The Time Traveler’s Same-Sex Partner


I’ve come to understand that the internet is all abuzz, atwitter, and ageekin’ about a certain video clip.  Unlike most viral videos, this one is black and white, has no audio track, and features a very small but fully dressed cast.  There are no double rainbows, no conspicuous consumption of  tooth-rotting cocktails, and certainly no bed intruders.  It is also over 80 years old.

What makes this video so remarkable is that it features a dumpy, grumpy, vaguely mannish woman who appears to be engaged in a heated conversation…on a cell phone… at the premiere of a Charlie Chaplin film. …over 80 years ago.   She is the center of a swirling vortex of speculation and controversy.   What is she talking into?  Who is she talking to?  Is she just talking into some old-timey contraption for the hard-of -hearing or is she a time traveller?

It’s easy to confuse the deaf for time travellers.  I mean, look at Marlee Matlin: there seems to be a smug and somehow knowing air about her that says “I’ve got a secret…a secret called TIME ITSELF.”  But the truth of the matter is, that lady in the video can hear just fine.  How do I know?  Because that lady is me.  And yes, I am indeed a time traveller.

That’s right:  I travelled back to 1928 as a butch and beefy fifty-something to catch the premier of a Chaplin movie. (I’d become a huge Chaplin fan in my old age. Literally.) I went to all the trouble of blending in with the era-appropriate old lady clothes and everything! And I would have gotten away with it, too, if  my partner Kate hadn’t called to tell me to pick up some damn eggs on the way home. So thanks to the unbroken Mobius strip known as the space-time continuum, I am pissed– past, present, and future.   Way to go, Kate!

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