If the mass of creatures wandering past had transported me to a surreal world, the previous night had offered its own charms. The festivities had taken place to raise money for the local cultural trust, an annual event which on one monthly gallery crawl night celebrates the cosmopolitan city which has grown during my lifetime. And I'd been here the whole time to watch it happen.
If life is composed of a series of moments, the ones that had been strung together in just the last 24 hours had been among the best. As the end of the previous evening, we sat in the auditorium as karaoke got started. The drag queen/comedian who'd be our MC for the night looked down, and upon seeing the brash dress I'd selected for the day, recounted seeing me sipping tea earlier that afternoon at the same coffeeshop they'd stopped in. The vibrant print had been a choice, one I made knowing I'd stand out. So when I opted to sing, I did it knowing that I already stood out, and would probably be remembered for what I did.
The song was meant to be a duet, but I went it alone. My voice, changing for the second time in my life, had cracked a bit as I started, but dropped into a familiar range as I switched parts to do the refrain. I finished, "And many fantasies were learned on that day," before again going up a few octaves.
I worried when I finished if I had chosen poorly. But it was fleeting. I could own my history without denying or devaluing my reality. At least, I had learned to do it. As with those of the city that surrounded me, not every decision I'd made had panned out. But the result for both, at least for the moment, was serious progress in the right direction.