The memory of the skin
The three of us were in the elevator and suddenly it stops just as the weird guy in women's clothes starts putting on hand cream. On impact, the product knob fell and within seconds he was panicking, looking claustrophobic.
The woman next to him calms him down, while I try to find help, without success. It's obvious we'd spend some time together trapped on the 11th floor.
Then we started talking, when the young man who is afraid of closed spaces discovers the identity of the woman who helped him, he initially screams:
"Hey! I know you? Aren't you... No! What a horrible coincidence!" - he says, making exaggeratedly derogatory gestures, as if the woman were suffering from some contagious virus - "Really, you're the last person I would have wanted to spend the last moments of my life with."
The woman and I exchanged a look of wonder mixed with intrigue that immediately turned to shame.
(End of five minutes)
It seems that they had a shared history, a common experience, but they did not recognize each other at first and the woman was ashamed in front of me because she felt exposed, even though I did not understand that there was a whole issue of discrimination, overcoming, and evolution behind it.
The woman turned to him with a recriminating face, saying:
"In truth, I didn't recognize you either, many moons have passed since the last time I saw you. I would never have recognized you in woman's outfit, you so macho and proudly heterosexual, dressed as a woman? I never would have imagined it. In our distorted relationship, supposedly, only I was different and I fought to fix that and I succeeded! I don't know how you recognized me, but I hope it wasn't from the memory of the skin!"
"Actually, I think it was. When you touched me to help me, all my senses twitched, and the memory I had of you triggered the old electrical synapse I felt when I touched you, remember we investigated that together because of what I was telling you I felt with your touch... But, you left me without any explanation and I was filled with hatred and I got into a maze trying to experiment and understand your position and I got lost... I could never find myself again and now I see you, more beautiful than ever and I..."
I was just listening, there was nothing I could say. Life is so complicated that it's hard to judge and put yourself in the shoes of a transvestite, a transgender, or whatever happened in the case I was witnessing. There is so much pain locked up in that world, that respect is the least I felt I should show. So I sat in the elevator, pulled out my cell phone to try to give them space and privacy in their reunion. And, almost immediately, the service was restored and we were able to get out of the elevator, each in a different direction, with no more apparent damages than the tremendous shock.
In response to @mariannewest in Day 935: 5 Minute Freewrite: Wednesday - Prompt: hand cream