Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 389 - Life on the fringe - meeting Francine







Since I have come back from the farm, I have decided to walk through the points of my life where I am holding back from exposing to myself to myself and others, where I don’t want to own up to the relationships with people and places that I have encountered and that I have used to create myself. I want to keep them to myself, I want to protect myself. Over the course of my life, I became an expert of moving in different circles with entirely different sets of people and keeping it all separate.

I have touched up this point of separation in previous posts and this time I want to go deeper by opening up the memories. I want to see clearly what motivated me to shape my life in this manner. So, whatever comes up in the moment is what I will write about.

The first post will be on Francine. Francine was a person with a male-to-female sex change living in San Francisco at the time when I was living there too. She died many years ago, so I was told. She would dress in a short mini-skirt with her distinct blonde beehive and her little dog - I forgot the dog’s name. She always wore high heels. She managed to pick just the right colours,fabrics and heels so that she did not look too tacky, although she had an air of drag queen about her, it was quite subtle. It was more that she looked like a woman from another time, maybe the 60’s because her disguise was done tastefully. She had more tits than I and besides her deep voice, her male body was successfully transformed into a woman’s body. Whenever I saw Francine floating around town, mostly in a few districts where I circulated as well, she was accompanied by one of her pretty boys. Usually a boy, a woman in the making - someone who really wanted to undergo a male to female sex change and was looking to Francine to finance it. I can’t say if there always was an exchange of favors/services, Francine was generous.

When I first came to the city, I had no job and no money, I was fresh off the boat. It did not bother me because I had friends and was quite unencumbered since I was far away from any parental influence and at this meant more to me than money. It was the time before I became a student in a local art school and my life turned more serious and structured. In those exploratory days however, I worked in predominantly in cafes to make money to pay the rent. I only ever worked in one restaurant, it was called the “Rathskeller” and served German food. It was a very big place and created in the spirit of the German stereotype, consistent of Bavarian blue-white carré shapes with rustic wooden tables, chairs and animal trophies on the wall. These days, the “Rathskeller” has been superseded by more designerly and hip German restaurants in town.

Francine owned eight bars in the city and during the afternoon she would journey from bar to bar to ensure that the preparations for the night were in order and that her employees were doing what they were payed for. At the end of the night, she would repeat the same tour to collect the money from the sales of alcoholic drinks. Of the eight bars she owned several were located in the heart of the “Tenderloin” which is a seedy district in the center of town where those who move on the margin of society ‘exist’.

When I met Francine I had just arrived in the city. I was working a lunch shift at the Rathskeller and one day she came to the restaurant. She was sitting on the counter together with her boy drinking a cocktail. I remember she said something about how pretty I was and this made it easy for me to talk with her because I felt already accepted since I was not the sort of person who would strike up a conversation. San Francisco was the right place for me. I was fascinated by all that was not traditional and conventional - I sought out the marginal, the hidden, the extreme, the mysteries - and mostly I was fascinated by life styles that were unacceptable by those who had raised me.

Francine was friendly and I was very young and bright-eyed. I appreciated that she allowed me into her world although I felt I knew nothing about it, her people or her daily routine. Perhaps it was the fact that I was European and that was marginal enough for her to let me in, although there were lots of Europeans in town. From the moment I met Francine, the best part of working the afternoons at the restaurant was when she would stop by to have drink and chat with me. Over time we became close. As time progressed the restaurant’s turnover diminished and it became increasingly apparent that afternoons were no longer an option to keep the restaurant open. Francine saw what was happening, I might have told her as well that I suspected to be told to leave. In any case, one day she came by and invited me to one of her bars. We were going to the Black Rose in the Tenderloin.

I don’t recall whether she picked me up or if I met her somewhere. I do remember dressing up to match the ‘girls’ in the bar, I knew I was going to be surrounded by male-to-female sex changesat all stages of becoming a woman, and I knew I could impress them by the way I presented myself, where I could play off my taste and physical assets. I enjoyed this because I could dress as extravagant as I wanted to and it would be appreciated.

To be continued...this is how far I will take it for today in telling the story. The self-forgiveness follows:

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a resistance towards exposing unconventional aspects of my past, as with this memory when I met Francine and made friends with several m2f persons because I experience this part of my life as precious and belonging to me, where I feel that I must protect this part of me, to keep my self-definition untouched, so that whenever I go back into the memories I can feel good about myself of having had these experiences.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have sought out the fringes of the society because I did not accept the world and did not accept myself, because I experienced the environment I grew up in as too small-minded and too inhibiting for me, and with too many constraints, and by seeking out those who were living and existing in polar opposite I sought to find a place where I belong.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have created this mental space I can go into any time where I can feel special because I have had these ‘outrageous’ experience which are not acceptable by people like my parents.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have been fascinated by Francine because she lived her life to the fullest, not holding back from herself to fit in or be accepted even though she was a known figure in the city and was pigeonholed by mainstream media.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have felt save with Francine because in her presence I allowed myself to accept myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have believed that through getting to know those who live at the fringes of society, I will find myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel sad that I can no longer go back and interact with Francine, because I believe that I can no longer interact with a part of me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that now I have a boring life where my life is structured around my career.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that where the poor, the down and out, the druggies, the artists, and those who are sexually different, live and exist is more real and deeper, which is why I prefer those places and locations because I judge the rich and wealthy as boring, cruel, empty and superficial.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear superficiality because I consider my parents superficial and disinterested in finding the truth out about life and therefore, I fearbecoming like my parents.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself that the truth about life and living can only be found in misery and suffering.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react to places and locations that are too slick and too polished, which is why I have already labelled my new living environment as boring, safe and as a place that I reject without having even moved there yet.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not have realised that even in these circles, those that I shared with Francine, I was never fully integrated because I could and I did withdraw any moment I desired to.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I side with the underdog of society I am a better person for it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realise that if I defend the underdog of society, I do so because I want to divert myself from myself and want to feel better about myself, and through the diversion I create I avoid facing myself and accepting myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have used my relationships with Francine and others to make myself feel better.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that I am anti-tradition and anti-convention, and by identifying with these concepts and words, I can free myself from experiencing myself as inhibited, restricted and constrained.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have reacted to being called traditional because I have created a negative polarity with the word tradition.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a picture of myself where I see myself as unconventional and exotic, and within the parts that I can identify as unconventional and exotic, I accept myself.

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting story, thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading more!

    ReplyDelete

 
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