A deliveryperson rang the bell at 7 am. I was expecting them, but I rolled out of bed.
I signed the form and she was gone. As I stepped outside, I couldn’t remember a more beautiful day.
I tiptoed down the step, down the walk, peered down the block and realized I’d worn two layers of clothing all year. All spring, all summer. But now I could feel the air on my skin. I remembered how cool it could be in the morning, that it’s damp and smells like lawn.
I lost myself in this and rubbed my eye – a vague burning sensation from my undereye gel.
I had coffee on the step that morning.
Leia asked me to try on her ballroom dress the other day. I’m sure it’s expensive, it feels expensive, and I kind of dive into it.
“Don’t stretch it!”
After figuring out how to maneuver the lining and where to put my arms, I heard myself ask her to zip up the side. And we kind of stood there in front of the mirror. Actually, we definitely stood there.
Leia: “That’s amazing…”
I realized then, in that moment, in a red dress, that I could totally pass.
Days ensued, joy and panic interspersed between hours and minutes. Fear and longing and the stark, stark realization of how much this is going to hurt.
Then I seem to have wrestled this rushing sense of inevitability to the ground. I can’t do this.
But the dress fit perfectly. It was beautiful, I was beautiful, and now? Now I’m completely lost in this undefined social space. I know I’m a woman, but what does that mean? I ask myself, “Can I pull this off?” And I do, I have to, it just is.