I am a clockwork woman, wound up by pills each morning, rundown and empty by the end of each day. I feel nothing but rough textures of transitioning, nothing passes my lips but bitter tastes of transitioning, my sight is filled only with desolate views of transitioning, my ears echo with discordant sounds of transitioning. My movements only mimic those of laughter and life.
I am stuck in myself, trapped between a history I don’t want and a future I can’t see.
Life branches out in front of me, and every opportunity must be taken. None can be missed. Every missed opportunity is a mark against me, of weakness and laziness and lack of strength. Because I am still chasing down the opportunity I did miss: a chance at transitioning younger, quicker, more gracefully.
And so I chase and I chase and I chase. And so I try to catch something lost forever. And so I wind myself up, let myself loose, and fail. Again. I hold myself up to standards impossible to meet.
No opportunity satisfies, because I could have should have would have done it better. I should have committed more fully. I should have given it more of my time. I should have started earlier, procrastinated less, given more of myself. I should have. I should have. I should have. Whatever ‘it’ is, it’s always the same.
Every day is doomed to failure, from the start.
I. Can’t. Win.
Why bother playing a game that can’t be won? At moments like these, I fantasize about removing myself from the board entirely. Playing a rigged game seems like an effort in futility.
And I can’t for the life of me – for my life, for living, for the in-out-taking of another breath – figure out how to change the rules. How to not judge every waking moment of every waking day against the failed expression of an eight year old, the broken and aborted attempts of self-definition at fourteen, the years of silence after closeted silence.
I would like to treat each moment as itself, not as a cipher for transitioning. My record catches and skips, “transitioning, transitioning, transitioning, transitioning, transitioning -” I open my mouth to speak but, inevitably, the same rats and insects and snakes crawl out, writhing, to consume me. Transitioning, transitioning, ALWAYS FUCKING TRANSITIONING!
Who did I wrong to be cursed with such a body, such a voice?
My clockwork is not well-oiled. It does not run smoothly. I am not of solid construction or resilient make. My gears grind throughout the day; I feel misalignment and catching in my chest and hear the throb of poor workmanship from head to toe. Fragile pieces seem to fall off, delicate into dust.
My hands shake and cannot pick a flower without gouging into the dirt, exposing the open and raw earth.
I cannot brush the hair from your face without hurting you.
If I hold you, I will shake us both to pieces.