23 March 2009

A March Or A Journey?

Bricks reflected orange light turning red from the setting sun. Somehow this felt autumnal, even though spring arrived (at least officially) three days ago.

Perhaps it had something to do with the cold wind that whipped and whirled through the streets of this neighborhood next to the East River. Those gusts made today feel like a late fall rather than an early spring day, as if we were marching toward winter rather than journeying into spring.

But something else made today seem like the end of something, even though no cataclysm or catastrophe descended upon me or the world. None that I know of, anyway.

Actually, I have lately felt that something is ending or winding down. Of course it is my current life, or at least a major part of it, that is on its way out. But this is different from the sorts of endings I or other people have experienced.

It's ironic that I am feeling, again, a sense of isolation as I am drawing closer to something that I am doing in order to free myself from another kind of solitude. I sense that I will experience some sort of loss that I cannot quite envision yet. I do not know whether it will be one of the kinds of losses people normally experience, such as the deaths of other people in their lives or simply a ritual or routine someone had. Or, perhaps it will be something material or financial: I hope it won't be my means of paying for the surgery!

Of course the possiblilty of not having my job after my current contract expires is very real. But I have previously lost jobs before through no fault of my own, and I am already preparing for that possiblity. Although I very much like some of the work and people who've been part of my present job, I feel no special attachment to it. Then again, whatever strong attachments I've felt in my life have been to certain individual people, my cats and occasionally to objects. Oh, yes, and to feelings and memories: sometimes I cling to those even more furiously, if unconsciously, than I do to people and things.

But I have no loyalty to institutions, save perhaps my family (not The Family). I don't know whether this is a universal truth (Do they really exist?), but I think that it's difficult, if not impossible, to develop bonds with institutions if you couldn't be a full-fledged member of the first ones you knew first.

Early on, even before I had a language for explaining myself to my self (much less to anyone else!), I knew that I could not remain in the church in which I grew up. I take that back: I knew that I never was part of it in the first place; I couldn't be, being who I am. And I never could be part of the schools I attended, or more precisely, the things they represented. I knew that they were organized with the intention of readying people to take orders, whether from a supervisor in the shop or office or the officer in charge of the unit. And they also, in more subtle ways, trained people to start heterosexual nuclear families. Even before I had explained my gender identity and sexuality to myself--never mind doctors, therapists, family members, friends and would-be partners--I knew that I was entirely unsuited for that vision of domestic life.

I had that sort of life for a relatively brief part of my life. Still, I am amazed that it lasted as long as it did. And now I don't have to worry about losing it.

So what, exactly, is coming to an end in my life? What do the colors of today's sunset and the chill of today's wind mean?