Earlier this week I came up with a new dream. Inspired by my planned visit to Montreal next summer I have once again taken up the study of French, and my new dream is, maybe someday I could move to France for a while and teach English. My teacher says there are jobs for Americans because of French businessmen wanting to learn to speak with an American accent.
I like this dream for two reasons. First of all, I just like it. Sounds like the new adventure I crave, and I’d become fluently bilingual, which I’d love to be. But, also, I like it because it has nothing to do with gender. Honestly, I’m bored of gender, of thinking and talking and writing about it all the time. The gender work I’m doing still matters to me just as much as ever, but I have it well in hand, and these days it feels at best routine and at worst tiresome. Several other things in my life interest me more right now, e.g.:
- Parenting: Goes without saying, really - just always need to be there for each kid as each kid needs.
- Writing: I got an article published by the Phoenix (in their Out In Maine LGBT supplement) and the editor wants more of my work. I’m writing professionally! Yay!
- Money: I still need to figure out a way to make more of it.
- The smell in my house of some small animal decaying: Where is it coming from and how can I get rid of it?
Oh, and one more big one: I’d really like to date a male-bodied, masculine person now. Doesn’t mean I’m done with female-bodied people, but I’ve tried that. Nope, for now I’m feeling hungry for masculine attention and ready to reciprocate with feminine attention. Which brings us to Messieurs A and B.
Monsieur A was my best friend through junior high and high school. He was a quiet, introverted boy with a sweet smile and the strength of character to hang out with that weird kid with the long hair who looked like a girl. We shared common geeky interests, private humor, and even for a while a private alphabet, in which we would write each other messages on the chalkboards of classrooms. From time to time he would pat me on the head. With A I felt cared about, safe, and (not clearly, but in a way which still mattered), seen. In retrospect it is clear that, in a hopeless never-to-speak-its-name way, I was in love with him.
Just one time I felt an intense moment of attraction toward A. It was during a rest stop on a hike. We were sitting on rocks, sipping water and talking of nothing in particular, and all at once I felt conscious of his closeness in a way I’ve only experienced a few other times in my life, always with men. It was more than just sexual, though it was that. I yearned to merge with him...two selves becoming one new whole. All I could make of this at the time was that it meant I was gay, and in those days I had not even begun to deconstruct the homophobia I had learned from my father, so the moment upset me. I thrust it away and expressed nothing, then or later.
A and I lost contact after college. Just once, about ten years ago, I sought him out during a business trip in his city. We had dinner at a restaurant and walked around a little, talking. Same quiet somewhat elusive man, married to a woman I have never met, with children. I felt a faint echo of the same tingle. And, recently, I’ve been thinking about him. The other day I found myself fantasizing about meeting him again...about him taking me (now him, now me) in his arms and kissing me...and I burst into tears.
I had been thinking I had come out to everyone, but I haven’t to A. Should I write him an e-mail? Hm...that’s good for butterflies.
Monsieur B is one of those few men of my present acquaintance who have started to talk to me in an unguarded way, new to my experience, which I take to mean that they see me simply as a woman. Most of the men I know are wonderfully accepting and supportive of my transition...and subtly cagey. Their eyes jitter as they compute moment by moment how to talk to me. With all the power I have lost, I have gained the power to make men squirm.
But B just talks to me. His face is open and candid, and if I meet his eyes he meets mine right back. He’s willing to confide in a minor way - everyday thoughts and feelings about work and such - and he also listens with apparent interest when I confide. He has a quick mind, which I find attractive, and he’s passionate about what he does, which ditto. So, sometimes when we talk, I find myself having to make an extra effort to pay attention to what he’s saying because I’m becoming mesmerized by his moving lips and tingling a little all over.
This is neither complicated nor deep. I’m enjoying feeling attraction toward specific present men, making a few shy attempts at flirting, and hoping that something might happen. I realize this is a passive stance, but at least for now that feels right. I can always get brazen later on if I want. In the meantime, if Monsieur B asked me out to dinner, with heart a-flutter I would say yes.
Might *you* in fact be Monsieur B? That would be telling. ;->