“This is the first time I’ve been to New York City, ‘cept for driving through.”
That’s what I woke up to about an hour ago, having walked across a river and standing on a Manhattan Island that could never have existed at any time in our history. I was telling this to a very pretty red haired woman who . . . well, more on that in a moment.
The above statement is almost true: I have been to New York City once, but it’s not like you would imagine. I had to fly to Hyannis, Massachusetts for software training in the the summer of 1988, and since we (the people I was with, my manager and project leader from Playboy) were flying cheep, I flew out of Midway and landed at Newark, which was no the airport it is today.
But how to get from Newark to Hyannis, you ask? We flew in a very small, eight passenger twin prop job that never flew higher than a thousand feet the entire way–after we were out of NYC air space, that is. We left Newark going east, flew right over the Statue of Liberty, then headed up the East River at an altitude of maybe five hundred feet. It was still light, and the day was clear, an I was on the left side of the plane, so out my window I had all of Manhattan laid out before me, watching the city in a beauty pass shot right out of a movie.
That is my one and only exposure to New York City. When I say I’ve only driven through, that happened in a dream I had maybe six months ago. I drove over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, when into a part of the city seemed like the Battery, then headed into Brooklyn. I met with a woman later on what may have been Long Island, or it might have been near the Tappan Zee Bridge, because there weren’t nearly as many building around when we sat for coffee, but it wasn’t the city proper, I know that.
I have a hypothesis as to why I might have had this dream last night. David Gerrold, otherwise known as the Father to Tribbles and The Oldest Red Shirt Ever, posted something on his Facebook wall yesterday. It was one of those strange, simple meme statements you find popping up all the time on Facebook when people are posting pictures of cats, or trying to guilt trip you into liking something by saying you’ll go to hell if you don’t share a post being against pistol whipping bulldogs.
The statement was simple: ”If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what you would say?” A very science fictiony concept, because if you could go back and tell your younger self to do something that you haven’t done, you’ll set up another reality that you, the teller, will never see, because quantum physics gives not one fuck about you, but that’s beside the point. The question is: what would you say?
David had left a statement, as had several others. I normally don’t respond to these things, because I’m a pain in the ass bitch, but with that point, I was compelled to respond. I said, “Transition and to hell with what people think, and go to her, you know where she lives.” Why would I say that? Well, those are two things that have become important to me . . .
Neither would make the present me happy, because nothing would change for me, but for New Past Me, there something might happen. One can only guess if I’d decided not to get married in the early 80′s and started my transition, I may have had a twenty years jump on less insanity. I wouldn’t have my daughter, that is true, but I might have had a lot less sadness and hurt and pain. Or I might be dead. Can’t say, you know.
The second part . . . Harlan Ellison’s story Grail tell of a man who spends most of his life in search of a cup that will show him his true love. After decades of search he finds it, looks into is and sees his one true love . . . and as he states at the end, I will met her in death, because she died before I was born.
Last night I walked across the Hudson into the city with a woman who was younger, and who had red hair, but I knew her even though that disguise. I remember saying to her, “I was told you’re nice and curvy,” and she looked at me with a sideways glance and smiled and said, “Yeah? They said that?” and I replied, “Yeah, and you’re soft an warm, too.”
And we stopped after crossing the river and turned to each other. ”You know that for a fact?” she said, and I took her in my arms and said, “Oh, yeah.” And then I kissed her and said–
Isn’t this where I came in?