16 February 2009

Days, Events and Tasks

Max is nosey. Or maybe he's afraid. As I was about to start writing this, he stood in front of my keyboard. I had to shoo him away, which I really don't like to do to him or Charlie. They never did anything bad to me; all they ever do is make me happy. Really, they can't do anything else. After all, I don't think any mouse will even come near this place.

Sometimes Charlie comes between me and my keyboard. He has that right. I wonder if he knows what I'm doing. He and Max know that whatever I'm doing, it's taking attention away from them.

So why am I talking about them? Well, I gotta blame somebody if I don't write The Great American Novel tonight. Right?

Tomorrow I go back to teaching and that class I'm taking. I can remember when every day that passed was simply another day gone; it continued for me only in whatever memories or impressions I retained. Then, I came to feel that every day was another day I survived. Then, later still, it was a day I survived clean and sober. Then the days simply passed again.

And now every day is another day closer to my surgery. Actually, as I've written that, I've felt another shift: Each class, each task I do, every errand I run or anything I do for fun brings me closer to my surgery. This is fulfilling, sad and beautiful all at once. All I want to do is get to my surgery. At the same time, I wonder whether I'll look back at this time and life and wish I'd done everything better. I very often feel that way about my past, even when I know full well that I couldn't have done anything differently.

Or, for that matter, that anything could have been different. I was talking with Dominick about something that happened to me in my childhood that affected a lot of what I did--and felt--for many years afterward. He marvelled, "You've been through a lot. You're so strong." Of course, I told him otherwise: At my best, I do the best I know how to do; at my worst, I look for the path of least resistance. Sometimes I take that path before I do what's best. I guess that's what lots of people do, so I don't see how it makes me special.

I mean, really, about 75,000 other people in this country have had gender reassignment surgery. So I'm not so unusual. I'm just a middle-aged woman who does what she can. The funny thing is, some people think I'm enduring hardship in making my transition toward my surgery. What they don't realize is that in some way, everything before I started my transition was more difficult. Then, I was constantly in pain and depressed; now, whatever hardships I endure at least have some sort of boundary: They begin and end; their reach is finite.

At least that's how it's been. What these next few months will bring, I don't know.

If I'm as strong as Dominick and other people think I am, it's only to protect myself: I am still way more vulnerable than he or almost anyone else realizes I am.

If I'm so damned strong, why was I stressing out over that class I'm taking? At its worst, it's another place where I'm a misfit and trying to do things to which I'm not suited. Neither situation is new to me, so I should be able to deal with it. After tomorrow, I'll be in that class or I won't. Either way, I'm not sure that it will make much difference for my future. I'll still come home to Charlie and Max. Maybe some day, someone else will also be at the door. Or I'll be there for someone else who's about to leave another day behind.

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