To begin the story at the beginning, read "Part 1: Post 1: Beginning Again," published in January, 2013. To consult a description of the campus, read "Part 1: Post 14: The Greening of Campus," published in March, 2013.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Year 3: Part 2: Post 9: Visions

Eddie and Ebony have just discovered each other.

Both of them are interested in identity issues and both of them identify as trans-something—Eddie  is transgendered and Ebony, as I’ve explained, is transabled, meaning that she thinks of herself as sighted even though her eyes don’t really work. I knew they had those things in common, but they did not know about each other. Eddie is very private about his status, so I couldn’t share it with Ebony, and it didn’t occur to me that Eddie didn’t know about her.

Now they’ve discovered each other and I found them having lunch together today, talking excitedly. I joined them and, a moment later, so did Kit.

When I sat down, Eddie was busy explaining why he chose his name—he wasn’t named that by his parents, of course, since they thought he was a girl at the time. It turns out that “Eddie” isn’t short for Edward or Edmund or anything like that. His first name actually is just “Ed.” He explained that it’s a prefix that means “happy,” Edward means happy protector, for example, and he’s happy now, so that’s what he named himself.

I hadn’t known any of that, so I was glad to hear it, but if Eddie said what his name used to be it was before I sat down—and apparently, when it comes to trans people, you don’t ask. I’m honestly not sure why not, since there are a lot of people on campus who seemed to have named themselves (all the Ravens, Egg, Leaf…) and it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them about it. But I’m not trans, so I suppose there are things I don’t really get.

“I can’t picture you unhappy,” Kit told him, fondly. “You’re always smiling.” And he beamed at her.

“I hope I find some way to transition,” Ebony said. “My whole life feels like a sweater that doesn’t fit.” She meant that she wants a cure for her eyes. I took her hand and she jumped a little. I don’t think she realized I was going to do that.

“Why don’t you talk to Joy?” Eddie suggested. “She might be able to get you in a medical trial or something.” Joy is a vet, but she has friends and former students in human medicine and knows who to talk to about medical things.

“I’m already on a waiting list for three of them,” Ebony explained. And of course, a person who has a medical condition always knows more about it than a well-meaning non-expert who doesn’t, but it’s almost impossible not to try to figure it out anyway. I made the same mistake in the beginning. Ebony has heard the same three suggestions (talk to Joy, try some Reiki, use this special magical technique—people here may be unusual by worldly standards, but once you get to know us we’re kind of predictable) over and over and of course she has tried all of it, including the magic. And none of it has worked. Yet.

Kit began to sing.

There is a castle on a cloud
I like to go there in my sleep
Aren't any floors for me to sweep,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

There is a lady all in white,
Holds me and sings a lullaby,
She's nice to see and she's soft to touch,
She says, "Cosette, I love you very much."

(She sang the whole song, I'm just not quoting all of it)
Eddie and I both listened happily, because that's what we do whenever Kit sings. We're kind of comrades-in-love or something. The advantage of having a completely hopeless crush is there's no competitiveness to it at all. Anyway, we swooned but Ebony got angry.

"This isn't some fantasy for us," she said.

"I didn't say it was," Kit replied. "'There is a place where no one's lost.' If you think that song is only about some daydream, tell that to Cosette. For a little girl to create an astral space where someone loves her is no light thing. There are people who find themselves...with no place in the world to receive them. I am one such, you know. This isn't a very welcoming society for a witch. I spent years pretending to live in a real pagan community."

"That's not it, though," Ebony protested.

"You do live in a real pagan community," said Eddie.

"That's the most important magic we can make," Kit told him, "to make the vital fantasy become real."

I still held Ebony's hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment