Memory’s… fuzzy most of the time. I know things because I write them down. I keep track of schedules by putting them on the wall before me. I have books and dates and anniversaries squirrelled away on pieces of paper or digital scrip because without them I have nothing to anchor me. Thank god I can remember the year I was born because I still have to do math to work out what my age is. In the end, I hang onto single events that stick in my memory, and connect those events to later events, like beads on a string. I know that the dog I know as Chewie was alive before Monty died, so I know we lived in that house in Canberra before we lived in that house in Canberra. I know that that event had to be in my first two years of school, because this event referenced it and I know this happened –
and so on.
About fifteen months ago I joined Twitter. I didn’t like the idea of it, but I knew someway midway through the year that if I was going to help out my friend Pendix with his business venture as an online presence, twitter was the absolute bare minimum I needed to know. I joined it and I made it part of my life in a very serious way. My initial engagement with twitter was, absolutely, for that purpose.
About twelve months ago, I think, a voice piped out to me from the darkness.
You need to understand, if you can, that I am not used to this. I am not used to reminders that I exist to other people when I am not around them. It is why, I think, I am such an energetic Twitter presence. I want to be heard. I want attention. I want my words and my thoughts to do some good and have some impact to other people. I am some sort of twisted untroll, someone who craves attention and will commit acts of kindness to get it.
So it was someone, and suddenly I had… a handful of followers on twiter I had done nothing to earn and did not recognise at all, at first. There was some teasing – in hindsight, I think I might have almost called it flirting from one – before I worked out who it was.
I don’t want to misuse the word prodigal, but have you ever lost someone, have you ever consigned someone to the mystery of disappearance, with the knowledge that where they’ve gone, you can’t chase? That, for their own sake, you must not chase? That your friendship and your love maybe… just maybe… needs to be sacrificedfor their sake?
I don’t know how to explain this in a way that’s meaningful.
He had, in my mind, died a sort of death. A disappearance that I felt keenly and could mention nowhere. Nowhere to cry or to bleed.
And he found me again.
I know this was about a year ago, because Glory in The Thunder was published almost a year ago, and that came out a few short weeks after we reconnected. I had to learn a lot, fast.
I think at that point in my life, I had met two trans folk – a transboy and a transgirl, both of whom were struggling with ideas I didn’t even really know existed. Literally everything I’ve learned about gender, I’ve pretty much learned in one year. In on year I have fought uphill against my rage and my basest instincts and the hate inside me to try and be a better person, in part because of that little ray of sunshine that happens when he smiles.
There are friends I have now, who matter to me enormously, who I care about a great deal, who I did not know more than a year ago. Twelve months, a year, isn’t a particularly significant milestone. You probably have known your best friend longer. But chances are if we know each other, it’s probably thanks to him, and something he mentioned or someone he spoke to. I know at least one woman who probably would never have spoken to me once if he hadn’t vouched for me, and I think she’s fantastic.
He’s quiet right now and I have to respect and accept that and hope that he’s feeling better. I have to accept that all I can do is wait, and be silent, and hope he comes back.
As for the rest of you, if you’ve read this… well, hi. I’m still making it up as I go along, and hope I manage to make a positive impact as I go.