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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starting again

I find myself with not very much to say.  There’s no context.  Everything is new and blank, and I’m forced to move on, to start again.  Any attempt to salvage my old life is met with disgrace.  There are some things, like my education and a handful of core relationships (absurdly repurposed core relationships) that I’m taking with me.  But attempts to, say, utilize my network of professional contacts, are yet to succeed.

 

My new body is comfortable; it is also unfamiliar and somewhat disgusting.  I’m sick of standing up straight.

I want to hate myself, but I can’t find any clear reason to, other than being so consistently out of my depth, not knowing my sexual orientation with any precision, being afraid of random shit, and crying too much.  But I can’t bring myself to hate myself for these things.

 

I feel lost and also without a need for direction.

I would ask myself why.

 

finally

I’m sitting in the light of day.  I’m sitting in my kitchen.  It’s Christmas.  I’m alone, and I’m happy.  Later on today I’ll go to work and check on some things, but right now I should continue organizing my thoughts on paper, because I haven’t been able to.

 

I feel successful, like the significant problems that I have are now manageable, that my relationships are manageable.  It wasn’t like this last week.  Last week I was in shock, I’m still in shock.  The doctor says I’ll be in shock for at least half a year.

But I feel better today.  It’s because I told someone I would marry them, and I was okay with that, and she was okay with that.  Although I’m not getting married.  At least I know what I want now, what’s important, what’s happening…  that I’ll die eventually.  In the meantime I’m complete, I’m whole, I’m female, and I have my life ahead of me.  Everyone keeps saying that, and it makes sense, finally.

 

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.

 

giving up

I stretch in a futile attempt to straighten my spine.  I try to touch the ground.

just give up

I stretch in a doorway.  Maybe my shoulders will get narrower.

you’ll never be more feminine than you already are

I stand on one leg like a dancer and stretch my leg behind me.  I knew all those years of ballet would come in handy.

give up

 

The dishes are always piled up.  The mail is always piled up.  Clothes, trash, scraps of to-do lists.

I’m always one laser treatment away from taking my drivers license photo.  One paycheck away from starvation.

And I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t.

I can’t keep up, but I’m cutting it somehow.  And I need to cut it tomorrow and every day beyond tomorrow, if I have any chance at anything.

 

I stand in the flattering light of a women’s washroom.  In a science building, this is like an executive lounge – pristine and empty.

just give up already

 

nostalgia

My jacket hangs on the back of my task chair.  It smells like I used to smell; like a guy, like a friend.  Like someone whose strength I sorely miss.

At first I was put-off and was going to wash it, but now it’s a comfort to me.  I don’t know what that means.  It’s probably just nostalgia.

 

I’m busier than I’ve ever been – which is a good thing.

I’m enthusiastic about nothing in particular and my emotions blend and run, unspecific to any single person, place, or thing.  I’m told this is normal.

 

Guys generally won’t talk to me or are really nice to me – and there’s no obvious reason why.

 

the magical megaproject

“When you start your treatment, it might feel a little bit weird.”

“Really??”

“Yeah, well it stands to reason…”

 

I don’t even know where to start right now.  I don’t exactly know what to tell you.  That’s probably because it’s not that complicated…

I decided to start my physical transition.  I scheduled the necessary appointments.  Didn’t tell anyone.

Made my appointments, met delays, freaked out.  Waited.

 

Still waiting…  Feel like I’m going to black out, or throw up.  Apparently, as one gets closer to physical transition, gender dysphoria increases dramatically.  No idea why, but it’s horrible.

 

But I’m so happy and excited to transition, I wish it would happen already.  Then I gave myself an asthma attack reading up on progesterone cycles.

My hormones are just going to go around and around like that?

 

Now I’m working most of the time.  I’m going to be working like this until at least 2016, because I need cash.  Like, yesterday.

I guess that’s it.

 

…oh, and I don’t have a plan.

 

is this ‘monday’

Walking home at dawn after the graveyard shift at some university – with my headphones blasting, carrying my laptop like a schoolbook – is probably not the smartest, safest, or most feminine thing to be doing.  But I’m not there *yet*

Whatever.  I’m exhausted.  I did not think it was possible to be this exhausted.  But it doesn’t matter, I’m excited.  Stuff is getting done and I’m at peace with myself.

 

Strangely, I’m not depressed.  I haven’t been depressed in a month.  That shatters every record, ever.

I feel like I’m going somewhere; being myself.  Even though it’s only apparent to myself, that’s good enough for me.

 

Then my friend from college called me back, the one I told I was transgender and regretted.  He called me!  Everything is completely cool.  And I am so happy about that.

 

my charmed lonely secret life

It’s 1:30 in the morning and I’m dancing in the kitchen with the shades drawn – getting down to funk music only I can hear.

I have a new haircut.  It’s beautiful.  It’s just what I asked for.

‘It should move.’

My stylist is a genius.

 

It’s girl hair.  It’s bad.  I wear it back most of the time when I leave the house.

Because people have a way of making you aware of gender boundaries, their boundaries.  It’s bad when people you’ve worked with for five years make a conscious effort not to stare.

I remember when I used to get compliments on a new haircut.

 

I remember when people knew who I was.

An old friend called out of the blue.  We were catching up.  I told him that I’m transgender and that I don’t have any good options, but that’s okay.  I told him as if I moved into a new apartment or something.  Awkward silences.  No one had ever shared anything like that with him before.  Why did I tell him?  Do I need a reason?  Didn’t I know this before?  No.

 

I thought I knew who I was.

I don’t think I could’ve handled any of this like five years ago.  If I met myself back then, I don’t know what I’d say.

 

I always wanted to write.

Be careful what you wish for.

 

more than sum

I’m spending time alone, hoping that meaning is one of those things you find when you’re not looking.

 

I’m catching up with work.  I’m thinking about reading books.  I’ve reached level 21 in my seventh-ish attempt at dead-is-dead Skyrim.

Exciting stuff.  Really.

 

In this quiet, when I’m not paying attention, I can almost hear myself railing, “you are more than the sum of your parts”