27 April 2009

Coming Out and Glowing

It seems that my energy or aura or whatever you want to call it is changing. Four different people--who, as far as I know, don't know each other--told me that I was "glowing" today. Now, I haven't been around any nuclear power plants lately, so I think there must be other causes.

Like...bike rides by the ocean. A walk by the ocean--my long printed skirt rippling in the wind and grazing pools spun by breaking tides--with a tall gorgeous man. A very flattering haircut and eyebrow style and tint--and a facial massage. And some make-up in sunnier tones than what I've been wearing for the past few months.

And today I did something I haven't done in a long time: I gave a poetry reading. The setting was, shall we say, intimate. In other words, there were only a few people in the audience for every poet--four, including yours truly--who read.

I felt like I stumbled a bit with a couple of my poems. I decided to read a couple of older poems, a couple of new ones and some recent work. I think that the audience was on my side: Most of them knew me, or knew who I am.

In a way, I felt as if I were "coming out," even though people in the audience knew, or have heard about, me. Some of them didn't know about my poetry before today. They knew me as their professor or colleague, but not as a person who could transform the raw materials of life into art through words and sounds.

It's ironic that reading "as" Justine should still be a relatively novel experience for me. I've done only a few public readings since my transition, but I feel that those poems--some, anyway--were written by Justine even though I didn't sign them with my name. Still, the conditions under which I wrote some of them are entirely different from the ones in which I live now.

But it felt like some kind of victory, however small, to read those poems today. Time was when I was reading just about every week--usually in some bar or club, but every once in a while as a featured poet in an art gallery or library. Poetry reading on Friday night, long bike ride on Saturday, another (possibly shorter) ride on Sunday morning, another reading on Sunday. Or sometimes I'd read somewhere after taking my Saturday bike ride and one of two things would happen: I would end up in a bed that wasn't mine, or I'd go for another bike ride on Sunday.

If I could've lived as Justine, I could have lived that life forever--or something close to it.

But today's reading and the weekend's bike rides and walks along the ocean--and Dominick's company--gave me an energy that I never could have found when I was living as Nick. Back then, I was all anger and intensity. Interestingly enough, some people actually found those qualities attractive, if only for a moment or a night. What kind of people were they? People with those same character traits. This meant, of course, that they were almost as fucked up as I was. And we all know that crazy, neurotic (or psychotic) people are good for at least one wild ride, maybe two. Anything more than that and you'll eventually make work for your friendly neighborhood divorce lawyer--or cops bearing restraining orders.

Ooh...It feels soo good that all of that is in the past. So, today I get to bask in the glow of wherever I'm walking. And people who've never met each other say the same things: I'm radiant. I'm glowing.