Saturday, February 23, 2013

When she was a boy

(I wrote this as an exercise for a class. It's fictional but true in a fictional way.)

When she was a boy she had feet that could fly. They were her wings, her feet clad in boys shoes, sturdy and tight, her chemistry set at home. The other boys – they all knew she was a boy. She imagined herself a fisherman or a fireman or an astronaut.

Photo by wallyg via Flickr
Sometimes she was a pilot who could climb into a cockpit and soar above the world. When she was a boy, she was not a sister. She was not a daughter. She was a sailor. She was a cop. She was a construction worker who drove huge trucks that crunched over gravel and picked up impossible loads.

When she was a boy she was kind and smiled toothy grins. She caught spiders and bugs and burned wings under magnified glass.

When she was a boy, they told her she was a girl. They put her in pink dresses with lace and beads that she picked off in church. They made her sit still with her legs together, her knobby knees scraped and accustomed to shorts and high speeds.

And she knew in her heart that she would not grow up to be this other thing. But she really didn't think about it. She thought of the sun in her face. She thought of the tricks she would play on her sisters – like any big sister. Because she knew she was a boy.

"Mom – I can't wear that. I'm a boy." And her mother would look sideways at this child and her contrariness. She would stare and ponder because no one ever told her about little girls that grow to be boys and men.

"You're a girl and that's that."

And she would go off crying. But then her dad would come in to give her a fishing rod and she knew that he knew that she really was a boy.

When she was a boy, when it was late at night and she couldn't sleep, she knew the truth: that she would grow up. She wished every night and yet she knew that her body would betray her further. And eventually it did.

But now she is grown. Her parents are long gone. The memories of them telling her what she wasn't when she knew she was, long erased. And she looked at himself in the mirror and saw the betrayal. The body of a woman.

But that was all about to change. And soon, she would be a man. The man she was meant to be. And people would no longer doubt her. And they would no longer say she grew up as a girl who was a boy. They would just know she when she was a boy she was a boy. And now she was a man. A real man.

1 comment:

  1. Dear blogger. This is beautiful. You captured something within this piece that is often times uncouth to many people. You have described my childhood, as I'm sure you have described many others. My mother less than disowned me when I came out lesbian. Now, I am on the cusp of pre-T and I know I will never see her again. She had always wanted another boy, but with her religious bigoted nature, never in this way. I will be starting therapy soon. My partner will be with me. There is no one, in this journey, I consider more. (Aside from our child). However, she more than anyone, knows how I fit this story to a T. Pardon the pun. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for supporting your man. You are brave.