Phantasmagoria

You kiss me

Your lips upon mine own

Your lips planted firmly on my neck

These feelings tell me you are real

But you’re gone while yet your presence lingers

 

You scratch me

Your nails cut into my skin

Your nails digging into my back, my chest

These lines tell me you were just here

But you’re gone while these scratches remain

 

You bite me

Your teeth pressed into my flesh

Your bite sunk into my breast, my thigh, my stomach

The marks you left tell me that I met you

But it’s been days since my skin felt your touch

And you’re gone while my body reminds me of our last meeting

Will my memory of you fade as quickly as these marks?

Were you ever real or just a dream?

I am the Lamppost

Every night, I wake up just in time to light a path for travelers through the city. Most people walk past without even looking at me or showing appreciation for the service I provide them. But that’s fine, I’m just happy to guide them through their busy lives which I will never understand.

Some passersby stop and lean against me, some vandalize my metal casing with paints or carving into me with a knife. But that’s fine too, it doesn’t bother me.

There’s one girl who passes by every night around 11:00 pm. She’s very sweet looking but also lonely. I don’t know how but I just sense that she’s lonely. She’s normally reading a book, which is dangerous to do while you’re walking, especially at night. And since she’s always by herself, I make sure to keep a close eye on her while she passes through my lamp light.

I’m not sure why it saddens me to see her alone every night. I want to do more for her but all I am capable of is providing a little shelter against the black of night of a small section of this city street. I am just a lamppost after all but maybe caring as much as I do helps in some indirect way.

One night as she was walking along the pavement, another lonely looking girl was coming from the other direction. She, too, was planted in a book. Just as they were walking past each other, they looked up from their respective books and shared a quick glance and an innocent grin but then just kept walking.

This other girl, I had seen her before but not often. She usually came by a little later but that night my little friend was later than usual. Weeks had gone by before they ran into each other again. This time, the other girl I don’t see very often stopped to say hi.

They talked for a minute and I think exchanged contact information and then went about their business. I saw my little lonely friend the next night and many after around the same time as usual. But then one night, I stopped seeing her. I also never saw the other girl. I wasn’t aware how much she brightened my day until she was gone. Kind of funny that my sole purpose was to light the way for others but she ended being a light for me.

After nearly a year without seeing her, I awoke to being slapped at the base of my post. It was her but the middle of the day so I was still asleep and not lit up yet. And the other girl she met was there too. They met at me, the lamppost where they first met, to go on a date. I’m glad I woke to see this. I don’t know if I’ll see them again but I’m happy either way because I like to think my little bit of light in this dark dark city played at least a small role in these two girls finding each other and helping people with my light is all I could ever ask for as a lamppost.

Nothing Eternal

Another moment another day

More slips, falls, and fades away

Little by little, spec by spec

I don’t know how much is left

Let’s take a moment to slow the pace

It’s about enjoyment, it’s not a race

It’s the same game we all play,

Never enough minutes in the day

Moving ever forward to one eventuality,

Trapped inside this glass, never to be free

Taking it all in while competing with a clock

Hard to hear with all its noise, tick-tock

Time keeps moving faster, speed is exponential

Will we get far enough to see our potential?

Sand falls one grain at a time,

Here we are at the end of line

So much to say, So much to do

Not much time left in this hour glass for me and you

Why Pronouns are important

I’m going to use the terrible analogy of a haircut to partially explain what being trans gender is like. Being trans is sort of like being born with a really bad haircut only you can’t cut it or change it. No matter what, you are stuck with this awful, awful haircut.

At some point, usually at least a bit into adulthood, you finally figure out how to get rid of it. You’ve learned the secret to changing your hair and so you do it. You cut it all off and you look totally different. But you don’t just look different, you feel different as well.

For the first time ever, you see what it’s like to live with normal hair just like everyone else and you love it. People don’t see you as the person with a weird hairdo anymore, they just see you as a person. Life is great at that point.

But then what happens when you spend time around friends and family who knew you with the bad hair? Well hopefully it never comes up and you’re just the same person but with fabulous hair now. Except for the instance when they want to constantly bring it up.

“Hey remember that terrible haircut you had forever?”

Or

“So what happened with your old hair?”

And so on and so on. What this does is take you from a place of confidence and slaps you in the face with your previous life. I do not want to be reminded of the haircut I fought so hard to get rid of.

Likewise, I do not want to be reminded of my life as the wrong gender by you calling me he/him or using my birth name. It’s not just that I don’t like it, it’s that it brings me right back to all of the shit I hated about myself before transitioning to my real and true gender. It’s not a preference, it is a requirement.

I am the Swamp

I am the swamp, long have I sat patient, silent, hidden.

Many who come to my waters turns back, scared by the fog, overgrowth, and murky waters.

On occasion some will timidly enter, stirring just the very surface of my old, swampy waters.

But they never stay for long for fear of what may lie deeper in, for what they cannot see.

 

What does lie deeper within me? What do I have hidden deep in the depths of my waters?

It has been so long since that part of me has been touched I cannot remember.

I am only aware of those parts of myself when other people go to them with me.

But still dormant I lay, the swamp with no memories of her inner self.

 

At least until one day, one brave soul ventured into me.

She was looking for something and came prepared. For what I do not know.

But I wanted her to find it, I hoped that maybe I was hiding what she had been seeking.

Decisively she hacked away my vines and brush and ventured deeper into me.

 

She came upon a pool near the middle of the swamp, of me, stripped down and dove in.

She swam deeper and deeper and deeper still. Stirring depths of waters I had forgotten were there.

I do not know if she found what she was looking for but she showed me what I had lost.

She had re-awoken things in me I thought had been lost forever.

 

Eventually she came back up for air and left.

Come back again, sweet explorer. Come back to me.

Explore this old swamp once more.

Who knows what my other waters have in store.

The World of Living Art

I am surrounded by faceless forms, by body-less souls. All I see are thousands of the same gray-white shapes but they aren’t even shapes. They aren’t human or non-human. They are nothing and yet…something. What are they? People?

In my distracted state, I bumped into one and dropped my bag. The blob I bumped into began to become something more as it called out obscenities and vulgarities. It was barely more than before but instead of a shapeless blob, it now had some defined lines, some sharp aggressive edges, and now appeared larger than before. It also turned a slightly uglier shade. Still a sort of gray but somehow worse to look upon.

Still reflecting on the changed entity, I started to bend down to retrieve my bag from the pavement when another shapeless form got to it first and handed it to me. I wanted to say thank you but I wasn’t not sure how to communicate with these…people? I hope my gratitude came across and I think it did because it started to change like the ugly blob from before. Only this one became slightly smoother and softer looking, almost friendly. I’m not sure how they smile but I would guess this one was smiling at me. It said something as it walked along, I’m not sure what but it sounded pleasant and brightened my day a bit.

I do not know how I got here but I do not want to leave this place. I still mostly see shapeless forms wandering around but some are more pleasant to look at than others. The people I’ve gotten to know the best and keep close to me are the prettiest. Most of them even get more beautiful as time goes on.

They will never know what they look like to me and I will never know what I look like to them but what I do know is that we all enjoy being in each other’s company. They are like paintings that are never finished and get more beautiful to me over time. There are some bad brush strokes here and there and even some bad colors among the more vibrant ones but even those flaws are part of the painting as a whole that I have come to love and appreciate.

So as I move about in this world, I don’t chose what I see. Everyone else has the choice of how they want to appear to me and for everyone else. I think it’s important to understand that while one painting might be ugly to me, they could be someone else’s Mona Lisa. The world doesn’t need another ugly painting so even though that person may have wronged me, I still have the choice of being a vibrant, lovely piece of art for them.

To some you could be a hideous painting or a painting that hurts every time they look at it but to me, when you are still blank, you can be whatever kind of painting you want me to see. So chose right now to show beauty to every person you meet. Show them life and love and what it means to be a good person because every single moment of your life, every new interaction, is your chance to turn it all around and start over as a new painting.

Of Pleasure and Pain

I suppose it’s called transition for a reason. It’s a full mind and body metamorphosis and not just for you but for those around you. Your whole world changes day by day from inside out and usually there is pain before there is pleasure.

Tearing down the persona you built up so carefully and strategically throughout your life is a painful process. You start as the same person you’ve always been but you change a little thing or two here, some other innocuous things over there. But each change you make stings a little. It’s one less piece of the old you that isn’t really you.

But you begin to relish in the pain; you begin to look forward to it. Not for the pain itself but for the aftermath that is to come. With small changes there is little pain but pain none the less. It’s like testing the waters of your very soul.

When you put yourself out there for the world to see, you’re open to rejection and ridicule.It’s stressful and anxious but so rewarding. It hurts to be rejected but feels so much better to be true to yourself and be accepted by those closest to you. It’s like running a marathon: it starts to hurt after a bit and gets worse and worse before it gets better but at the end, there is so much joy and pleasure that made everything you had to go through well worth it.

When you start making significant changes, however, the pain also becomes significant. You’re no longer the person you were but you’re still not the person you want to be. You become a creature of addiction; looking for your next fix. You need the pain; it’s necessary. It still hurts but you need it.

You need it because it’s a reminder of getting one step closer to who you are and one step further away from who you were. Still wading through muck and mist of your soul, you force yourself to experience the painful process for the ecstasy the result of that change brings you.

It’s like tearing off pieces of your flesh to complete a jigsaw puzzle and with each piece you put into the puzzle, the happier you become… but each one removed from your flesh hurts a little more each time as well. And thus you become dominated by the building process itself and the dichotomy of pleasure and pain until the puzzle is finished. Only then will you see the image so clearly. For the first time you see yourself.