Yakima, Washington sits just outside the Yakama (Native American) Reservation. I grew up in Yakima.
I began smoking cigarettes in Yakima. One of the great buys could be had just a couple of miles from my home on Ahtanum Road, conveniently on my way to work at Miner’s Drive In.
The Smoke Shack was a little bigger than today’s coffee huts, and every bit as convenient. Drive up. Order your smokes. Pick up a lighter. Drive away.
The price? Well, back then I think I paid about 35¢ to 50¢ a pack. A $5.00 carton. Eeegads! Can you imagine???
As a child I marveled on day excursions to the Yakima Valley. Wapato. Toppenish. Sunnyside. There were Pow-Wows where the tribe would dress, sing, share. Jewelry and beadwork drew my eye, but the presence of soft leather and woven baskets were my favorite. Conjuring the drums, soft dance, beautiful skin and facial features so different from my own brings me to childhood. I can still taste the fried bread slathered with butter and fruit jam.
I no longer buy cigarettes or eat fried bread slathered with butter and jam. The Yakamas? Well, they are firmly rooted in my heart.
The probe is a delicate dance. You cannot probe forcefully – it becomes an assault. To coax a response that transcends defenses, you must tread carefully. Gingerly. Respectfully. Lead without alarm.
The art of proceeding gingerly is overshadowed by splashier and nosier displays, temporarily shoving subtlety into the back seat.
A subtle questioning, however, will build a narrative. The line of breadcrumbs is almost visible. There is satisfaction in a clever dialogue of questions and answers. We crave that insight.
We love well-written dialogue on screen and in written word. The secrets revealed through subtle probing are the payoff. The gentle dance that underscores the greater commotion is key to pulling the story together.
The purpose of this is to expand transgender awareness, share information on health and fitness, and start discussions on societal ethics. It's also a way for my friends and family to stay updated on what's going on with me.