Friday February 24, 2017
I awoke around 9 and kept myself occupied until the others woke up. Kyle had to go to the last place he lived and pick up the remainder of his possessions. There were just a few boxed filled with books and comics, so they should easily fit in my car. He was going to store them in his mother’s house until we were able to visit again and retrieve them. On the way there, we stopped at his dad’s house. He described his visit as necessary to keep his dad happy to keep his property from passing to an officious aunt when he dies. To be fair, his dad was an abusive alcoholic, so the fact that Kyle had such intentions wasn’t terribly reprehensible. When we got there, his house was in terrible shape. The living room looked livable. It had an old tube tv, a wood stove, a couch, two chairs, and a coffee table. The floor had worn carpeting and the walls were a shade of green that varied in darkness in different sections of it. That was nothing compared with the rest of the house. There were sections of plywood laid over other sections of plywood. The only working sink was in the bathroom and it was full of dishes. There was no stove and no refrigerator. There were two “bedrooms” that were clearly a work in progress. One had laundry hung from the walls. When I later went to the bathroom, I discovered that there was no door.
His dad talked about his indifferent state of health. He claimed to have given up drinking, but the large plastic bags full of beer cans gave lie to his claims. Still, he was clearly not drunk at the time. He welcomed us very heartily and professed happiness to see Kyle and meet me. When I told him I was pregnant, he seemed surprised. Kyle shot me an angry look. I either didn’t realize or remember that I wasn’t supposed to tell his dad about the baby. His dad spent an hour going over old photos and talking over some past good times when Kyle made our excuses and we left.
We retrieved Kyle’s books and drove back to his mom’s house. Our appearance created a bit of a stir. His aunt was there decorating cupcakes. I knew there was going to be a baby shower for us thanks to the carelessness of one of our mutual friends. We had decided to keep my knowledge as unknown as possible. Kyle, his mom, and the mutual friend knew that I knew about it. To help in their efforts, I had made plans to meet a friend who would not be attending the shower. I had known him in college as Steve, but he was now going by the name of Sabrina. I was curious and anxious to see how his transition was going. I mean ‘her’ transition. I had known him as Steve for so long it was difficult to make the transition in my mind from ‘him’ to ‘her’. I did my best, for her sake, but it was still difficult. When I first saw her, she still looked like Steve to me. I noticed a few subtle changes. She was wearing skinny jeans with boots that looked slightly too feminine for a male to wear. She was also wearing a baseball cap with her hair pulled back in a slight ponytail. It was not long enough to be pulled back completely. Despite these changes, which I knew were a big and scary step for her, she still looked decidedly male. She had never made a good looking male, but she didn’t look like she was going to make a good looking female. I felt for her because I didn’t think she quite realized that looks were a lot more important as a female than as a male. Even though I’m not a terribly girly girl, not interested in clothes or makeup, I longed to offer advice for both make-up wearing and dressing for her body type. I wanted to be as supportive as possible, but I didn’t know if offering to help would be more supportive or if just acting like she was a woman and knew this stuff all along would be better. In the end, I was afraid it would be considered rude, so I kept my mouth shut.
I debated with her whether or not I should be punctual to my 7pm return or if I should arrive a little late. Sabrina stated that I should act however I normally would if I didn’t know about it. If that were the case, I would try and return as punctually as possible. We hugged goodbye with my parting words, “take care, man”, which I beat myself up over the whole way to Kyle’s mom’s house.
When I arrived, there were only two additional cars in their driveway. Kyle berated me for being on time. Someone had arrived shortly after me, so I hid in the bedroom until sufficiently more people had showed up. While the only request I had was that we had a co-ed shower since we had so many male friends, it was treated like a regular shower complete with games and prizes. The food wasn’t really to my taste other than the cupcakes and veggie platter. It was mostly meat and I really didn’t want meat all that much throughout this pregnancy. It was sweet and cute how all of the kids enjoyed playing with each other. I really didn’t know many people there, but thankfully most of the time was spent opening gifts and acting grateful. To be fair, most of it wasn’t really an act. People were extremely generous with their gifts!