Friday, December 05, 2003

A Mistake

I'm gonna fuck it up again
I'm gonna do another detour
unpave my path
and if you wanna make sense
Whatcha looking at me for
I'm no good at math

- Fiona Apple, A Mistake

There's something disheartening and saddening when you realize you've pushed a little too far with someone. I'm mulling that over this morning.

Last night, bouyed up by Miss S's happiness and confidence, I went to my writing group, where I was asked what had me so bubbly. After a second or two of thought, I said "Well, I went shopping with a drag queen today." There were a couple of blinks, then smiles, and some simple questions. The mood was positive and interested. I was very circumspect about identity and so forth, but I couldn't repress my mood.

Later I was with another friend, someone I value greatly but know is much more conservative than I am in some ways, yet quite open minded in others. She, too, asked me about what I'd been talking about, and I was hesitant to tell her. I even said -- in a typical example of my inability to separate "inside voice" from "outside voice" -- "I don't know if you want to know." She was, of course, curious, so I told her.

"Has he sought therapy?"

I was nonplussed. "Well, it's something he's testing out, and I've never seen him so happy."

"Is it like an hysterical happiness?"

Blink, blink. "Uh, no. He seems genuinely to be enjoying himself. And even he says it may be phase."

"Do you have any idea what caused it? Do you know anything about his background?"

Blink, blink.

It went on that way for a while until the subject changed, and I had to mull it over. Of course, I should have known before I opened my mouth. She is pretty fixed on sexual roles. Highly traditional. When something gets outside the status quo, her first impulse is to fix it. Make everything right. Her motivation is positive, really. She intends to have everyone end up content and safe. But her world definition doesn't see such activities as cross-dressing as "safe". She forsees dangers.

Interestingly enough, she doesn't hold such views about gay people, or at least does not hold them as strongly. Nevertheless, there's a bitter sort of aftertaste that comes of such a situation. And I will need to school myself to greater control of my mouth. This isn't my "secret" to tell.

But, damn, one day this is going to make a really interesting story. One day.

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