The barista at the counter was someone I knew. Hooray, I thought. Free coffee.

She blinked at me, when I went up and said “How’s it going”, with the familiarity of someone you’ve met. Half a beat, and she realized who I was. Now she looked bemused.

“It’s funny”, she said. “You look like a different person every time I see you.”

“Is it a good different?”, I asked, uncertainly. This was the same girl who’d told me that I was a beautiful person, the first time we’d met. Awkwardly she’d explained that no, she was’t talking about my soul. “With the hair, and the face. It’s good for my eyes”, she’d said.

“Well, the first time I met you, you were wearing this really nice frilly dressed up shirt (it had been an indian tunic). The second time- yesterday- you looked really chill, like really dyke-y ” (I’d been wearing black pants, and a black sleeveless sweater with loose shampooed hair, tired, and kohl-smudged eyes). And today, you have the glasses and the lipstick and the bun.”

“It’s just funny”.

I grinned at her, took my free iced coffee, and headed upstairs to my nook. I’d never been called dyke-y before. I was carrying a copy of ‘The Feminine Mystique’, and living in a feminist commune at the time. Clearly, they were rubbing off on me. Being called dyke-y made me strangely happy. I wasn’t entirely sure about the rest, though.

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