She was 40 but could easily pass for 25. Her 3 year old daughter was rambunctious but very cute and friendly and approached me as I sat just enough to get the caution signal from her worried mother which then prompted the start of a chat at the mall coffee establishment where we were seated (at sufficient distance I might add).

I am friendly with people and especially with women because they are naturally more open with each other. It's not lost on me that it helps I am taken as one of them. We inquire about our respective backgrounds after I hear her speak in what I first thought was a Slavic language (which turned out to be Russian). I ask if her husband is also from there and after am asked about origins of my own which I find comforting even if I no longer concern myself with passing as a ciswoman. The conversation flows nicely for maybe 5 minutes after which time her daughter gave me a big smile and a heartfelt "Bye!"
I cannot explain why being where I am these days is so comforting to me despite having tried to understand it all my life. But nevertheless, I have decided to just go with it.


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