dana ansari vs. the world

The instant woman, like instant coffee; necessary, familiar, wanting.

Every day I do the best that I can to fulfill the needs and expectations of those I’ve included in my circle.  The people I’m codependent upon.  I balance a spectrum of needs and desires, trading values for time, dreams for security, meaning for lust, energy for capital.  Back and forth it goes.  If I ever stopped, I’d be soulrupt or something, but this is my reality.  Whatever I traded for my body, for my life – whatever it was I did, it cost.

It’s all I can do not to think or feel too much.

 

Meanwhile, I’ve fallen in love with someone I don’t even know.  I guess that happens.  This is maybe the eighth time for me.  It gets jaded, I’m like, ‘yeah, there’s this person and she’s perfect, and I’m like nothing, and it feels like my life is over.’

My roommate tells me to stop being so angsty and adolescent.  I gave her the double finger.

 

untitled day 362

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When you close your eyes on the subway.  Because you don’t want them to look into your eyes.  To see what you’ve become last night – and cast off yet again.  That your only hope and desire is for your next hit of unconditional acceptance.

 

As the world speeds around you.  Your saving grace, these others.  The people and their smells and ways, their clothing and polite attitudes.  An occasional smile, or moment of understanding.  Chaos of thoughtless purpose.  Save my soul.

 

I try, desperately to forget who I was.  The information in my head, steampunk equations of science.  Things, which in wartimes would have me working in a national laboratory.  I should hate myself for succeeding, but no one believes me.

 

Thank you to GoodnightNina for the pic from her blog and constant inspiration.

 

no honor among thieves

I sit in my room.  It’s a nice room but a bit dusty, and I’m allergic to dust.  So I’ve been struggling to breathe since I moved here.

 

My trans friend sleeps across the room, on the small mattress we found on the street.  She’s been transitioning for 10 years, though she’s much younger than I am.  She used to update her video blog.  She’s always telling me to get some real problems.  Every day we wake up head-to-toe in that tiny bed.  Would we have it any other way?

 

She insists she isn’t my girlfriend.  She doesn’t like to be touched.  I remember what that was like.

We share food, share our lives.  Thick as thieves, I wear the ring her boyfriend gave her.

 

And something interesting has happened.  She walked the path I started upon, took it to the extreme.  Gave herself nothing and no one to lose, but it ends nowhere.  So I found something to care about.  It’s obvious.  It’s inevitable.  As sure as I would die without her, I need to complete my science work.  It’s not a question of discrimination or profit, I need to be what I’ve become.

 

the apparent struggle

I’m beginning to organize the immediate past in my mind – it becomes apparent that my remaining friends and family would do anything for me and that I’ve essentially achieved my life’s goal.  Things should feel simpler, lighter.  They should.  I’m still lonely and broke, but this seems temporary and relatively insignificant.

I recap events every so often, ‘you underwent a medical gender transition, you’re a woman of effectively indeterminate age, you’re starting over.’

‘you need to finish your degree’

‘these people will catch you if you fall, if you really truly need them’

And so it goes.  There’s a lot of waiting, of the sit-and-wait variety.  I need to chill, because I’ve discovered that I have much less emotional self-control than I’d like, and that these emotions are highly transparent.  It seems to go a long way toward winning people over, since I guess I’m a nice person and all, but I’m uniquely incapable of dating.

 

When I look in the mirror, I think that I am very beautiful and very ugly, sometimes simultaneously.  I think others feel the same, and it’s mysterious.  Just going out is like visiting a world in the distant future or distant past, where my features are unusual.  Extreme height, wild hair, thin, wearing 21st century makeup and business casual like I’ve lived at a university all of my life.  I feel confident and out of place.

 

I grapple with my hormones and with my place in the world.  I see other women and I can’t match their affect, I move too quickly, storming around like I’m going to kick someone’s ass.  I don’t know what to do with myself.

My body writes checks my mind can’t cash; tells me to think of children, and birth.  Fifteen pounds of fat form a layer across my body from the tops of my eyebrows to the tips of my fingers to the circumference of my ankles, a conspicuous stockpile of energy seemingly intended to maintain fertility through a significant famine.  Except I will never be fertile, I accept that.  My body doesn’t accept it.

 

And I realize that I struggle for my soul, struggle for the things I cared about; people, science…

The process of petitioning for my vagina was a Kafka-esque nightmare, chased with the reality that only a handful of people give a shit whether I live or die.  Now I need to figure out what I, myself care about; which in itself is important to me.

 

untitled playlist ii

So all of this transition-related stuff is either completed or underway – up to actually getting a script from the endocrinologist, who is apparently very, very, very busy.  I’ve never wanted to bribe someone so bad in my life.

 

Me:  Do you think there’d be any availability for Alexander Hamilton?

Receptionist:  …

Me:  Hrm, (I’ll just deposit this then…) I still have an appointment right?

 

Phantogram – When I’m Small  (Eyelid Movies)

The White Stripes – I’m Bound to Pack It Up  (De Stijl)

Radiohead – A Punch Up At a Wedding  (Hail to the Thief)

José González – How Low  (In Our Nature)

Doves – The Man Who Told Everything  (Lost Souls)

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black  (Back to Black)

Cold War Kids – Relief  (Loyalty to Loyalty)

Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place  (In Rainbows)