Otis saved my life. She’s the inspiration behind DogDharma. If she was still on this earth, she’d have just turned 17 years old. But…
I really can’t believe it’s been almost 20 years since Kim moved from Michigan to Bethesda, MD, to be with me. We had known each other for many years via the intrepid lesbian list-serves and IRC that sprang to life when the Internet was still young. What had been a long-distance friendship turned into a romance, and so when Kim finished her master’s program in social work, I persuaded her to move to the DC area and give our romance a 1-year chance. I won’t say that things were perfect or that I wasn’t hurt in the end (and probably the same in reverse), but damn we had some good times and some good memories.
We lived together in Bethesda, and then got our condo in DC. Kim advanced in her career, and I advanced in mine. When we bought the condo, we were able to get little Otis. Yes, there were rough spots, but we traveled to Arkansas, Michigan, California, Delaware, Florida, and other closer road trips. We got Henry so Otis could have a playmate. We visited her family and we visited mine.
For all the things that went sadly wrong, Kim got me through the episode with the psychopathic intern, and she stood by me during my transitioning from female to male. She was there for me when I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery … but we won’t talk about what she did when I broke my foot. No, things weren’t perfect by a long shot, but they were a hell of a lot better than they were with my so-called “marriage.” So this post is dedicated to Kim, and I hope you enjoy the smattering of photos I’ve scanned and uploaded. (They are not in chronological order; I’m too lazy.)
I have to comment on the above photo as well. I have collected stuffed animals since forever — well at least since my great-aunt gave me a sock money I named Toppy when I was about 4 years old. When I moved to the UK to be with Paula, I had the equivalent of what would fit in 4 garbage bags, of stuffed animals. All given to me over the years by people who were special to me. One of them went all the way back to my time with my first partner, Dee, from the 1970s. I had to to pare them down to the most precious few, because obviously I couldn’t take all of them to England. Paula herself gave me two teddy bears. But when I fled the UK after Otis was “destroyed,” Paula kept everything except one of the bears she’d given me. 😦
The above photo needs comment, along with one a little further down. I was so excited when Kim was moving to be with me that I dressed up Coke bottles to look like champagne and cooked her a meal. Anyone who knows me knows that cooking for someone is the greatest signifier of love I can do. Me and cooking don’t mix!
The above is the meal I cooked for Kim upon her arrival in Bethesda…
The above photo is from the second Bush inauguration, mentioned in my post about Brittle Bird called I’m Not a “Mug” …Anymore.
My vintage Scrabble game was another thing stolen by Paula. I’d had it since I was in high school. This was one of the games I was playing with Brittle Bird. Part of my job involved doing computer programming in the Perl language, which explains my t-shirt.
Kim taking a break from her staffing duties and sitting on my knee… She worked for a non-profit that provided support for persons with HIV/AIDS at that time.
When Kim and I (and my friends Mo and Kay, who I will post about in the future) went to Nags Head in 1996, it was the first time in my life I’d seen the ocean. They all said I squealed like a girl!!!! Imagine that…
This song used to be one of mine and Paula’s, but today, I’m re-purposing it for Kim…. At least she was a real lesbian.
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