Monday, October 24, 2016


I was in the 8th grade in Searcy Arkansas when I developed a crush on the bari-sax player. He was an older man in the 9th grade, socially awkward, and likely returned my feelings. We would have been"equally yoked" in the proper Church of Christ terminology, since we were both members of the same church. We sat together a few times on the band bus and I even remember holding hands once. It was an almost serious relationship. Until the day they were spinning records in the band room and he walked in and saw me dancing. That was a sin and the almost relationship ended.

Image result for searcy arkansas high school
From the downtown area
I dreamed about my bari-sax player last night. In my dream I was a guest in his three bedroom apartment and felt just as much on trial as I did every day that I attended that high school. I had gotten up from my single bed and stumbled to the kitchen to find the daughter-of-my-heart preparing breakfast. She was telling me I could wake him and my life, and it would be that world of small town Arkansas. This time I could graduate, go to college, get married to the bari-sax player, and keep my children. All in the right order. And all I had to do is settle.

Put that thought on the back burner.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about Hillary Clinton, the woman I hope and pray will be the first woman president. She got stuck in Arkansas for 17 years, about the same time I did. She moved from Illinois, 45 minutes out from Chicago. Might as well as been another planet. When I moved from neighboring Indiana, with the Republican Methodist grandparents and extended family, to Searcy Arkansas the culture shock nearly shut down my previous 10-year-old self. I spent years trying to get out.

Add that thought to the previous one...let's stir.

So I crawled out of bed this morning amidst the 25 cats and stumbled to the bathroom still in that dream of what if. And shook it off as if I had had a bucket of cold water dumped over my head. Yeah. I could have created a life in Arkansas. Inside the Church of Christ where dancing is a sin. And I would have lost out on the love of my life who is a trans gendered male and watched Rocky Horror, both versions, with me last night. I might have been graduated college but using that degree when there is a very patriarchal husband in the household would more likely have kept me home raising children and languishing in a small town that nearly broke my younger-self.

My partner and I have lived together for 13 years. I told everyone at work I wouldn't get married until I saw the election results because I didn't want to live through Mr Trump undoing my marriage if he wins. Then in act of defiance and love, I married my partner anyway. Yeah, Hillary escaped Arkansas, survived her husband and the White House politics. And now she's prepared to go back and stand by my right to be married to my partner as well as all the other hard things she will have to do. And it's because of Arkansas and where we come from that she has my vote.

Google is a remarkable thing. I just found that bari-sax player living three blocks from the high school in a 1200 square foot house with one bathroom. My house is equally modest. But I wonder if his life is a rich? I'm going to go have lunch today with my friend from England who spent 20 years in South Africa. I'm going to a job for a few hours to do play therapy with children, thereby following my calling and my passion. And when I come home tonight, it will be to the arms of guitar-playing, artist, poet partner that I married this spring. And 25 cats.