Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Posted: 06/06/2012 by erichblayde in A Different Outlook, Coming Out, Friends, Human Experience, It Gets Better
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Hello again dear readers. It seems it is time again for another edition of…..the popping closet doors.

This time though, it was me being dragged inch by terrifying inch out those louvered doors.

Those who know me know I have never been a….fair-weather type. I have always hung with a rougher crowd. Anarchists, activists, bikers and rogues are often found around me, or I around them. While most of my comrades now are fully aware and accepting of who I am, gender transition, my proclivities for womens clothing, past dalliances across every sexual orientation known to man (and a few of my own invention) not all of my former associates were the open minded type. As a result there occasionally appears a person(especially being back home) with whom I have not spoken or seen in a long time. Such was the case today.

Some of these people recognize me instantly and of course inquire about what the devil I have done to myself in the years that intervened our last meeting (the changes from then to now are quite obvious) In these encounters I am merely tasked with explaining the basics of transition and hoping the person inquiring doesn’t suffer a coronary (too much paperwork in those) because really I don’t care what they think about it, they asked the question. In other cases I recognize the person while they haven’t the foggiest clue who I used to be (always a cheer up). In those situations I must simply decide whether to identify myself or not. And as 99% of the folks I used to know that I want in my life are on speed dial already (all three of them) I often choose to simply cruise on by. And in some, like today’s experience we both recognize each other but the other person can’t place me and I…well we all know what comes next for this particular tranny….

It started out as an unremarkable journey to collect my pay packet, I have done it dozens of times before without incident so I wasn’t particularly expecting the shock of recognition that hit me as I was walking up to the front door of the office and idly observed the lone male exiting a vehicle beside me.

I originally hoped it was nothing more than an “I worked with him on such and such and such a site” moment but instinct told me I had never seen this man in a company uniform (instinct was also screaming at me to get the hell out of dodge) He was not overly tall, dressed in casual sweats, and at first glance looked for all the world like any other middle aged male.

I saw the tattoos as we climbed the stairs (like most trans folk I have learned to find the reflective surfaces in a room like a pool shark knows the banks). Heavy, intricate tattoos crept out of the neck and sleeves of his sweatshirt revealing what was obviously the outer edges of a full body suit. As I entered the small outer office together I held the door so he could enter (and I could get a good look at him). His face was scarred in places and looked, overall somewhat soft (if you didn’t look twice he could almost pass as a trans guy….for Christ sake don’t tell him I ever even thought that) But the eyes told a far different story. They were hard, knowing and as they passed over my face, a flash of recognition flew through them.

The only thought in my head at that moment was “oh shit kibbles”. This was without doubt, a biker and(again without doubt) he knew me. There remained only one problem to surmount as the door closed behind me and I was stuck in a small room with a hard ass who obviously knew me….

I hadn’t the faintest clue where I knew him from or when I had last seen him.

Ah, lovely job my dear ABI. Perfect timing.

As he ruffled through the box of cheques his voice grated back at me. “I know you from somewhere” (aw son of a Christmas cracker he’s the curious type) I decided that honesty was the best policy with this type of fellow. “Yep I recognize you from somewhere too” He looked hard at me as he extracted his cheque and stepped aside to let me at the box (this just keeps getting better my cheque is still in my original fucking name. Je-sus god I’m a dead man) “Where do I know you from?” I stopped and looked back at him “You know, I really haven’t the foggiest. I know you but I can’t place where”. He regarded me a moment and then turned to the door “Aw great now this is going bug me all damn day” Something in his manner triggered a flash in my head. Almost without thinking I blurted out “You ride a bike”. His bemused expression reminded me that I had stated the flipping obvious and then snapped to recognition suddenly as my own head screamed a warning

I had just stumbled across one of the old time riders I used to run with back when I was being a dyke on a bike, but I would be damned if I could remember his name or many salient details about the man

“I know you!” he stated triumphantly (dear lord help) “You hung with ********** back in the day” (Of course! we had been friends in a group for bikers who had chosen to sober up but still preferred the biker lifestyle) I swallowed and nodded (how the heck do I get out of what comes next?) He eyed me and grinned softly(right…..I had forgotten he was the ultra weird one in the group who was all at once the toughest and softest member of the gang…fucking walking contradictions) He looked me right in the eyes “So, it’s been a while” I gabbled slightly before stuttering “Near 8 maybe 10 years” (fuck me i forgot to shave today) He nodded and looked me up and down again curiously, plainly seeing the difference “So what have you been up to?”(crap….there it is) I winced and decided on the straightest shaft I had “Not much. 8 years clean, living life….discovering more about the real me” (dear Christ. Did I really just out myself to a former gang member and full time biker?!) He nodded and abruptly switched topic “How long you been with the company?” I blinked before replying (ok wow left turn…is this good or bad? And who the HELL is this dude???) “Um, about a year?” He nodded and eyed me “So you’ll know my wife **** then.” I felt my heart freeze as things snapped into place “Um, pardon?” (oh gawd-fucking-dammit no! Not that ***** not ***** my ex wifes former best friend **** &&:&/$;@(@)@! NOT GOOD) He cleared his throat “My wife **** she works for this outfit too” (my former supervisor, dammit yes now i knew that was who she was….ABI i hate you.) I nodded and grinned “Hey yeah! That’s right! I thought that might be her.” he grinned “yeah that’s right.” he held open the door a moment and then turned back his eyes serious “what’s you name man” (ok hold the fruit float….he knows damn well who I am. Why is he….wait a minute. He can’t possibly be….) I am sure my face registered shock and fright as I stuck my hand out “Erik” He shook my hand warmly and looked me flat in the eye “nice to meet you Erik” (wait….not nice to see you again….nice to meet you. What the fuck……he cannot POSSIBLY be saying he accepts….) The biker gave me a warm grin as he let go of my hand and pushed out the door. “You should come back and see the group sometime”

I was left staring after him in stunned disbelief as he headed back down the stairs.

Well well, look at all the pretty yellow bricks Toto. Somehow I think we’re not in Kansas anymore


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