Archive for May, 2017

First Night Out

Posted: May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

(This was originally written on April 11th, 2016, the day after.  No reason I sat on it for so long, that’s just the way I be. — S)

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To everyone I encountered on my first night Out,

You were there on one of the most nerve-wracking nights of my life. I went to a concert, a night out I’d been planning for almost two months. It was going to be a night for me; a night to forget the tragic life event I’d recently endured, to reward myself for landing my new job, and a night to leave all my stress behind me and finally be who I wanted to be. I had planned my outfit and psyched myself up for weeks. I was going to do this, for myself.

Despite all my planning, the night was nearly a disaster.

I almost didn’t get my ticket. I spent way too long on the phone convincing them that I had purchased it weeks ago but never got the actual ticket. I was told it would be redelivered but it never was. I tried again the night before the concert, but I got home just after they closed.

The morning of the concert, I had a killer migraine and still no ticket. I fought through it anyway and got on the phone, where I stayed until I got my ticket changed to will call.  With that done, I still had to pick up a few more things for the evening, and of course get ready for it. I gave myself plenty of time to get ready, but I made all the rookie mistakes–too much foundation, wrong brushes for the eyeshadow, smeared my lipstick twice, broke a hair comb, tangled my jewelry, ripped a stocking, had to spot-clean my top, not enough glue for my nails and the polish was still tacky on my way out the door. But at least I got out the door.

It didn’t end at the front door, though. Someone from the neighborhood that I didn’t know looked at me like I was a freak and I lost some of my nerve. I took a wrong turn on the Interstate and had to take a longer route. About halfway there, I had a crippling moment of doubt that almost made me turn around and forget the whole stupid thing. I almost got into an accident about halfway there. I had to park three blocks away from the venue and trudge through the rain in a partly-broken umbrella.

I can only imagine what I looked like to you. You probably thought I was a walking stereotype. I do know it was far from pretty. I know it looked rushed, even though it took me hours. I know I was a dumpy blob in black-on-black-on-black. I’d lost five nails, three before the end of the opening act. By the time I got home, despite having done nothing but sit in one spot for most of the night, I was a wreck. I know you saw it, too. Honestly, what I saw in the mirror when I got home was a freak show. It was a night doomed from the start, yet I pressed on because dammit, this is what I wanted. I expected disappointment. I expected discouragement. I expected disaster.

But this letter to you isn’t about any of that. It’s not even about me, really. It’s actually about you.

To the ticket clerk that took my ID and handed me my ticket without hassle, thank you.

To the usher who directed me to my section with a friendly smile, thank you.

To the pair of young women who politely asked if the seats next to me were taken, and later included me in their conversation of a funny moment happening below us, thank you.

To the bartender who served me my drink with a “ma’am”, thank you.

It was because of you that the night wasn’t a disaster. It was because of you I could look in that mirror after midnight and think, despite all that had gone wrong, this was right for me. It was because of you I decided that this would happen again. I don’t know when, I don’t know where, but someday I will be Out again, and for good.

I know I will probably never see any of you again. But because you put aside your prejudice, lived and let live, what seemed destined to be a disaster became one of the best nights in a long, long time. For that, I will never forget you.

Thank you.