How to defeat a breathalyser.
Some gain self-respect from what they do- I met a man who ran his business into the ground, because it was his identity. I have not been paid to work for over four years. I gain self-respect from who I am. Right now I am feeling really, really good after one pleasant and one delightful encounter, so now is the time to do this.
I could feel bad about where I have got to in life- I have nothing. If this is because of my faults, I could find it crushing- and very few people have entirely easy life circumstances. Other people make something of their lives. I also like to feel I have agency- I am not just rushing down the rapids- because otherwise I could feel powerless. I have made choices, to come where I am.
I may have told this story before. I had three glasses of wine, and set off to drive home. The police officer stopped me on Broadway for bad driving, and breathalysed me. Then he arrested me and I went to the police station in the back of a windowless van. I was searched. I was dressed female, but not yet transitioned. He told me the trick to defeat the breathalyser: at rest, you breathe out only a small part of the air in your lungs, so the air left inside over several breaths gets suffused with alcohol. So, while the other officer set up the machine, I breathed out as fully as I could several times, to get nice clean air in my lungs.
That I could establish a relationship with the man who had arrested me, such that he would tell me this, is a huge gift. I am deeply empathetic.It increased my confidence that I could transition: there I was in thick make-up with beard stubble, and treated decently. I might find enough people to treat me well enough, transitioned.
I was chatting to someone by the bike racks. “Give me a lift, would you?” I explained why I could not- on the back, you would crush the chocolates in my panniers, on the front, I could not see. He used to cycle, but now could not because he might lose his foot- diabetes. “Charcot’s?” Yes. Then you can’t cycle. There are no taxis. He should have worn his cast. He could go and wait for the bus. He wanted to talk, I showed I would let him.
She trusts me, and I am delighted.
I have told that story. A legal argument which in almost all circumstances would fail, such that I thought of not opposing the motion and having the extra time in the office. Yet I found the arguments and evidence and pursued them remorselessly, and won the argument. I can be thrawn in pursuing what I feel is right.
On agency: I wanted to hide from the World. I always have, I have pursued various ways of doing this, and finally come to the one which works: staying in my house most of the time. I have actually achieved what I wanted, which gives me the space and time to heal and find what else I might want.
Good characteristics have bad side-effects. Continental drift produces earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. It happens because the mantle is molten, because the core is hot: which creates the Earth’s magnetic field, without which cosmic rays would make life impossible on Earth. I can be happy with my gifts- not only because of what I have achieved with them, but because this creature, this animal, is complex, beautiful, worthy of respect, good in myself.
Though it helps to know others respect me, and particularly to feel good generally.
So many El Greco Annunciations! I particularly love her halo in this. You might think she would be fazed by the encounter, but apparently not, as she spoke back to him. “But how can this be, since I am a virgin?”