Saturday, April 17, 2021

I woke up as the day went on....


Getting up in the morning is often a hard thing for me.  If I wake up early after going to sleep late, it's going to take several cups of black coffee to keep me awake enough to do my job.  Today was one of those days.

- - - - - -

I woke up early this morning, and didn't have enough sleep.  So, when I arrived at work, I was both sleep and caffeine deprived.  This meant that by the time my boss came in at 9:00 am, I was struggling to keep my eyes open enough to do enough of my job to justify my salary.  Thankfully, 10:00 am came quickly, and I rushed into the break room to ingest 2 cups of coffee into my caffeine stream.  By the time lunch time came, the caffeine kicked in, and I was able to make it through the rest of the day without incident.

Once home, I was wide awake, and left a message for Vicki to thank her for her help last night. I knew what I had to send to WDS, and knew that I had to be prepared to visit him if asked.  (I didn't realize that I sent the email to TCL instead of WDS last night.  So I sent it to him this evening.)  Since her husband was going up to "the farm", she was free to go out to eat. so we went to a Chinese restaurant that I used to go to with my former cruise partner.  

Vicki and I talked about a variety of things, WDS not being one of them, as we talked that through the night before.  The big thing was to give me ideas on how I could dress for summer at my office.  And I think I'll work with those ideas to find out what will look good on my body, as well as appear appropriately feminine while presenting as Marian.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Some more odds and ends, starting with Picasso's Last Words.


I decided to open this post with lines from McCartney's "Picasso's Last Words" because they fit the way I felt as I was getting out of bed this morning.

The grand old painter died last night
His paintings on the wall
Before he went he bade us well
And said goodnight to us all.
Drink to me, drink to my health
You know I can't drink any more
Drink to me, drink to my health
You know I can't drink any more
The reason for this clip was that a good friend of mine, WDS, struggled to write the email below:

I have not taken the vaccine; there seems to some kind of delay.

I had a stroke with two hemorrhages in the left side of my brain one week ago and spent three days in ICU. My right hand is numb often. The right side of my tongue is numb all the time. I lost half my vocabulary. To spell correctly, I must look up almost every word. Sometimes, I lose the ability to speak; when that happens, I can't pronounce any words, and I can't think of any words. Nuance is now gone. I have lost my appetite; last week, I lost 10 lb. I sure that I have lost more this week because my clothes are now too loose.

I do not know how much longer I will remain alive, but as my body shuts down, I think death is close to me.

I use a lot of time when I write replies. This one took me 25 minutes to assemble.

Sadly, I do not have either his phone number or snail mail address.  At the time I write this, I have no idea of how to respond to him.  Should I volunteer to drive to Florida to see him one last time?  Should I try to get a snail mail address and a phone number to be able to reach him by traditional means?  I don't know what to do, and I was bothered by this while at work today.

- - - - - -

Last night, I decided to do something I usually don't like doing - cook.  I decided to cook something extremely simple, yet a little labor intensive: Cook home made potato chips.  It's a bit of a pain, as I had to peel the potatoes, slice them paper thin (next time, I'll use a mandoline for this), then fry them in small batches until golden brown.  The problem - I decided to do this at 10:30 at night.  Although I had mixed results, I enjoyed the few chips I ate.

- - - - - -
The other day, I wrote something to XGFJ.  She misunderstood what I meant, and thought I might be taking a dig at her.  (I wasn't.)  However, I thought of the following witty reply which I didn't send:
If I were taking a dig at you, you'd have seen the shovel.
Obviously, this would likely have been misinterpreted in the moment.  (Later on, I mentioned this in the Zoom meeting with my Texas friends.  They laughed, as I would expect....)

But seriously....  When I think of XGFJ, I only would like to have her as an activity partner friend.  Dollars to donuts this won't happen because of her fear of seeing me and having her feelings for me kick in.  I liked her, but could never trust her enough anymore to risk a romantic relationship.  Any person who'd threaten to "out" someone to a person's 92 y/o father can not be trusted with things one confides in an intimate partner.   

Years ago, XGFJ used to ask me, "Do you have any complaints about me?"  In retrospect, I now do.  But will never bother to tell her this.  She never trusted me enough to be herself when we had a relationship.  She repressed enough of herself to have me around, that I never could help her with her needs.  Hopefully, this won't be the case in any future relationship she may have. 
- - - - - - 

This weekend, FH and I are going to try and make it to the restaurant we planned to go to last week.  I hope this happens.  It'll be nice to have a nice unhurried meal with her.

- - - - - -

Back to my friend, WDS....  I figured that I'd ask a couple of friends for advice on what to say to him.  I feel that I have to say something, but what?  I missed the opportunity to say goodbye to one friend sometime in the past few months.  At least, with WDS, I have the chance to say goodbye.  It's just figuring out how best to do it.

Speaking with TCL, it took me a while to get a chance to speak - and then she listened attentively.  But when I called Vicki, she ran off trying to tell me a lot of things and not thinking that I simply needed someone to listen to me while I think much of this out myself.  I guess that I'll have to interrupt Vicki and TCL more often, simply to get them to listen instead of talk.

In the end, I sent the following email:

Your news came as a shock to me, and I have some questions. Please take your time to answer them, as you need the energy to focus on your recovery.
  1. What do the doctors say about recovery?
  2. Where are you staying now? A Care Facility? Home?
    Can you give me an address and a phone number? Someone I can contact?
  3. Would you like for me to come down for a few days?
I don't really want to go to Florida at the last moment. I will do so for WDS, as he was there for me when I needed him most. What are friends for? And this leads me back to a quick mention of XGFJ. Would she have done the same for me when we were a couple? I doubt it. I'm glad I didn't count on her when I was supposed to go for a colonoscopy last year. Even though she said she'd help me after we broke up, I doubt she would have kept her commitment once our dispute started. Over time, one learns who one's real friends are and who they aren't. In my case, I've learned a lot about the quality of people by how they manage their lives. If the worst happens to WDS, I will miss someone who I could trust with my life.




Thursday, April 15, 2021

My arm was stuck, and I didn't notice a thing!


I just got one of the above cards.  However, my card has my name, information about my first shot on the front, as well as my next appointment date on the rear.  Since some of the information may need to be kept private until we have "vaccination passport" apps, I plan to guard this card with my life for now.

When I made my vaccination appointment, the Yonkers site had just opened up for residents outside of the "cities" of Yonkers and Mt. Vernon.  New York's vaccination scheduling website still implied that appointments were still limited to residents of the two cities.  So I wasn't sure if I was going to be allowed to get my shot there.  As a consequence of this, I kept my appointment in South Queens until I was vaccinated.

The Yonkers vaccination site is in a decidedly "low rent" neighborhood.  Along North Broadway and Warburton Avenue, it's easy to see the urban blight that is often found in big cities. This site is a short walk from the Phillipse Manor Hall Historic Site, but I wouldn't be comfortable taking that walk - even in daylight. Luckily there was enough parking nearby, and I easily found a parking spot across from the vaccination site.  It felt strange driving down one of Yonkers' many hills, seeing the riverfront "high rent" district from a place (in walking distance, without considering hills) whose residents do not have much hope.

Entering the site was easy.  All I had to do was show my ID and my appointment confirmation.  Of course, when I'm presenting as a female, I have to identify myself as "Gender Nonconforming", so that others realize that I am rightfully using my male identification and paperwork.  Several people along the way asked me to show my paperwork, but this wasn't an issue for me.  I assumed that people wouldn't hassle me because of my feminine presentation, and I was right.  Virtually everyone addressed me as "Ma'am" until I had to show my ID, and even then, they kept addressing me as a female.  The only questions I was asked when sitting down for the shot were the important ones: Was this my first shot? Do I have any allergies? Do I understand the risks of this "emergency approved" vaccination?  From start to finish, it took me less than 30 minutes - 15 minutes of which were observations for adverse reactions to the shot.

- - - - - -

Recently, ex-presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush #43, and Obama made public service videos to encourage ALL Americans to get vaccinated, making sure that they were all seen getting their shots in public.  A noted absence in the ex-presidential public service message ranks was Trump.  When he finally spoke up to encourage people to get vaccinated, he waffled - trying to keep the loyalty of the Anti-Vaxers. It sickens me to think that he'd remind people that they can choose NOT to get their arms stuck, when we need to achieve herd immunity quickly.  At least, I don't feel that I'm at risk of dying from this virus anymore....

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

On Easter, some people must be blind

The above picture was taken on Easter, when I drove an hour to get together with the Fun Time Friends.  The fellow in the picture went out of his way to get another picture taken with me.  I wonder what he sees, and I wonder what's on his mind.  But, if he were to invite me out, I'll politely decline.  I'll make up some story about seeing some gentleman near me that I've known from childhood, and hope that he backs off.

- - - - - -

This is the first time that I've looked into a picture taken by someone else and started to see something resembling a feminine form.  The more I live a good deal of my life as a woman, the more that I'll experience both the good and bad sides of what cisgender women experience every day.  Sometimes, it can be something as simple as having to wait for a restroom stall to free up.  And at other times, it may be something as risky as having to be on a poorly lit street waiting for a bus to come by.  There are so many good and bad scenarios I can think of, that I won't even try to make a list of them here.

One thing I can say when I look at my face in the picture is that this is the face of a confident woman. In a sense, I can understand why the ex girlfriend broke up the relationship - she was afraid of what this path of life would do to me.  When given a choice between courage and fear, I chose courage while she chose fear.  But enough of her already, as I mention her only in passing.

Does the above picture of me show someone who can exude confidence?  I'm not sure, but it is the picture of a person who hasn't yet developed her own style.  Over the past 8 years, I know what I want to look like when I go out the door, and I know what I need to look like to blend in with other women.  Yes, I've made a hell of a lot of mistakes to get to where I am in life.  But, in certain ways, I feel better now than I did a decade ago.  (This is not true in all areas of my life.  It is my growth as Marian that is helping to give Mario reasons to have hope.)

As I like to say, when the Easter Bunny brings you some eggs, make sure that you ask:

Chicken Eggs or Cadbury Eggs?

And then act accordingly....


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

I woke up and saw something weird.

This morning, I received a very strange message from FH:

stop stalking my page
you can tell who is looking at your page
i don't like it

When I looked at her Facebook page, she had unfriended me.  Here's the quandary - I never look at her Facebook page, except when she posts a picture that she wants me to "Like".

So I wonder if she's been looking at each and every one of my Facebook friends, then examining anything posted.  If so, then I can guarantee that she is not the type of person I want to be with for the long term.  It's bad enough that she focuses on my heritage, as if I deny part of my background (which I don't).  But she never seems to be happy with me.  Or, at least, I feel this way when she sounds disappointed when uncontrollable things go wrong (such as an accident that causes a major traffic jam) causing me to be late to arrive.  

If she found this website by hunting through every one of my links, then so be it.  But I'd have liked (and deserved) a better explanation than what she posted. 

- - - - - -

Later on in the day, we exchanged a couple of text messages.  She sees me at the top of her "bubbles" (the icons for contacts and for chats, as I'd call them) and thinks that I'm always on her FB page.  I hate breaking the news to her, but I rarely look at her site and will post "likes" on her posts when they are mirrored to my news feed.

Right now, this is not a big deal to me whatever happens.  I think she was very tired when she made her first posts, and didn't know much about how FB ranks contacts.  (Heck, I still get my ex girlfriend coming up near the contact list after 5 years of us being together, followed by over a year of being apart.)

PS: I talked with FH later on, and she noted she was a little woozy after taking her sleeping pills, as well as being a little confused.  So, we will likely try and go to the restaurant we wanted to go to last week and try for another nice meal.

Monday, April 12, 2021

I miss my friend.


I was thinking of a good person today.  She was a member of our community, but we didn't lose her due to Covid-19 itself.  Instead, we lost her because nearby hospitals were overloaded with Covid-19 patients and were unable to diagnose or treat her cancer before it was out of control.

My friend's last communication with me was an email which I've edited for both brevity and for privacy. The following email was her acknowledgement that death was soon to come.

Things were not supposed to go this way. I had planned two more years of working and then get going on my bucket list. I have been fortunate beyond belief being blessed with the best wife and family any man could have. I have had a good career and have fought many battles but those days are behind me.

I am sad that I will not likely complete some of the plans I had. I figured I would reach 70 in two years and retire and then start living my life and doing all the things I could not do while working. There are many of you that I planned to see and visit but unless something good happens that will not occur. Right now any movement is exhausting and talking is difficult. I wish I could breathe or even walk from one room to the next. I will continue to fight one day at a time but the current prognosis is depressing.

I am thankful for the life that the Lord has given me. It has been a good run with good friends and a great family. In June I would be married 48 years. My goal was to make it at least until 50 years married. I would love a few more rounds of golf and a few more runs down a ski hill but now it is hard to move from the recliner. I had planned to take my wife across the country to meet some of my friends but if the doctor is right that is not in the cards.

I thank you for your support and prayers. I may not have the ability to write again since getting on the computer is a strain. I will look to see you all again on the other side.

I wish you all health and happiness.

I do not think she would mind if I shared this last message as well as showing her picture.  This is the person she always wanted to be, but had to keep in a closet.  When she got too sick to have realistic hope of recovery, her wife disposed of her female clothing because she was afraid of what others may think.

Life is way too short to worry about what others may think.  One must live authentically.  For me, it is currently a life split between two worlds.  But for my friend, it was a second life mostly led in secret.  She could never take the risk that other people would find out about this side of her, nor could she share the beauty in her soul that this side of her represented.  Yet, she helped make it possible for me to be the person I am.

My friend and I met in person only once.  She could only treat her female side as part of a fantasy because the reality of coming out would be way too risky.  If I could have advised her to do one thing, I'd have advised her to be brave and share this part of her soul with others.  Yes, it would have come with big risks. I lost someone special because she couldn't deal with this side of me, or couldn't talk about her feelings about this side of me until it was too late.  But the rewards may have been worth the risk.  Sadly, only my friend would know if this is true - and by now, she has likely passed away. 

I would have liked to say my goodbyes in person while she was alive.  It would have been nice if her wife had sent out an email with wake/funeral information, so that we could pay our respects after her death.  (This is one time I'd choose to wear a dark MEN'S SUIT, as the wife did not approve of my friend's need to express her femininity.)  There were so many things that could have been better that were not to be.

It's hard to believe that I don't even know my friend's last name, or where she lived.  Several years ago, she gave me advice that helped me break down the wall of fear that prevented me from going out and about as Marian. She later gave me more good advice when I needed it - all while she was suffering with her cancer.  I miss my friend.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

A day I could sleep late


This was a day where I had the option of getting up late, and I took advantage of it.  Originally, FH and I were supposed to out for a nice dinner at the Milleridge Inn on Long Island,but her stomach was feeling a little queasy, so we made other plans for the evening.  However, I'll be picking up dinner on the way down, as well as stopping at the pharmacy to pick up some meds for FH.

Every little thing conspired to add time to the front end of my day, and I took advantage of it by doing laundry shortly after I got up - around 11 am.  This frees up some time tomorrow, so that I can go to an Easter Dinner with the FTF Meetup group in Connecticut without worrying about having to do laundry when I get home.  
This is the second week in a row that FH has not been feeling well.  Last week, her GI Tract was forcing her to stay near a rest room all the time we were at Wegmans.  Today, she was getting over another problem which may have been related to food poisoning the night before.  Normally, I wouldn't think this an issue.  But TCL planted a tickler that hasn't yet gotten out of my mind.  Could she be looking for an opening to start looking for someone "better"?  If so, then I hope she drops the hammer sooner than later, as this will free up my Saturdays for other activities.
If FH weren't in the picture for this evening, I'd likely have gone for a walk on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  It would have been a perfect day to have gone out for a walk.  I wasn't going to drive 60+ miles North, then drive another 100+ miles South for an evening date.  Could I have done something local?  Yes, but I relished my sleep.  So, if the weather is good tomorrow morning, I might do something along the Putnam Rail Trail before showering, shaving, etc. to make myself look good for the FTF meetup to be held later that day.

One thing I know about tomorrow: Most of the day will be spent as Marian.  And that's a good thing.  I should be able to do my nails again before dinner, and look as pretty as possible when I see these people for the first time in months.
A question came to mind: Do I mind presenting as Mario?  The answer is no, but it's because I'm making a trade off when I do so.  I wouldn't give up being Marian part time.  But I'd retain the ability to be Mario part time if it meant I could have a healthy romantic life.  Last night, I had to strip off my nail polish for tonight's evening with FH.  And I didn't mind doing this to be with her.  I just wonder what's going on in her head....

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...