It was lovely to see Jenny again, after three years. She felt the need to explain that the Dungeons and Dragons manual in her bag was her husband’s, and she was getting rid of it. She had recently rejoined the Socialist Workers Party in order to form a faction and leave en masse, over the sexually abusive conduct of Martin Smith. Like mine, her parents were Tories, but she moved to the Left long before I did. I bemoaned the fact that the left splits- why so many tiny factions? There is room for one party to the Left of Labour, and possibly with Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell, we should get with the programme and support them. Having Tory parents meant she had to think through her politics, rather than merely inherit them.
She was doing the Macmillan job at the CAB: benefit advice, claims and appeals for cancer sufferers. Well, now there is no public funding a cancer charity is about the best funder we could hope for. She has left it, and is volunteering two days a week doing that job. They had tried recruiting but could not find an appropriate candidate.
We must do this again, we said, and swapped phone numbers.
So I thought, what if I called up the CAB and applied for that job? I did not ask the questions, but- imagining that funding was reasonably secure for a year; that they would accept I could pick the job up reasonably quickly- I have done little advising on ESA and none on PIP, but I would just take a little longer with the initial few interviews looking up the CPAG handbook, might read it a bit at home, and soon get up to speed.
Today, New Year’s Eve, was tedious. I did my week’s washing by hand in the morning, dozed after lunch, read watched telly or played on the blog in the afternoon. It is horrible. It is utterly boring, unfulfilling, pointless. I should email people about Area Meeting on the 10th, and have not, yet. Possibly I should not associate with that woman (not Jenny)- I compare myself with her glorious energy and resilience, and am shamed. And she thinks I am a mutilated man, wrong about transition, and that transition is always inauthentic invalid and Patriarchal, which is not good for my sense of self. Yet the thought of working for the CAB again feels worse. Over those 18 years there were good times and I remember it as frustration and failure. I told Jenny of being called “condensating” and her answer was something like, don’t take it so seriously. She told me of an irritating DWP worker and dismissed him. I know that makes sense.
After coffee with Jenny I went for lunch with Richard and his Aspergers chums. I chatted to Melissa about visiting family while the men talked of the failures of the NHS. Of course I knew, like with Trans, there is this one important characteristic but people have different personalities and qualities, but meeting the four together rammed that lesson home. Philip, who I hear is a proficient organist and a Young-Earth Creationist, was continually in humorous mode, high-fiving us all many times, each time one said something moderately clever, and addressing Richard humorously as “Doctor”. Richard has a PhD. It was not varied. It was only mildly irritating: even charming at times, which may be the intent. Melissa had moved South from Wigan because the business opportunities were so much greater. I met slightly odd people who had overcome the difficulty of not being able to read others’ emotions except through conscious learning about body-language.