Just a Date

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Just a Date

It's a common thing that it seems that a lot of trans people are as often as not are pretty much home bodies, living in stealth, or even agoraphobic. We don't go out much; we very much don't do much as our real selves unless we're out.

And out without passing is hard.

Then there's all that shit about not needing to pass. Well that's true to some people to others it's a good way to get hurt. And words just being things that can't really hurt you's shit too. There's a point where things hurt, you can only fight for so long before you are hurt by things that you might have shrugged off before.

But like in so many things you have to kind of sometimes have to just keep on, just have to be who I really am.

I'm sorry but this makes me moody.
Going out, facing all of that and me.

I go through different emotions and levels of panic as I get ready to take a chance to face today as myself.

Janey.

At first it's a vague hope, that point that you get before you dress and before you crawl out of bed and get to the bathroom mirror.

Then you have to face him, that fake coating.

Ten thousand descriptions of the outer self-exist you know so I have kind of went with lead paint.

It's old, it’s on me in ugly layers covering up who I am and it’s toxic that can drive you around the twist just like lead poisoning.

Okay if your reflection doesn't get you and trigger you into going into hiding you get to start.

Shave him off, get as close as you can...I hate, hate, hate my face, my jaw and nose don't fit Janey, they don't fit Joey either. I do have a trick though... I wait until after my shower and I get the body hair away from me. Look if cis women want to not shave then fine...be as ultrafeminist as you want just don't expect me to not do it. All that body hair is a trigger of a puberty gone wrong.

Oh yeah my trick...hot, hot water and towels with a really good sensitive skin shave cream and a new razor. The hot towel will relax your hair follicles and then they extend a little more and then shave really well. Then second trick is s cold towel with ice, this makes things contract and you get a smoother finish and it soothes the shaving irritation.
I do this before the make-up.

I need make-up, with nowhere near the resources for laser treatment or electrolysis foundation is my friend.

I really, really wish my hormones could reverse the damned damage, hair and voice.
The voice I work on all the time, online lessons and everything I can find and at my best I'm a sort of contralto in a soft way.

The rest of it is a nice lipstick, then my eyes.  The eyes are key, they catch attention and they can distract from other bits of you that can be tells and bring trouble. I go with mascara and getting good thick lashes, one of the few things that being trans has...men/assigned males have usually better lashes.

I use a nice eye shadow and with my mixed race skin I use a mixture of copper and a faun, then the eyeliner. I can't do the fancy things but I do use it.

And I have these reddish round framed glasses, I don't need them and they're normal glass but they are another focal point for my face. I want when people to see me they don't see the trans person first.

I get dressed with my one serious extravagance and that is just some nice underwear.  Not like expensive and slinky just nice...I have gone without nice things for so long. I wear a thin strappy top with a low enough cut to show things off and then my hoodie over that and it's a zip front deal and I live in it like this. Seriously it has the hood so there’s that and I can zip it up until it's just where I can show enough top and breasts to be convincing. Then there's the whole fact that it’s baggy enough in the front that it hides my non-perfect tummy and then there’s pockets to hide my hands.

I  wear a nice pair of jeans and the high waisted are good for me, I have control over my bits better and the ones I  have are comfy being a decent bootcut and I wear sneakers with it. Jeans go with hoodies and I just like to be me, but still sort of be pretty and yet blend.

And that leads to getting out of the house.

Which often leads to pacing and looking outside to check the weather and some rapid breathing and an achy stomach before I have to face myself down and leave the house. I live in a crappy trailer mini home because one it's all I can afford after the initial coming out steamrolled my life. But there's a bonus that it's in a small part of the neighborhood with some trees and alders so I don’t have neighbors that are too close, like about two hundred feet down the street.

Adding some posts and a lattice fence along parts of my yard I can sort of have privacy. I need privacy to live really at this point.

My old life did a number on my new one, never survived any long term relationships because I wasn't me. The last girlfriend I had was the one that I came clean with and she tried, she promised she'd try but really people make some promises they won't keep. Gwen said it was okay but it wasn't, the more Janey became real the more she thought I was being narcissistic the more I was recovering the less about her our relationship was. I thought we were equals in it, I thought equal was good but apparently me bring me was too much of me and not enough about her.

I just wanted to un-Joey when I would get home and she kept wanting Joey for things, for going out, for seeing friends...her friends. The few I had, well they fled after I came out. And she didn't want me to be me... Not really. It was like I could be Janey at home.
Unless we had people over, or went somewhere and it got to the point where me being Janey was... "Do you have to do that all the time?" That of course sent me into depression, hammered my dysphoria home even more than I was already living in. Then that led to my losing my job and two months on unemployment and her bashing me every day because of being trans...led to pills and booze then a car accident and losing the car...well was the last straw.

Gwen took everything she wanted while I was in the hospital. Her stuff, some of my stuff and left.

I think some of my Janey things she stole hurt worse than the TV and my other stuff. She flushed my hormones too.

Life after that for a while was living really hard until I got my current job. A job at home as a Web writer. You hire me and give me the specs on what you want, what you're selling and how much you want for words and I will write it out. It does pay okay, not great but okay.

And that's usually why I go out.

Farmer's markets, yard sale Saturdays and the Sunday Flea markets are some of my favorite things. You can go and sort of blend with the crowd and there's usually enough folks there that stand out a lot more than I do.

But today, today's different.
Today's the day I try and step off that cliff again.
Dating.

I met Jamie online, she was a client actually wanting a website story for her about her auto body shop and we ended up talking a lot. Enough that I came out to her and she told me she was a lesbian.

My reaction was kind of. "........ Oh."

There’s a whole world of shit that can come out from the lesbian community that has a rage on for trans women and especially trans women who like women.

I was not expecting her to say. "Cool some of my best friends are trans."

"Really?”

"Yes really, you want to go out sometime?"

"You're asking me out...me?"

"Yeah, I'm asking you out. What haven't you ever been asked out before?"

"No, never..." Just saying that kind of hurts.

"Janey?"

(Sniffle.) "Yes."

"Will you please go out with me?"

"I...I...okay."

So now I'm here getting into my little crap sedan and stomach hurting I'm driving to my date.

There’s a million things going through my brain at a million miles per hour. All these things that can go wrong and could go wrong, will go wrong...by the time I  get there my stupid traitor brain is trying to convince me that it's will go wrong, that it’s my life and my life just always goes wrong.

I'm sitting in my car where we agreed to meet and I'm really trying to not cry, and I'm really trying not to hyperventilate and it’s really hard.

Life can be scary and hard.
Life can be really cruel too.

And there's been so much that has gone wrong before.

There’s a tapping on my window and I roll it down staring at Jamie.

Tall with her hair cut in that pixie cut that's pretty popular with the lesbian girls, black with like some turquoise color to its tips and she has a bandanna headband on and she is wearing a white sundress with flowers...and thigh high stockings and tall heavy duty biker boots.

(Sniffle ) "Hi..."

She smiles and says. "Hi."

She doesn't ask if I'm okay, she just looks me in the eyes with this sort of ‘I’m here, I got you expression.'  she knows I'm not alright.

"You ready?" She asks me.

Just her being here has sort of shocked me into not freaking out.

I nod but look at her. "Jamie right?"

She laughs and it’s a nice laugh. It's a purr like thing, this sort of rolling chuckle.
She nods and asks me. "Janey right? I should have asked before coming up to rescue strange women in strange cars."

I look at her, but there's no sarcasm there at least not the biting kind.

There’s a tentative smile between us.

She's so pretty and I'm just...and she's here with me?

I'm still trying to process that whole thing.

I hate my brain, I hate feeling like this and that me feeling like this is going to torpedo my date.

Jamie waits for me and I have a heck of a nerved up time getting my purse together and myself but when I do get to get out of my car she does the door thing. I have never. .... I'm blushing suddenly and it’s so...I mean...so old fashioned it's new in her case bring a woman and all. Or maybe lesbians have always done this in their part of gay culture.
I have never really known how to act around girls.

Which I guess includes being one while on my first date as one.

She helps me up and takes my purse as I lock up my car and she passes it back as we head into the city park and the park while public is still one of those places that's not like mall public and it’s pretty and there's nice flowers and some streams or water features and there quite a few of my favorite trees the willow.

We're walking and she's looking around. "I've lived in town for six years and I never come here. I mean this is my first time here."

Me... "I didn’t either until I was getting to the point of having to come outside and deal with people again and my bank is along here downtown and I rather be downtown shopping or over near the east side of the city to do anything." I make a face. "Big public places with crowds like malls is not my thing."

She nods. "I get that, I'm not a fan either bug for sort of different reasons."

I look at her.

Jamie says. "Most small time stores and Indie shops are a lot more alternative supportive if not like run. I'm not a fan of a corporate subculture that tends to lend it's support to people that don't want me and mine to exist or have the same rights."

I look at her and she blushes. "Sorry, sorry...I get going on my soapbox and it's just something I do...and it's like something I do a lot."

"I don’t mind, I get that. My reasons are pretty much more with me and having borderline social affective disorder and trying to deal with it."

Jamie smiles. "Politics aside I'd really rather shop local given I'm a local merchant myself."
I smile at that. "That's another big reason for me, the little mom and pop shops really remember people that shop in their stores and I get a log better service and honestly feel safer."

Jamie nods at me. "Safer's good actually."

We take a semi detour and walk over some parts of the trails in the park that have those cute little bridges. We even stop to look at things nothing really in particular either just nice things that were in the park and I actually find myself smiling a little and even letting out a bit of a sigh.

Jamie looks at me. “Bored?”

Me. “Oh no just really enjoying myself.”

She smiles. “Good so am I.”

I nod. “I never was able to do this before, I mean not with someone.”

“Really?”

“Well guys don’t do this sort of thing and get considered okay or like straight?”

“Do you like men?”

“Not really they tend to kind of be assholes and I’m not really even attracted to them sexually even with the hormones.”

She nods. “So you never got to do this after you started to transition.”

“I’m kind of a homebody and my ex she didn’t want to go anywhere with me instead she really just wanted me to get over this whole trans thing and have it be some weird phase and go back to being Joey.”

I look at Jamie. “Sorry I really didn’t want to go into the whole ex-territory thing.”

She nods and she makes a face. “Yeah I’m with you on that I have enough ex’s that it could be a laundry truck and not just a soap box.”

I laugh some and we’re both smiling and she’s looking at me and I blush.

Jamie smiles at me. “You have a nice laugh Janey; you have a nice smile too.”

I blush more.

“You…you make it easy, you’re fun to be with.”

She smiles. “Thank you.”

I try a smile back and it’s not so hard to do as it usually is.

That feels nice actually.

She offers her hand and I look at it and she reaches over and she takes it and we’re now walking through the rest of the part holding hands and I feel really self-conscious because I don’t really pass…I don’t I try and do everything I can just to be me but it’s such a huge work in progress…and I’m so not the kind of woman that she would usually be seen with.

Jamie’s off beat and at the same time she’s beautiful and she’s wonderful and I so don’t rate.

And she’s holding my hand and we’re walking together and when we’re getting closer to the edge of the park she’s still doing it and there are people looking.

And she doesn’t seem to care.

I look at her as she’s sort of leading the way. “How do you do that?”

She looks back at me. “Do what?”

“Act like people staring doesn’t matter?”

“They don’t? Let them stare because they will anyways, as long as that’s it and they leave us alone it’s just a thing.”

“What if they don’t leave us alone?”

“We’ll be okay.”

“But…”

Jamie stops and she steps backwards and leans to look behind me. “You actually have a really nice butt.”

I blush hard.

Jamie looks at me. “I’m used to playing defense Janey we’ll be fine.”

I look at her and she has that same look of. ‘I got you, you’ll be okay.’ on her face and y’know what it makes me feel safe.

I really emotionally haven’t been in a safe place for god only knows how long really.

It is such a good feeling.

“Thanks Jamie.”

“For what?”

“For making me feel safe…and worth it.”

She looks at me with this smile and her eyes are actually sort of lit up now and she says. “I’ve been I a lot of relationships and had lots of dates and Janey you’re the first woman who’s ever actually said that to me.”

She goes from holding my hand to lacing our fingers together. “Thank you.”

I just nod and try to smile because my breath’s sort of caught in my throat and she walks with me to this little place and it’s a nice little café and we head inside and she says her name and the hostess actually takes us to our table.

She made reservations.

I’ve eaten in a few places like this and I’ve made reservations a fair amount of time as Joey but this is a first for me and it’s a really nice place, nice tile floors not too fancy but good and sturdy tiles that sort of resemble a clay tiled patio and there’s lots of really nice wood here and not paneling but a nice light wood here that’s maybe spruce but it’s real wood and there’s nice fixtures and it’s just really pleasant to be here.

The hostess saying ladies as she seats the pair of us and her not batting an eye really is nice too.

“I would have maybe dressed better if I knew we were going to be going to a fancy place like this.”

She smiles. “This isn’t really fancy not to me and it’s my cousin’s place and there’s just an average crowd here really.”

I look around and she’s right. There’s a lot of the downtown crowd and it’s workers for a lot of the places but not all of those workers are all like downtown business types either it’s a smart idea not being too upper crust about the place not when you can just go up the hill to the highway and the main drag in town and be face to face with all of the malls and fast food joints.

A waiter comes over and he has a menu sheet and it’s the daily specials and the weekly specials and there’s a nice little section that says ‘In Season’ and that’s just nice to see and I look at her and she’s looking at me.

“I just was paid for a really decent job Janey order whatever you want.”

“I’m kind of scared, I don’t eat in front of people that much.”

Jamie nods. “I have intense pizza shame issues.”

“Pizza shame issues?”

“I can and will kill a twelve inch pizza on my own.”

I look at her. “You’d never tell”

She smiles. “Thank you but I run to kill off the extra weight and do other stuff.”

I nod. “I can tell….I’m not so good at going to gyms or doing anything like that.”

She looks at me. “You know that doesn’t matter to me right? I like you because I like you Janey, not because you look a certain way or don’t look a certain way.”

I blush. “Thank you you’re good for my self-esteem.”

Jamie smiles back. “Good, you’re pretty awesome Janey and you’re prettier and more awesome than you think really.”

I blush harder.

She looks at me. “Seriously, I’m having more of a good time with you than I’ve had in a long time.”

“Really?”

She nods. “Really and truly.”

She smiles and she’s checking off things on her sheet and that’s good it’s like we’re writing out our own orders so that’s kind of nice. “Janey you want to know a big secret in the whole same sex or same gender relationships? It’s something that isn’t really common knowledge until you’re out in the scene.”

“Uhm…okay sure?”

She looks at me. “There’s still a lot of jerks in these communities too.”

I laugh a little. “Okay that’s fair.”

We order and I’m actually taking my lead from her and I don’t really want a whole lot of stuff that I’m going to end up wearing too much so I avoid some things like the chicken cacciatore and I go with the in season local pork chop that comes with a side of risotto with mushrooms and a fritter of grated potato and celery root and parmesan cheese.

She gets the same thing and we order a tray of oysters and a salad that they call greens of the northwest to share.

I liked the oysters even if it has been forever since I’ve eaten them and they’re raw on the half shell and over ice and they have this seasoning of melted butter and lemon juice and some zest with a little teensy touch or drops of vinegar that tastes maybe Asian?

I don’t know but it was pretty bright tasting.

And the salad was good too I’ve never had half of the greens in it and that’s fine but the best part was the dressing. It was made with gin but they reduced it and just used that whole woods taste and there was some mustard in it and a little horseradish too I think and some cider vinegar to cut through it and just the greens were dressed in that and they left the berries and nuts and the few little edible sweet things alone and mixed in later as this whole counterpoint.

And the pork chop was heaven as was the risotto and that fritter was so perfect too with it being starchy and crisp in two different flavors and then the parm which was melted and made it even crisper and it gave crunch to the whole thing.

I actually eat really slowly too.

I look at Jamie. “Thank you Jamie, it’s been a long, long time since I was out to anything like this and the first time as me.”

She finishes her mouthful.

“Well honestly I wanted to make a good impression.”

“You did? Oh and you are.”

“Good, I don’t click right away Janey with everyone and I really love talking to you and I wanted to go out with you.”

“I’ve had the best time so far and I’ve really loved talking with you too Jamie it’s just I never even thought that us talking and things would have led to this.”

She smiles and she blushes a little. “So more than just a date?”

I look at her and she looks at me and I can see she had maybe this sort of hopeful and optimistic look in her eyes and I smile at her.

“Definitely more than just a date.”

And it is.

I’m looking forward to whatever’s next and that could be dessert or like anything else.

And I haven’t felt like that in a long, long time.



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