This post is PART 15 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
It seemed like my whole life was now encompassed few inches in front of my slowly moving car. The surrounding area was obliterated in howling gales of blowing snow. My hands became part of the steering wheel, I couldn’t release it if I tried, and I was too terrified. My arms had long passed the shaking tired stage, they just kept my hands steady. How? No clue, my mind no longer thought, I just drove. Time no longer had any meaning to me. It was just snow, snow and more snow, that and the minute adjustments keeping my little car on the road. Every so often in a dream or so it seemed, I could make out faint soft lights on the right of me far below in the distance, the shock of being too close to the mile makers pulling me away from the edge again and again.
It felt like I would never stop, that I would be lost in this whiteout of a storm forever. But wait, for a second I thought I saw I light in my mirror, it was dim, and it was hard to make out anything against the snow covered back window, but I was sure. No, I was wrong, maybe I’m hallucinating, and yes it was there again. My heavy heart start to beat faster, Please let there be more to this world but darkness and blowing snow. Yes, I’m sure this time I was imagining it and there were more than one, there were many. Thank all that was holy, I’m not alone. More and more lights were coming behind me, more vehicles, thank goodness.
But as I waited moving at the speed of snail, they never came any closer. What! I need someone to lead, I didn’t know where I was going, why wouldn’t someone show me the road? I need a path to follow. My heart starting to race. I was getting angry. Fine. I was becoming as cold as the winter around me, follow me if you dare, if I die, you’re all coming down with me.
I continued to crawl, no longer thinking just driving, and more lights grew behind me I no longer cared. I just drove. Then, for a minute I thought I saw lights ahead of me. But by this time, I no longer believed them to be any more real than anything else in this snow bound drive. But my death was not to be. More lights, civilization, did I just make it? I couldn’t seem to think, as I passed more houses and businesses, my thoughts were slow to surface, but then I saw a 7-11 and other cars and PEOPLE!! OMG. I wrenched at the wheel turning into the gas station. My leg cramped as I slammed on the brake, throwing my body against seat belt. I survived? I actually made it through.
Oh God, I was so tired. But I had to move as my legs felt like they were on fire. I got out and almost fell, stumbling into the store, the bright lights hurting my eyes. Rubbing them I wandered the store grabbing at junk food and pop. As I left the warmth of the store I spotted a pay phone. WOW, I hadn’t used one in at least a decade, I didn’t know they still existed, but my cell phone wouldn’t work and I’m sure my mom was worried.
It had taken me almost four hours to drive what normally would take an hour at most. I pulled out a Telus phone card that I remembered I had purchased before I left to the United States twelve years ago, would it work? I had to try. My hands were shaking so badly it took me more than a few minutes to call. It was ringing, I heard her voice, I tried to put on a calm front, my voice surprisingly didn’t seem to shake as I told her that I was in Crowsnest Pass proper and that due to the roads I would sleep in my car in the 7-11 parking lot for a bit, and drive further in the morning. I told her I loved her and I would see her soon. I had to fill my car with gas, as the dial had said empty forever ago. I tried to keep awake until I heard the ping of it being full. I pulled the car around to the side and as I fell into exhausted sleep, my last thought was, I had survived.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 16: Cold sleep and coming home, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 14: Cold wintry north, For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.