Break It Down, Butch.

December 23, 2010

[50] Whining.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 00:29
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I lost a client at work today.

I can’t go into much detail — confidentiality issues — but it was renal failure and an expected death and three fucking days before Christmas. I don’t want to whine, but Jesus, it’s my last week and this shit is not cool, universe.

He was a nice guy. He didn’t deserve to go out like that.

Everyone says that. And it sucks that most of what I’m focusing on is how I feel bad about things, but it has seriously been that kind of year. I have four more days at work (not including the three I get off in the middle), and I am sick of disasters and illness and fucking medication and people dying. I’m sick of being stressed out and screwed up and completely exhausted. I am really, really sick of sleeping on my mate’s sofa.

I’m heartsick and soul-sick and so not feeling butch right now.

This is just a bad moment, and I know things will look better when the sun comes up, but seriously, I need to get a job as a lumberjack or something.

August 30, 2010

[39] No good deed goes unpunished.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 17:40
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The next time I get all bright-eyed and enthusiastic about a too-good-to-be-true project, I warmly request that someone kicks me in the head. A lot. Until I come to my senses.

Remember that job promotion I was so pleased about?

Well. It turns out ‘we’ll train you up to use the systems and give you lots of golden opportunities to enhance your resume’ actually means ‘we’ll work you like a dog until you are a broken husk of a human being, drowning in an ocean sorrow’. Or something like that. Last week I worked over a hundred hours; this week I look set to do at least seventy. And it’s only Monday. By Friday I fully expect to be asleep in a ditch somewhere, possibly under the wreckage of my car.

Of course, it’s still interesting. Devastating to body, soul, and health — but interesting. I’m learning all sorts of useful things, chief of which is that my own blasted sense of honour and duty won’t let me quit in the middle of this hellhole. I plan to–

Ahaha. Midway through writing this, I got a call from one of the carers (one of my carers, because she is awesome and therefore one of my people) who just solved a big work-related problem for me. I feel much better.

Anyway, my plan is to stick things out for at least the next few weeks — insane hours and stupid girly work uniform aside — until we can get the new co-ordinator in and settled, and until I can see what the shape of my new job-niche looks like. And then I’ll go from there. Either things will get better, or they won’t and I’ll look for a new job.

Bizarrely, I feel optimistic either way. Apparently gut-wrenching exhaustion makes me fey.

August 29, 2010

[38] Ranty McRantison.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 20:46
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Today I had the privilege of working with an absolute berk.

He was twenty-six years my senior (though I outranked him, which, I’ll admit, was deeply satisfying) and utterly despicable. I found myself wishing he would die of impotence and scurvy. He was arrogant, racist, unbearably opinionated, massively overweight and sweaty, and just clever enough to be irritating but not enough to be useful. He cracked inappropriate, misogynist, horrible jokes all day, to the point that I threatened him with physical violence. And considered doing it.


I’m fortunate in my life, I think, that pretty much all the men I know are stand up, decent, honourable guys. Including the ones with XX-chromosomes, or otherwise. Part of that’s luck. Another big part is that I weed out the people I spend my time with pretty thoroughly. It’s a self-defence thing.

I found it genuinely, possibly naively shocking that this… weasel had survived past his thirtieth birthday. (Though not for the universe’s lack of trying, if his overblown accounts of being shot in Iraq, blown up in Iraq, assaulting a commanding officer in Iraq (and subsequently receiving a dishonourable discharge), and falling off a sixteen-foot crane in England are to be believed).

It’s a pet peeve of mine, when I read butch accounts that vilify men whilst lauding masculinity, as if masculinity only really works when housed on female foundations, but honestly, I wanted to cut this guy’s testicles off with an ice-cream scoop. He made me want to be female, truly female, out of sheer horror of sharing any commonalities.

Well, for a millisecond, anyway. Then I came to my senses and swore to be ten times the man.

It wouldn’t be hard.

August 19, 2010

[35] Two by two, pick your crew.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 19:14
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She has a direct stare. Rough voice. Rough all over, really, like a sandstone block with porcupine spikes. She regards me while we work, but I don’t pay much attention. Too busy with my hands. We chat.

Then she interrupts. “I need to ask you a question.”


“Are you male or female?”

I blink, blind-sided. It’s a kid’s question, something I haven’t heard since the playground. Adults aren’t that blunt; everything is “Can I help you, sir?” or “What would you like to drink, ma’am?” or a sidelong look and no pronoun guess at all. They never just ask.

Besides, our work rotas have our partner-for-the-day’s names printed with the gender-assignment right next to them. Everyone is ‘miss’ or ‘mr’, right there in black and white. In a weird way, it saves a lot of hassle.

Not today.

“Female,” I say at length.

Instant ache, right under the ribcage. Should have said ‘neither’, or ‘both’, or ‘what does it matter?’, but the little F is still on my driver’s licence, there are still curves beneath my binder and air between my legs, and I’m on the job. Female is the nearest thing to truth, except in every single way, but it’s good enough for the woman I have to see for twenty minutes more and maybe never again.

Except for how it’s not.

“Oh,” she says, all relief. She’s got an answer. Things make sense now. “Sorry, I just had to know.”

“No worries,” I say, dragging up a smile by the edges. “If I really cared about it, I’d grow my hair out.”

July 25, 2010

[31] Kick a man in his internet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 22:47
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So, it turns out my address doesn’t exist.

Only my life, man. I swear to God.

I should explain. My new (shiny! awesome!) apartment is number 17a. The tattoo shop below me? Also number 17a. Which’d explain why I’ve been getting all their mail. But they are the 17a officially registered with the Post Office, which means they legally own the right to that address.

I, on the other hand, cannot get a phone line installed because BT — British Telecommunications, holder of all phone lines — goes by the addresses registered with the Post Office, and refuse to install anything in an unregistered house.

Ergo, I cannot get a phone line.

Ergo, I cannot get an internet connection.

Ergo, I am losing my mind.

I’m stealing a friend’s internet right now. Between work, couch-surfing, dog-sitting, and my friend’s father being rushed to hospital after a bout of vomiting, collapsing, and seizing (seizing, because this month sucks), I’ve slept exactly one night in my own bed this week. I’ve spent the last few days at my friend’s place, providing moral support and generally getting underfoot. (I’ve been very helpfully picking raspberries, buying flowers, and hugging people a lot. I also called the ambulance and stayed relatively un-panicked while everyone else — except the nurse!daughter– worked themselves up into an understandable lather.)

(I’ll admit, I panicked a bit later. But quietly and on my own.)

(I should also mention: it looks like the father is going to be fine. He’s still in hospital, but hasn’t had a seizure in a few days, and all his heart tests have come back clean. We’re waiting on blood tests and CT scan results. The current theory is Addison’s disease, which’d be brilliant because it’s manageable with drugs and non-fatal. Scarier theories include mini-strokes — he’s had three already — and other neurological awfulness. We’re holding out for Addison’s disease.)

Randomly, I went to Pink Picnic today, which is Huddersfield’s version of a pride parade, except without the parade. Basically, a whole bunch of stalls and tents set themselves up in a field for a day, along with a stage and a few fairground rides, and everybody has Pride. It’s kind of sweet and soggy and pathetic and very, very British. There were also a few fabulous drag queen acts, including one lady who got up on stage dressed in a black PVC mini-dress and a pair of enormous red feather wings and sang ‘Stand By Your Man’*. I went with one pansexual, polyamourous friend who wore a giant rainbow flag-cape and rainbow cowboy hat all day, and a kinky MtF transgender acquaintance who wore a PVC stretch top, rubber face-gag, and a giant leather-pride flag-cape.

We got stared at like you wouldn’t believe.

Still, it was lots of fun. I went in jeans, a military shirt, and bought a pride ribbon and a rainbow bracelet. Mostly I got cruised by gay guys. I also saw the most drop-dead gorgeous butch in a grey shirt and low-slung jeans; I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t have the guts to talk to her. I just sort of… admired her from a distance.

I had to work this evening, so I didn’t get to go to the after-picnic party. But I did find out about a new (ish?) gay club that’s within walking distance of my place, and apparently pretty awesome. I plan to acquire a backbone and check it out. As soon as I remember the name, anyway.

And, while I’m on a roll, tomorrow looks to be exciting. I have to call my landlord (again) and shout at him about renting me an existential apartment; I have to call my garage (again) and yell at them about not calling me back; I have to pick up a mystery package I didn’t order from the post office; and I have to dog-sit for my dad.

Note to self: purchase throat-sweets.

(Okay, I’m kidding about the shouting. I don’t shout if I can avoid it. I speak firmly, with conviction, and stay excrutiatingly polite until they realize I’m also being entirely inflexible. It’s amazing how well that works.)

Oh, I forgot to mention: There were absolutely no butch!pride things at the picnic — which wasn’t terribly surprising — but they did have bear pride things, so I figured what the hell, it’s close enough, and bought a keychain/bottle opener. It’s sleek, made of steel, decorated in the bear!rainbow — lots of browns and tans — and has a little black pawprint in the corner. Sterling! Manly! Tough! Supportive of body hair! I like it, even if it does keep poking me in the hip.

* She advised people to sing along with the lyrics of their own choosing, which included ‘Stand On Your Man’, ‘Sit On Your Hand’, and if you were a straight man, ‘You’re In The Wrong Field, Buddy’. I adored her.

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