pantry and sundries

Dear Reader,

Some of the following is true.

When I was a child, we lived in a house with a small a room off the kitchen. On one side of the room were a washing machine and a drier. On the other side pole shelves reached all the way to the ceiling. On them were kept big pots and pans, canned goods and sundries. When my mother spoke about something laundry related, she spoke of the laundry room. When she referred to something on the shelves, she spoke of the pantry. In my mind, laundry room and pantry were synonymous, as they referred to the same room.

Before I was born, I had a twin sister, but I ate her, absorbed her cells into mine while still in the womb. My friend Roo said that might be why I wasn’t masculine, and why I liked boys and not girls. When I was a child, being effeminate and being gay were synonymous in my mind, because that’s what society told me.

When I was a child, my father told me that besides the colours Green and Blue, there were another two: Grue and Bleen. Things that were Grue looked Green to us, but in the year 2000 would be revealed as Blue. Things that were Bleen appeared Blue, but in the year 2000 would be revealed as Green. On January 1, 2000, I phoned my father and told him the drawer handles on my desk had mysteriously turned blue, having been green up until then.

When I was little, they told me that Boys would be Boys, and Girls would be Girls. When I was a little older, Roo told me there were people that we thought were Boys but who would turn out to be Girls, and people we thought were Girls, but who would turn out to be Boys. By the year 2000 I knew this was true. But nobody told me about people who were neither Boys nor Girls.

When I was a child, my father complained once that I had put the toilet roll on backwards. He said eighty percent of people preferred pulling it over the top, and only twenty percent liked pulling it under the bottom. I said I didn’t believe one hundred percent of people had an opinion about this.

When I was a teenager, there was a joke going round. Someone would say that eighty percent of men masturbated in the shower, but the rest preferred to sing. Do you know what they sing? you’d be asked. You’d say no, and they’d say ewww, pointing a finger at you. But when Roo told me the joke, I failed the test. I said, What about those of us who do both?

When I was a child, I was told we would be friends forever. I believed it, I loved Roo, and we taught each other so much, even if some of it turned out to be wrong. But people change, and grow apart, and life gets in the way. While Roo still has a good heart, we no longer enjoy each other’s company. But I love Roo and always will, so maybe that makes us friends still.



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