Hey you. Yeah, you. Do you know how lucky you are? You get to walk around, so confident of yourself, and no one questions you at all. Me? I lurk in the corners, watching you, jealous. I'm not like the girls I'm supposed to be like, I'm not pretty. But I'm not like you at all – I still have this body that doesn't match what's inside. I'm only awkward, even if I try to walk with confidence like you. People still look at me funny. Do you know how much for granted you take that? You get to be the good looking man about town – the only looks you get are of adoration, and jealously from envious men. And me. I'm envious.
My mother was talking to me the other day. She said 'your hair is so short, do you want to look like a boy?' I couldn't actually answer the question, because yes yes yes, I do. I do so badly. I don't know what it would take to trade to be you, but man alive, I wish I could. So I looked at my mother, shrugged and shied away, mumbling something about how I liked short hair. I'll spare you the details of the debate after that, but it ended with my mother having the final word.
I wish I had more hair, but not on my head – my head is fine. I wish I had a beard, just like you. I don't know if I'd grow it out, or have stubble. I like the idea of stubble, but a full beard? Gorgeous. That's not a feminine word, because you are gorgeous with your beard. Absolutely gorgeous. You know what else is gorgeous about you? Your shape. Oh gods, I wish I had your shape, the way your shoulders box, the straightness of your torso, and your calves. They're hidden behind your jeans, but I can see them as you saunter [don't think that's bad, it's fabulous how unaware of how awesome you are] across town. I like your jawline, your hands, the tiny bit of pepper in your hair.
I am wrong, and you are right. I am a mess. I have ginger hair and too many curves. My hands are thin and I don't have a jawline at all. The only thing on my chin are pores. My calves are non-existent, and I've done all I can to change. My torso isn't straight, my chest still juts out no matter how much I wrap it.
It's silly to talk about this, I know. Sometimes I get so twisted up about what my body is and what I want it to be. Shouldn't I just be transformative? I am who I am, my body doesn't define me. I should just use language to define me, instead of my body. People shouldn't gender me based on what they see when they look at my body. My body isn't female because I'm not female. Look, I get that, okay? But then I look at you, and all that bullshit goes out the window. I am not you, I cannot saunter so confidently around town. I cannot – and might not ever – get to be you.
Instead – oh how much instead hurts – I get to listen to little children go 'Mommy what is that?' and listen to the mothers say in a horrified, hushed tone 'don't talk to it'. I get called 'sir' and my heart swells, but that disappears in an instant when I reply and the clerk says 'oh! I'm so sorry ma'am' and everything falls again. How do you transform that? Tell me, what have you ever had to transform? Nothing. Maybe you were a bit insecure as a teenager, but how could you be? You know you look good and you own it. That's a bit not fair to you, and I know it, but I don't honestly understand how you could be awkward about anything.
I want to be you, I want to fuck you, I want to walk about town with you, arm in arm. I want people to look at me and not have to think about how they gender my body, about 'what' I am. Because I want to be male, and I want to be you, and I don't know how many ways I could possibly say it. I don't have to look better than you, don't worry about that. You can still be the best looking man about town. Just so long as I could be a good looking man about town with you.
You terrify me. You are so alive, so free. I am living, but not alive. I am a body, a mix of yuck. I am reminded every month of just how wrong this body is. When I go to bed at night, when I shower, when I take off the binds and strip off the clothes, I am insecure in my nakedness. It's odd how my identity is shaped by what I put on, the little layers that visualize everything underneath. There are days when I pass fully as male, when I am called 'sir' and there is no correction. When I feel I can walk with a little more confidence. When the looks aren't looks of horror or confusion, but just glances over, just another man talking a walk, going anywhere, doing anything.
I wonder what you're walking towards, as you walk about town. I wonder what you think about as you go, what your hopes and dreams and fears are. Fears. What do you fear, good looking man about town? What dreams of yours will never be realized? When you go home at night, and peel back your layers, what is underneath? Is your flesh a reflection of your layers? I wish I could gaze on it, I wish I could wear it as my own. I wish I could lie with it, with you, that we could both be men about town.
It is not to be so, not for now. Perhaps someday – perhaps someday, someday soon. For now, I look at you, and dream. But then reality - the real world, this world - sets in, and the dream is sand in my hands, the dream becomes sand in my hands.