Yesterday was Thursday. That means my usual support group meeting. But, I decided about a month ago that I would be skipping weeks when this moderator is there. She’s not very good at doing what she is there to do: Moderate. The conversations are all over the map. You can’t control who walks in. But, if someone clearly doesn’t belong, you can ask them to leave. Or at the very least not let them take control of the entire meeting.
But, I ended up riding there Thursday evening anyway. I bought a few lemonades from a nearby store and hung out in the parking lot while I tried to decide if I was going to go in. I didn’t have any plans. And I had spent enough time in front of the computer. As I sat there, a nice light summer shower gave my bike a much needed bath. A couple of minutes before the meeting, another regular pulled up on her scooter. We talked for a minute. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if I was going to go in. She said if the conversation turned to politics, she would leave. I agreed. I told her I might be up in a few and she started for the front door. I took stock of the parking lot. There was no sign of the moderator’s car. Now, this is downtown Denver. Parking is a nightmare. She could have parked down the street or on the next block. I decided to give it a shot. Afterall, I was already there.
I only lasted 20 minutes. I chose to sit near the door just in case I was going to make my escape. Once it was clear that the regular moderator wasn’t going to be there, the woman I spoke with outside took charge. There were 6 of us there. I think I had met all of them at one point or another. No troublemakers or strange people. But, it only took 3 minutes for the conversation to turn to politics. And guess who started it? That’s right. The very woman I spoke with outside. The same person who didn’t want to talk about politics. Sigh. At least I had the courtesy to say “Excuse me” as I got up to leave. I didn’t want anyone to think my social anxiety had gotten the best of me.
Before I left, I got out the phone. I couldn’t find a movie that I wanted to see. But, I was hungry. So, I left and headed toward Illegal Pete’s back on the mall. On the way, just as Colfax reached Civic Center Park, I started an impromptu road race with a stranger on a white single speed. We ended up racing down the middle of 15th Street from Court St. near the Denver Post building to where I peeled off on Wynkoop. He continued on toward Platte. But, I clearly had him beat. It was fun. I love competition. Especially in a downtown environment. Sure, dodging in between cars is dangerous. But, I don’t think we made any really dangerous decisions. Well, I can’t speak for what he might have done since he spent most of the time behind me. We didn’t break any laws. It was just afternoon summer fun. I wish more bike riders would do that with me. There were even a few people at a bus stop near Welton cheering us on.
After refueling both myself and my mifi, I realized that my friend **** had tried calling and sent a text. She was at the bar we often go to after group. She usually meets up after she gets off work. By the time I responded, she was at home. But, invited me over. On the way there, I gave myself a good laugh. I guess there was still some adrenaline in my system. While heading east on 17th at Lawrence, a female cyclist pulled up next to me on my left. She was on a single speed beach cruiser type bike and was wearing a dress. But, I still had this overwhelming urge to get the jump off the light.
The last time I was at my friends house, I parked my bike inside. But, she had invited me to do so last time. So, I locked up just outside on a small wrought iron fence on a well lit corner. Once inside, I dropped off my bag and we went out for a bite to eat. Apparently, she had wanted me to go see a movie at a small independent theater with me. But, by the time I got there, we had missed it. Oh well. Maybe next week. It looks like a good movie.
We thought about going to Pete’s Kitchen. But both of us decided it would be a long walk. We ended up eating pizza and drinking beer (I chose root beer) at a local dive bar. The music was loud. But, we chose to sit on the other side of the room from where we thought the music originated. We talked about transition (she’s trans), how trans kids have it way better these days (We’re both in our 30’s), hair cuts (she wonders how I would look with a different style), and sexual preference (her preference toward guys has grown over time/I’m assexual). And we both laughed at how overall broken I was when I used to hold things in. I had a great time. I enjoy spending time with her. She’s such a nice person. She’s a little younger than me. But, not so far off, that we lose a lot of age related conversation. She’s been on the other side of the fence for a good amount of time now. It’s nice hearing how life has changed from someone I have known for a long time.
I look back at some of my public conversations with trans people over the years. I used to be so incredibly self conscious. It’s nice to be able to smile and talk in a relaxed environment. I need to do that more often. Thursdays rock.