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Monday, December 22, 2003

A faraway place

I am not yet telling anyone about the estrogen and the androgen blocker. I order them and they come from a faraway place.

It's clear that what I'm doing is a psychotropic drug. My only consolation is that what I was doing before, which was testosterone from my not-much-appreciated (by me) gonads, was also psychotropic.

Results vary. But here are things one might expect.

The first thing you’ll notice is a letting go.

How else to put it?

Doesn’t sound like an emotion, but it is, like sighing, arms folded, leaning
out a window, watching the last summer month take on a bit of color from the fall.

It’s not a sadness, don’t get me wrong. It’s more a harvest, like gold, like wheat.

Like rest.

You’re going to love it, if this way is you. You’ll cry while smiling, and beautiful things will be too beautiful; you’ll laugh though tears.

People will wonder what your problem is, but not much.

You’ll be blown away how busy they are with trifles; you’ll pity them, and maybe try to explain how they should see; that will be the sad bit, getting that there’s so much blindness to be got round.

Then, you’ll want to be helping always; it surges through you like a tide, to do the little things that men, and so many women too must leave for themselves undone and unconsidered.

You’ll find yourself picking up after them! At first, you will enjoy that.

At first.

Next you’ll begin to notice how your arms are smaller than they were. Perhaps your thumb and middle finger meet, wrapped around your wrist.

One day it suddenly hits you that your hips are bigger than you remember, and your walk swings more, and all your ancient movements are estranged.

You must retrain.

Your elbows come in closer to your side; you point your toes ahead and walk erect, no longer falling forward at every step.

Oh: your sweat won’t smell the same.

And there’s this: some sort of tingling soreness in your chest.

This may at first perplex you, as you miss, for now, for quite some time, the sweetness in any touching there; but the work’s begun.

And you will need to lose the beard.

:::

In my window I had set forth a feeder for birds, a clinkered house,
its floor seed-strewn.

A wren came, a junco, a chickadee.

As I stood, my hands in the sink, the feed house hosted a blackbird, an odd one, fluttering one wing to stand upright.

I saw, on closer view, that it had one leg only, one leg. It was not like the other birds. It would never be quite what any of us think when we think, “bird.”

My soaped hands left the water, briefly, cupping my own two most obvious differences, still new, but now my own for good or ill, lifting them, left and right, for the bird to see.

-- risa b

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