365 Prompt: October 22 2017

Dinner:

We had just sat down and were all only about halfway through our first bite when my brother broke the silence.

“I think I might be transgender.”

I glanced over at my father to see his reaction.

His fork was in mid-air and as I watched, the piece of broccoli on it dropped back onto his plate.

He didn’t notice.

His face turned a pale shade of white before slowly turning red. I could see the vein pulsing in the side of his head.

Hmm, I thought, this was more interesting than any drama I’ve watched lately on YouTube.

In fact, it was already interesting. I couldn’t remember a single word being spoken at the table since our mother had died. We didn’t want to rock the boat so we kept our mouths shut.

Until now.

“What do you mean, ‘I think?'” my father finally replied.

I looked at my brother.

He swallowed hard. He was clearly very nervous and rightly so. My father was an ogre at the best of times, but this… I’m fairly sure this had just pushed him over the edge.

“I… know… I mean. I know I’m transgender. I’ve known for awhile.”

The silence as he finished speaking was deafening. I thought of clearing my throat, but knew it would probably result in my death so I kept quiet. I felt like I watching a train wreck happening right in front of my eyes.

My father licked his lips. He was trying hard to control his anger, but I knew it was only moments away from being released. This was not going to end well.

“And what do you want me to do about it?” he began and followed up with, “And why did you choose now of all times to bring it up?”

My brother didn’t reply. I don’t think he knew what to say.

I don’t know what made me do it, but I suddenly found myself saying, “I think I might be gay.”

I saw my brother start in his chair and give me a look as if to say, “Jared, WTF?!”

I couldn’t explain why I would say that, only that I knew my brother was in trouble and I knew despite our fights at times, I would always help him out.

Our father stood up. He clenched his fists down at his sides and walked out of the dining room.

Both my brother and I let out a collective sigh of relief. But it was short lived.

He marched back in, sat down, went to say something, paused and then said, “Actually, I’m not your real father.”

He’d topped us both.

 

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365 Prompt: October 21 2017

A blind date:

I didn’t know it was a blind date. I hadn’t expected that. I thought I was just going for lunch to a friend’s place. I should have known. People were always trying to set me up with someone.

“He’s a really nice guy!” one friend had told me earlier this year about a guy she’d wanted me to meet.

If nice included being into drugs and sleeping with everything that was breathing (or possibly not) in the city, than I wasn’t sure I wanted nice.

This time though I had assumed it was all old people going to the lunch. That’s what I’d been told anyway.

When I walked in, I knew straight away. It was old people, except for the young man standing awkwardly by the kitchen bench looking like he needed rescuing. I felt sorry for him, but I didn’t, ‘rescue,’ men anymore. They needed to do that for themselves. So I made a point of ignoring him.

He looked about 22 anyway which at my age was jailbait as far as I was concerned.

I made my way over to the drinks and was immediately set upon by my friend.

“Oh, you made it!” she said.

I smiled weakly. I knew what she was building up to.

“Say,” she began, but I cut her off.

“Look, I appreciate that you think I need someone, but A. I can find my own someone and B. I want and need someone a little more mature than Mr. Teenager over there.”

She stood looking at me for a second and then laughed.

I was glad she wasn’t offended, but I didn’t understand why it was funny.

“No, silly,” she said, whacking my arm. “That’s my daughter’s boyfriend!”

I suddenly felt very stupid.

Why was I so defensive about everything? Why did I assume that everyone wanted me to meet someone?

But then she said, “There is, however, a guy I’d like you to meet…”

Always trust your gut instinct, I thought to myself. It was never wrong.

365 Prompt: October 20 2017

A wish:

I still believed in magic, despite everything. Or maybe because of everything…

I still believed that everything would work out in the end, but I was growing weary of waiting.

How much longer did I have to wait?

Where was he? And why was he so late?

And more importantly, if he wasn’t the trouble, then who was he? Was he the solution?

I kept praying to the gods, kept making promises I knew they were laughing at in the heavens and yet, I couldn’t tear myself away from the temple.

I wondered what I would ask for if I was granted a wish. A single wish.

Truth be told I would probably squander it. I would probably try to recreate the past and then when it didn’t work out because it wasn’t my fate I would curse and yell at the gods.

They knew this.

Which was why they had kept me waiting for four long years.

I knew as well as they did that he was here, but as much as I hated to admit it, I knew he wouldn’t appear before time.

I considered the possibility that he was as impatient as me and saying, “Let me talk to her! Let me make things right!”

But the gods weren’t listening.

Should I take destiny into my own hands? Probably not. Dealing out karma and trying to speed up the process hadn’t worked in the past so I figured I needed a new approach.

I just wasn’t sure what it was right now.

#MeToo

This is one of the most well-written and easy to understand posts I’ve found for awhile. Everything she says is true. I know because I’ve been part of the #MeToo campaign and then wondered afterwards, “So what?”

The other night after reading a week or so of Harvey Weinstein-inspired news and articles, I realised that I was re-living all the same anger I felt last year. I finally succumbed to it and posted something on Instagram about it, naming and shaming my ex. I’ve done that before. Big deal.

But this time, it said where he worked.

Nothing changed.

And so I removed it.

Because despite the few emails, comments, messages and letters I’ve received from people, still others have said, “Get over it,” or, “Yes, sometimes that happens.” (I’M SORRY, BUT IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN!)

Some of these people are women.

Nothing changed.

He’s still working for the school that didn’t fire him, despite knowing what he’s done to me (and hearing other people’s stories too). That’s their way to deal with it. Don’t disrupt the harmony. Sometimes chaos is needed to bring about change. But unfortunately, reputation, especially for companies is paramount.

I wasn’t asked to leave. I chose to.

But still, nothing has changed.

I’m skeptical too.

I’m glad that it’s become something women do talk about though. I’m glad there are so many men who are jumping on board and saying that this is not normal male behaviour and that not mean all men are like that. I’m glad that people have been inspired to tell their stories and get it off their chest.

But there needs to be some fundamental ACTION in saying this will not be tolerated by anyone in ANY industry. Without that, it’s all just words.

 

365 Prompt: October 18 2017

I apologise! ごめんごめん!This didn’t post yesterday!!!

Tunnel:

I used to love tunnels, they were dark and exciting and anything could happen in them. I used to hate coming out the other side.

Now I knew better.

I wasn’t a fan anymore because I knew that horrible and disturbing things could lay inside and yes, bad things often happened while you were in the dark. I welcomed the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’d changed.

And grown wiser and more cautious because of my experiences.