What Is Left Out By R. R. Angell

What Is Left Out By R. R. Angell

I have a t-shirt I never wear anymore. “I’m It.” That’s all it says. Kids used to run up and tag me, then run away laughing, looking hopefully over their shoulders for a game. I loved their interpretation, and sometimes I played along, to the horror of their waiting parents.

Some asked if I babysat. “We’re always on the lookout for a good sitter,” they said when they really meant, “We’re always looking for someone safe.” A good sentiment but illogical, I’d think.

At parties, some patron would ask, “Which surgery did you have?”

“Does it matter?”

“No.” They’d catch themselves. “Of course not.” Ogling me up and down for clues, their eyes frantic for something. Anything. The nipples had gone with everything else. “I was just trying to make conversation,” they’d say.

Early on, I’d get angry and leave, shocking them more than anything. On the way out I’d hear someone say sotto voce, “I didn’t think they had any emotions after.” Or the archaic, “robot” or “Spock.” And friends would step up, “Illogical if you think about it, right? Where do your emotions come from?”

Back in the day, when they learned the famous transsexual couple and I were friends, the subject shifted. When they found out I lived with them, the questions came like rain.

“What were they like?”

“Did you know them before?”

“Could you tell the difference after?”

By the time we dissolved our thruple after fifteen years, nobody cared.

Except I cared.

They said It doesn’t matter anymore.

It still hurts.