Rahn settled into his bus seat, pulled off his solar shades, and glanced up just in time to see a woman holding a wig bow ceremoniously to the seat she was leaving and walk ass-first off the bus.
He instantly fell in love with the spectacle.
It called to mind the dancer he had seen on the bus the cycle before. Rahn had noted him right from the start; eschewing a seat, he instead lay down his bag and cemented himself in a warrior’s stance as the bus idled.
But when it began to move – oh! Rahn’s heart still soared to think of it. His strong upper tentacles swung powerfully like the limbs of a glingu beast thundering through the Fardax forest. He stayed strongly rooted to the floor, but just as easily swung one tentacle out and slid around the support pole with a delicate artistry.
There were perhaps two or three other people on the bus; they were a behind Rahn and the dancer, and he couldn’t see how they were reacting. For himself, Rahn did his best not to look, not to stare – as he had been taught from earliest youth.
But he couldn’t not look, not completely. Was it exercise? Exhibitionism? Was it some kind of social test? It was just some guy dancing – but then, of course it wasn’t.
It was so bold. Beautiful. Funny, and sad – no, poignant. Rahn reached for his EM to message his boyfriend, but he didn’t want to disrespect the dancer by making him a joke.
An anecdote. An example of how strange people can be. Rahn didn’t like the social order, but since so many parts of him were far outside it, he needlessly clung to others. Hunched over in gray and black clothes, Rahn generally gave the clear visual impression of trying to disappear.
In the past he’d worn animal-print pants and electric yellow pullovers, but his current profession and mood had put his style decisions on mute.
Yes, he often painted his suckers – a deep metallic silver. “Garage Band,” they called it. That seems right, he thought, proudly sporting the paint until it was just a tinted halo around each sucker.
He was jealous of them – all the glingu beasts and jungle-stalking kirnirans. People with the power and presence to impress – in bright colors, clashing patterns and bold accents.
He wanted to be like them – he also wanted to feel safe. The shame and jealousy felt like hot tar clinging to his tentacles.
When am I going to want to be me? Rahn wondered. I’d really just like to be me.