Went with M up to Bagby Springs today. It's up the Clackamas River from Portland, a well known hotspring with a wide 1.5 mile trail to it. It was raining so she predicted it would be busy. There are several different tubs. All the private tubs were taken and the log tubs and round tub on the deck were full and suffering from not enough water. The upstream tub, the nicest one, had three big Russian men in it. They were well muscled men with some padding, but not the sedentary bellies that so many American men put on at the same age. We considered our options and decided to go talk to the Russian men. On the way up I'd told her I'd be willing to get into a hot tub with just about anyone, except maybe a pack of Russian men. And there they were. So I challenged myself to be open again.
We went to the tub area and talked to them. They said sure we could get in, but they were wary. They heated the tub up very hot, and when I tested the water there was no way I was going to get in. They made a big joke about Russians liking it hot, but I sat on the bench and waited for them to pass out. They got out with skin rather red. I asked them where their women were. We learned that the older two were married but the 29 year old man was unmarried. They were trying to get me interested in him but I said "No, too young" and apologized to him on the side. The were all out of work. There were a embarrassed about their English but knew much more of my language than I know of theirs. I ruminated that I only know one word of Russian, which is "Da", and M chimed in that she knows "vodka". We laughed, yes, she speaks Vodka. The men had things to say about that. We were trying to communicate. They were laughing too. Eventually we made our move, we kept our clothes on but we got in the water with the Russians. They lasted another 45 minutes before yielding the tub to us. We did OK. They tried to tell us about a true Russian sauna, and the alpha male of the group indicated that he'd been in the sauna that morning and would be again tomorrow. I wished that we could communicate better. I know full well how large is the gap between their culture and mine, so I do not expect anything. I wait to see what will happen. We didn't reach any earth-shattering agreements, but we also managed to share a hot tub in the forest with decency and respect. I was pleased.
After the Russians left a person came and joined us in the tub, and we all got naked. I would call her a butch female, but s/he outed herself as trans. I couldn't tell trans which way, but I instinctively call her a her, so I'm doing it here. S/he said that s/he doesn't care what pronoun people affix, doesn't matter. S/he considers herself to be in between gender, beyond gender maybe even. S/he's smart, and s/he's a trouble maker, an admitted bad girl, been in trouble with the law and got arrested for stalking. Today's cleanup of the hot springs area was the last required community service after the stalking ordeal. Sounds like a trumped up charge. Sounds like s/he might get in cops faces and so they beat her around, she gets video of it and shows the world what brutes they are. Sounds like lots of things. I liked her all right. I didn't know the names s/he dropped, or get half the jokes, but I high fived anyway. S/he said she's a ""bad queer" in that s/he doesn't say do believe the things that s/he is supposed to. Her buddy showed up later, another criminal who was doing community service cleaning up the area. The criminals are smart enough to get the best community service positions.
It dawned on me later that the Russians are the ones who are apparently dangerous to queers. I've read about beatings and worse. I'm glad our tranny friend didn't out him/herself to the Russians. No wonder I feel on edge after the whole evening. Everybody has an agenda, a drama, some intensity. I just want to sit in the warm water and watch the raindrops splatter. Oh, one aside on Russians, it looks like I have a new LJ friend who is a Russian who writes about politics. I looked over his journal and it was interesting. I didn't add. I think I've had enough for one day.