Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cliff/Tori: New old friends

It's been a bit hard for me to find time to get back on this blog, even though I felt like I was in the middle of a story when I last posted. A lot of the time I'll write about something that seems important at the time but something bigger comes along and shows me it isn't.

Reading about Alia's and Greg's recent trips have really hit home to me how normal everything in my world has become. I'm not being transformed again anytime soon, I'm not having to adjust and rearrange my life and it's been a long time since I felt out of place in a woman's body... I mean, compared to everything else, it feels boring to talk about my own life.

The weird thing is, I'm actually having a really nice time. I'll tell you for sure, this summer definitely kicks ass over last year. I like myself, I like my life, I have an almost sickeningly positive outlook on things. And I feel like, despite all the chaos in everyone else's life, there might be some value to me continuing to share my story, so I'll catch you up on what July was like for me.

A little ways into the month, I was contacted, via Facebook, by an old friend of Tori's. This is part of the reason why I'm still Cliff/Tori... it isn't that I still deny the fact that I'm Tori, it's just that I don't think I can take the Cliff out of my name until I can be sure the life is more mine than hers. It's getting there, but meeting this person set me back a fair bit.

I've met a lot of people over the last year. Sara and Raine, who are pretty much my best friends, are just the tip of it. They've taken me to more than a few parties where I've had to fake my way through conversations, and I've run into an ex or two... some who are attached, some who would want to hook up with me. I try to ignore these people and keep to my comfort zone. But this one shook me.

It was Tori's old friend Daniel -- as in her gay childhood friend, the one she had a crush on, and basically stopped hanging around with after he came out.

He found me on Facebook and, pretty casually asked me if I wanted to catch up. I was reluctant, because I'm still wary of new people, especially guys, even though he's gay. For some reason that fact didn't help me, it just raised me a whole bunch of new questions, because I don't think I've ever been friends close with anyone who was openly gay. There was a couple people in high school and college, but I stayed away from them because there was a whole clique thing.

I talked to Raine and Sara about it -- they were around in high school but I think what happened was Tori had to make a choice between Danny's crowd and theirs. At the time, in Tori's diary, they came off a bit bitchy about it, but by now they were encouraging, "Yeah, go meet him, it'll be good." I looked over his profile and I realized we might have a few things in common, so I might get along with this guy. So I did.

We met for coffee. He has this really warm presence about him. I don't want to seem ignorant, but I have this whole perception about how gay dudes act based on the few I've met. Danny wasn't especially effeminate -- I mean hell, by this point I'm way girlier than him -- he has a really good sense of humor. A real smart-ass. After an awkward beginning of "What have you been up to these past few years?" we just started riffing about life and work and ambitions. He's constantly searching for new jobs, changing career paths, meeting new people.

By the end of it, I was actually feeling really good about this. Maybe... a little too good. Like, I haven't gotten along with someone this well since the first time I met Buddy, and we know how that worked out... it really felt like a date. Maybe because he wasn't trying so hard to impress me, since he likes guys.

I was just so embarrassed, because I had a ton of questions but didn't want to, you know, pry.

Since then, the summer's been rather free. Raine has taken up in her parents' house, because they took her brother (AKA Mae's ex) to England for the summer, and she's been using it to basically throw a pool party every weekend. So us girls have been lounging around soaking up the sun as much as we can, with their guys often along. Occasionally we invite the others, like Cyndi and Leo, and Danny and... his boyfriend. Watching them together has kind of put me in this space of "Why shouldn't I be that happy with someone?"

And who knows. Maybe if that person comes along, I'll be able to recognize it. You only live once... getting a different body during that lifetime doesn't really change that.

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