Today a woman in a bow tie touched me on the arm as she walked past me, and I was thrilled, because I wondered, “Oh, snap. Does she know?”
And thought secondarily: “WHAT A FUCKING RELIEF.”
Here is the evidence. Myself, me, February 2, 2020: An inventory.
(Sorry in advance, Shakespeare.)
Item: One head of platinum hair, too shaggy at present, and roots too prominent, because I am quite poor. But cut and colored in homage to a certain gay angel.
Item: One flannel shirt, red and blue and affixed with an enamel pin of a heart. It’s inscription, from Mary Shelley: “Beware, for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”
(I am a terrified Creature myself, but I will get there, Mary, I promise.)
Item: Thrift store jeans, faded black and boot cut.
Item: Earbuds in my ears, David Bowie blaring.
She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
Item: One mouth, big and goofy and completely preoccupied with the idea of you. (This is perhaps my biggest tell.)
Item: The questions that have been following me for a while now, “Who are you? What’s your story? What’s your deal?”
When that Girl at Dragon Con asked me months ago, “Well, you know, you’re queer, right?” How did she know? What was it about me? We spoke for ten minutes, barely, before you made this assumption about me, Girl at Dragon Con. Before you saw something in my guts that I was too scared to name or place.
Also: fuck, have I just been waiting around for 30 years for someone to ask me?
My deal, today: I am a soft, awkward queer muffin-abomination, and I have been getting knocked down a good bit lately. And tonight I’m going to finish this cookie (okay, cookies), and I’m going to cry it out in my shower, and I’m going to stare at the ceiling and listen to Belle & Sebastian for a while, probably.
But tomorrow I pull myself together, microwave a breakfast burrito, and hold my head high, dark roots and all. I don’t know where I’m going with any of this, my dear. I think the point is this: I am ready to really consider myself. To catalog each edge and slope and swell and dark corner and sunlit front porch. I am ready to take a look at myself, and I am ready to see what it would be like to love all of it. To love the Creature that is me, scared and hopeful and sad and curious and determined.
And maybe you see me too, for something worthy of love. And I trust you and I believe you, I must. I am ready to see myself through your eyes, and I hope that someday you will ask me to borrow mine so that you can see yourself the way that I see you.
(I see you. You are radiant.)
Shelley, again: “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”