Winter, 1980. I took the train from Eugene, Oregon to Seattle, Washington for – oh, I don’t really remember. A conference or trade show or something like that.
This was the days before the internet, so I had used a travel agent to book a hotel in downtown Seattle. It was called the Winston, or Winton, or Windsor, or something like that. It was a little rundown, but clean. I stayed in my room for a while, practicing my juggling and watching the Winter Olympics.
But it was dinner time and I was feeling a might peckish, so I called the front desk to see if the hotel had a restaraunt. They didn’t, but recommended a small cafe around the corner.
As I walked down the hallway on my floor I noticed the door to one of the rooms was open and I glanced in. A beautiful young woman was putting on her makeup.
Well… After my dinner I rode the elevator up to my floor and stepped out. Every single door on my floor was open and people in ball gowns and fancy makeup and hair were walking up and down the hallway, laughing and talking. I glanced into one of the rooms (ALL the doors were open) and saw…
…A young man at the very beginning of his transformation.
Somehow, I had ended up on an entire hotel floor of drag queens – everyone but me!
The young man smiled and waved at me and I smiled and waved back. Everyone smiled at me as I walked down the hallway. I smiled back.
And then I went back to my room.
What? You went back to your room, you say?
I did. I went back to my room and practiced my juggling while watching the Winter Olympics.
I have no idea why I did not engage with these fascinating and friendly people. I certainly would today.
All I can do is hope that I will be given a second chance one day.