Surprises

Most of the comments I receive are of the positive type and most of the questions are asked in a respectful way. But, sometimes a question comes across that simply throws me off my game.

One such question came from a male who while not subscribed to my blog, obviously reads it, and reached out to me recently.

He began by stating that he enjoys my writing style and the subject matter, and wanted to know what city I lived in and if I would be interested meeting for a date? He explained further that if I had such a loving relationship with a trans woman, I should be receptive to dating a man. Well, I politely shut that down in short order, but that then got me to thinking, which is always a dangerous thing to do.

Why would anyone equate a trans woman with a cis male? It is like comparing the sun and the moon. I have never had the desire to date a male and honestly, while I have seen a few very attractive men in my life, there has never been a desire to date or have any type of romantic relationship with a male.

It’s just not in my wheelhouse. The thought of such a relationship just never occurred to me and after thinking long and hard on his comments, I can say it most likely never will. Simply put, I am just not attracted to men or the male body. All that testosterone is a definite turn off for me.

So that brought me to part two. Will I date another trans woman?

How can I answer that? I didn’t know Annie was trans when I met her. I did not seek her out. We met organically, solely by being in the same place at the same time, and formed an instant bond with each other. I have grieved for her every day for these past eleven years and have no intention of ever doing anything to lessen my memories of the time we spent together.

Dating. Nope. Not in the cards. I could accept a serious friendship however.

 

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The Shower

I asked many times, but Annie always refused my offer to join her in the shower.

She said that she couldn’t face me in such a vulnerable manner. She also said she was terrified that I would come to hate her.

So it was that one night while out to dinner, we decided to play a little game of guessing the ingredients contained in our dinner. The winner would be entitled to anything asked for, but could not reveal what it would be in advance. I felt pretty confident.

We kept score during dinner and in the end I did in fact win. I told Annie I would collect when we went back to our room.

Back in the room, I took her by the hand and we walked into the bathroom. I said my prize is to shower together. She sobbed and said she couldn’t bear it if I left her. I wrapped my arms around her and said that would never happen.

Once in the shower, she made sure to face away from me. I hugged her from behind and told her to make the water to the temperature she wanted. She did so and with shaking hands picked up the bar of soap.

I said no…you cannot have the soap. She turned her head to me and her eyes were filled with tears and she asked why.

I said I am the only one who can use the soap here.

That was just the first of many showers together. After that evening she asked many, many times for me to join her.

Those are nights I will never forget.

Montreal

Montreal was one of our favorite cities. I didn’t travel there often before I met Annie and because of that I knew little of the city. That all changed with Annie.

Annie loved Montreal and convinced me to travel there more often so we could meet and she could show me all the great things about the city. It only took a few trips for me to realize how much I had been missing and how this particular city was so well suited to who we are and our dreams together for the future.

As I write this, you have to remember that all of this transpired a long time ago. Annie was never welcome in the U.S. during that time. The fact that she had a successful corporate career was a testament to her drive and the fact that she found herself in a company that refused to allow discrimination within its ranks. Even by today’s standards, many companies pay lip service to non-discrimination but turn an eye away from actual instances of it.

I became an expert at watching for “the look.” The more often I saw someone looking at Annie with disdain and hostility, the more dismayed I became for her safety. The reality of the situation was that since I was accompanying her, those feelings were projected onto myself as well.

We shared our feelings over this many times and we worked hard to find a place where we could live and have a future together in a welcoming environment. In the end, Montreal became the obvious choice. Even though it was only a short plane ride away, it was like traveling to another world where your gender or color of your skin held no sway over living an every day life in peace and happiness. The U.S. held no such hope for us. Even today, while I still live in the U.S., I would prefer to live somewhere else that is more inclusive and welcoming to everyone.

Without Annie however, there is little motivation for me to leave. Without Annie, life has become something like living on a treadmill. The day-to-day is repetitive, all the while my memories of her surround everything I see and do.

Her picture in my phone and her iPod, which frequently finds itself in my pocket, represent the shattered life that remains from the love that we shared for each other.

 

Hands and Eyes

Annie had the most beautiful eyes and hands of anyone I knew.

There were so many stories that hid in those eyes. It always surprised me to see how quickly her eyes could change. The pain and despair she felt when dealing with an intolerant society always showed in her eyes. She was beaten down so many times, yet always persevered to rise up again even stronger.

But…there was so much joy in those eyes as well. When we were together, making our way in finding out everything we could about each other, her happiness pushed back the pain. Once she accepted and embraced our relationship, she transformed into a new person. Still shy and introverted in public, she never held back from seeking new adventures and explorations with me. It seemed to me that I opened a door that she kept closed since she was thirteen, and now that it was open, there was no holding her back.

And she had amazing hands. Long and slender fingers which were always perfectly manicured with a constantly changing palette of nail polish. Soft hands…the softest hands I ever felt. Yet those hands were like fire. When she touched me, whether it be holding hands, or something more intimate, those hands caused me to lose my mind on so many occasions. The simple act of her human touch sparked many emotions and so many times it was hard to maintain control.

I have never met anyone else who could speak to me in such a personal way with just her eyes and hands. Watching and observing, and interacting with her every day, and week, and almost year that we shared together made for the happiest time of my life.

She didn’t deserve her fate. Annie had so much more to live for. I know how happy I made her, because she told me and showed me over and over again. If only she could have lived to enjoy the freedom the surgery promised.

Beautiful Stranger

There is a common fantasy among the male population. I am not sure if any women have the same fantasy, as I have never asked, but I would suspect it is so for them as well.

It goes like this.

You wait and wait for the day a beautiful stranger will appear in your life and everything you know will change and you live together happily ever after. It could happen, right?

Well, the first half of that happened to me. The night Annie walked up to me was just like thousands of other nights until that moment. I never knew what hit me. I was so mesmerized that I completely missed the start of the conversation. It took a few minutes for me to realize she was actually speaking to me and asking me questions.

Those first few moments changed my life forever. I knew in an instant that this was the moment I had lived my life for. When our eyes locked, we both seemed to recognize at the same time that something scary and at the same time, beautiful was happening to us both. Through everything that transpired from that night on, I could never understand how two people coming from such different places could meet and form an instant bond, while not knowing anything about the other.

I was never sure which of us was more afraid of what was to come. I wasn’t looking to meet anyone and she was afraid of any interactions with men. Her eyes, which were black as coal when we first met, hid her emotions. Yet within minutes I could see subtle changes as the tension in her posture relaxed.

I never tired of watching her change when she was with me. We spent countless hours watching each other in all types of situations. We communicated with each other even in the most intimate moments without speaking a word. I learned exactly what she lacked and desired and how to please her in every way. I waited my whole life for her and she was so much more than I could have ever hoped for.

Annie opened my eyes to people and lifestyles I never experienced before and once I did know, I could not live without them or her. Her joy became mine and her issues became my issues.

When she was ripped from my life, I was left with nothing. All that remains is a black hole where I find my peace and solace in the memories of our life together. I trust few people and put on a happy face when I need to deal with others. But…it is all a lie and a hollow life now.

There will never be another beautiful stranger like Annie in my life. When the fantasy becomes reality, it only happens once in a lifetime.

Closure

Saying a final goodbye can often provide closure.

I never have had the closure I need so much when I lost Annie. She passed away in a foreign country and is buried there along side some of her extended family.

I did however get closure with Ellen. When Ellen passed, I got the word from her girlfriend Lisa. So soon after losing Annie, it was a devastating call. Lisa was frantic to find out what the final arrangements were going to be, but she was rebuffed by Ellen’s family.

In the end we decided that she should probably reach out to the agency Ellen worked for as a last resource. It turned out to be a good decision. Ellen’s director gave up the details under the understanding no one would know where it came from.

Ellen would be buried in the Denver area where her family now lived. Lisa and I agreed that we had to make the trip to say our farewells. We didn’t go to the service, but we hung out in the car at the cemetery and waited for them all to show up. It was a gray and drizzly day and when everyone gathered together, Lisa and I got out of the car and hung back under a tree not far away, but close enough to hear. The family saw us since we were apart from them, and it was obvious we were not welcome, as we were a part of Ellen’s life that they refused to acknowledge.

Even in death, her family refused to acknowledge her life and referred to Ellen by her birth name. Lisa was devastated by that insult. As the family was leaving, we could see the not so furtive looks aimed at us, but we did not shirk from their scrutiny. Once they all left we went over to the plot to say our own farewells.

It grinds on me still that the name on the stone is Ellen’s birth name, completely eliminating anything about her real life. Her family never knew the real Ellen and what a vibrant, beautiful woman she was. More importantly, Lisa has the closure she needs.

 

 

Questions

I have been writing this blog for a few months now. Unlike my previous blogs, I have not received a lot of comments on the articles, or as many followers. It might be a function of less people following blogs than in the past due to most people using social media more often. Or maybe readers simply don’t find it interesting.

However, I do get more private messages with questions. The questions vary, yet I am surprised how many of them are of a personal nature, requesting intimate details of my relationship with Annie. I do my best to check out the questioners to see if they are serious or just another hater with an agenda.

Most of the time I tell them their questions are out of line and why would you even think I would answer them? Here’s the thing…

If I were in a relationship with another man, no one would ask. If I were in a relationship with a cis woman, no one would even bother me. But Annie was neither of those, so now people think it is appropriate to ask me personal, intimate questions? How rude and disrespectful can people be? Well, in my experience it seems they are pretty rude and disrespectful. What were they hoping to get back? Hoping that I will reveal something that will feed their fantasy or fetish?

There was however one question that I thought I would answer here and it is not what they were hoping to read I am sure. The question is “what did Annie and I like to do the most when we went to bed? So here then is my response.

We liked to fall asleep together. Exciting yes?

I was an average size guy at the time, my weight varied between 180-185 pounds. Annie was almost as tall as me but she only weighed about 125-130. She was a size two, very slender. She was light as a feather.

So, when we went to bed for sleep, we took off our clothes and she would stretch out completely and lay on top of me face to face. Being a bit shorter, she would tuck her head into the crook of my neck. I could feel her complete body and bury my face in her hair. We loved to feel the beat of each other’s hearts and the rise and fall of our breathing against our chests. I loved to run my hands up and down her backside to calm her from the day. Sometimes we would talk softly and other times enjoy the peace we gave each other as we fell asleep.

Not what you were expecting right? Feel free to leave comments or ask respectful questions.

 

 

 

 

The Takedown

Somewhere in the back of my mind way back then, I knew that there are intolerant and bigoted people out there. Yet, I have been fortunate to not have to deal with any of them until the one time I did.

Annie and I loved to take long walks along nature trails. Never in a hurry, we held hands and meandered wherever the trails went, enjoying the solitude and quiet that nature can provide. There were times we would spend a half-day just wandering around waiting to see what would be around the next bend in the trail. We never saw anyone we knew on these walks and encountered few others since we usually took these hikes during the week when the trails were less crowded.

One time we enjoyed the forest outside one of our favorite cities and when the hike was over, we headed over to the parking lot where we had left our car. While walking across the parking lot, I heard someone call out my name. I turned around to see one of my friends, Jan, waving at me. She was with some other people and was heading toward us. My shields went up immediately as I had told my friends that I was in a relationship, yet I never introduced Annie to any of my friends in concern for her safety and now I was confronted with that possibility with no place to turn to.

I introduced Annie to Jan and her husband Ron and they introduced the people they were with. I don’t have any recollection of their names at all. I go back a long way with Jan and Ron as we were friends since high school. They seemed overjoyed to meet Annie and I started to feel a little better.

The other guy however, spent a lot of time staring at Annie and started whispering to the woman he was with. She gave him the look that said shut up and elbowed him in the ribs. He didn’t take it well. He wasn’t a big guy, about my size, but the woman he was with was larger than either of us. I could see a problem coming, so I decided it was time for us to leave and as we were saying our goodbyes he started in with the comments about Annie. I thought, well, here we go, the one thing I feared the most. Time to bring out my football moves from years ago. As I turned to walk towards him, Annie wouldn’t let me go, Jan said don’t, stepped in between us, and the woman he was with yelled at him to knock it off.

He then started in on me, asking what kind of man was I to be with Annie? Before I could make any effort at a response, the woman he was with turned and slammed him with a roundhouse like I had never seen. He went down like a ton of bricks and was out for the count. She turned to us, apologized and said don’t worry, this is nothing compared to what he will get when he wakes up. I thanked her because I couldn’t think of anything else to do or say.

Jan and Annie were crying hysterically and Annie gave her a big hug, and we left promising to meet her and Ron that night for drinks.

That was the first time I experienced first hand what I dreaded so much and had heard so many stories about from Annie and Ellen. I told her we had to speed up our plans to move to Canada because I couldn’t live in this country any more. Her safety was the most important thing to me and I just could not deal with her having to live with this the rest of her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waking Up

I don’t sleep much since Annie died. Most nights I sleep for four to five hours.

I do manage to spend that time dreaming. My dreams encompass every little detail of my life with Annie. All of our trips, meals, events we attended and even down to the minute details of our intimate time together.

The problem I have is with waking up in the morning. When my eyes pop open and I realize I am awake, it’s always with disappointment. Waking just kills my dreams of Annie and leaves me with another day to get through without her.

I don’t know how to get past this part. It sometimes seems like a never-ending circle or ground hog day every day. I wake up waiting for the light that never comes. Annie was the light and when that was snuffed out, there left little but darkness.

So, every day I go about my routines. I have projects I am working on, but they are fractured. All of them started, yet I am easily distracted by my thoughts of Annie that constantly pop into my mind at any hour of the day or night. At times I wonder if any of them will ever get finished.

At the end of each day I know there will be sleep. That is when my mind is clearest. I can relive every moment of our lives together in vivid color, hear her voice and feel her just as if she was there in bed with me.

If only I could sleep with her longer, perhaps it wouldn’t be so hard to be awake.

 

 

The Eyes Have It

Some time ago, during one of my storm walks on the beach I met a young woman. I will call her B.

She is everything Annie was not. Annie was very tall and rail thin. B is on the short side with beautiful curves. Annie had solid dark eyes in which she could hide her emotions until I became able to read them. B has very light colored eyes and in those eyes I see a calmness and serenity I did not see in Annie. Annie was a fashion maven and overachiever, while B seems a throwback to an earlier time. B lives a simple life without a lot of possessions and a freedom that comes with youth that I have long ago lost. I am also old enough to be her father.

During that first meeting, B told me that she is a witch and comes to the beach during storms to absorb the dark energy that gives her power. It made no sense to me but I told her I come to the beach to embrace the darkness of loss. We had a nice chat and went on our ways. I have run into her every so often at the beach and we always say hello and she then moves on with her friends.

I don’t have her phone number, address or know much else about her but with a recent storm hitting the west coast, I reached out to her on social media, told her I was going to the beach and asked if she wanted to join me to enjoy the storm. She agreed and we decided on a spot.

So there we found ourselves, a young woman and an older man sitting in the dark in the warm rain on the beach, shoulders touching and not saying a word. She would draw some sort of witch figures in the sand and I would draw Annies name. The rain would wash them away and we would repeat this over and over again. We stole glances at each other every once in a while and I think she could see my tears but she said nothing.

After a while she grabbed my hand and just held on. I could feel the vibrations of her saying things while she drew in the sand which I took to be something about her witchcraft but it was hard to hear the words over the waves and rain.

We sat like that for quite a while until she stood up. I took that to mean she achieved what she wanted from the storm. We gave each other a hug goodbye and she said, see you at the next storm. I said yes, that would be nice.

I normally prefer to sit in my own personal darkness at these times, but in this instance for some reason, I decided to share my space. I don’t know if I will do it this way again, but it wasn’t a bad experience at all. I appreciate that we shared the space, but what if she asked about my personal demons? I cannot reveal to anyone in person what I reveal here. Anonymity is my line in the sand.

She exudes a beautiful aura that I am sure will capture some young guy. I enjoyed her presence that night on the beach and perhaps it will repeat itself or not. Either way, I draw my strength from being alone now. No one can replace Annie, nor will I allow anyone to get close to me like that again.

She went her way and I mine, back to our respective cars to change into dry clothes as ours were soaked through and through. After changing, I sat for a few minutes thinking she has a beautiful soul that just shines through her eyes. I don’t know anything about witches or witchcraft, but if she was presented to me as a beautiful vampire with those remarkable eyes…now that would grab my attention.