Hi, Daniel-of-2015, here.
I'm posting this today, late on Friday, because Mabon snuck up on me--I should have posted the interlude last Monday, but I didn't think of it, and psting only once a week as I've been doing would mean that if I posted the interlude this coming Monday, my Mabon post would be put off till the Monday after that, almost two weeks after the actual holiday. So I'm wedging in the interlude right here.
I don't have much to say right now, other than that we're all fine and I may have some exciting news to share next interlude. But there's a conversation I wanted to share--it was a follow-up to the one I wrote about a few weeks ago, where Andy confronted Ebony on accepting the medical reality of her blindness and I commented, in the narration, that he had a good point but it was not the point Ebony needed to hear.
Actually, at the time, I was not so mentally articulate. I heard him speak and I felt uncomfortable and protective. I didn't know why. I recognized that Andy had a point, so why did I feel like he'd said something wrong? I have good instincts, as everybody says, but I seldom know what my reactions are about on a conscious level until much later. At least on that occasion I noticed that I was reacting to something--a couple of years of training in awareness was bearing fruit. I probably would have figured it out eventually, but actually for this one I had help from Eddie.
But I can't figure out how to edit my romance with Ebony out of that conversation, which means I can't tell it as my 22-year-old self.
So Eddie and I were sitting in the Dining Hall together--I can't remember if it was breakfast or lunch or how long after the earlier conversation it was--could have been later the same day or it could have been a few weeks later. Anyway, Eddie leaned back, folded his arms across his chest and stated "So, you're talking to Ebony again."
"Yes," I acknowledged.
"Good?" He was asking whether it was a good thing, not whether it was going well.
"I guess so. I mean, I wouldn't have dated her if I didn't like her to begin with."
"I hear you. She seems quiet or jumpy or something these days. Is she ok?"
"No, not exactly."
"Do you know what's wrong?"
"Yes, but I'm not going to tell you." Actually, she had just broken up with the woman she'd left me for. That relationship had become deeply unhealthy and had ended rather catastrophically. She had told me, but it was not yet common knowledge on campus--though I was surprised Eddie didn't know. Generally, they seemed pretty close.
"Man, you're killing me. What's a nosy guy to do?"
"Ask her directly?"
"Oh, you're no fun." He grinned at me, though, before turning serious. "That Andy, though. He gets E for effort and nothing else."
"What do you mean?"
"What he said to her at breakfast?"
"Yeah, I noticed that. Or noticed something, anyway. I thought he had a point, but it was the wrong point, or not enough of the right point, or something. You know how Ebony doesn't usually do facial expressions, but she has a different non-expression when she's upset?"
Eddie grinned at my description. He'd noticed it, too.
"A different non-expression. That's good. Yes, Andy had a point. Life would be easier for her if she accepted the physical reality of her blindness instead of forgetting her cane all over the place and everything. My life would have been easier if I'd let my Mom take me bra-shopping when I started bouncing around. But when you live your whole life with everybody around you telling you your experience of yourself isn't real, "accept your body" isn't what you need to hear. Ebony needs to become sighted before she can be blind."
"I wish I could help with that," I said.
"You do. You see her sighted sometimes, don't you? You're her mirror." He was right. Sometimes I did--and do--think of her as sighted. Then I want to show her things and it seems a complete and frustrating tragedy when I remember that I can't.
"Is that what you did?" I asked, partly changing the subject. "Is that why you danced the maypole as a woman this year? Did being male make it ok to be female?"
"First of all, I am not female. I like to play with other people's breasts, but my own? Good riddance. But yeah, I guess it was easier to buy undergarments when I was binding my breasts than when I thought I was supposed to make them look perky. No, I danced as a woman...because I felt like it. I don't know why I did it. Maybe to see if anybody would care."
The whole idea of Eddie with breasts seemed strange. I tried to picture it and in my mind's eye he still looked like a guy, except with breasts.
"Did you used to be named Edwina or something?" I asked. Which, by the way, you're not supposed to do. Asking about the former name makes it sound like you don't think the new one is real or valid. Except that on campus a lot of people changed their names, at least in practice, if not legally, that I think the validity of a chosen name was well-established. Names like Otter, Oak, Raven, and Kit aren't nicknames, they're Craft names, and reflect a new magical identity. I never knew most of their birth-names, but if the subject came up there was no prohibition against asking. It didn't occur to me that Eddie might be a different case. Anyway, he just laughed.
"Oh, god, no. Edwina."
"What? Some people are named Edwina. Is Eddie short for Edward, then?"
"No. Eddie isn't short for anything. It's long for Ed. It means 'happy' in some Indo-European language or other. Edward means happy protector, I read that somewhere. I named myself Happy, because I am, now. I didn't used to know what happiness was. I didn't think it existed, I thought people who talked about it were deluded or lying or something. And now...I am Ed. That's what matters."
Obviously, I don't remember that whole thing word for word. I remember a few phrases and the gist of the thing. The above is a reconstruction that captures the gist, as most of this blog is. But it's a gist I wanted to share.
Happy belated Equinox!