It is good to be here, in Bloomington, with my honorary brother, Nan. (He is also my British Grandmother, hence the nickname. Long story.) He is going to grad school at the University here, studying music. He's constantly singing something. I don't think he even realizes it half the time. I love him like a brother and I'm happy that I don't have to drive today.
I drink Earl Grey tea every morning that I am here. On the first day, we go by the mall for a while, and I eat boiled eggs from my pockets in the food court while Nan has a grease-dripping lunch from the mall pizzeria. We browse Hot Topic and some other stores, then head to Barnes and Noble, were we get lost in the stacks of books. I spend a lot of time looking at the Star Trek books. I'm not super interested in the official, published fanfiction novels, but I like the textbook-style books--visual dictionaries and such. I want all of them. I almost buy a history of the Federation book, but then I decide that someday I will go online and buy all of these kinds of books at the same time, and have them all, and also possibly for cheaper than they are here. I do end up leaving the bookstore with a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I've been meaning to pick up for a while. (I don't read it until I reach New York and obtain lodging, but it is beautiful and brilliant and it makes me cry.) Nan leaves the bookstore with a pretty little copy of A Christmas Carol by Dickens.
We go hang out with friends of his that night, have a few ciders and beers between us, get acquainted. They're feminists and one of them is a Trekkie, like me, so we have a lot to talk about. I talk about Star Trek so much tonight. It makes me happy. Nan rolls his eyes at us and sometimes tries to redirect the conversation but he doesn't understand just how awesome it is to be able to talk Star Trek with someone who has, in the very recent past, re-watched all of TNG and most of DS9 just like me, and remembers all the little details and has opinions and loves and hates and... it's just great.
Saturday and Sunday blur together in my mind. At some point I make a phone call, setting up an appointment to view a cabin in Waterloo early Tuesday morning. I don't call any other places but I keep browsing craigslist looking at prices. The Waterloo cabin has all utilities, including internet/cable and snow removal, included in the rent. Since heating seems to turn out very expensive in upstate New York, the price seems like the best deal. There might be cheaper places I could live, but not by a lot. I decide that if I like the place when I see it, I will probably take it as soon as possible. I begin to think in terms of moving in there even tho' I haven't seen it yet. Brains work that way.
My dad calls me, too. It is good to hear from him.
On the third night, I meet a person who has no gender, and prefers the pronouns they/them. I am bad at this, trained as I've been to never use "they" to refer to a singular person. I default to "he" a few times accidentally and backtrack and rephrase the sentences using their name instead of the pronoun. Later I wonder if a singular "they" should be used with singular verbs. "They is really cool." "They wants some pizza, wanna bring them some?" We need, in English, a gender-neutral pronoun that rolls off the tongue and is not "it". More experimentation needed. More practice needed. Time will tell.
Nan and I are very lazy. We watch a lot of youtube. We wear wizard robes and witch hats and watch Hocus Pocus (which is, of course, the best Halloween movie of all time). We watch an episode of the Muppet Show, the only DVDs that I actually brought with me to NY. I take naps. I realize suddenly that driving gives me all kinds of ridiculous anxiety and that driving so much for so long made me a nervous wreck. I need these few days just to iron out my nerves for the final assault on Monday. Nan's driving is terrifying and mostly when he drives me places I just close my eyes.
I take a walk on Sunday evening while Nan goes to church. It settles my mind.
I am ready for New York.
November 8th - 10th