Flux

I am cranking out about 2000+ words a day between work and my own private writings. Clearly, not enough are making it here, but I am going to work on that.

Many of you know the story of Zack and I, have read many of my stories about us through the years, from nursing our babies to his transition from a female body to a male body. But, it is time to get it all down in one place. A book? Maybe. Magazine article? Perhaps. I do not know where it is going to end up, but it feels like the story needs to see the light of day.

I’ve been writing for a couple of months and the words are flowing. I talked to Zack a couple of days ago and let him know what I was doing, that I was going to talk about the really painful and hard parts, too. He said it was painful… it was hard… to write everything I want and need to. It feels awesome having his blessing.

What I am writing is a love story. More than anything else, it is our love story.

It is called State of Flux (at least as for now) and I have the most amazing website address: http://www.StateOfFlux.ink – how freakin’ cool is INK for a writer?!? I LOVE IT!

Here are the first few tentative paragraphs. Something you would read?

Zack was resting comfortably after his double mastectomy, called Chest Surgery in the trans world. He was on his back, his mom sitting with me in the same room he was in before the surgery and would remain in for 24 hours before we were sent back to our home 45 minutes away into the US. I’d been talking to the doctor, in Spanish, about the surgery, how it went and how Zack would be feeling for awhile. The doctor’s eyes lit up, hearing I was a midwife, and asked if I wanted to see the operating room. I was tired and somewhat bored, Zack was doing well and I would be across the hall if he needed me, so I said, “Sure,” and followed him the 50 feet away.

The room was on the small side, but most operating rooms are far smaller than people would imagine, so I was not terribly surprised. I’m not sure why I was actually in there… did I think a Mexican O.R. would differ that greatly from an American one?

Then the doctor said to come look at this and I walked to the counter where, very quickly, he removed the green surgical cloth from a stainless steel tray. A tray that held my precious Zack’s two breasts. His breasts, now dead on a tray, stared up at me. The very same breasts I’d made love to hundreds of times, the breasts that fed two of our four babies for more than two years. These were the breasts he’d hated since puberty, but were so beautiful to me I took dozens of pictures of them throughout the years. And here they were, lifeless in a Mexican operating room on a cold metal tray. Dizzy, I grabbed the counter so I did not fall.

Zack’s recovery went very well. He is the most compliant patient ever and did exactly what he was supposed to do when he was supposed to do it. Compression bandages? On until the doctor removed them a couple of weeks later. Binder? On until told otherwise.

His incisions were really wonderfully done, not that I had a lot to compare it to. I’d not looked at the surgical pictures Zack tried to show me that were in his private transmen groups online. I could not get myself psyched enough to do it, so, as with most of the process, I stuck my head in the sand. When his bandages came off, he was flat chested, as he had always wanted to be. I felt punched in the gut the first time I saw the scars that went from mid-chest around his back, not meeting on either side. I missed his breasts terribly already.

While his outward physical transition had begun, my own inner transition would be a silent blip inside for quite awhile more. No matter, we were both on our way… to our permanent state of flux.

 

Getting Into Washington, DC: 1979

When Bobby, Scott and I got into Washington, DC, it was July 10, 1979, hot and sticky. We’d run completely out of money, not having one idea what to do next. We went into our separate bathrooms on the Mall, near the Washington Monument (which was stunning, by the way).

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There were many people in there, but I picked the sink furthest from the open door and pulled out my paper bag of supplies: shampoo, soap, a razor and toothpaste with my toothbrush. First brushing my teeth, afterwards, I immediately felt more human. Then shaved my pits (why in the holy hell I did that is beyond me now), washed my face with soap and my hands and then leaned wayyyy over and washed my short hair (which may or may not have been fuchsia at the time).

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I ran my fingers through my dripping wet hair, gathered my supplies, dropping them back into the crinkly brown paper bag and walked outside past the gaping-mouthed women and girls. Outside, Bobby loaned me his brush and I brushed my hair until it was at least not dripping everywhere.

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Then we stood looking at each other. What now? We walked around looking for a pay phone to call family to ask for help. Scott’s family would help him, but not us… neither Bobby’s nor my family would help us, either. Scott was being sent a Western Union money order that would take 2 days to get there, so until then, we figured, we were on the streets together.

Looking up at the Washington Monument, I lamented we would not be able to get up there to see out the windows.

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See the teeny windows?

I then got the bright idea to try and schmooze the Park Services Ranger selling the tickets to go up and within minutes, Kevin had become our new gay friend.

He not only gave us tickets, but told us about Lynn up at the top, giving information to the tourists… that Lynn was known to take in strays and we were well qualified.

Up we went in the elevator. Dang, that Monument is much taller from the inside than the outside! When we got off, Lynn was there to greet us, giving us hugs and telling us about where she lived. I was craning my neck to see out the window, hardly paying attention until Bobby nudged me hard and I hit my head on the thick window.

US-QUAKE HISTORY-TOURISM

Rubbing my head, I turned just as Lynn was taking a key from around her neck and putting it over Bobby’s flowing red mane. Huh? Apparently, Lynn had just given us the key to her apartment where she lived with Risa and told us to shower, eat whatever was there and take a nap!! She told us where the quarters were for the laundry, where the laundry soap was… that we could play her albums if we wanted… to just make ourselves at home.

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It was rather stunning.

While still up in the Monument, we discussed what to do with the car, which had zero gas in it. The decision to leave it where it was, near the Ellipse, until we got some money.

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This left us with no way to get to Lynn’s house! So, before we went back down the elevator, Lynn said that Kevin had Metro tokens for us and the directions to her house, so down we went, over to Kevin’s kiosk again, got the tokens and headed off to Lynn and Risa’s place in Arlington, Virginia.

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After having been in the New York City subway, this one was pristine. Our stop was the Rosslyn stop, one that was a mere 2 years old, and was really was amazingly beautiful.

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Taking the Metro was awesome. And deep! When we got off on our stop, we went up an escalator so long, I had never seen one like it before, it taking several minutes to get up to the street.

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As we exited, all we had to do was go caddy-corner across the street and into the concrete building, up the elevator and into the really large apartment our new friends’ lived in.

We were immediately drawn to the enormous balcony. Leaning over the rail in one direction, we could see the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building and in the other, we could see the Iwo Jima Memorial. All of which looked very small from where we were, but look how huge the Iwo Jima Memorial is!

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Here is an image at night and you can see the Lincoln Memorial easier as well.

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How incredible is that? Our balcony gave us the scope of the buildings, minus the Lincoln Memorial.

Once we got showers and scarfed some food we found in the refrigerator, we three fell into someone’s bed, curled around each other, and fell asleep for several hours.

 

 

Kakigōri & Michael Flatley

June 6, 1999

The girls and I headed to Epcot at Walt Disney World, me in an Electric Convenience Vehicle… an ECV… and they walking.

ECV

I always had my camera equipment and we carried our yellow Mickey ponchos for the inevitable afternoon thunderstorms.

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As we wended our way around World Showcase, we went inside The American Adventure to listen to the Voices of Liberty, an amazing a Capella group that sings beautiful songs about America… and a couple of Disney tunes thrown in. (Not quite sure where the other voices are coming from, but they vanish around 2 minutes in.)

America Gardens Theater

When you walk out of the The American Adventure (which we had been in dozens of times so did not go this day), across the way, is the America Gardens Theater. I have to show you several pictures because they will be relevant later in the story.

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America Gardens Theater, Epcot, Walt Disney World

It’s a wonderful theater with great acoustics.

The day we were there, Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance was performing. I had never seen them before so was really excited.

Because I had the ECV, we were led to the Handicapped Section. It was about 8 rows from the stage and I was on the far left of the benches.

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This is the handicapped row. I was sitting on the other side by the man walking in the blue shirt. You can see how close we were to the stage.

Kakigōri

It being June in Florida, it was damn hot. I tend to get to places early (movies, shows, parties, etc.) and this was no exception. Waiting, it was suffocatingly hot. While we always carried water, that Kakigōri booth in Japan, which is next to The American Adventure, beckoned. We needed something cold!

Kakigōri, a Japanese treat, is a sort of snow cone, or if you know Hawai’i Shave Ice, it is similar to that as well. Besides the syrups they add (your choices), some people enjoy cream in theirs. (Blech!)

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Not long after we were sitting in the flippin’ hot sun, the girls were sent on a mission to get the Kakigōri cones. I love cherry, and when they have it, grape. Yum! We three sat eating our snow cones, waiting for the show to start.

It finally did.

Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance

The show began with an amazing display of Irish dancing, men and women, moving in unison, the legs kicking while the tops of their bodies were stock still. It was delightful fun!

Midway through the show, a soloist came out and began singing the most lovely ballad… her soprano voice soaring into the air around us.

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Feedback

Then the feedback started. A blaring eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that was the strangest thing ever! Disney is meticulous with their sound systems, it was bizarre having feedback.

People were looking around. Why hadn’t the sound people fixed it yet? Crazy!

Then I see a Cast Member wending his way through the crowd… in a hurry… was everything okay? Holy crap, he was heading… towards… me?

“Ma’am, can you get off the ECV’s horn?”

I looked down and my bulging fat belly was leaning on the red horn button, causing the horrid “feedback.”

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I leaned back and, miraculously, the feedback stopped.

People everywhere were staring. Right at me. I was filled with embarrassment.

And then I started laughing.

The girls and I got the sillies, thinking about me causing all that ruckus. It took every bit of control to not howl with laughter through the rest of the performance.

We’ve continued laughing for almost 20 years now.

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee