24 July 2009

Ecstasy to Laundry

After ecstasy, the laundry...

The Zen master who uttered that wasn't referring to a drug that was popular in the club scene during the '80's.

That teacher--I forget who it was (Bruce would probably know)--was saying, in essence, that after a "peak" experience, we have to return to the mundane. I don't think that master was making a value judgment, he/she was simply describing life as it is.

Today I did some laundry, in the most literal sense. I never knew I could make simply so many clothes dirty simply by sitting or lying around! Actually, my bedsheets needed washing, and I'd wanted to wash some underthings and towels on which I'd spilled or dripped ointments and such.

Just about any one of us who undergoes gender reassignment surgery envisions the life we hope to have after it. I would suspect that many of us, in our thinking, leap directly from the surgery to our post-surgery lives. We all know that we have to spend time recovering from the surgery. But I wonder how many actually think about that time.

I know I didn't, at least not much. I thought about my life as a woman: one that would include relationships that would continue--some changed, others not--and new bonds that would form. I also had a notion that someone who has been a friend or ally would be no longer. And I envisioned a life of writing, teaching and possibly taking on some new endeavor. Also, I would have some sort of blissful love with one very special person.

Well...I didn't think about this little intermediate step. Then again, who ever thinks of sitting down, sleeping when she hadn't planned on doing so or simply being more or less housebound, however temporarily, as part of the life she envisioned?

Oh well. I know that I need this time of rest to heal from my surgery--and so much that preceded it. But it's so hard to fight back my reflexes: I pick up things I probably shouldn't, and I'm probably bending more than I should. I hope I don't do any damage. Today I called Marci; Janet, who works in her office, said that the swelling I feel is normal, but that I probably should get more rest (!) during the next couple of days.

I know that none of my family, friends or colleagues expect me to do anything right now. Millie came in and helped me with a couple of household tasks. She admonished me to rest: She knows me.

And that is what I am going to do--after I take a doctor-mandated warm bath.

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