A short drabble for the first day of Asexual Awareness Week.
It starts, as do all things that are worth it in the long
run, as something small.
It starts with a nondescript black ring, placed reverently
and cautiously into the palm of his hand like a treasure. The cool edges sink
into his skin, already part of him, sleek and silent and powerfully symbolic
only to those who already knew.
It starts with the realization that even the sturdiest of
rings would be rendered piecemeal by the
working joints of a bionic, flame-throwing hand, and the discreet exchange of a
silvered metal proximal phalanx for a black one.
As all things that are worth it in the long run, however, it
It grows into races around the city, eyes straining for the
most unintentional of references to ‘ace’. They are two of a kind, tracing blurred
lines through the streets, ascribing validation to unaware wordings, jubilant
in the knowledge of their sameness, breathless
at the knowledge of their apartness,
thrilling and celebratory of who they are in a city where no one else is quite
It grows into striped stickers they slap, with suppressed laughter,
into the corners of shop doors, on lamp posts, that say “You are not alone” and
It grows into a white cape painted with gray, blacks, and
purples – much to the initial chagrin of its owner – and worn the day a monster
borne from the sexual frustration of misogynistic office workers manifested. It
was a horrible day overall, as many of the following news reports were
themselves written by misogynistic old men attempting to reduce their heroic
efforts to “machinations of those who wish to prevent anyone from engaging in
such pleasurable activities, given that they themselves are unable to achieve
them” and denying the existence of a monster in the first place. Accurate
reporting of the incident was initially only available from several news stations
with a higher ratio of female employees, at least until the not-so-discreet
demand that the Hero Association ensure quality news reports from at least the
more influential news stations was passed along.
It grows into the installation of railing flower planters
filled with foamy black, gray, white, and purple flowers. Neither of them are sure
whether black or gray flowers really exist, but a certain doctor seems to have
acquaintances of all sorts. Including, apparently, one who specialized in
flowers of unrealistic colors.
It grows into something brought up at every interview, to
explain the lack of girlfriends and discourage the nonstop barrage of erotic
fan-letters. For whatever reason, this seems to only encourage further
questioning and an increased volume of amorous letters, worried, consoling, each
confident in their ability to convince them of their inherent wrongness.
It grows until the names of two particular heroes are
whispered by those who have finally found someone visible, someone like them.
It grows until some of the fan letters express gratefulness not only for their
hero work, but for their unceasing support of those like them. Thank you, these letters read, for letting me know that the way I am isn’t
Their visibility is a process, but every day it becomes more
a part of who they are. It takes effort sometimes, forces them to lash out
against those who deny them their existence, but every single letter, every single
quietly proud black ring, and every single moment they share just knowing who they are, and that it’s
alright, and that they are understood and loved for who they are, is worth it.