Two Years come Sunday
Sunday was the two year anniversary of my kidney transplant. It seemed an even more exciting reason to celebrate than the usual another year older reason. You turned another year older? Thats cool. I have three kidneys inside this tiny skin house, and the one that works is from a man who helped create me the first time around. Last year I went to visit my parents on the farm and spent the weekend with them and other family. It was a rather stressful time and on the exact one year anniversary of my kidney transplant, I ended up trying to explain sexism in football culture and found myself howled down to the point where I simply ran to the disused sheep shed and cried there for about 2 hours.
This year I wanted to try something different. I wanted to celebrate with a few good friends at one of my favourite drinking establishments in an area that I missed living in terribly. I wanted to celebrate my kidney transplant at The Edinboragh Castle in Brunswick. I decided to do a brief statistical experiment while on the train to Brunswick. I posted a pithy status update saying where and when I would be where I was planning to celebrate. I knew it was short notice so I was not expecting lots of people to drop their Sunday afternoon for me. Which is why I was so happy when two out of the 50 people who liked my kidney transplant celebration status, came. All up there was seven of us and this was perfect. The afternoon was humid and sunny, perfecr for drinking cold alcoholic ginger beer full of ice. If you think it is strange to be celebrating a kidney transplant by drinking, I assure you I was not getting wasted. Im not an idiot. My Dad gave me the kidney of a non drinker, non smoker and hard worker. I was not going to waste it.
I sat at that corner table full of people and felt so happy I thought my heart might just burst. The conversation was rich with humour and imagination and intelligence. Each friend had so much to contribute to the flow of conversation. We spoke about films and feminism and art and books. We spoke about music and politics and nobody howled me down until I felt so powerless and silenced all I could do was run away to the disused sheep shed and cry for 2 hours. My friends and I laughed so much. It occured to me as I sat there that every single person person sitting at the table was someone who I had met and become friends with in the last ten years. That means no friends from school from any of my schooling: Primary , high or university. I knew when I moved to Melbourne at 23, I wanted to carve a life out of it that was new and exciting and the kind that I felt befitted my character and the character I hoped to develop over time and experience.
I had been very pleased with my out fit for the celebration of my new kidney turning two. I was wearing a black and red tartan button up shirt, tucked into dark blue denim short shorts, black fishnets and a silver necklace that one of my ex housemate made from an old gin decanter label. I was attempting a fashion homage to Beyonce’s look in the Flawless music video. I failed at looking exactly the same but that was not the intention, I just love shirts buttoned up and tucked into short shorts. I got complimented on the ensemble by my friend Jess. The point is I was feeling pretty stylish. I love putting together outfits that work. Especially when the outfit is more than 50% created from opp shop finds.
Which is why what happenned later so upsetting. The gathering ended at about 6. So my partner and I decided to go for a walk up Sydney rd and decide on some dinner. The air outside had cooled down a little and the humidity had fled. The sun was starting to set and crazy gold light outlined the buildings and got in our eyes. My partney had just reached for my hand when we stood at the crner of Albion and Sydney rd. A car with its widows down and two men sitting together in front were at the lights. I could have kicked the car they were so close to the curb. The driver yelled at me, ”Anorexic Dickhead!’ and his passenger laughed a cruel and loudly enthusiastic laugh. The kind of laugh that hurt to hear.
I felt slapped. I felt put back in my place. I felt ugly. I found myself wishing for a cat call or a honk instead. I looked down at my skinny legs in fishnets. Who was I kidding? No matter what I do and achieve and no matter how brilliant my outfit, there would always be guys like that. I found myself feeling embarressed that it happened with my partner present. He sqeezes my hand as we continue walking. ”I would have kicked thier review mirror if I had been quick enough.” He says. I laugh. We decide it would have been the best revenge. With little to no consequences. What could those neanderthals do? They were stuck in their car in traffic.
It was like being back in school. The kids thought I was anorexic before the doctors did. The rumour went around. My class at the country school was not even 25 kids. The stay in the adolescent ward at The Royal Children’s Hospital. All that stuff just came flooding back. All because of two entitled male twats who thought the height of sophisticated humour was yelling abuse at young women they did not know. Like I was meant to care what they thought. It was something to add to the list of self hating mantras, when Im feeling depressed already and am looking for tangible proof that the voices in my head telling me that I am sub par and below average.
I hate that my beloved had to witness things like that. It made me twiNge with insecurity. I did not want him to see me any other way than they way he did. I didn’t want outsider informants twisting or distorting that perception. I know it does not do this. He is not a brainless neanderthal. He is one of my best friends. My best friend (whom I have sex with) and I walk to The Brunswick Green and eat dinner. We share a pint of beer that I am proud to say I drink most of.