ex-narratio

It’s 8:40 pm.  It might as well be 8:40 pm forever, and this is all I do.  Write, write, write, walk around.

Some guy spit on the sidewalk walking past me and I swear I could feel it on my eyelashes.  I should feel something more.  Life is filled with these subtle, obscene social gestures from total strangers.

Walking, and walking home around midnight, some guy started following me and shouting; asking me where I was going.  And I pulled a shank out of my hair.  There’s nothing subtle about that.

 

Every morning I open my eyes and marvel at how painful it can be to lie still for seven or eight hours.  A series of information enters my mind, generally reminding me that it’s going to be a struggle to prepare to leave and a struggle to get enough done when I’m out there.  This morning, and most mornings I try to come to terms with myself; to some level of acceptance and self-love, but not so much so that I panic at how thoroughly screwed I am.

I shake off memories of dreams that are only pleasant when I’m having them, and disturbing in the light of day; getting lost on the highways, ex-friends coming out to me, being recognized for my work.

 

Sometime an eternity or two months or so ago, I spoke to my ex-friend who said she used to have a narrative for her life but now she doesn’t.  I refused to relate at the time, but now not so much.

Because all I know is the present, and it’s 9:06 pm.

 

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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.

 

the unforeseeable future

It was surprising, the first time I forgot about my transition.  I was out, it was sunny, and I was unaware that I had been a man, or had considered myself one.  I forgot about that and was just myself, focused on whatever I was doing.

Then I snapped out of it and thought, ‘this doesn’t seem like such a big deal now.’  Because I knew it was possible to escape this uniquely awkward place, if only for a second.

 

But it’s still a struggle, it’s a struggle to afford electrolysis and to decide what to spend money on and what to put off.  Clothes?  Hair removal?  Voice lessons?  It’s a careful, nervy balance.

My vocal cords are wound more tightly than I am and I’m a clearance sale victim at least one day of the week.  Every morning I pluck hair out of my face and carefully, lightly cover it in layers of silicone gel, foundation, and double face powder.  How long can I keep doing this?