Sundays are the way they should always be. Lazy. That’s how I was feeling yesterday. Lazy. But, I knew I needed to ride out to the other side of the metro area before the end of the day. The prospect of riding that far on a lazy Sunday didn’t sound fun. So, I put it off as long as I could. And I’m glad I did. By doing so, I had two unexpected encounters with friends.
The day before yesterday, I had realized that I had accidentally given my old address in Park Hill to Amazon when ordering the analog copy of Steve Jobs bio. I quickly sent a message to the ex-roommates asking if they had it. They did. And said they would put it on their front porch for me to pick up. I really didn’t leave the house until 5pm. And didn’t get over there until 5:45pm. When I got there, they weren’t home. But, the book was on the front porch as they promised. While I put it in my backpack, their now fully grown up dog barked at me through the window. I hadn’t seen her since she was a puppy. I’ve been gone for almost a year. So, she didn’t recognize me. And there was no sign of the cats in the window. So, I made my way back toward downtown. I thought about going to see a movie. But, eventually decided to just go home.
It was nice riding through the streets of Park Hill once again. Most of the leaves in the big trees had fallen. But, there were still plenty that hadn’t. I even rode by some folks who had blocked off their little stretch of street so they could have a block party. They had a fire pit and there were kids playing. I love that neighborhood.
Once I made my way through City Park (what’s up with all that construction near the museum?), I got on 16th street where there is a bike lane. As I passed where my friend Cate used to live, I saw two cars parked on the side of the street with their emergency flashers on and trunks open. My first thought was, oh someone is moving in. Maybe someone rented Cate’s old place. She had told me that she was going to be going back east at the end of October. And since I didn’t hear from her last Thursday, I just assumed she was already gone. It was dark by then, so I didn’t recognize the car until I got much closer. It was Cate’s car! And sure enough I saw her friend Aiden and then Cate closer to the front door. I had my headphones in my ears. So, I just reacted on my first instinct. I yelled “Hey!” (entirely too loud, I realized later). They both stopped in their tracks and looked at me. They didn’t recognize me until I doubled back, rode up to the sidewalk and removed my helmet. They thought I was an angry cyclist yelling at them for parking in a bike lane. Quick hugs, then I asked if they needed any help loading up the cars. I settled for standing outside watching so they both could load at the same time.
Once everything was loaded up, we went to have a bite to eat at Pete’s Kitchen. It was nice seeing her one last time before she left. And it was such a pleasant surprise to run into her at the beginning of summer. Although my social anxiety doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, and I’m now moving on with my life like I’ve never before, it was really nice hanging out with her once a week throughout the summer. Not only did I get to catch up with an old friend. But, I got to just hang out and talk honestly and openly with someone I trust about all this gender stuff. We initially started hormones at the same time. But, I stopped to deal with my social anxiety. She’s been full time for several years now. So, it was nice getting to know where she is now. It’s good to hear her perspective. Things she’s learned. That kind of thing. She’s a really cool person. She made my summer that much better.
Upon saying goodbye to them, I started removing the tangled mess of locks I used to fasten my bike to a parking meter. From my right corner, I saw someone approach me. My initial reaction was that this person was going to ask me for spare change or something. This is Colfax, after all. But, no. I couldn’t have guessed the words that came out of his mouth.
I still hadn’t turned to face him when I heard “Excuse me. This may sound weird. But, is your name Rebecca.”
Now, ordinarily, this would have shocked me. But, since I’m now using my name on Twitter and Facebook. Doing so, shows my comfort level with my condition. As soon as two or three years ago, I would have looked up with a confused look on my face. I would have denied it. But, once I looked up and saw who it was, I didn’t feel at all threatened. I won’t use his name here. But, it was someone who is a Facebook friend. I haven’t seen him in two or three years. Not since he broke up with friend’s sister. I’m glad he said something. I had wondered what had happened to him. It was nice catching up with him for a few minutes.
I told a trans friend about my interaction with him. She asked me if I saw it as gratifying. I don’t know. I think it definitely shows his acceptance of me. And I appreciate that. But, I think it was clear, even from behind, that I don’t pass. Heck, I wasn’t even trying. I don’t try. I can’t try. It was very nice of him to use the name I prefer. But, I have a long way to go.