Sunday, 10 October 1999 (halo ten, track seven)
At work. Hey, I had yesterday off, not to mention both days last weekend, so I can hardly complain, right? Most if not all hell will break loose tomorrow if some stuff isn't done by then, and it's my responsibility. Ergo, here I am.
I almost drove, but the brakes have started making a horrible squealing sound. This is exactly the sort of thing I was curious about when I asked The Ex if it had been looked at lately, if there was anything I should know about, but she'd feigned ignorance. Suggested by her parents, perhaps. Regardless, I need to ask around and find a garage I can trust.
So I took the damn train out here. I don't like being around people anymore. Most people, that is. Call me elitist if you want, I don't care, but the vast majority of the public makes me uncomfortable. I don't fit in with them anymore, if I ever did. I'm not saying I'm better or superior to anyone else, just different. Theirs is the dominant paradigm, not mine.
I haven't heard from Maddy today. Probably she's just sleeping. I hope that's what it is. We didn't do very well last night. I reacted negatively to something I probably shouldn't have, and it kinda snowballed from there. It scares me, and in doing so seems to have reopened emotional responses which I had begun to think had been closed. Whether or not this is a good thing, I don't know yet.
I can still open and shut my right eye, at least. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to have gotten particularly worse. My face and neck look pretty much how I expected them to look a day later. Swollen face and neck, no eyelinerit's like I've regressed a year. One step forward, several steps back. Oh, hell, just start from scratch, why don't you?
My landlords emailed the new rental agreement. They're trying to screw me, and I have to proceed very carefully. Perhaps they realized that The Ex was always the negotiator between the two of us, and that they can get away with a lot more without her involved. If standing my ground means not getting the cat after all...although I must consider that they may be more willing to kick me out than I'd thought. After all, it's just me. The Ex, everyone loved. (My mom even felt compelled to remind me the last time she spoke how fond she is of The Ex.) Ending up with me is a bum deal. Like how my brother and sister-in-law used to invite us out to dinner at least once a month, but the offer hasn't come up once this year since we've broken up. Have they invited her out? I don't know, I don't want to know.
One of the actual offices has been vacated. Brian said that there are no immediate plans for it,
and that hey was looking into getting Leigh and I moved in there. I'm tempted to go squat in it
why do you affect me? why do you affect me still? why do you hinder me? why do you hinder me still? why do you unnerve me? why do you unnerve me still? why do you trigger me? why do you trigger me still?
Great. Just fucking perfect. As I'm getting ready to leave this glorious Sunday spent in the office, I look out the window and see that the fucking military gangfelch that's been taking place outside is apparently over, meaning the traffic is backed up in every direction. Yes, I took the train, but it also means that it's going to be just as packed on the way home as if it were a regular workday, since they run less trains on Sunday. Fuck. Yay! We love the military!
The more I think about it, the more incensed I'm getting about my landlords pulling a bait-and-switch on me. Four and a half years I've been a good tenant, only being late with the rent once or twice and always paying in cash. Up unil now, the agreement has been monthly; now, in the new agreement they sent me which includes the cat and the subsequent increase in rent, it's a one-year lease. This, after FOUR AND A HALF YEARS, May of 1995. I don't get it. What did I do? Why are they getting so fucking hungry all of a sudden? For fuck's sake, I've made it extremely clear that I intend to stick around for a while, so why suddenly make it a lease? Have I become less trustworthy? Is it because I wear makeup but never actually came out to them? Punishment of some kind for removing The Ex from their lives?
It must be the cat. By their own admission, one of the reasons they were raising the rent
was because rents increase when pets are involved. Fine; sure; whatever. But this
is just too fucking insulting. I'm not a fighter by nature, I'm a total fucking wuss and
I loathe conflict (how many years did my brother beat the shit out of me before
I was able to overcome my inherent pacifism and fight back?) but I have my limits.
If they insist on switching to a lease, then I'm going to decide against the cat and they
won't be getting the additional $35 a month they would have otherwise. Then the question
becomes, who's getting more screwed here?
Madeline and I are doing much better now.
My eye also looks and feels improved from yesterday. Hooray for small miracles.
I'm not quite as angry about the apartment thing as I was earlier today, which makes me very glad I didn't send off the initial reply to them. Rental or lease, this place is still a very good deal, and I don't intend to move anytime soon. Perhaps I should look at it as security, in that respect: if they were planning on kicking me out, they wouldn't very well be offering a lease, would they? Or perhaps I'm just monumentally naive. There's always sufficient evidence of that.
Six hours, 100% clear (that is, my entire face and neck), and no tears. I guess I broke the spell. Moreover, Phil's now quite convinced that we're in the home stretch.
He's been putting some dangerous ideas into my impressionable little (?) head, though. One is something I've been considering for a few months: switching to a new endocrinologist, preferable one who's not in her seventies and borderline senile, and one who'll gauge my progress more than just feeling me up. It's been over a year since my hormone levels have been checked; that's very wrong.
The other idea? Liposuction.
It's not uncommon amongst trannies for shaping purposes. Just a little around the midsection
and neck can work wonders...and Phil, of course, can recommend someone. The bastard.
who is it? who are you? why are you following me?
Completely ignoring the money issueand I've spent waaaaaay too much on it these last couple weeksI figure I can probably squeeze in next Saturday, and that'll have to be it until November. I need to give myself at least a couple weeks to fully heal up before I go see Madeline; the only thing worse than having noticeable facial hair would be lingering redness or being swollen.
I'm wondering if a call to Miguel might not be in order. I trust Dana to color my
hair, but it needs a trim in the worst way, and my bangs...oh, my poor, neglected
bangs. I've been trying to keep them even, but I don't think I'm doing a very good
job of it. (The picture at the top of the page should offer ample evidence of this.
Hell, compare it to the pictures from April or May. What the hell happened to me?) So a little professional
intervention may be required.
My right eye hurts when I blink. There's a newly grown bump just to the right of it, and I have
no idea what it is. My immediate thought is that it's an allergic reaction. Seems strange, since
I've been using this particular brand of eyeliner for many months. Maybe
the material got into a pore it shouldn't have, I don't know. I guess I'll find out tomorrow when
I wake up and the damn thing is so big and red I can't open my eye. Nope, I'm not going to get the
flu just prior to going to Kansas, I'm just going to have a gorey eye infection. Sure. Makes sense.
Friday, 8 October 1999 (apex)
I think part of the problem is that I've been waking up with the light on. I'm really not sure why this is happening. Wednesday night, it was accidental; I laid down fully clothed (and waiting for my nails to dry), intending to get back up after a few mintues, and the next thing I knew it was 3am. Whoops.
Last night, though...I went to bed at about 11pm, and I seem to recall, vaguely, having woken up again for some reason at 11:45pm. Indeed, I was shocked to look at the clock and realize that I'd slept for less than an hour, since I'd already gotten up and was about to hop in the shower. (I've been known to shower in the middle of the night, because my instinct when I awaken tends to be to get out of bed right then and there. Aside from my natural nervous energy which apparently can't be explained by a thyroid imbalance despite my doctor's beliefs, maybe it stems from being bused to school from the fifth grade onwardsmy mom was big on the magnet programsand if I missed the schoolbus, I was quite well fooked. God, being a kid really sucked.)
Anyway, it would seem I went right back to bed, but for some reason neglected to turn off the light. Couldn't say why. There have been times when I refuse to turn the light off at night, and usually it's while I'm emotionally stressed as I am right now...
I don't know. I'm nowhere near the place I was that night at Summer's. Not even
close. Besides, I made it through that, and I can make it through this.
And that's why they keep me around, goddamnit. Makes me wish I'd worn stripeys today.
At least the heightened military presence will ensure a lot of business for Imani this weekend. (No,
she's not a prostitute, you chode. She's a topless dancer.)
She's definitely happy to be here, the perpetual chaos notwithstanding. Her attitude towards it is quite healthy: it beats boredom, which was all Autodesk was offering her after a year and a half with no chance of advancement, or even being hired on for real rather than a temp. It didn't take long for her to pick up on how misplaced her, Brian and I (which I referred to as "our cabal") in the context of the rest of the department, and she finds it rather amusing. A very attitude, I'd say.
Anyway, I finally came out to her. As I expected, she was completely cool with it. She hadn't shown the slightest adverse reaction upon seeing me for the first time in almost a year, in spite of the changes in my apparance; in fact, she commented the other day that I looked like I'd lost weight since the last time she saw me, when numerically I've gained weight. I suppose I wear it well.
Leigh had an interesting way of describing the way I look now compared to last year: that I look "freer" now. That's not a bad way to put it at all.
Hearteningly, she said that I have her full support and was concerned about what I've been going through lately. I pointed out that when you come down to it, the most difficult thing about this year was breaking up with The Ex; most everything else was incidental. I still believe that really coming out at the same time helped me through that very difficult process, and that it would have been much worse had I not made any progress on a personal level. Indeed, I would have never met Madeline, and the makes the notion all the more terrifying.
What I found most heartening was what her acceptance of me could mean for her children, two boys who are racing towards adolescence. Now, it's different with one's own kids, but if either of them are queer in any way, they couldn't do better than to have a mother like her.
Thursday, 7 October 1999 (one above and one below)
Happy birthday, my dear.
Good lord, I'm listening to Jethro Tull's Aqualung on MP3. I may need to alter my definition of "progress" accordingly.
I was very into this album when I was 13. The scary part? I can
kinda sorta tell why.
This place isn't safe when it gets to be this late. The darkness
is not protective of me here.
It's not fair. This is supposed to be the best part. We'll never get this time again, and we're spending it far away from each other. What have we done to deserve this? Haven't we both suffered enough already?
Wednesday, 6 October 1999 (that voice again)
I like the technology, but the technology don't like me.
Here's an entry from yesterday which I'd thought went live, but didn't:
The picking up of the pieces continues on today.
Meanwhile, tomorrow is my Madeline's birthday.
Knowing that I'd be going into battle today, I decided that my
skin had healed up enough and applied the warpaint. I must admit,
it feels nice to do so again...
This is the kind of stuff that makes me hate being a grown-up sometimes.
Summer and I went to lunch today. In the Evil Levi's Plaza, the SPCA had set up a little "Adoption Center," basically a bunch of cages with kittens. Saw one of Mary's breed; I think I'll that's definitely the kind I'll be getting. And why the hell not?
One time when I took Mary to the vet, someone else in the waiting room
commented that she's once had a cat like her, and had was thrilled
to discover that her breed is known as a tuxedo cat. Uh, no.
Fuck you. Mary was not a fucking "tuxedo cat." As near as I
can tell, she was an American Shorthair, which is about as unspecific
a breed name as you can get. Works for me, though. And it's not
as though it really matters.
Tuesday, 5 October 1999 (exhuming mccarthy)
The site has to be launched in just over five hours, yet I haven't even been trained in the new publishing tool yet. Oh, this is going to be good for a larf.
Meanwhile, my mom's comment to Tom about the church he's not affiliated with
being fundamentalist continues to blow up in my face. Nothing like having
someone else speaking for you but being held accountable for it yourself.
Thanks, mom. Thanks a lot.
Everything goes away.
I think I'm getting sick again.
On the other hand, my face should be healed enough by tomorrow morning...
Monday, 4 October 1999 (rewind)
So Leigh starts todaycoincidentally, exactly nine months after I started on January 4. And what a busy nine months it's been.
She's genuinely happy to be here, and that makes me happy. As silly as it sounds, I'd been concerned that I was somehow pressuring her into making this job switch one which involves a fairly ugly commute. A commute, though, which for her by car take about as long as it takes me to cover a much shorter distance by public transportation. (She's carpooling, so that makes it even better.) And, as she puts it, she had hit her plateau at Autodesk, which I know from experience ain't hard to do. Hell, after a year and a half she was still a temp with no end to that status in sight, so being a real employee here made the offer all the more tempting.
Of course, it's feels very surreal to have her to my right once again. Reminds me of those dreams where I'm back in Fresno, living somewhere I haven't lived in years. wait a minute, i've been in this movie before...
She complimented me on how I'm looking. Hardly my best right now, since I'm still scarred from Saturday, with no makeup on other than eyeliner. Between that and the beret (which provides me with the extra bit of strength necessary to go into the world with my face looking the way it does), I surely do look a bit different from when she last saw me. Even with minimal makeup and a electo-ravaged face, though she actually saw me every day during the worst of it last year.
I never did come out to her when we worked together before. I'm about to take her over to the old
building right now, and we're planning on having lunch in the next
couple days. She'll know soon enough....
I take a certain pleasure in imagining him looking at my picture
in the employee database before coming to my cubicle, though.
Must have given him reason to pause for a moment or two...
Leigh's first day went very well; she's going to fit in nicely, I think. Particuarly since we have a big huge scary deadline tomorrow which she's being thrust into the middle of without really know what's going on, it's just like our old jobs at Autodesk. The area underneath the sun has yet to show the slightest bit of creativity.
The healing of my skin continues onward. I somehow managed to forget every single one of my many assorted tubes of cortizone at home today, so I've been letting nature run its course. Which is actually a good thing, since my face has been saturated with the stuff for the last couple days, and it did its job.
I'm going back on Saturday, very much at Phil's insistence; all
that remains is about half my neck, at which point I'll be
completely cleared for the first time in just over a year.
I think he's looking forward to that, almost as much as I am.
For having a year to refur itself, my neck isn't so bad at all.
*sigh* I'm not going to say I'm in the home stretch yet
(even though Phil says he's using a slightly different setting
which has been proving more effective), but I'll be good
enough for the heartland...
Madeline never strayed far from my thoughts, and as such I was constantly bringing her up in conversation. Probably to an extent which under normal circumstances would have been annoying, but Imani knows very well how I feel about Maddy, and indeed has been one of our biggest supporters (so to speak) from the beginning. As it turns out, they've had some similar experiences in past relationships....
Tonight was probably not best night for me to stay up late, since tomorrow is a super-critical big scary monster deadline day. 4PM PDT the site and forms and buttons and banners all go live while being implemented in a system nobody really understands all that well yet in which Leigh and I will be getting a crash course in the morning...or else the sky will fall, or something like that. It's way important, whatever it is. Oh, hell, aren't they all. Ohwellwhatevernevermind...to bed for a solid three hours of sleep...
Sunday, 3 October 1999 (reconstruction of the fables)
The swelling is at full bore, my apartment is a mess (roughly the same mess it's been in since Maddy was here almost a month ago), the X server on Linux doesn't like my monitor very much and my phone line has suddenly become very unreliable, meaning I'm likely to get bounced off at any given moment. My work is cut out for me.
And yet, by my standards, this qualifies as a day of rest.
The apartment's a little cleaner, at least.
At the moment, except for the fact that I've got an absolute killer of a headache (which I've decided is irrelevant to the day on the calendar), I'm doing quite all right for having been home all day. Probably because it was my first day off in two weeks, and I also got some progress made on the apartment. Made it a bit more of my own, as it were. And I can do so without it hurting, as it surely would have earlier in the year.
A lot of people are surprised that I've tolerated The Ex keeping her things here as long as I have, and indeed she has some stuff here even now (some small furniture, books, and a closet full of clothes). The fact is, I think that the environment remained fairly unchanged except for her absence helped me deal with everything better. Is that healthy? Wouldn't a clean break has been better, her and all traces of her just disappearing? I don't know. Maybe. But that's not the way it was.
And the way things are now is much better.
Saturday, 2 October 1999 (bite the bullet)
Shit! I left my beret at work. This is bad. Unless I end up driving to Phil's, which is not an option, I don't have time to pick it up. I was really hoping for the (false?) sense of security it offers, something I'm going to very much need on the way back. The last two times I've gotten zapped I've broken down emotionally; it's possible they were flukes, but maybe not. The denial mechanism which keeps me afloat feels like it might be on the verge of failing anywaythis is not unusual for me, since I've noticed a certain connection between my overall mood and the visibility of my facial hair. Add to that Maddy's current doubts about our relationship...all aboard the vicodin express...with or without my stupid little beret for keeping out the aliens' mind-control beams or whatever the hell I use it for...
6 hours, 70% clear, at least 5 vicodin, and they apparently weren't flukes.
...my faith in our love has already done more for me than whatever faith i ever had in god did...
That's because our love is real, my dear.
Friday, 1 October 1999 (walk unafraid)
So after not getting to sleep until past midnight, I woke up at about a quarter to three with a very displeased stomach. I attended to it as best as I could (I'll save the details for later), then strongly considered just showering and going to work. What the hell, I was up, I have a lot of work to catch up, light traffic ergo minimum human interaction, etc. Naah. I might feel fine now, but later in the day my body would begin to resent me (even more) for giving it barely two hours of sleep. My alarm was set for 4:30, so I laid back down to squeeze in that extra time.
Mistake, as usual. If my body dislikes me, my subconscious has a death grudge.
The dream started out promising: I was essentially a character in Velvet Goldmine. Sounds like it should be quite delicious, yes? No such luck, at least not for me. This is a convoluted yet banal way to describe it, but it felt almost like a holodeck program. Like, I knew I had a role to play, and certain things I needed to do. Indeed, I was sufficiently lucid of my setting to actually remember the tagline on the VG poster hanging in my apartment: "The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one."
I tried, but I guess I'm just not very good at it. I did lean my look towards more blatant gothhey, goth is a descendant of glam, so I was just ahead of my time. I also, somehow, managed to get kicked out of a Who concert for making too much noise. Something to do with camera tripods. (I could try to explain that in more detail, but really, there's no point.)
Eventually I was whisked off, and found myself on a long car drive with a few people I don't recognize (in the context of the dream I seemed to know them, but in fact they're complete strangers), with The Big Boss driving. Talk about your monumental injustices: Madeline still hasn't been in any of my dreams, but that goddamn monkey?
Which, I think, is where the real anxiety portion of the dream kicked in. Ultimately, my dreams tend to be about fears and anxiety; very very seldom have I ever had what could be considered a fantasy in the positive, pleasant or (god fookin' forbid) sexual sense. The first part should have been much nicer than it was, but my fear of getting in over my head took overand I suppose it might as well in my dreams, since I frequently ignore it in real life. However, I've begun to feel insecure on a number of levels lately, professional and personal, and what I'm trying to not let get to me in real life has free reign elsewhere.
Probably because I asked to be, I was let out of the car sans jacket or backpack in the middle of the pouring rain outside one of my old apartments in Fresno. Alone, with no way to get in or go anywhere. When I really began to consider my predicament, that was when I became completely aware of the fact that I was dreaming. I guess I have to give myself credit for that much: I knew there was no way in hell I would let this happen in real life, ergo I must be dreaming. And all I have to do is open my eyes, and it'll be over.
This time, it worked.
Suddenly, there's a rush of air, a flash of blue and I get a lungful of what I can only hope was just cheap cologne. When I reorient myself I realize that TFQ just zoomed by in front of us from an intersecting hallway. Within inches, damn near running into us, walking full bore in his manly, stiff-backed, pecs-even-with-dick posture. Doesn't even bother to acknowledge us, or even Brian, who is his boss as well. Fine; I'm a traitor to his beloved gender, and I don't really care if he acknowledges my existance or not, but to not even apologize for almost running into us is inexcusably rude.
As he continues to march away, I say perhaps a little too loud: "Well, you have to admit the ad is at least appropriate, since it lives on a page which is designed to appeal to testosterone-addled freaks."
Hey, it was completely relevant to the conversation we were having before we
were broadsided. If it seems to have other meanings, I can't really be
held responsible for that.
Here's the thing: he doesn't use tissues. Mayhaps it's a cultural deal and I'm just being an ethnocentric American, but I find his method of dealing with his perpetual cough to be almost as stomach-churning as his baby porn. (Jesus, it's October. That means a new one.) Rather than wiping or blowing his nose because of what seems to be his perpetual cough, he rubs the palm of his hand against his nostrils. It's even more disgusting in person than my description suggests, and this is a sound I've been having to contend with every day since I started since I've always been within earshot. Sometimes I can drown it out...My world is unaffected, there is an exit here I say it is and then it's true There is a dream inside a dream I'm wide awake the more I sleep You'll understand when I'm dead
The bus ride home (the 71, rather than the L train) was one of the more harrowing in recent memory. The driver was slightly nuts even by Muni standards, the passengers weren't much better. I was left alone, probably because I've raised "keeping to myself" to an art form, and I probably come off as just a little scary-looking. Good, that's how it should be.
No Shrine tonight. I'm getting zapped tomorrow morning, then will
probably spend the rest of the weekend in a vegetative state. Which
kinda sucks because I'll be missing Dana's birthday party, but
between my extreme exhaustion and the my face's typically monstrous
appearance post-electrolysis. Simply not fit for human consumption.