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.

10 thoughts on “Sactostalgia

  1. I'm to see you're staying strong Riley 🙂

    And indeed I am smiling along with you thanks to the end of your posts, it's awesome to see that your dad is respecting your identity and making a real effort 🙂

    P.S. Possible leather trenchcoat picture? I wants one >.>

  2. Riley, I am proud of you and proud of your father for finally seeing you for who “you” are. No Father should ever reject their child regardless of whom their child is or hopes to be. My Son came out when he was 15 he is now in his 40's. It took me a couple of days to come to grips with the idea that he was gay and not just a phase. But, he is my son, I love him, I always have and always will. Everyone who has ever met him loves him also. The love for your child never grows less. I hope he never realizes his Dad's love for diapers, for I don't think any of my children could deal with that. Anyway, I am very Happy for your Riley.

  3. Riley, I cannot thank you enough for sharing this personal post. I don't think you can know how much what you write helps your readers who have some experiences similar to your own. I hope your time in Sacramento is the best it can be. Take care.

  4. My so Dear, I was very moved reading this post. I think sincerely that your father is a good man.
    Well, chin up, private Kilo ! Things will become better and better for you. I feel it deeply.
    Hugs and hugs ❤

  5. Hello Riley,
    I've kept tabs on you through your blogs, vlogs, etc. for a few years now.
    You are becoming an ever blossoming woman. You are a beautiful soul.
    PLEASE… don't allow yourself to get get caught up into using dangerous drugs like “coke”.
    I trust that was an isolated incident and we all have our moments.
    Two communities, the LGBT & AB/DL (and perhaps others) need you healthy & happy.
    As you're looked upon as a leader as well as a role model.
    I hope you know how much you are loved and admired.
    I wasn't all that close to my Father who passed away at 59.
    And now I am about to loose my Mother to a terminal illness.
    She is trying to make up for lost time. But there are barriers I just cannot let her cross even now.
    I love her more like a distant relative than the woman who gave birth to me. That's the best I can do.
    I could go on but I will spare you my babbling…
    But, what I'm trying to express is never forget you have a great family of supporters that love and care for and about your life and well being.
    For every hater, there has to be at least two other that have your back.
    I'm proud to say I'm one of them.
    You can consider me your “big brother”, if you'd like. Although we don't know each other personally.
    I will close wishing you a blessed Christmas and the best year ahead for you in 2014.
    With Love & Respect, “KARI” XO's

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