because I like Diana, and it was beneficial for me simply to get out of the house. Plus, I'd never asked anybody to dinner before, and now I have - so practice. I did still want to be direct, so when it seemed appropriate in the flow of conversation, I admitted that I had attempted to ask her on a date. For some people this might cause an awkwardness, but I am fucking awesome, so it was not a big deal. The answer, which I was already almost sure of, is that she wants to hang out as friends.
I don't want to actually date. I just crave affection. If somebody would hold me, or rub my back, it would work wonders for my emotional pain right now. On the car ride back to the house, I filled Diana in on some of the details of my recently ended relationship, just to confirm that we had absolutely no common ground other than bicycling. And maybe a little bit of mutual attraction, honestly I have no idea. But she didn't know what pegging is, so that's not a very good start.
I went hiking with my friend Rochelle. We met on a platonic friend app years ago, because 1) I was lonely, and 2) We have a lot in common. Rochelle is an important friend. She introduced me to the term genderqueer, which is important, being that it describes me, so I should know about it. We've had some deep conversations and gotten to know each other pretty well on our hikes and over long hours of texting.
There is no need for secrets, so we can really open up about our lives. There are fewer boundaries than with some of my other less open friends. I suppose I push those boundaries, since I have a general tendency toward oversharing, but I think it has been mutually beneficial. I love Rochelle like a sibling. She calls me sibs sometimes, and it makes me feel warm and connected. None of this is to mention that every time we get together, there are going to be some pretty seriously hard laughs.
I'm a failure at planning and organizing. Rochelle knows all the hikes. All I had to do was show up at her house, and she picked a place for us to go. Getting outside is medicine. We went for a long walk in the woods and talked. We got to a riverbank with tons of flat stones, and skipped them across the water. The value of this is hard to overstate. It took a difficult anxiety-ridden day, and made it livable, and even enjoyable. Then she got me pizza and showed me the crafty projects she is working on. What would I have done otherwise? I'd have sat around broken and brain-fucked. Instead, I healed a little bit. I looked up through the trees and saw light filtering down. I am alive, and I will stay that way for awhile.
Saw my ex-wife.
Kristin thinks I should cut my hair. Nobody is going to want to have sex with me if I don't clean up my look. That's what she thinks. I'm dubious. I think my winning personality actually goes a long way. But I'm willing to listen, because our brains work in a similar way, and I trust her insight. Yesterday was rough. I didn't quite manage to leave the house, and in fact I was barely able to get up off the bed. I binge watched Netflix shows, and stared off into space. I finally mustered the courage to begin a profile on FetLife, and I texted her to see if she'd friend me and tell me what I'm doing wrong. She is well equipped to tell you what you are doing wrong. She used to draw a web comic called "This is What's Wrong With You."
Kristin is doing a lot better, I think. She's dating two or three people in some polyamory deal where they all date each other and it's somehow pretty much fine. It was nice to see her again, and her tiny dog Daisy who I absolutely miss and love. We caught up. She had some sound advice about love and sex and anxiety and ADHD medications. She has experience and perspective, and I either trust her judgement, or at least am willing to consider it. When it comes to makeup, she knows her stuff, and she showed me a few ideas that might assist me in feeling and looking more comfortably femme. She also thinks my hair and clothing are an issue - I'll explore what she's talking about, and see how it makes me feel. I self-identify as kind of a bum, and she says that's going to keep me from getting laid. I don't think I have the emotional strength to think about it much right now, but I do have a great fashion ally if and when the time comes.
Everything doesn't suck. I have a good support network. I'm getting up and getting outside. I'm healing. I hung out with my friends Kat and Drew. They understand kink issues, and they tell me they love me and how happy they are to see me again. Kat made dinner, and we had a good time sitting around a fire. I went to a show in Philly with Shelly, and we got to talk and catch up. It was a good show, and I saw others who I knew. The anxiety was fresh and potent that night, but I managed to wear a pink polkadot skirt on Girard Avenue, and weather the storm with music. I face-timed with Mike until 4am one night. I'm going to a birthday thing for Kyler tomorrow to see Philly bicycle friends, and I'm going to hike for ten days on the Appalachian Trail with Jonas starting on October 1st. In short, yes I am a lucky person, and yes I will survive.