Hi from NM
Friday, May. 24, 2019 - 11:07 pm.

Hi from New Mexico. It's been a good week, much better than my anxiety allowed me to anticipate. The surroundings are beautiful, the family's OK. Brother #2 lives kind of like in the middle of the desert, in a city that appears to be permanently half-empty and which goes at a very slow pace. Everything is a 10-minute drive away. My brother and his wife have a hectic schedule with their two children, but they're doing great.

My biggest concern about this trip, my family's reaction to my bisexuality article online, has yet to materialize. It seems it might not. I hope it doesn't. My sister (the only one who was aware of this text's existence) told me that my dad did read the article, and she said something like "he liked it, but he didn't understand it. It's best not to bring it up".

My dad seems very withdrawn, which doesn't surprise me, but it's frustrating. It's hard to get through him, it's hard have a conversation with him in terms of topics and how much he listens. Monologues about politics or about his cancer are his thing. So I think him not understanding my article is the best I could hope for. It seems he might not say anything about it. He still might, but fingers crossed he won't. 

I was asked to continue writing for the online newspaper that published the article. I got excited about the proposal, then I said no fucking way if they're not paying me, and in the end I said yes-ish. I talked over Skype with the journalist that keeps track of me, and told her I already had the experience of writing a fortnightly column, and it burned me out. We agreed on a monthly column for three months, and then see how life goes for me (seriously: by September it's a new career in a new town for me).

It sucks to be writing for free, but this is the first time that I'm sure I'll have an audience. I do have some things to say, too. 

This leaves me in an awkward position, however. I don't want to keep this writing gig a secret from my parents. I mean, it wouldn't be a secret, they'll see popping up in their feed, the way they already saw my bisexuality article. But I mean, I don't want them to blindside them again. I have been feeling guilty over them finding out about my column from other people. But I'm a coward, I guess, and it's really hard and uncomfortable to have serious conversations with them. We'll see. 

Ok, so these last few days: I've spent them with Andrew, my parents, my sister, my five-year-old niece (Niece #2), and Brother #2. A little less time with his wife, Sister-in-law #2, Nephew #1 (who's Brother #1's son but lives here while studying medicine), and Nephew #3, son of Brother #2. I know, so many people. 

It's been nice, though. My family, I'd say, has fewer inner conflicts than average, and we get along fine. So we've been together since Tuesday afternoon, going out around the city or just chilling at home. Brother #2's house is quite big, so we all have our own space and our rooms are separated by corridors, which is quite convenient. As the house is in the middle of the desert, it's also very quiet. So nice. 

Besides having to face my parents, I was scared of SIL #2, because I tend to think she doesn't like me, and she's quite religious and conservative. But we've had nice conversations, she bought me a scarf that she saw me eyeing, and we even discussed a bit about transgender people. She's a medical doctor, like Brother #2, and I could tell she's struggling with the latter subject.

She brought up the subject on her own. I just took the chance to say that my doctoral thesis addresses gender identity so we continued talking about it. She mentioned a cringeworthy comment about Sodom and Gomorrah, but I pray half of what I said went through her head. 

Each day has felt like it's passing very slowly, yet my time here in New Mexico has gone by so fast. My parents, my sister, Andrew and I are flying to Houston on Monday. I've tried to make the most of the time with Brother #2 and family, and I'm really glad we came. Brother #2 even has a gym at the back of his house, and today he and I did a very intense workout. 

Nephew #3 (11 years old) and Niece #2 barely know me, and I'm a bit sad that we don't interact a lot. At most, I've played BKB with my nephew in his BKB court outside the house, but playing means I just get the ball for him. I'm a stranger to them, I realize, so I try to be nice to them, but not invade their space. 

So this is it for now. I think my next post will be from Houston. I'm not covering every detail of my week here, but let the record show that it's been wonderful so far.

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