We went to a basement rummage sale at the church around the block today. Of all the churches near our apartment, this is the one that I call the gay church. Sometimes when we are walking the dog on Sunday mornings, we see all the gay male couples going to church there. Sometimes they put up rainbow banners about how they accept everyone. It is nice. We went in the last ten minutes or so of the sale, so I must have missed all the good stuff. I did pick up a small red corduroy purse, a green plate with asian-type fish on it and a very nearly new stuffed Paddington Bear.

There was a whole table of stuffed animals. At first I thought about that Plushies web site a friend told me about... where people have sex with stuffed animals and take pictures of it. Scoresby and Brian thought the same thing. We are all ruined on stuffed animals forever. These stuffed animals were surprisingly clean and new for a rummage sale, though. Gay guys must really take care of their stuffed animals, I thought. My total came to $1.50, but I gave the guy at the checkout $3 since it was a fund raiser for the Whitman Walker AIDS food bank. The guy had on a shirt that said “Art Fag”, which was funny. But he was kinda snippy with me. Oh well. I love that I live in a gay neighborhood and I’d never live anywhere else.

Afterwards we go back home to spend a few hours hanging around doing nothing until we have plans to go to the movies. I spend mine trying to nap with the smelly dog. He’s a whore for warmth and gets himself under the covers so fast. I can’t sleep, but he is snoring in no time, his little head on my shoulder seems so human when he snores. A little man in a fur suit.

The leaves out my window are clapping. A thousand tiny yellow hands. They are at a concert and they clap between the breeze’s songs. Sometimes they all clap at once. A whole tree worth. And sometimes it is only the bottom section or the top or just a few. Their applause makes me laugh. Scoresby asks me what I’m laughing at and I say, “The leaves are clapping.” This sounds crazy if you aren’t looking out the window.

The sky is hiding behind The Cairo, the tallest building in this part of my city. I stretch toward the window and turn on my back to get a glimpse of it. Grey afternoon raining sky. The dog moans at me and moves to the foot of the bed.

I take in the breeze and it smells orange. Orange and crispy and soggy; this day is. Scoresby asks me what I’m doing. I say, nothing. But I am doing a lot. With my eyes and my nose I am relearning autumn. But with my hands I am following the curves of my changing body. I have ribs. They were always there, but never within reach until now. My left breast is getting so small. It was always the little one, but now it seems so tiny. Like a partially deflated balloon next to the other one. I’m glad I never got that breast reduction like I always wanted. This way is much better. There are new indentions in my arms. New lines marking where the fat ends and the muscle begins. It is amazing. I think that when I was larger, I used to ignore my body entirely. My own physical person was something I rarely thought about. But now the whole thing seems alive and changing and fascinating to me.

I gather up the small smelly man in the fur suit and take that nap.