thirty-something

It’s something I harp on, but it’s difficult to be completely alone in this world.  Indeed, I’m not completely alone, I have two core relationships left to speak of, but it feels like I am; and that I need to learn to deal with it, because how can two people possibly provide for all of my needs?  I am truly afraid to ask, because what if I lose them too?

Is it even possible to go it alone?  Everyone says it isn’t but I hope they’re wrong.

 

As far as the transition goes, it’s just wildly successful.  I hardly have to think of myself as anything other than female anymore.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but apparently I wasn’t expecting my transition to work.  Now I’m a thirty-something year old woman who is just horribly afraid of dying or getting old, because I just got here.  It’s kind of irrational, but in the absence of a past or any substantial present, it’s the clearest set of emotions that I experience.

 

On an average day, it takes five hours to get myself passable and out the door, where I embrace the vast nothing-ness that is life.  Every day I try to find a way forward, parting a fog of negative emotions.  Many, many things I don’t care to think about, which it is not necessary to think about, surprisingly.  It’s good enough to attend to my work, or the bill collectors, take out the trash, write my papers, shop for hair spray.  And I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I’m learning not to care, telling myself that I’ve got mine and it doesn’t matter, won’t matter, can’t matter.  That caring is the worst thing I’ve ever done, a mistake.  That if I don’t care the world can’t hurt me, anymore.

 

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grand theft personhood

Perpetual motion, an asthmatic commute, outfits lined up like uniforms on laundry day.  I took such great care to avoid the dreaded ‘uniform’ that plagues so many trans women early in their transitions.  A clothing rut, dug through self-consciousness, a maladapted body, brokeness, cluelessness.  No, I will not wear the same shit every day.  Almost, some weeks I almost do, but not quite.  No, I’m going to enjoy my wardrobe in all of its pastel, beginner’s luck, genderfuck, wild fashionista glory.

 

My experience has morphed and blended itself into something soft, something fast, something that needs not be comprehended.  I don’t need to know what I’m doing on any particular day, it’s all memorized or written down somewhere at my various workstations.  I just sit down and do my job, do my routine, buy my groceries.

Oh, the groceries I’ve bought!  After nearly a year of hiding in my apartment and having them delivered, I finally ran out of money and had to go to the grocery store.  Luckily, I passed by then and everyone at the store is too focused on their food to pay attention anyway.  Nothing emphasizes what I’ve done like pushing a cart down an isle I’ve walked for a decade, after not doing so for a year, and just knowing that I move differently through that space.

 

I surprise myself.  Almost every night I get home and it’s dark.  I’m half out of my mind with exhaustion, so I hang my shirt on a chair.  Something catches my eye, the many reflections in the mirrors and 70’s-modernist windows of this small, dimly lit place, and it’s me.  Tall, standing there in her camisole, her curves over a militaristically lithe figure.  I am her, and I feel elated through the exhaustion.

But it feels like I stole this.  Like I stole my life and myself from somewhere, someone, grand theft personhood.  And I don’t care.

 

before the fall

I’m not sure what to write, because all of this is so damn bizarre.  Life is completely different than I thought it was.

 

There are stealth people everywhere, which is profoundly annoying.  I don’t know where to begin to describe this purely body language and eye contact interaction between trans people.

Stealthy:  I feel so sorry for you.  There’s so much I want to say, but I’m stealth and can’t risk getting within three meters of you.

Me:  Why is that person staring at me like they know me?  Why aren’t they looking away now?  Oh, you’re stealth.  Fuck you man.

 

It’s weird.  The only thing that isn’t weird right now is the morning, before anyone wakes up and it’s just me and my routine: stretch, coffee, shower, coffee, cereal/oatmeal, makeup, walk.

My mom is acting like I’m the daughter she always wanted.  My dad is acting like I’m dead but we’re still talking and he’s supportive somehow.  Life with friends is like nothing happened, which is nice, and weird in and of itself.

Everyone’s relieved that I changed my gender presentation, ironically.  But they still call me ‘he’, which is bizarre.

 

And I want to forget my life before the fall.  All of the memories of someone I used to know – someone who used to be me, somehow.

I’d heard of transitioning being like death, like dying.  If only it were that simple.

 

losing track

There’s all of the stuff I’ve read about – I tear up when I miss the bus now.

‘Stop doing that.’

But something is very different about me.  It’s as if a glacier in my mind has finally found its resting place.  Things that would upset me, and seriously dog me for years – stupid stuff – I don’t really think about anymore.  And I’m not sure what I should be doing with my time.

 

I have a routine; work 45 hours a week, consume 2300 calories a day, sleep 9 hours a night.  Repeat.  It keeps everything moving, the result of obsessive worrying and planning, trial and error.  I kind of go along with it, but I’ve lost track of everything else.  I don’t know what’s changing and how or when anymore.  It’s a lot, and I care.  But I don’t really know.

I think it’s out of my hands now.