I was drinking porter, bottled porter, none of that draught nonsense which is nothing more than good liquid poured into a large vessel and then fissured out through a small pipe (there’s another word for that I know), anyway I digress….I was drinking porter on the banks of the river Corrib with a couple of transgender Ban Garda friends of mine. We had gone to an all male boarding school together in the psychiatric badlands of East Galway, even back then they were easy on the eye and I says to Evelyn, (used to be Morris)
The name I says, how did you settle on the name?
Your one that does the weather
On the RTE? says I
That’s right she says, ateing an apple, I always liked her. Authoritative and responsible with a hint of mischief in her eye
Good choice says I, good choice. And I suppose you felt the same way? I said to her pal Cusack. Cusack nodded. Evelyn and Cusack, a fine pair.
Well anyway it got me thinking that I was to cross the gender line to the other side and had to appelate meself what name would I choose. I surveyed the inside of me mind looking for clues, sounding out various options, nothing was working
Do you need a name? I says
It helps. With the reinvention. Evelyn told me.
But is it not, says I, more of a revelation, more of an uncovering than a reinvention. Are you not showing the world that underneath your manhood is your womanhood and that’s who you really were all along?
I got a thundering elbow to the side of the head and thereafter a puck in the solar plexus. Evelyn
Less o’ that, she says referring to the head and more o’ that she says referring to the gut
Don’t get intellectual on it she says, it’s a feeling, an instinct
Points taken. Anyway there we were, my transgender pals and I swilling drink, watching the river flow and the young bucks bucking. Swans about their business, salmon pulsing up the stream toward fisheyed men in waders and diesel engines chugging cross the bridge
If I was to be a woman, I said, I think I’d call meself Betheuselah
And who would that be? says Evelyn
Betheuselah never existed I explained. She sounds like she may have but it’s a madey up name. She is something entirely new and if I was to cross the gender divide I would not be content with a mere external change, I'd want me innards worked on too
Go on says Evelyn
A womb, (a womb of ones own) I’d like a womb
For what purpose?
To grow things I says
Asparagus I says. You see, the growing of another person inside of yourself would seem to me to be the riskiest of affairs. I mean you wouldn’t know who you’d end up with. People are mischievous and even though you’d be related to them they’d still have their own agenda. Far better to grow something good for you. If everyone had a womb in which they could grow their favourite vegetable and perhaps even subsequent wombs attached to their bodies via external umbilical cords, dragging after them or hoisted on top of their heads in the fashion of noble African village women.
Without warning, Cusack expelled a fine draught of intestinal gas and Evelyn called her a legend. It brought us all back to our senses but not for long. I was off again,
‘I mean I suppose by extension you could suggest that connected as we are to where we are, the ties that bind not seen by the eye, that the world is our womb and that we are attached to it by an umbilical cord of needs (we wouldn’t last long in space, Sandra Bullock in her knickers) and tis not for nothing that we have the phrase Mother Earth.
Self-satisfied for a moment with this particular train of thought, I let the words hang like smoke rings in front of us, dissolving into the ether
Have you no jokes? Evelyn asked
That’s all I’m good for. Jokes. They use me for light relief before they go catching criminals for cash.
Did you hear about the fella who went in to get his own death mask while he was still alive? He was getting a head of himself
They didn’t like that one
What would you call someone who can speak with the dead and lives quite contentedly in the realms between both worlds? A happy medium
C’mon we’ll go says Cusack
One more says I, one more. The colours that we see in the world have more to do with the type of eye we have rather than whats actually out there in front of us. You may look at the same flower as a dog but because we have different types of eyes we see different coloured flowers. When me and you look at a flower we see different things because I’m colour blind and you are not. Colour exists in you and not in the flower. The world may in fact be entirely colourless and we only think it is because of the nature of our eye’s. Colour, I said, clearing me throat for this one, is a pigment of our imagination
We’re done here says Evelyn
Good luck girls
Good luck the Badger they replied