Sometimes, people are so nice to me that it’s the precise inversion of the be-mean-to-the-transgender girl experience that I had dreaded and yet was willing to face for the rest of my life.
I have a lot to think about, and I can’t think while I sleep so last night I didn’t sleep at all. As in, zero.
By late morning I had eaten breakfast and prettified myself well enough, and handled my software-company issues well enough.
I wanted to go to my favorite local help-yourself automobile parts wrecking yard, whose entrance fee is $2. I didn’t have two dollars in cash. I have several bank accounts, and today was a “more broke then I’ve ever been” day. But, hey, in one of my checking accounts, I had $2.52. Awesome! So, I went to Wells Fargo Bank, and cashed one of the company checks for $2. The teller lady was super-nice about it. Even though my transaction was odd, I felt fine about the world, and about how I look and move and sound. It felt good to be me, even though my cash situation happens to suck.
Part of the reason it sucks is because yesterday I was at this same junkyard and I bought about $200’s worth of really great used BMW parts that I expect to be able to re-sell for more than double what I paid. So, I’m broke because I chose to be. I could have had $200 in the bank instead of a great revenue opportunity. I just chose the latter instead.
With my $2, I went to the wrecking yard again, today, and I paid the entrance fee. Three of the ladies who work there are super-nice to me and today was no exception. I gather they have few female customers and besides I’m always nice to them and I don’t treat them as second-class citizens in a mostly-male subculture. The manager sees me often; I buy a lot of stuff. He’s nice to me too, and actually remembers that I like BMW parts.
It was a coldish Reno morning, so I wore my black leather coat and scarf. Undearneath the coat, I wore skintight black L.A. Idol $300 jeans (that I’d bought used for $50) and a generic top. I also wore pretty pointy high-heeled boots that really resonate with me. I feel extra pretty when I wear those, and even though wearing them in the gravel and dust of a junkyard was bad for the boots, it was good for me. The shoes got an immediate compliment from one of the ladies, which was nice too.
I like to wear sexy underwear but perhaps a better way to phrase this is that I don’t own any underwear that’s not sexy. Almost all of my bottom underwear is some variation of a black thong, and I like to pull the sides up really high since I don’t have wide hips and this technique at least accentuates what little I have in the curves department.
The work I did involved standing next to a car that’s raised maybe 18 extra inches above the ground, and it involved bending over the engine compartment. So, whoever walked past would see a pair of black high-heeled boots, some straight and shapely legs in tight black designer jeans, then an elegant black leather coat, then some blonde hair blowing in the wind, and a flash of red nails as I reached for a tool. It reminded me of a phrase that my frequently-broke uncle used: “you can be rock bottom [South African slang for being broke] but you’ve gotta have style. With my fullest bank account now down to 52 cents, I was certainly “rock bottom.”
Still, I felt stylish. I smiled as I made the connection and remembered his phrase. Almost on cue, a gentlemen walked past and made the nice comment that this was the first time he’d seen a pair of high-heeled shoes at a junkyard. I smiled, he smiled. It was all very positive.
As I was bending over, I felt the back of my top lift up and expose some very-low lower-back bare skin and some of my pulled-up-high thong. Since it was all hidden underneath my black leather jacket, it just felt sexy to me but nobody else could see that, so I sort of got used to it and ignored it. Normally I’d be pulling my top down and my jeans up more often since I don’t really want to show off my thong and butt in a junkyard, plus being a transgender girl that’s probably less yet of a great idea.
I kept working on the car. The work required removing the cylinder head of the engine, which is pretty much the top half that has many complex pieces attached. I worked methodically, enjoying the complexity and being able to deal with it well. Some bolts and nuts were too tricky or tight for me to get off, so I left them and figured I’d come back to them later. Now and then, as I revisited some of these, some of the problems could be solved by holding a wrench “just so” or using one tool to leverage another. it was fun. If things went according to plan, I’d leave with a used cylinder head that would cost me $100 and that I already had a buyer for, for $270.
It was around noon, and it was chilly, mostly due to a massive cloud that blocked out the sun. To the west was a clear blue sky.
I kept working, for hours on end, enjoying the work. The cloud slowly moved to the east, and the day became warm and gorgeous, with a clear blue sky. I loved the feel of the sun on my lower back, as I’d taken off my coat and scarf. I didn’t exactly make the connection that I was showing off quite a bit of skin. I don’t have a gorgeous butt though I do part-time modeling and stripper work, and my butt gets its share of compliments. So, there I was, legs straight, high-heeled boots, bent forward at the waist — looking like I’m in porn movie opening scene. I later figured out I was being too revealing and I started more enthusiastically pulling my top down and my pants up, but by then it was too late. I’d already made an impression on someone.
That someone was not the manager, who walked by and made cheerful chit-chat. By then I had working in the hot sun for hours, and was getting very thirsty. The wrecking yard sells bottled water for $1 per bottle, but I didn’t have $1 on me. I got more and more thirsty. I didn’t want to pack up everything and go home to eat and drink since I’d have to pick up all my tools, clean up etc. plus maybe then someone else shows up and removes the part that I’d partially removed already. It happens.
The next time the manager walked past, I made him a business proposition. He could pick any of my open-ended wrenches in exchange for two bottles of water. He smiled, and just brought me two bottles and gave them to me as a present. I really liked that.
As I kept working, another BMW owner showed up and hung around. He explained how his car is malfunctioning and how he’s looking for parts to fix that. I knew that his type of engine was different than what I was working on, so I told him more about his type of engine. It’s the BMW M42 engine, a marvel of modern engineering, and I could go on and on as to its features. I also offered him some pointers as to which parts are probably malfunctioning to cause the sort of symptoms his car is experiencing. I probably overexplained but the gentleman seemed to absorb and appreciate the information. Then, I suggested he call my favorite BMW fix-it place, Bavarian Autohaus in Reno. He called the number I told him, handed me the phone, and I introduced the two parties to each other. The gentleman made an appointment to bring in his BMW for some diagnostics. Better!
I went back to my work, and he kept me company. I asked him questions about his work and it turns out he’s very car-savvy, just not so much about BMWs. He was a nice man. He asked me if I have a boyfriend. I explained how I’m basically gay, as in a girl who mainly likes girls. I explained the whole transgender thing. He shrugged and said to him I look like just one more girl, and he didn’t see any male-looking aspects as clouding the picture. I thought that was a nice compliment. He asked where guys fitted into my social sex life, and I explained that they tend not to. It’s not that I have never and would never but it’s not what a Friday night date night would typically look like for me, whether or not I’m romantically attached, which I am anyway.
As I kept working, the gentleman would make helpful suggestions. At some point, he picked up a wrench and started helping, with a focus on all the things that had been obstacles for me. I was impressed.
Finally came the time to remove the massive, tight bolts that attach the cylinder head to the engine block. I put the wrench on the bolt head, pulled as hard as I could, and … it didn’t budge. The gentleman made a hybrid of his tools and mine, and he ended up removing these very tight bolts for me. It was hard work. Five minutes into it he was sweating. Eventually, he got them all loose. Then, he helped me lift up this massive piece of metal and take it out of the car. He next helped me inspect the part in ways I hadn’t known of. All in all, he was a very nice and helpful man. I almost felt sorry to say good-bye. I thanked him, shook his hand, and offered him one of my screwdrivers as a thank-you present. He smiled and accepted my second, as-yet-unopened bottle of water instead.
Off I went to the cashier, trying to figure out whom I could entice to go put $100 in my bank account so that I could pay for the part with my ATM debit card. I made some phone calls and sent some text messages. I expect $1500 to hit my bank account tomorrow due to some software work that I’m getting paid for (I’m a software engineer) but I needed the $100 right then and was willing to pay extra to get it. While I was waiting for someone who could and wanted to front me the money for the part, I noticed my new friend nearby and I wandered back over for some conversation.
He explained that he hadn’t wanted to make things awkward while we were working on the car, but he had really liked how I had looked with my butt in the air and my lower back exposed, and my thong showing, and he’d love to see me socially. I felt like an awkward teenage girl being asked out on a date. I really appreciated the nice compliment, not least since I looked however I looked today while I was on zero hours of sleep the night before, and with 2-day old make-up — not me at my best.
By then, it was close to 5 p.m. and I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast. One of the ladies who works at the junkyard approached and almost as if on cue, offered me a cupcake to eat. I hadn’t told her anything about being hungry; she just offered.
Many other good things happened today too, personally and professionally, especially pertaining to my little software business.
All in all, today was a day when it felt almost like the universe is conspiring to be super-nice to me.
I love it.