Sometimes, Gentle Reader, having an adventure means that you don’t know where you’re going to sleep. I think that it’s necessary, in some cases; the uncertainty itself is what gives the experience its spice. My dears, this adventure is not a happy one, and does not necessarily reflect well on me.
I have a male friend that I call Auntie R., as he is involved in the local drag scene (he’s not trans*, those are entirely separate things, if you’re unaware, and if that were the case, I would be using female pronouns), and he has introduced me around the scene, a little. Auntie was performing at a BDSM themed drag show at a nightclub that has since closed, for charity. A few other friends were scheduled to go; it was a fairly popular nightclub, and Auntie is well liked.
I believe that I’ve mentioned that I don’t drive, and typically rely on walking, the bus, and the kindness of my friends. Living out in the country really doesn’t facilitate the non-automotive lifestyle, but I’m stubborn, as well as a terrible motorist. To make it to Tacoma, I have a two-hour walk, and a one-hour bus ride, and then a transfer to wherever I’m specifically going. Sometimes, if I miss a connection, and my destination is along 6th Avenue (which essentially the Main Street of Tacoma), I will just walk, adding another hour or more to my travel time. During all of this , I am generally laden with my trusty brown leather bag, Bucephales, and typically have to arrange or pay for a ride home, or a place to sleep.
This was the case on the evening in question; the show began at 7:30. To arrive on time, I needed to leave by at least 2:00 ( the local bus departs on the hour, and the last bus from the small town I live nearest to is 4:00. Therefore, to catch the 4:00 bus, I’d need to depart my home by 2:00 in the afternoon), and I’d need to begin dressing for the evening at 1:o0 – incidentally, this is why I customarily wear evening clothes, no matter the hour. Naturally, once in town, I missed my connection, so off I set.
Unfortunately, March in my hemisphere is not a forgiving month; dark comes early regardless, and sooner than it ought, when there’s rain. It was just such a day, and I shivered, damply, in my blue velvet blazer – I had neglected to bring my umbrella. As the rain turned to sleet, I received a telephone call, from the friends who I was to meet at the Metrogrüv. Naturally, it was a cancellation. I immediately began telephoning any local friends I had, to make emergency arrangements, but no one was picking up. No matter; it was still bucketing down, and I was a good forty-five minutes from my destination. I hied me hence, looking forward to the prospect of being in a crowd of leather-clad strangers, with no way home.
If you know me at all, you know that my mental state is not precisely stable, and that I really can’t handle crowds of people in an unfamiliar environment. Also, I am prone to severe bouts of anxiety, even when circumstances are ideal. This did not bode well, and when I took shelter under an overpass, I began to cry. I realized that my options at that moment in time were to lay down right there and die, or to soldier on. Still shaking, I forced myself to my feet, and trudged forward.
When I eventually gained the club, it was empty – I was still rather early. I wish that I could say that, first thing, I wrung as much water as I could from my clothing in the men’s room, made myself as smart as I could, and began making telephone calls. I did do that, but not until after two double gin-and-tonics – I was feeling sorry for myself, and still rather anxious. I eventually roused from slumber an excellent friend, a stalwart friend, an old friend, S. Though physically disabled – and though I had just woken him up – he assured me that as long as he had a roof over his head, I would have a place to stay, and that he would be more than happy to drive me home. While he didn’t join me for the show, he did show up at a quarter to midnight, to take me home.