Tuesday, March 8, 2016

in the midst

Sunday was Valentine's Day. So my boyfriend and I went to a restaurant we hadn't tried before. On the way over a friend texted me. I asked "Do you want to go see Janet Mock and Alexis De Veaux speak at Tulane on Tuesday evening?" and he said yes. I was looking forward to it. It was a good day.

Monday morning my 21-year-old cat suddenly started acting wobbly. Soon he was unable to walk in a straight line. By the end of the day he couldn't stand up. I literally thought "First Scalia died and now my cat is dying."

Tuesday morning. My boyfriend and I talked about having the cat put to sleep. I picked up the phone to call the vet but I couldn't do it. Instead I called my boyfriend back and asked him to make the call. So he did, and then he said "They said I can bring him in tonight."

Things I wanted: I wanted to see Mock and De Veaux. I wanted to spend time with my friend, who was still sad over a breakup. (I felt like I couldn't cancel with the excuse of being sad over my cat.)

Things I did not want: I did not really want to go with my cat to the vet and watch him die. I knew it had to be done. I couldn't bring myself to call the vet, but once the appointment was made I knew it was the right thing to do. So at 5:30pm I said goodbye to him and left him to wait for my boyfriend to get home from work.

It's always nice to be in a group of trans people (and allies.) It's always nice. I haven't been in a big group like that since Laverne Cox spoke at Tulane a couple years ago. I knew of De Veaux from reading Home Girls back in the day, but I hadn't followed any of her work since then. And of course it was great to see Mock. They had a long and wonderful conversation.

Can I say that all of us in that room felt the shadow of death? As De Veaux put it, "It's not news that the po-po have been killing us." I was living with the death of an old and well-cared-for cat. That's not at all the same thing as deaths caused by injustice. And yet. We have some things in common. We still ask why.

We who are still here.