Recently, Transman’s dad was in the hospital so Transman and his offspring went to see the old fella. But, that’s not really the topic of this blog. Perhaps this opening is a red herring. Just like the honey badger, Transman don’t care. Haters gonna hate ‘cuz he opened with a feint. (Transman shouldn’t have listened to N.W.A. on the ride, but he does have to give props to Ice Cube and MC Ren for working “subject and a predicate” into their rhymes.)
While down south, Transman stayed at his sister’s house and got to meet her new beau. That’s most of the topic at hand.
Transman’s sisters and brothers need to be renamed for this blog; it’s getting clunky to write “Transman’s sister’s friend’s cousin’s second wife’s uncle twice-removed” and stuff like that. We shall have a naming contest at the end of this post, so start thinking of three boy names and three girls names to pitch into ring, kids.
Anyway, back to the story …
Transman’s sister, the one who resembles Christie Brinkley, opened her doors to the Transfamily. The offspring were happy to be in a place with internet and air conditioning. Transman was happy to see his sister in person for the first time in about a year. Everyone was happy about the freezer full of ice cream.
Transman’s sister greeted them with hugs. Transman took a look around his sister’s house and said, “Boys, this is what a grown-up’s house looks like,” because she had art on her walls–as in paintings on canvas, not as in a kindergartner’s best rendering of Spiderman painted directly on the wall with hot sauce.
They settled in and then Transman and the youngest went to the hospital to see the family patriarch. The old rascal was hooked up to a million gadgets including “the machine that goes ‘Bing!’” from the Monty Python skit. He wasn’t looking so rascally, really. Even his tattoos looked a little faded. Transman and his father grunted at each other for a while until the old man shooed Transman and son away so he could get some rest.
The next day, Transman’s sister announced that she and her boyfriend were going to a Memorial Day weekend party at friend’s house.
“You’ll get to meet Debonair Man! He’s the one who bought all this art,” she said. “He goes to garage sales and second-hand stores and buys art and resells it on e-Bay.”
Debonair Man has a good eye. He finds pieces that are not someone’s terrible imitation of Van Gogh or a Cubist rendering of the Dogs Playing Poker painting. Debonair Man tracks down art by recognized artists whose work has gone unrecognized by some hapless person who figures $3 is a fair price for that “dusty old painting Aunt Myrtle brought back from Paris.” Now before you start thinking Debonair Man takes advantage of people, let the record show that he buys many paintings just because he likes the composition or color or something … then he researches the artist. He can’t help it if he’s lucky.
When Debonair Man made his appearance, Transman’s sister was still getting gussied up, so Transman did the brotherly thing and opened the door to give the guy a once-over.
Debonair Man stuck his hand out and said, “Transman!” (Well, he didn’t say, “Transman;” he really said Transman’s chosen name.)
Transman was touched that Debonair Man used his chosen name**, but he didn’t let it show. Instead, he did some brotherly grilling of this man who was courting his sister.
“So, you collect art,” Transman said, crossing his arms and raising a brow.
“Oh yes. My house is covered with art. When I introduced my daughter to [Sister's name], she was impressed that I had let her see my house; I’m a little embarrassed by how much artwork there is. You can’t see the walls because of all of it. My daughter said, ‘Well, you must be really special for him to show you his house.’ And she is!” Debonair Man smiled.
Transman tried to scowl and look a little intimidating, but Debonair Man had a good six inches on him. Figuring that Debonair man had better reach, Transman changed the subject.
“I hear you sing,” he said, prepping to trap Debonair Man in a web of forgettable Top 40 trash. Transman judges everyone harshly by the music they listen to.
“Yes, I do! That’s how [Sister's name] and I met. I was doing karaoke one night and she was there and I asked her to dance and …” he trailed off, a smile playing on his lips as he stared off into middle distance.
“What kind of music do you like?” Transman asked.
Debonair Man made a reference to Michael Bublé and then changed the subject. It was like a chess game. Surely, Debonair Man was just toying with him. No one with that eye could have bad or predictable taste in music.
In a piece of strategy worthy of Saladin, Debonair Man picked up the cat who had come in when she heard his dulcet tones.
“There’s my baby girl,” Debonair Man said as he scratched under the cat’s chin. “I loves her, yes I do.”
The cat purred so loudly Transman thought she might have a respiratory infection.
Debonair Man gently placed the cat on the floor and stroked her back.
“I was raised by cats,” he said as he straightened up. “We had all kinds of cats when I was growing up, but she’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen.”
Debonair Man opened the refrigerator and got out the cream cheese. He placed a little bit on the floor for the cat to lick.
Transman’s kids came out to gawk at Debonair Man, who oozed with charm, taking an interest in Batman and computers to win them over in conversation. Debonair Man insisted on seeing the computer Transman’s son had built from scratch and lugged along on the trip.
“Well, isn’t that just something!” Debonair Man said as he looked at the steel and glass case housing the components—he was working on the endgame, basically mouthing “check” at me as he won over my children.
Debonair Man finished inspecting the computer and came back to stand by Transman.
“I’m sorry to hear about your father. I just hate that for you,” Debonair Man said, becoming more Southern by the minute. Transman wanted to fix the man a mint julep and invite him to “set awhile” on the porch in their white linen suits.
Transman’s sister and Debonair Man went on their date (and missed their curfew by an hour). They came back still aglow from cutting the rug at the ’70s Memorial Day Get-down.
Debonair Man regaled them with tales of his his boyhood in Kentucky and his travels as a musician. He recouped lost “cool” points for the earlier Bublé reference by explaining that he sings in a group and the leader makes them sing songs that 90 percent of the audience will know 90 percent of or some other word-problem version of a set list.
Debonair Man turned the conversation from his early retirement to film and TV. Then, to writing. When he said, “Transman, you’re writing something that must be read”–he might as well have yelled, “checkmate.” Debonair Man had beaten Transman. Debonair Man had won over the whole family.
Suggest six names (3 male; 3 female) for Transman’s siblings***.
Transman’s staff will pick the top names in each category sometime this weekend.
What do you get if your names are selected? Publicity, baby! A link to your blog and a celebrity guest photo, so maybe you too can get published by way of Transman’s Publishing Plan B.
* Just in case Johnny Depp and Sean Connery take the blog in stride, Transman is widening his pool of celebrity stand-ins.
** Using a transperson’s chosen name is one of the crucial ways you can support them. Using the name lets the person know you see them as they see themselves. Saying the person’s chosen name and using the proper pronouns may seem small, nearly insignificant, but it carries the weight of validating their identity. Allow Transman to lapse into first-person for a moment … I can’t tell you how cringe-inducing it is to hear my birth name or see it on documents. Seeing or hearing the wrong name attached to me in any way is an erasure of my being.
*** Yes, Transman does see the irony in renaming his siblings right after ranting about how people using the “girl name” to refer to him erases his soul and all, but Transman just wants to protect their anonymity. Calling them Transsibling 1-6 or something would be too much math for everyone.