So things at home have become a bit of a ceasefire. Partly due to the real Sharon's intervention, partly due to the fact that I haven't really been hanging out there much lately. Work's been pretty slow so I've had a lot more time to hang out around town and enjoy Burlington. That was the whole purpose of becoming a "Traveller", to go new places and to meet new people. So even though it's been extremely cold the last week or so I've seen a lot of fun stuff.
Part of this has been renewing the friendship between myself and Annabelle. Annabelle is one of Alexis' best friends in real life, but the past few months she's been a bit neglected while I tried to keep Malinda in line. Nonetheless she understood, and said she could sense some sort of tension between us and it was important to work on our marriage.
I can see why she and and Alex are friends. Sharon and Alexis may be in love but they are total opposites. They do a lot of date stuff together but have pretty different interests. I dont wanna say Alex has "manly" tastes but theyre definitely not stereotypically femme. So its good for her to have friends outside of her marriage where she can talk hockey, politics, and beer appreciation, two of which I happen to like and Annabelle is an expert on.
We were hanging out on Friday because I was getting a haircut and I wanted her opinion. Not just because she's more familiar with the city but because I want hair like hers. Long hair is one of the more irritating things about being a girl to me. You cant just walk out of the house like you can as a guy, you either have to brush, wash, or put it up otherwise you look like a crazy cat lady. So after Sharon told me that Alex normally wore hers very short, I saw no reason not to get it cut.
The Salon we went to was gay friendly. Thats something ive noticed about this life, is that the gay community has certain places that they like to patronize because of a friendly atmosphere. I think that stems from the past, when public prejudice was more common and there was real danger with being gay. So while this wanst a "gays only" salon, it did have copies of The Advocate on the coffee table.
Annabelle wanted me to get a mohawk,because my hair was long enough to spike pretty high and then I reminded her that I worked in an office. The stylist then suggested a fauxhawk, to which I told him I didnt wanna look like a Jersey Shore person. We finally decided on a short yet still feminine cut. I'm sitting here typing with a nice short 2 inches of hair that's easy to manage. Annabelle called it perfectly butch, saying so in a proud way rather than derisive.
We left to get a cup of coffee and as we were walking she asked what time we should meet tomorrow night. Not having heard of previous plans I asked what she was talking about.
"The reunion...I assume that's why you got your haircut?"
I gave her a look like I didnt know what she was talking about.
"The team reunion...at the Ice arena. The one we do annually. The one we send out emails about."
I dont check Alex's emails regularly. Seems like the real Alex hasnt been either lately. Apparently Alex was a hockey player in college and they had won a league title or something. While it wasnt exactly big time on the national stage it was a pretty big deal in terms of women's hockey in Vermont. And every year the team comes back for a reunion and gets a round of applause at the game. Some of the players couldnt make it, having moved away or gotten on with their lives but I didn't really have an excuse, living in town still. So I went.
I got lost on UVM's campus, which is understandable because it was the first time I'd ever actually been there, but I found the ice arena. There wasnt much of a crowd, late Saturday night in a college town and hockey wasnt a high priority, still there were some die hards and a few parents.
I found Alex's former teammates easily, they were all wearing old jerseys. I had found Alex's old #12 with "Barco" on the back in the close in a dry cleaning bag. Kinda dorky that she still kept it but fond memories I guess.
Once I was spotted I was greeted with the usual squeals and hugs that occur when women see each other for the first time in a long time. After a few pleasantries and being introduced to various husbands and children I found Annabelle. She looked around "Where's Sharon? She usually comes to these things for you"
"She had to work" I lied quickly and badly
"She's an artist" Annabelle said confused
"Inspiration struck" I said with a shrug.
Hockey was never my favorite sport and I'm not a good enough ice skater to play it, but I'll watch the Blackhawks when theyre on so I wasnt completely lost watching. At the first intermission we all went to center ice and had a picture taken and all our names we're called and there was a lot of waving and smiling before heading back to our seats. All in all pretty easy and a little fun to get credit for winning something.
After the game Annabelle and I were walking to our cars and she asked me if things were ok between me and "Sharon"
"Yeah, theyre fine, why do you ask?"
"Its just that I hardly see her anymore, and you dont talk about her like you used to. Since college you'd always give me the details of your relationship and now its like talking to someone who isn't even married"
Insightful girl "Well, we have hit a bit of a rough patch, but we are working through it"
"I hope so" she said "Sometimes you seem a bit down about it, I hope you dont get hurt"
She walked to her car but not before giving me a hug that was a little tighter and a little longer than usual.
Hmm.... Annabelle, eh?
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