all of a sudden I feel disgusting, dysphoric, hateful toward myself. I've never seen "myself" in the mirror, and as my body undergoes multiple slow metamorphoses, age and loss of active lifestyle and estrogen's glacial redistribution, what I see in the full-wall mirrors at the martial arts studio is some other nightmare, an unfamiliar stranger whose face is too like my father's, whose body is outside of the parameters I made uneasy peace with for so many years, if I just didn't think about it I'd be fine, if I just didn't look at it or draw attention to it then I'd be fine, avoid compliments and criticism as much as possible, indifferent and masking and horrid and still trying so hard to be happy

and as I close my eyes in a hot bath that can't contain me, what do I hear but Pinkerton's devil whisper, the album I can map so many of my youthful discomforts onto and that now I hear as such a transgender wail, tired of sex and so far away and I'm dumb she's (I'm) a lesbian, I thought I had found the one, and butterfly, every time I pin down what I think I want it slips away

I guess you're as real as me
maybe I can live with that

but I couldn't, I never did live with it, the ghost slips away and she was me, and I'm suddenly achingly sick of it all again, reliving all the living that was so hard because something about me just rubbed people the wrong way

and I get it

me too!!!!!

and I can endure it because I'm good at enduring but motherfuck I wish my life was aligned with any of my beliefs, any of my dreams, any of my wants and I'm trying and I'll keep trying

but we've made a nasty world and I have always known it even when I couldn't say its name

I don't want sex I just want tenderness
I don't want gender I want to feel weightless
I don't want to be hot I just want to want not
and be accepted and held and loved

I have enjoyed all the moments when I briefly felt real
I look forward to a few more if I can manage it

absence cannot be reconstructed
but it can be illuminated

and i'm lit the fuck up