Monday, January 4, 2016

All is Quiet on New Year's Day

We are now in 2016.

This year I will be fifty years old, assuming I live to September.

Like many people, when I was younger, I loved New Year's Eve.  A chance to get drunk and it was expected.  Now, I don't bother.  I consider it "Amateur Night in Dixie" and I don't want any part of it.  All the idiots will be out, and every cop on the payroll will be waiting for them.  No thanks.

I had December 31 off.  I decided I'd treat myself and my roomie and bestie Linda Lewis to some lunch, then go do some long overdue work.  Linda worked until noon.  I arrived at 12:25 with a bucket of amazing Jerry's Chicken (it's a local place near me.)  Each of us ate our fill while watching an episode of Star Trek (original series, of course.)

Linda then went to take a nap while I went to my storage space.  My goal was to finally remove all of my guy clothes.  That's right, I hadn't done that yet.  I knew it would take a while to dig through boxes and find the clothes, then to bag them up for transport to a donation center.  I especially wanted to get rid of my old guy suits so they would be inaccessible to anyone.

Messy messy

And it certainly did.  Most of the boxes are very heavy, as they are books.  I had to dig through a lot to find the boxes of clothes.  About an hour into the process, an older man came off the elevator on my floor.  I told him that if he needed to get through, I'd clear a path.  he said that wouldn't be necessary, as he was several spaces closer to the elevator than me.

Turns out he's in the antiques business.  Has two storage spaces in the building for overstock.  By that point, I'd pulled out a book of World War I era books memoirs, etc.  He looked at them, and was mildly interested.  Just for giggles, I showed him my copy of Invade Mecum which I've had for over a decade.  He was interested in that, and offered $50.  I smiled and declined, and kept digging through boxes, finding clothes and more books.

Eventually I had several garbage bags full of clothes.  I'd emptied out or consolidated over a dozen boxes.  I did save a few concert t-shirts, fraternity stuff, and some other select pieces.  As I was putting the boxes back in, the antique dealer came by again.  He offered me $200 for the Invade Mecum.

I was short on rent due to Christmas expenses.  I had no idea how I was going to pay it.  And here was a guy offering me $200 for something that liked, but kept in storage.  I told him to show me the $200.  He produced two $100 bills from his pocket.  I checked to make sure they were real (working retail teaches you a few things) and pointed to the box where I had put the book, saying "it's in there.  On top."

He happily took it, and was on his way.  And I had enough for rent.

It took two trips with a cart to get both the clothes and the trash to my car.  It was dark outside.  I'd been there for five hours.

First I drove back to the apartment to let Linda know I would be back after dropping off the bags.  Also, I wanted to show her something I'd found.

In one of the boxes, I found a lot of old paperback books that hadn't been unpacked since I packed them in the early 90s to move out my parents' place and into my first apartment.  Over twenty years. Among them were a bunch of long out of print Star Trek novels from the late 70s-early 80s.  Linda is a MAJOR trekkie (as am I), and as all of her books are in storage in Michigan, I decided I'd bring these back to read.  She was extremely excited.

Linda with the books

I gave her the books, then went back out to my car, which I drove around to a dumpster, where I dumped all the empty boxes and a bag of trash.  Then I drove to a nearby shopping center where I knew there was a place to leave clothes for donations.  And that's what I did.

Bye bye guy clothes!

I thought for a moment about all the money I and my wife had spent on these clothes.  About the two of us shopping together, happy.  It made me cry a little.  But, the clothes would help people, and, well, I was no longer a guy.

A page turned.

I went back to the apartment, where Li and I watched Oceans 11, and played video games.  I bought some champagne a while back, so we had that to toast in the new year.  Then she went to bed.  I stayed up to write a little, then went to sleep as well.  I had to work the next morning.

So I'm working at the registers the next day, and an older woman, maybe in her 70s comes to my register. She leans in a bit, and says in a hushed voice: "I must tell you how much I admire you and the work you do for LGBT children. You are so inspiring. Is there any way I can donate to help you and your cause?
I grabbed some scrap paper and wrote on it Mazzoni Center and William Way LGBT Community Center. I suggested she google these places and donate to them, as they have programs in place for LGBT youth and can use the help.

She was very appreciative, thanked me again, and left, smiling.
Wow. What a wonderful person! Day made!!!

Now it's 2016.  Everyone is making resolutions.  Me? I'm taking things one day at a time.  As I wrote in a previous entry, my transition has stalled, probably permanently.  

What do you do when a dream dies?  

I don't know.  But at least the new year started well enough.  Quietly.

Be well!

1 comment:

  1. Sophie -

    You mourn a little when the dream dies, and then look for another sweet dream to come. I think you have many more of those dreams ahead of you....