This is a personal post, it’s part sad, part happy, and all together melancholy. Read at your own risk.
It’s seems like it’s been years since I visited my hometown. I did come up here around February of this year, met an old girlfriend, did some coke in the basement of an old punk rock house that I had helped make infamous in my late teens. It was a patently depressing revisit, the same one where I confronted the person who broke my wrists in middle school. Fun! This time *should* be more depressing. I’m down here taking care of a close family member who needs it, oh let’s cut all the BS discretion, it’s my father, I’m up here in Sacramento because my father needs help after a recent surgery. About a month ago, after the Denver move fell through, I called to ask if he needed help, he said no, speaking mostly out of to desire to be self dependent. Things changed and here I am, coming up here was the “right” thing to do, but that doesn’t stop the nervous lump in my throat.
I don’t miss anything about Sacramento, I miss some of the people, some of the places, but those bricks and faces would likely mean just the same if they were in any other place. The city has rotted quite a bit since I’d visited last, there’s some new wine bars and coffee shops, but there’s also an ever growing homeless population, and crystal meth’s stranglehold over the streets is as strong as ever. It makes me sad the way Superman must get sad about Krypton, my home is dying, dead, but there’s no Zod to be blamed, just gentrification, drugs, and the debt of the state hitting its capitol hard. I went to the Capitol Park, visited the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam memorial there. Pulled out my little iPod and filmed some of the proceedings so my dad, a veteran, may see some Sacramento royalty speak highly of those who served. We watched it that evening, and it was nice, though I didn’t cry as I did while standing there filming. I don’t think I could cry around my dad, nor he around I. We just sat there watching Mr. Television, Stan Atkinson, talk about my dad’s generation, and the shitty reception they got when they came home. I’m so glad I’ve never gone to war, other than with myself.
I made this little note on twitter, lying on the floor of a room I had grown up in. It’s pretty much how I feel about growing up. I see my father not as I did as a young child, tall and infallible, nor do I see him as I did as a teen, as a weak and selfish man who missed many of my most important formative moments. I see him now as a person, I took off the angsty goggles of youth, and see him merely as a man, with achievements (a few beautifully rebuilt cars, a mother whom he cared for until her final moments, and two relatively happy and successful children) and regrets, though I’ll spare you the parenthesis on that one. Wounds heal, unspoken words find their voice, and sometimes we have just have to forgive, forgive others for their mistakes and forgive ourselves for years of not forgiving. I hated my parents for their divorce, I hated my stepdad and the long white stream of smoke that rose from his cheap cigarettes, I hated not having the things my friends did, I hated moving and changing schools. I felt I didn’t get a fair shake in the world, but it’s just life, my unique and tumultuous life, and I’m thankful for it.
I just got out of the Planet Parenthood here in Sacramento, I have in my pocket a prescription for Estrogen injections. I’ll save the excitement I’m feeling for freshly tilled soil of my next post, as opposed to this dry land, formed from a lifetime of held back tears.
To finish, I want to tell you why i’m smiling right now. The last time I saw my father I was wearing a suit and tie, the long haired best man at my brothers wedding. He knows I’m trans, he knows about My Strange Addiction, but has never really acknowledged my journey as *real*. When I showed up, he made an effort, a real effort, to respect my gender identity. He asked about how I showed up “looking like a guy” in my leather trench coat and jeans, and how I’d prefer to be addressed. He’s a mechanic, his experience is as far away from mine as you can imagine, but he still had the strength and conviction to look me in the eye and ask me who I was, instead of assuming or denying. That’s why I’m smiling, and regardless of where your family, support structure or the people you love are, I hope you can smile along with me.
More stuff soon.