You find out a lot about someone when you get a chance to have a long, random conversation with them. No matter what it was initially about, there’s always that tendency for both of you to bounce from topic to topic, sometimes circling back. I just had one of those right about now, and it’s roughly 1:20 in the morning CST as of initially writing this. I’m also writing this while laying in bed because I didn’t want to have the desk light on while Ben is sleeping. (Though he can probably hear me clack away at my keyboard, hehe).
Possibly the most interesting part about the conversation I just had was not the topics covered, not who they were, but the fact we both don’t know each other’s names. I don’t think we introduced ourselves to each other; our initial interaction was when he bummed a cigarette off me near the beginning of the semester, then he returned the favor the next time he saw me. He tries to remember the face of whoever gave him a cigarette so he could do so in return; I just happened to be one of them.
We would infrequently see each other around campus, give a nod, and be on our way. It’s such a weird acquaintance to have with someone else that I don’t think I’ve ever had before. Sure I’ve seen coworkers around campus from time to time, but I generally don’t make friends with them; I simply know them as people I work with, nothing more, nothing less. Little did I know, this guy in particular was a coworker as well.
I had a closing shift tonight for Dining Services working in the dishroom; he had the same shift working at the Pioneer Haus. So, at least then, we didn’t really see each other a whole lot. It was near the end of closing and I just finished up when he asked me if he could bum a smoke off me after work. I said, “Yeah, I got a few left.” So we both had a cigarette as we headed back to the dorms.
Of course, we both started talking about how dumb our job is (because who would actually like working for Dining Services). Once we got to the dorms, he started talking about filling out an overnight guest form with his roommate and RA. So, I asked him what dorm he lived in. He told me he lived in the all-girls dorm, which is next to mine. I was taken aback by this, then he told me he was trans. I was ok then afterwards; I already have one trans friend who’s currently taking testosterone, plus I have a trans cousin, so that whole concept isn’t new to me now.
After I briefly expressed my woes of not being able to find someone, she started giving me advice on how to talk to girls and ask them out. In a nutshell, it involved talking to random girls, making stuff up to either look impressive or hide your real identity, and other weird ways and signs that go with the whole “dating game.” Personally, I don’t want to see it as a game to see how long I can date someone just because; I’m looking for someone who’s willing to share a committed, life-long relationship with me. So yeah, I didn’t really take all she said about the “dating game” to heart; it’s just not me.
(I’ll be referring to this person as “she/her” from this point on, out of respect for them being trans.)
While she was going on about that, I told her that I was gonna give a bit of a plot twist to my relationship woes. I told her that I have a crush on a guy (didn’t say it was Ben), though I’m still trying to get over that. She then told me the same advice if I were to ask a guy.
We ended up talking about that a little and about doing “research” on how to pleasure someone. I kind of admitted that the first kind of pornography I looked at was gay porn; all she told me was, “I’m sorry to say this, but you’re probably not 100% straight.”
“No I’ve realized that a little anyway,” I responded. Given that I’ve been questioning my orientation for almost a year, have a crush on a guy, and enjoy gay porn, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m at least bi or pan. Personally, I’m alright with that, but I know it won’t go well with my family and some of my friends. But that’s for another time and if I do figure out this part of myself.
So after this, she gave me a bit of insight about where I’m going with this college thing. Of course, like a lot of people, she said that going into Biology isn’t a good idea if I want a job after graduating. After telling her that it’s really the only thing I’m interested in, specifically Zoology, she suggested I should go for a PhD, which I’m somewhat thinking of doing so anyway. It’s not a bad idea, and I would love to do something that involves working with animals directly (not talking about a farm here). She did suggest Marine Biology, which does interest me, but I would probably have to relocate to an oceanic, coastal region most likely. Still, I’m glad to have talked this through with someone, even if it may have been a bit discouraging at first.
I just had to write something down about this; I don’t know why, but this was something that just stuck with me when I started getting ready for bed. It may even stick with me for at least the rest of this week. But mostly, it’s just so odd that I had this somewhat intellectual conversation with someone who’s name I don’t know, and who doesn’t know mine. All because we, more or less, traded cigarettes.
Life’s weird that way.