06 January 2009

Body and Spirit

Last night, after I wrote my entry in this blog, I went to Oprah's website. Yes, that Oprah: which other one could I mean?

Anyway, I clicked onto the link for people who want to be on her show. There, I found a bunch of categories. I couldn't fit my request in any one of them, but I chose the one about spirituality and self-realization, or something like that. On it, I wrote--in the little box provided--my story, or at least what I could fit in there.

It made me think of Monty Python's "Summarize Proust" sketch. Not that I'm as interesting as Proust. But how can someone's, whether one's own or someone else's, life or work be pigeonholed into 2000 characters?

All I could do was say, in a very rudimentary way, that my journey from living as Nick to life as Justine has been a spiritual one, and that I took it entirely for spiritual reasons. It's part of an even larger journey, which includes my sobriety as well as whatever else has contributed to my evolution, such as it is.

Will Oprah's agents call me? I'm not betting on it. Then again, I'm almost never a bettor anyway. All I've ever done is what I needed to do--at least when I put down the bottle, pills and powder, and when I "changed" genders--and hoped, but didn't assume, that everything would turn out all right. It occurs to me that betting and spirituality are mutually exclusive, and that as little as I can understand faith, I know that it's not a bet; it's a matter of beliefs.

So, what was the nice spiritual trannie girl thinking about today? How ugly she is; how every woman she saw today on the train or elsewhere looked like Angelina Jolie next to her; how she'll never make a good woman with a body like the one she has.

I am practicing a more feminine, or at least a more alluring, walk. Soon I'll start the voice lessons. Hopefully the walk and the talk will become natural for me. The latter would probably be helped if I were to lose about thirty pounds or so.

In case one of Oprah's agents is reading this (:-) ), I want to emphasize that I really have been making my transition, and have scheduled my surgery, for spiritual reasons. I simply want my body to more closely conform to what my spirit, my essence is and wants to express. Sometimes I tell people that I feel like the handicapped kids for whom I conducted poetry workshops at St. Mary's Hospital in Queens: Sometimes their spirits soar, leap, run, jump or dance even if their bodies can't. If there were a medicine or operation that would allow their bodies to express what was inside them, who wouldn't want them to have it? Well, I am luckier than they were: such things exist for me.

Still, I wouldn't mind having Jennifer Lopez's curves, Rihanna's legs, Halle Berry's facial bone structure, Kirstie Alley's eyes or just about anything from Angelina Jolie. I mean, really, I want them for spiritual reasons. Honestly, I do!

I know, Marcie Bowers doesn't do that kind of surgery. She's going to do my gender reassignment, but she doesn't do cosmetic surgeries. And, from my conversation and what I've seen of her, I don't think she's apt to recommend it to all trans women. This may sound strange to say about a surgeon, but I get the impression that she's more concerned with the spiritual than the corporeal: The work she does on other trans people's bodies, and will do on mine, is for the purpose of helping people's bodies to become vehicles for their spirits. She has said things to that effect, and speaks of her work in almost religious tones.

Know what? I wouldn't mind looking like her, either. Dr. Bowers, can you make me as pretty as you are?

I've made that request of one other woman in my life. The funny thing was, I hadn't yet begun to take hormones, grown my hair or do anything more than "cross dress" up to that day. And I was grungy and sweaty from bike riding that hot day when I asked Toni to help me. For the next five years, she would cut and color my hair and help me to select skin and hair care products as well as cosmetics. Then she went to Paris to study theatrical makeup, and is now starting to work in that area. One of her fellow hairdressers in that shop--Anna, in Zoe's Beauty in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY--now cuts my hair.

Neither of them made me as atttractive as they are. Then again, I do get a lot of compliments on my hair, at least when I brush it. In my spirit, I always had long, flowing hair. So I guess they've helped me to become my real self, in their own way.

Who says you can't be beautiful and spiritual at the same time?

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