Capacity

One of my confidants once told me that I have an enormous ability to love. She also said that I had an enormous ability for rage. What I have to say about that is I’m a trumpet player and a soprano, and Sam proved it to me for three weeks straight. One of the trumpet players I followed religiously as a tween and teen was Doc Severinson in Johnny Carson’s old band. When I was 12, I thought I was destined to take over for him, but I have said many many times that there was a flaw in my plan. I didn’t practice enough.

I wanted to. I wanted to practice six hours a day like my dad did, but I started out as a euphonium player. I had braces, and the trumpet mouthpiece was too small. However, the euphonium mouthpiece was large enough to fit over them, trumpet training wheels.

Well, taking the training wheels off didn’t go very well. I had a beautiful, fat sound I was in love with and an embouchure I wasn’t. I went years without acknowledging that I was in physical and emotional pain about it. That I would never be the kind of musician I wanted to be, and I had chosen an instrument before I really gave voice a chance.

In voice, I might not have made All-State in “the system” (code for Texas Music Educator’s Association, or TMEA), but I would have had a WAY better shot. When I was untrained with raw talent, I was okay. Once I was trained I was fabulous. I can’t sing like Jennifer Hudson or Beyonce. You’re thinking of Lindsay, my younger sister. I’m the one that owns at classical music….. just everything from early English to Hebrew. I speak many, many languages through choir, even if I don’t know the direct translation. In “the system,” I made it to All Region as an alto, but marching contest was on the same day. They literally couldn’t do without me. I was screwed.

Today I found out I feel the same way about Daniel. That if he wasn’t in my life, I would never recover. There are many, many, many reasons for this, but let me tell you one fundamental.

My mother was a substitute music teacher for my elementary school when I was in third through fifth grades. When I was in third grade, my mother took over for my music teacher. Guess who was in my class?

He is the only person that has asked to date me since my mother died that knew her well, even if it was in childhood. Daniel went to school with me from second to sixth grade. I lived longer in Naples, Texas than I did anywhere else as a preacher’s kid. Daniel knows my dad in his capacity as a pastor, and legit no one remembers or talks about that except when my biological sister and I are alone, because we’re the only ones that have that context……

Or we were, anyway.

I am way less interested in the fact that I am losing my lesbian label forever and way more in the fact that of the four personality elements in Meyers-Briggs, three of ours match. He is also an Idealist and writer. He’s been to war, which means his stories are awesome and I love to listen and read.

I think I’m obsessed with him. It’s good the feeling is mutual. Just puke. I remember his little boy voice and it’s irritating because I know it will absolutely make me nauseous to other people when he moves here.

We’re playing around with titles to call each other later in life. I am tickled by “wife partner,” because I’m a writer and it’s a play on words. The most sugary way to tell someone you’re a gay couple is “she’s my life partner.” Or, because I’m old, it was the term before wife was a thing among female couples.

I have purposely started asking all people when they only say that they’re married and I don’t know their partner how they gender identify. I want to know pronouns ahead of time, especially before I meet them so I don’t have preconceived notions about their gender before their identity is presented to me and I get in the wrong habit of something. Also, visibility matters, and being in a relationship is one of those things where no one’s choice should be a pejorative. Let people do life with whoever they want. Christ, it’s so much harder than everyone thinks. Let people have their pleasures, and marriages are…. or they’re supposed to be. The thing I am least worried about in this relationship is getting along, because we were raised in the same context.

That also means more to me than Daniel being a man. Pretty much everything does.

I recently lost the person I thought of as my inner compass, the one that would be the one at the end of my letters for all time. Something that I thought was irreplaceable isn’t so much. It’s comforting, though I’m not bragging. I’m relieved. She was my true North, everything that was honorable about me when I couldn’t be that for myself. It gave me hope, strength, love, and faith until it didn’t and I realized that I was in too deep to fix whatever was wrong, because she didn’t talk. I could try to clean up the mess on my own, but as we say in Texas, “you can’t help a little old lady across the street if she doesn’t want to go…. particularly when she is banging her purse.”

Editor’s Note:

I have a ton of funny Texas sayings and I will be publishing them at some point, as well as a clip of Daniel talking eventually so that all my friends could hear what my accent sounded like before we moved to Houston….. Naples was roughly 1600 people when we lived there. Not sure what it is now. Sufficed to say that Houston was……… a change for me.

The capacity to love Daniel comes so easily to me that it’s scary, and I can tell that I am ramping up with dopamine, such a blessing because when I wake up in the morning my brain chemicals are right. I am literally going gangbusters, and feeling the connection I felt 36 years ago return full force. There are so many reasons for this.

None of them having to do with me just meeting the right man. Homophobia sucks. I know there’s going to be a lot of people reading this who are Evangelicals. I’m not. Sexuality is a spectrum. It has been proven by science…. many, many researchers, not just one study. I would say look into it, but my guess is that you won’t. So don’t judge me. You can’t know that part of me. It is not for you. Who in their right minds wants to be involved in my sex life if they’re not my partner? Please don’t think I need that kind of help. I gave you “what you want.” It looks like what you want from the outside, but it isn’t. I write and I know things. You may write, but not about me to the extent that I do.

It wasn’t easy going back to memories of my supposed elementary school friends bullying me, and this is not something I’ve addressed with Daniel yet. It’s just something he’ll have to come to me about later when he’s had some time to digest. It’s just that if and when I go to our hometown, there are people I don’t care to see (not you). It’s not because I carry any ill will or even care that I was bullied. It’s not taking the chance that they’re just bigger now. I will serve them their asses fried, and no one needs to see that. I just pictured Dana laughing at that, and it cracked me up. She would have an absolutely unprintable response, so line cook that it tickles me to death that I know it and you don’t.

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