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Trans* Continental — Day One

12 June, 2012

I have finished the first leg of my transcontinental journey from Virginia to Minnesota. So far the trip has been relatively smooth. I stopped three times while traveling. The first was an urgent need to use the restroom. I was hoping to make it all the way through West Virginia without stopping, but my bladder forced the issue. It was a nerve-wracking experience because the stall doors didn’t lock. The entire time I was in there I worried about someone walking in on me and flipping their shit. It was the fastest tuck ever, but I got out with nothing more than a few bemused stares. Thank you West Virginia, this is the reason so many trans* people get bladder and kidney infections.

Next came a Pennsylvania fuel stop. “Fuel for me and fuel for my baby,” as Dean Winchester would say. While at Hardee’s (I haven’t been near one of them for a while) I had a couple of gawkers making me their dinner entertainment but other than prolonged rudeness there were no issues. Sheetz, the fuel station, sat just across the road with an easy turn back onto the interstate. They had a lurker there. He stated at me while I was pumping gas and then followed me about the station while I got a snack for on the road. When I paid and headed back to the car I kept my keys laced between my fingers, just in case, but he stopped about fifteen feet shy of the car and just watched as I drove away.

Another three hours on the road put me just outside of Columbus, Ohio. Five o’clock came fast and I had grown tired of asphalt (no pun intended but intentionally left in). I stopped at a Comfort Inn first. I wondered if it was going to be too expensive for my budget, but never got the chance to find out. As soon as I walked in the door the manager, Ahmed (according to the shiny, brass name tag), said, “May I help you, SIR?” I smiled and shook my head. “Apparently not,” I replied. I headed down the street to the Red Roof Inn. Here ageing rocker Kelly was polite and used the appropriate pronouns. (See, Ahmed, not that difficult.)

There is a café across the lot where I’ll grab some supper tonight before getting some sleep. Three hundred thirty-six miles traveled today. Eight hundred and sixth-four miles across three and a half states left to go.

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