. . .
it was at the skating rink that one boy came up to me and asked if anyone had ever told me I was ugly. no one ever had. I wasn't quite sure what he meant. no one has asked me that question since. I was playing pinball although I did not know how. as far as I remember I never met anyone there but was always avid to go just so that I could for instance skate to this song or another song because to me the point of going was to skate and not to talk.
if I still haven't made sense of the question it is because it had nothing to do with why I was there. I don't remember anyone else at all.
the rink was variously orange and natural wood tone. who knows who decided the finish at any particular time. who knows if I even have the orange right by now given that the song was not quite what I thought I remembered but then again it could be argued that what is important is just what both the orange and the song touched off in the way of obscure motivating forces.
the real irony lies in that skating happened mostly on Tuesday nights which were ladies' night. girls of twelve also got in for free.
skates accounted for my first scientific reasoning. the first pair I ever had had put the rear wheels some inch and a half forward of the heel which made them very prone to spilling you on your backside because if you leaned back at all your center of gravity was suddenly behind the wheels. I remember figuring this out and demanding a different pair of skates and being gratified that once I received them I no longer fell over backwards.
I never told anyone just why I had to have new skates but I knew the first pair were badly engineered. I may have been eight.
I fully intend to be evocative of everything at once.
the ironies of becoming a white male have not escaped me although I am not entirely sure that this is what I have become so much as this is where most people see me standing now. so many presumptions. I await my six-figure salary and will probably still be waiting next time we speak. expectations don't change so easily and neither do notions of entitlement no matter what they tell you it is not suddenly a free ride. that it were. that I had some idea of how to garner considerations and at the same time feel that they were my due. it still surprises me to be looked in the eye but at the same time it pisses me off that they didn't used to. as though it were not me then or it is not me anymore. of course this is entirely possible but that is not the point.
on the other hand it is good not to be stared down by middle america when standing in line for the bathroom. I'm telling you this whole restroom ordeal is the focal point of unheard of trauma in the life of the not strictly gendered and there was a time in my life when I found middle to aging ladies the most intimidating persons to have to deal with while trying to get to a place to pee. Men on the other hand will do anything possible NOT to look at you as you make your way into a stall so no one in the men's room even knows what you look like much less cares although I have to ask you this and that is why is there a glory hole in the stall at school. We're talking several flights of stairs to get to academic offices tucked into a corner of the building so it is not as though men looking for anonymous blowjobs roam the hallways there in large numbers.
or maybe they do. maybe I don't know the men in my department very well.
I did not recognize the glory hole for what it was when I first saw it as it was my very first glory hole and after a lifetime of hearing the glory hole mythologized I never, I suppose, expected actually to run into one. of course this inability to recognize the glory hole was only exacerbated by the fact that for 35 years I only went into women's rooms where you will find no glory holes and indeed very little acknowledgement of the tacit sexuality of the public restroom. that and in this particular men's room people had been poking pen-sized holes through the plastic stall wall which I supposed were for catching furtive glimpses so when a hole two and a half inches in diameter appeared my first thought was man. they must really want to see.
then I realized.
you wonder don't you why they would build men's stalls with easily penetrated plastic given the myth of the glory hole a myth so well-known that denizens of women's rooms even know about them years before ever seeing one. interestingly this glory hole is completely and perfectly round. what kind of tools do you glory hole makers carry?
the glory hole complicates considerably my efforts to pee unnoticed. at least once a day though someone stuffs toilet paper into it but oddly before the end of that day the wad of paper will be removed which makes me wonder just when the thing gets used. in any case I for some reason do not want to be the killjoy who blocks the hole so instead I do all I can not to be exposed before anyone who might be in the next stall.
this is how it happens you see. or this is how it gets talked about. would it surprise you to know that I sometimes talk out loud to myself about whatever is going on. you think that if it weren't for the passage of time nothing would go on but if there were no one to make it out it is quite possible that nothing would go on insofar as "going on" needs an auditor and without it all is blind traumatic force.
then again I have no reason to dispute the assertion that even those who stand about making things out spend their days and nights at the service of blind traumatic force. someday somewhere I will explain what I mean. In the meantime this is how this happens and if you wish I would just get to it all I can say in my defense is that getting to it involves so much more than you probably think and some of it is the bloodiest job imaginable and if what I am to do is shed blood I would at least like to do it lyrically and with delicacy. a drop here and there.
In the meantime, this is how this happens: I don't use a stand and pee device. I used to. a stand and pee device you see is something like a funnel which you use when you are standing to channel your stream out in front of you instead of letting it sprinkle your feet. there are many types available. well there are two more or less mass-marketed to women and there is an ad hoc and continuously varying collection of make-do items marketed to ftms often by other ftms but not always but all of them require not only a place to carry them on your person and a deftness of touch to utilize them discreetly when needed but also a way to rinse them out in between uses without anyone noticing and a certain dexterity to keep the business that should be coming out the business end actually coming out there instead of backing up and spilling over and so after several months of trying to stand to pee I decided fuck this.
my body you see is constructed such that the most convenient way to pee is sitting down and this will remain so until and unless They develop a foolproof way to fashion an extended urethra which they have not yet. so fuck this. I'm sitting to pee. and dang it but the people who design restrooms should make sure that the men have a place to sit if they need to. really this is very simple but the assumption that all men can pee standing up is erroneous and responsible for far more grief than probably you have imagined.
so now you know and I don't know why you would want to know but I've been told that you might so let's see how lively I can make it for you. these sorts of things happen everyday to pretty much everybody. not all at once of course and possibly even in different lifetimes to different people but what can happen to a body is not in the least something to be horrified at in its monstrosity but instead should be invited to pull up a chair for one of the most interesting things in the universe is that everyone owns at least one chair and it is uncannily shaped like a body sitting or reclining.
so much for the physical details.
no wait there are more. in some way that is all there is although one can certainly go on at length without seeming to mention any of them but the truth of the matter is there is no not talking about them if you are going to talk.
for instance I have yet to say that I am happy with the appendage which no longer has and still doesn't have a satisfactory name. there I said it.
it works well. I do wish it were bigger because it does not reach as far as I'd like but what it can do at this point it does well and I am afraid that trying to fix it into something more like what everyone else has might break it and that would be terrible. I think though that we should all talk about ours more since there are relatively so few to be talked about they should get their day in the sun. so here: cats have very cute ones and I don't mind at all that mine looks a little like theirs.
but so do you see the problem of not having a satisfactory name?