“It’s my decision,” Cat said. “I get to decide just who I am.”
It was the Wednesday night commune meeting and Sal and Dan had just talked about the CEOC Convocation.
Then Cat had an item. “Okay, I’ve thought about this for a while now and I have decided that I’m gender-free and non-sexual.”
“Can you explain what you mean by that?” Nancy asked.
“Sure,” Cat said. “I don’t think of myself having a gender and no longer want to be thought of as having one. I also don’t want to be sexual with anyone.”
“But that doesn’t make sense,” Broc said. “I can see that you’re a…”
“Stop,” Cat interrupted. “You don’t get to tell me what I look like. I get to define who I am.”
“I’ve known you for a long time,” Darren said. “I will support you in being whoever you say you are. It may take me a bit to get used to it, but feel free to correct me.”
“Me, too,” said Marge. “You can count on my support.”
“Hey,” said Blue Sky. “I like this gender-free thing. I am declaring myself gender free as well.”
“Wait a minute,” said Sowbug who was taking notes. “I’ve got to keep track of who is gender free here.”
“I am all man,” said Broc.
“I figured that,” said Sal.
“So is anyone else gender free?” asked Luna.
“I think at the moment,” said Sowbug, looking at the notes, “that it’s just Cat and Blue Sky.”
“Well, we started this commune as an alternative,” said Luna, “and I think we need to support each person being who they are.”
“Amen to that,” said Viv, and then remembered she was supposed to be facilitating. “Okay, next item. Luna, what’s this about someone’s anniversary?”
“It’s our anniversary,” Luna said. “We started this commune a year ago last summer. I think we should do something to celebrate.”
The rest of the meeting was taken up with ideas for celebrating the commune’s anniversary.
The next day was a little rough on Cat.
First, Grace kept quizzing Cat about what it meant.
“I don’t understand how you can not have a gender,” she said. “You look like you have a gender.”
“Well, I don’t accept people’s ideas of my gender,” Cat said. “I’m being how I want to be. Why does that bother you?”
“What if I told people that I didn’t have an age?”
“Wouldn’t bother me,” Cat said.
Broc did not say anything more about Cat’s gender, but kept looking at Cat which made Cat somewhat anxious. Fortunately, he worked out in the fields and Grace worked in the house (and Marge was a strong supporter of Cat’s and had a little discussion with Grace).
But then something happened at the produce stand that took Cat’s mind completely off of these conversations.
It had been a busy shift at the produce stand but they were finishing up for the night. Paul G had counted up the cash from their sales and was rushing it off to the main house when he tripped on a step and went flying. Money flew all over the place, too.
Cat and Blue Sky went rushing over to Paul G to see if he was okay.
“Don’t worry about me,” he gasped. “Get the money.”
The two of them quickly rounded up the bills and coins, which fortunately hadn’t bounced far. They then went back to Paul G, who was rubbing his ankle. “It hurts a bit,” he admitted. “Could the two of you help me up?”
With the help of Cat and Blue Sky, Paul G stood up, but as soon as he put some weight on his left foot, he screamed and collapsed. “Sorry,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to walk.”
Cat stayed with him while Blue Sky ran to the house to get help.
“We called for an ambulance,” Blue Sky announced after returning. “It should be here very soon. I hope.”
Unfortunately, it took almost forty-five minutes for the ambulance to arrive. Cat and Blue Sky told Paul G every joke and silly story that they knew.
Finally, a big white vehicle with a flashing red light came screaming up the road.
“Sorry it took so long,” one of the ambulance attendants apologized. “We ran into tire trouble with one of the trucks and had to go back and get the other one.”
Carefully, and with help from Blue Sky and Cat, the two attendants got Paul G onto the stretcher. Cat gave them the story of his accident while he just lay there and winced.
“Wait a second,” Paul G said as the attendants started to roll him into the ambulance. “I gotta say something to these two.”
He looked at Cat and Blue Sky. “I don’t care who or what either of you says you are. Both of you are just wonderful. I love you two!”
And with that he was rolled up into ambulance which drove off, sirens wailing.
“Well, at least one person gets it,” Blue Sky said to Cat.