mazel tov

I write because I write.  Seemingly, there is not much left to say – not much that I can gracefully share.  Still a woman, which is about the triteest thing I can think of saying.  But that’s what it boils down to.  That and a belief that whatever gender you are, that’s the gender you’re gonna be, when you’re ready, or die trying.  No one is going to like it, but you’ll meet new people who like you the way you’ve become.  They may even take you behind the brunch joint and all intervene on you like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia about how you have no self esteem and need to cut that shit out.  I was touched, really.

When I got home, I reprised a mental exercise, think a happy thought.  I can always think of something.  Tonight it just doesn’t matter; nothing does.  And that makes me very, very happy.

 

Advertisements

miss world

Ending transition is a transition in itself.  Most of my effort is spent trying not to show how I feel and controlling my emotions, which seems counterintuitive because that’s what I used to do as a guy, except it’s much more difficult.  Others sense this all-important task of mine; of not flying apart like a cold war-era ultracentrifuge, which brings me safety and social status.  You can’t make this shit up.

Because I express myself as my self becomes different, and eventually write it down.  I do it for myself because no one hears anymore.

As comforting as it is not to have trans problems at the moment, it’s not actually comfortable.  But I told my friend that I’m over what happened.

 

Which is why I claw my clothes off in my sleep.

And why I attack my nightstand in my sleep.

 

My lamp may never be the same.

 

never alone – a paradox

It’s a hot sunny day.  I just had one of those enigmatic lunch meet-ups where you make clear to the other party that you’re really, actually, truly gay (really).  And they lose interest; I’m walking back.

A foreign family is taking photos on the sidewalk, and I swear I can feel the cold vacuum of space – stretching off into non-existence.

We are alone in the world.  And all we have is each other, that is all.

 

I’m never alone.  Between the coffee shops, the cafes, my officemates, my roommate, the people I date; I’m rarely actually out of the presence of other human beings.  This is an unexpected outcome of the transition.  I used to spend a week at a time in isolation, occasionally coming out for air, to go to the office, find food, whatever.  And the world was so big, the sidewalks stretching out to distant vanishing points; the air lacking the clarity of virtuality I became accustomed to, staring into an abyss of pixels.  Never again.

 

I’m bad at being human, which apparently makes it so.  To be imperfect, fragile, pained, and needy.  Desperate, beautiful and young.  People see themselves, extend constant minor assistances, tell me things.  And I think of them.

All I had to do was to become ambitionless, and lost.  I can see it in their eyes, ‘welcome home.’

 

“I’m sorry about all of that stuff I said last night.”

“It’s okay.”

 

embrace

Some years ago, I was speaking to my psychologist.  We were talking about ceremony, and how there isn’t a ceremony for changing genders.  If you get married, or someone close to you dies, there’s a ceremony and an embrace; a moment when you are ‘the little warm center that the life of the world crowds around’ (as Chuck Palahniuk might put it).  But there is no ceremony for transitioning, and no embrace.  I actually get the sense that those around me are still trying to reach unanimous agreement on my gender.

So I find myself asking my friends and acquaintances, ‘who will hold me?’  Difficult to admit, as I careen from spectacular social failure to spectacular social failure, but undeniably true.  I should chalk it up to ‘finding myself,’ which is something I assumed I did a long time ago.

 

Staring down the page of another draft of my thoughts, this one makes sense.

 

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.

 

uncategorize

I pour fresh coffee into an oversized black mug.  It’s filling and then it’s spilling all over the counter, neatly covering the surface with vanilla-scented liquid, making two straight lines onto the hardwood floor, into shadows of dusk.

I think I’m really out of it, and I am.  I feel queasy, often.  I have acne.

 

This actually seems to be working.  I can’t imagine myself having any stupid gender arguments ever again.  There are many things happening simultaneously, not least of which is a violent increase in my body fat percentage, although I didn’t gain any weight.  It’s also infinitely easier to maintain the resonance and timbre of my voice.

 

And I decided that I’m not really alone in this, I’m just needy.  Note to self; be less needy.

 

an uncanny girl

Writing letters to my health insurer, preparing to sue my old landlords, writing cover letters, hustling.  I think I’m probably an adult now.  I look in the mirror, “Brave girl.  Very brave girl.”  And there’s not much else I can do.

I walk everywhere.  People whistle at me, stare, look away, but no one gives me any actual problems.  Maybe it’s because I’m tall.  Maybe it’s my 1000 yard stare.  Maybe it’s because I only own work clothes, no short skirts, no heels.  All-in-all I’d rather be left alone.

Except when I’m alone.  But I still don’t want to be touched, by anyone.  It’s worrying.  Maybe there’s nothing I can do.  My blind hope is that surgery will clear this up.  And the surgery clock is ticking, which doesn’t help my peace of mind, particularly since I’ll need a job to go through with it.  I never rest.

 

When I decided to transition I spent 64 hours in my mom’s studio apartment, alone.  I remember this as the 64 hour war.  It was a freefall of confusion and blind fear.  I wrote a lot.  Toward the end of it, I remembered that I never wanted to be male, never wanted a male sexuality.  That when I was a child, this was the last thing I ever wanted, although I didn’t understand at the time.

But I understand now, and I decided to transition.  I knew I would be sacrificing my sexuality, that my body and my life would make no sense for a long time, and I would need to be okay with that.  I thought this sacrifice would make the journey easier, less confusing, and it has.  My transition is characterized by an outward steadiness and uncanny efficiency.  Cisgendered people look askance, “Your transition has gone so smoothly.”  Powerful people protest, “Your transition can’t be perfect.”  And I don’t know what to say.

 

But I walk on eggshells, and I pray.

I curse myself in the bathroom mirror.

I don’t know what to think or feel; but please, please let this be over.

 

love in the time of hoverboards

I wish I had some time to myself.  After fast-tracking my transition, I just want a week to look in the mirror or visit my family.  I need to get a clear idea of who I am, because my appearance changes every week.  Important stuff like facial features, torso measurements, my outlook on life, different.  Every week.  I just blink into space.

What the hell happened?

 

People talk to me all the time.  It’s unexpected, I want to think it’s weird.  But judging from their body language, it’s normal.

I don’t need to hide who I am anymore out of fear of them finding out whatever it used to be that would put them off, my nascent femininity.  I say some of the most unfiltered and inane shit, and people listen, kind of.  They seem to find it pleasant.

 

Meanwhile, I’m rebuilding my important relationships.  Recasting them and making them whole.  I didn’t realize I was doing this, and maybe it isn’t me.  Maybe they’re ready to accept me for who I am.

Maybe they realize they don’t have a choice, the counterparties of my important relationships.

Maybe I just need help and it’s obvious.

Maybe I’m human and this is just what happens.  I feel a loss of will as I realize the idea of my father accepting me as his eighth daughter, or the idea of speaking to Leia again.  I realize that my friends are assholes, who love me, and there’s nothing I can do to change that, not now.

Not now, as I depend on these people to recognize me when I can barely recognize myself.

 

They know me.  They always kind of knew me, and didn’t tell me.  That’s love.

 

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?

 

falling

I promised myself that I’d entered a new phase of my transition, where I don’t need to make any more major decisions, just cruise wherever.  I guess that’s true, but the process doesn’t stop.

An increased dose of finasteride obliterates traces of testosterone derivatives from my bloodstream.  The veins in my hands have faded and receded, and my fingers are noticeably fleshier.  Someone quipped that I might be able to sleep on my stomach again, someday.

 

My nightmares are not so vivid anymore and I can sleep.  It seems too good to be true.

But I’m blindsided by a sudden loss of some component of my identity, then immersed in paradoxical need for both quiet and emotional support.

 

I wish someone would’ve written about this shit in a little more detail, because I did not see this coming.