Sunday, July 19, 2020

Val: Long stories short

Sorry if these posts have become so few and far between but when the world changes so fast it becomes a mite bit hard to figure out when to stop and talk about it. Over the last two months, talking about my own sorry life has been real low on my list of priorities, but I feel a little calm and comfortable now, and am just a bit in need of distraction, even if we as a city and country ain't nearly out of the woods yet.

After the wedding, Ariel and I both kind of recognized that what had happened between us was a one-off - two women in need grabbing a little piece of excitement from the best possible source. We had a single conversation loaded with nervous laughter where we both agreed to admit we had expected it a little based on all the buildup we had had, but that there wasn't more to it than that.

The idea was, we were going to go back to our normal lives. Ariel would give herself some time to move on from her relationship with Charli, and I would go back to pining over irritating men.

Then COVID happened, and suddenly we were all we had for company.

We both recognized early on the potential for danger here. We were two of each other's closest friends in the world, confidantes and emotional support at a time when everyone needed someone to fill that role. Complicating it could be a disaster.

True, I said, but in my experience, denying yourself something you want is a complication. It's simpler to give in and deal with the fallout later.

She smiled and said that's why I like you, you say stuff like that just when I need to hear it.

I added, it's more fun, too.

So began our sexual odyssey. We gave it a few weeks before confirming to Maddie what we were up to. She took it strangely, like she was disappointed in me, but understood it was my business. Eventually she adjusted, but she always maintained a weirdly conflicted attitude about it. Maybe she didn't like us becoming a faction. Maybe she was insecure about her formerly-supposedly-straight friend falling in with a girl, and her sister's ex at that. Part of me hoped it was because she wished she were in Ariel's place, but I pushed that aside and tried to appreciate the girl I had.

At times I had doubts myself. I had been pursuing men for so long it hadn't occurred to me to be with a woman in this way. I think because I felt such guilt over myself for my past relationships with women that being with men exclusively felt like my... punishment? Realizing I am bisexual as a woman was actually a hard step to take because I had to try to figure out whether I was just faking it to feel like Tyler again, or if I, Valerie, like this girl. And the answer is I do, because there is a lot to like.

I mean, she's beautiful, with tan skin and great hair and a really great fashion sense. And an incredible figure. She's funny, she's smart, she's informed. A joy to be around. She makes me feel good and - and I don't say this lightly - I feel like I can be myself around her.

After a few weeks of casual sex, we began to morph into an actual couple with the closest things you could think of to "dates" in lockdown. Movie nights, special dinners. She would light candles and read me poetry she loved (that would mostly go over my head). I would tell her long stories with no real point and make endless breakfasts. And at the same time we had all the perks of being girlfriends - long talks, fashion advice, gossip.

Sometime in May, it became a little tricky for me because I recognized I was on the verge of becoming vulnerable. I did some math and realized it had been years since I had really been in a relationship of equals. That would be Meg. At times my relationship with Kitty felt that way but it always had that element of just playing house, occupying time until we moved on to other things. This was the first time in a very, very long time I was with someone, fully and unambiguously.

It scared me. I became a little sensitive to relationship things. Wanted some space. Maybe even snapped at her once or twice.

And then something crazy happened.

We talked it out.

Without revealing that I used to be a man called Tyler who was victim of a magic Inn, I explained my past as best I could and how badly behaved I was in some past relationships, and how I was seeing similar behavior in myself again and I'd understand if she wanted to cut her losses. She told me she wanted to work with me through it, if that was what I wanted, and I broke down crying admitting, I do, I do. We kissed and made up.

I was falling in love.

So in June, when the world erupted in chaos and violence and protests about racial inequality, my Black girlfriend was insistent that I make fighting for what was right part of our relationship. And admittedly, I was a bit stuck in some of my old backward ways thinking this was all a lot, but she brought me up to speed and told me that this was her life, where she came from and what she is, and her need for me to see all of it and make her struggle part of mine.

It was one of those "Wow, I really am not Tyler anymore" things. Not that he was a racist, he just... didn't get things. The person I once was would probably never have put himself in danger even once, but it took me very little convincing.

I do feel guilty about how it all had to come about - relying on the person I am dating to explain the fine details of "systemic racism" to me, but I figure growth is a good thing by any means. And she seemed happy to help me because she wants me to be good.

It has been an overall turbulent few months, which I have summed up as quickly as I can because I don't have as much "alone time" to write in a blog anymore, but this is all to say in this crazy fucking world... I have found love. I am in love, I am loved, in ways I never expected. And yeah it's a little surprising that it's with a woman (which maybe that's still surprising that that's surprising but after everything I really saw myself with a man!) but if you know this woman you would not be surprised at all.

I don't know if this is the end for me at this blog. I know I have had a long-ass journey to get to a place where I feel this good all the time. There is still more to do to make me the Val I want to be. But if you don't hear from me again know that I left off on a good note.

Love and peace

Valerie

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