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August 10, 2023:
Overall, it was so awesome visiting my tramily again. I felt like I had won the lottery meeting them. They had always been there for me during my most difficult times. This year especially, they really helped me work through everything in my mind that I was experiencing about Voodoo. They offered me a safe space to vent and helped me see things through a different lens, one with more clarity. They reassured me that I would make it out fine and that other men would give me plenty of orgasms, which seemed to be what I was still hanging on to.
As I was getting ready, Mo made me his famous breakfast sandwiches again, then asked me to please watch his granddaughter for a moment.
“Just play Barbie with her,” he said.
My whole body tensed up. I didn’t know why, but playing with kids just made me super uncomfortable and I just didn’t know what to do with them. Then, he threw on an animated TV show for kids that was super creepy, almost as bad as the Teletubbies. Mo looked at me, completely baffled at my inability to get along with kids.
Shortly after, CTM picked me up and took me to Fort Collins where I planned to meet up with my friend, Zelda. Zelda and I had worked in the same restaurant together in Chicago and ended up falling in love with each other’s energy the moment we first locked eyes. I remembered how bad she wanted to move out of town and go to Colorado. Now, she lived in a brand new apartment with two cats! Seeing it all fall into place for her warmed my heart.
Zelda finished up some work, then took me out to eat at a local sandwich shop. Afterwards, we walked around town for a bit. Everyone seemed to know her and love her, greeting her with smiles and hugs.
Typical Zelda, I thought to myself.
She just had that magnetic aura about her where people were drawn to her presence. It was what got me the first time.
So, we took silly pictures in the streets and then we saw what appeared like a stripper (or maybe an influencer) stumbling around. She appeared to be in her late thirties and was pretty much naked. She wore fishnet stockings and her heels were so high that she could barely stand in them. She sat down on a bench and spread her legs open. There was a guy that looked like he was her photographer, no older than 16, just snapping pictures of her and smiling.
I noticed some extremely judgmental thoughts arise in my field, about her being in a family oriented place and how sad it was to see our culture so comfortable with exposing themselves in such raunchy ways. And then, right there, I understood the Bible verse that metaphorically spoke about finding it so easy to point out a twig in my brother’s eye while failing to acknowledge the log in my own eye.
I, myself, had experienced the battle of wearing raunchy clothes in public for many, many years. Complete nudity didn’t appear to bother me nearly as much because I still perceived innocence in that display (depending on the setting). But, when I saw her, I witnessed a part of myself that I no longer wanted to associate myself with. I remembered doing the exact same things, specifically on the Las Vegas Strip. I wanted so bad to have people ‘see’ me and so I would wear skin tight latex and leather just to get some eyes, not recognizing what I really wanted was to be seen and connect on a heart to heart level.
In my mind, I thanked the lady for the gift she brought me. She had shown me where I still held very judgmental thoughts and wasn’t seeing her as she truly was. Forgiveness was a moment to moment experience and I was given daily opportunities to see through the illusion of the world.
Near the end of the night, Zelda took me on a mini road trip to Horsetooth Reservoir so we could look at the city lights. She removed a couple panels off the top of her jeep and the warmth of the air flooded our hearts. Although I didn’t care much for the city, I absolutely adored the scenic view of city lights at night. Something about it felt so romantic and reminded me of angels and fireflies.
We listened to our childhood music and I thought about all the years of being on the road and the freedom I had experienced. I thought about how much I loved my friends and my tramily. I felt into how good I felt around them and how I could be myself and talk about things that were on my heart without feeling judged. I made a pact to myself that I never wanted to settle for anything less than that feeling—forever and always.
When we made it down from the mountain, we raced with some teenagers in a mustang along with a motorcyclist. As soon as the light turned green, the motorcyclist looked over at us two young girls and would zip and rev his engine, trying to impress us. Zelda and I looked at each other and giggled.
“He looks so free,” we said.
He kept speeding up and turning around to look at us. He was going 80mph and his shirt was flaring up from the wind. It was as if we could feel what he was feeling.
“Pure freedom,” I whispered under my breath.
Then, we went to Taco Bell and got some potato tacos and looked at the Big Dipper while we were waiting in the drive thru.
When we made it back to her apartment, we fell asleep in the same bed together. Zelda and I had dated for a short period back in our home town and I thought about how awesome it was that we both recognized we were better off as friends and were able to stay really close despite that. It was clear our romantic relationship was over and we had moved on to different things, but we still held so much love for each other. I was so drawn to maturity; I loved when people were able to recognize that we were adults and we could be civil.
Sometimes, I wished I could be as equally attracted to the same sex as I was with the opposite sex. Women seemed more attuned, gentle and appreciative of my presence. They seemed so much easier to relate with in comparison to men. I wished I could just switch over to them, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.