Looking back, looking forward

Funny how three years later, I still think about GCS (gender confirmation surgery). There’s this doctor in New York City, Dr. Jess Ting, who creates girls’ vaginas using pieces of the inner lining of their stomach so they can experience lubrication during arousal. This surgery wasn’t available four years ago when I lived in New York City. It wasn’t available to me. I gave up chasing my dream of GCS in Thailand and chose to go to grad school to study therapy. Then I left grad school to pursue my art. Now two years later, what do I have to show for it? A great deal I suppose. I’ve started a record label, music collective, and event series. I’ve honed my skills as a sound engineer (and continue to). I’ve played a number of live shows and continue to receive bookings. I feel things are moving in the right direction. But a familiar void has resurfaced in me all these years later–a yearning for a deeper physical experience of my womanhood, a closer proximity to the physical form I see in my mind’s eye.

I remember when I left New York I said I wouldn’t return unless I had a thriving creative career. Now it seems it’s headed in that direction. UN/TUCK is bound to take off. I’m quite sure. And when it does, I’m going to leave Kansas City. And begin my life once more in a place where I can seek trans inclusionary healthcare–where I do not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on surgeries–where the very notion of calling trans related surgeries ‘cosmetic’ is seen as violent and oppressive–where the final alleviation of my dysphoria is not seen as a burden.

I am ready for whatever changes come. And for the ones I intentionally seek out. I am ready for the true flowering of my life, the true birth, to commence.

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Braids

I can’t help but think of her when I braid my hair. And the day she taught me. Or the day she read me an angry poem about how I was stealing her identity. Funny how the interweaving of hair strands could arouse in her a fear of enmeshment. Meanwhile I was desperate to braid my hair every day. To give to myself what she could not: togetherness.

Musings In Brooklyn

In the glow of my tiny square Brooklyn bedroom, atop my golden brown sheets with its pink polka dotted comforter, I feel the crawl of ancient endorphins up my spine. To sit with this pain—to see her lying asleep in the blue moonlight, her brunette tresses scattered like sunrays across the pillow—is an odd sensation, which in the scheme of things serves only my art. And as quickly as it appears, the vision dissolves. The reverie fades, and I am again present with myself.

Our stories weigh the longer we have carried them. In the throes of it, or even those moments of latent sadness, it seems so real, and so inert. A stone within us. There was a time when we ached to remember who we were, on the other side of our wounds. But the scars never fade. They instead become stories. Tales of times far gone. And we hold them to our breast like our mothers did with us.

Eventually, however, we wish only to close the door on those memories—to leave them where they lie—and, if we so desire, have a laugh at the absurdity of it.

-2014, Summer

Summer’s Passed

A summer had gone by since she’d written in the book, since she’d felt even the smallest glimmer of desire to look at it. From spring to autumn, it sat on the shelf hosting dust mite symposia and nothing else. More than a few of the mites had, in the process, acquired a deeper sense of meaning in their tiny lives just by perching on the cover, gnawing through the title page, while others still found simple contentment floating mindlessly in the sun beams that poured through Anna’s bedroom window.

It was November when circumstance finally pushed her back into the writing chair, when the silent approach of winter hung still in the doorway. Fall had come in a flash, almost without salutation. All at once the leaves yellowed and the skies grew awfully grey.

The day she returned to the book the weather proved rather mild. The wind moved like laughter through the air. And the moon had come out well before curtain call.

By this time, the Quartet had left House du Petit, no doubt in search of warmer climes–more specifically the climes of an invisible Hawaiian island, where, according to Anna, a stale apple pie spoke at length of humanity’s worst mistakes, and the honeybees were as big as your fist.

Meanwhile Anna had returned to the Midwest, hoping to lead some semblance of a normal life. The Shaman saw to it that she wouldn’t–and it was precisely his interference, an ongoing and increasingly vivid campaign of dream transmissions, that prompted her to sit down and finally write once more.

After all, the Book of Pie would not finish itself.

Muck

Whatever could be said

Of the two of them

Would not include

The true essence

Of their bond,

Nor what tore them apart.

The only way to look back

Was with fondness,

Unabashed remorse,

And a profound, incomprehensible yearning

That swept through them

On nights

When the full moon shivered

And the clouds formed tear drops

In the autumn sky.

All they could do was weep,

Or harden their hearts,

Whatever got them through

The dirty muck

Of separation.

The Nameless Sob

Came home last night and sat on my bed.

Got to thinking about my purpose.

Felt this immense amount of energy begin to move through me.

Up my spine.

Out my head.

I saw the star suspended above me.

It’s inconceivable light pouring down on me.

And in the ensuing silence,

The words, ‘please don’t leave me.’

Rose inside me,

Came to my lips,

From a place deep within.

And I sobbed the nameless sob

Until there was nothing left

But smeared mascara running down my cheeks.

There is a wound in me.

And last night it made itself known. 

My heart is not for dragging 

It’s sunny out. 

As I am not especially sad today, 

There is little impetus 

For the written word. 

But to look at suffering, 

I say this,

I have allowed too many strangers 

To find their way into my camp

Familiarize themselves with my altar,

Lay their heads upon it 

And turn my crystals to ash,

My shells to dust, 

My idols to emptiness. 

When they leave, 

And I peer upon the ruins,

I see only the sad remains 

Of failed attempts 

At true love. 

When praying goes wrong, 

And my words fall on deaf ears, 

When the sacred soft animal 

Of my body is desecrated,

I must offer grace.

I must heed the words 

Of that still small voice, 

Which tells me to stand up 

On the porch 

On a sunny day like today 

And give thanks for this life, 

Rather than rage, 

Rather than ruin.

My altar is not for stomping, 

My heart is not for dragging 

Behind you. 

If you will not hold it, 

I will gladly take it and place it once more 

In its right position, 

At the center of me.