normal woman


this is Michelle/Ryan Lunicke – “ze” queer as F#$@K

I hear a man say to another on the ferry over coffee, “Yeah, she got knocked up and then became a normal woman. Had three kids.”

Normal woman? Hm. What is that? I wonder if that woman is glad to now be thought of as normal or disappointed in herself, or lying, or finally feeling at home?

His statement seems particularly bewildering because I just came from “ze” queer as F@#$K at the Fringe. It’s a one person show written by my dear and brave Lunicke: a deeply personal, complicated, painful, fascinating and very hilarious journey through the wild world of gender identity. I love how it gave my head a spin.

My sister texts me a picture of her living room, now suitably off beige and ready for the market. It’s rather heartbreaking because she had whimsically painted it “rockstar” with sugar skulls and lime green curlycues and all things gorgeous bright and saucy. Now a normal woman could live there and it could suit her normal furniture.

unknown-1When Nora and I get off the ferry, the mysterious Eagle Cliff bus schedule has eluded us and so we hitch. It’s pouring rain but warm and we giggle at our suddenly sodden situation.

A wheelie blonde named Julia and her daughter Isabella pull up in an old car and wavy us in. They are already squealing with delight because they’ve been spying a double rainbow that seems to arc from the mountains right into the sea.

Though it is dusk and a line of cars are behind us on the narrow cliff side road, Julia keeps pulling over the car and gawking over the side of the road at the view. “Look at that, just LOOK at that! This is the kind of rainbow you get a pot of gold with!” I agree. It’s so vibrant, it’s opaque. “You can see every single colour” says Isabella. Nora just giggles with delight that these gals are so exuberant.

About six blocks from home, Julia gasps, “oh I am so sorry, but I’m gonna run out of gas and I live on the other side of the island. I have to drop you off here or we’re all gonna be  in trouble!” haha, so Nora and I get out and the rain has stopped. We walk home under God’s promise and Nora says, “That was a very Bowen moment.”images-1

Who is that normal woman I’ve been thinking about all day? I don’t think I have met her. She sounds terribly unhappy to me. Or perhaps she doesn’t exist at all, but she’s a figment of our imagination. Perhaps it’s a front. Perhaps she’s a quiet mousy sort who buys the beige house with the beige walls and doesn’t squawk at rainbows but quietly drives her Pathfinder home. Then, when she’s closed the curtains and locked the door, she blasts Danse Macabre, and cuts small animals into tiny little pieces and makes them into an offering for some long forgotten Roman goddess.

Or perhaps she’s just finally found her colour: beige, and her tribe: suburbia, and her stores: The Gap, Safeway and Costco. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe she’s just not my normal.unknown


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