I hate being the new kid in town. And especially after a year away, believe me, being a new me in an old town is an awful lot like being the new kid full stop.
I’m working hard to do it right. Spoken word, drag shows, queer rock band, we’ve done it, and truly it’s been amazing, mind-expanding, all that intensely relevant and funny and beautiful art. And the hanging out at the girl bars and the Notoriously Dyke-Filled Cafe? Check on that, too. We even gave an extremely nice girl (friendly! queer! our age!) a ride home the other night, so it’s not like it’s been all wallflower all the time, either. And tonight I dutifully betook myself to a local queer book club, introduced myself to the organizer, and talked about the book.
And I know that if I keep it up, after a while, I’ll walk into some of these situations in this town and someone will say something radical, like, “Hi, Leo!” But in the meantime, damn, it gets tiring, always being the new face. Especially when the face in question is still a little new to me, too.
Driving back from the book club, I got a laugh out of the first two songs I heard on the radio. I love it when the radio seems to be trying to tell me something. First it was The Who, from Tommy: “See me, hear me, touch me, feel me...”and then I hit seek (yeah, I’m an obsessive presser of ‘seek’, drives T. crazy), and came in during the middle of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page”:
Well you walk into a restaurant,
Strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you
As you’re shaking’ off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you
But you just want to explode
Most times you can’t hear ’em talk,
Other times you can
All the same old clichés,
“Is that a woman or a man?”
And you always seem outnumbered
You don’t dare make a stand
Here I am, on the road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go playin’ star again
There I go turn the page