Thursday, January 20, 2011

You're not a Man, man


I woke up a few mornings ago with an intense coup de blues.  The heaviness in the chest region was quite extreme.  It ached.  I played a lot of online poker, but it didn’t go away.  In fact the poker only made it worse.  Which online poker can do, because it’s fun, but ultimately unsatisfying, even if you do finally win against some loose unit called Indie who waits until the last possible moment to make every single measly bet. 
I felt sad.  And it was terrible because all I knew was that the sadness was about Kiki and about The Love.  But I couldn’t identify precisely what it was about them.  Which made me withdraw into the Bunny Cave until I figured it out.  The lonely place.
And then finally, after days of poker and mole-ing and hot little oozy tears, I realised what it was. 
It sounds strange, but because of Kiki and the feeling of going so abruptly from a light concave to an extreme convex, I realised that I was female – a woman, a lady.  And that the Love was a man.  Which, although obvious, was suddenly shocking and sad to me, because our connection always had such a gender-ambivalent beauty to it.  We were besties.  BFF.  The balance of our masculine/feminine was fluid and constantly sliding and essentially, equal.  We each had our days and moments where either side would preside.  I liked my masculinity.  Of course I was female, and The Love had the most wonderful way of making me feel that, and he was magnificently male, but never in our lives had the divide been so apparent.  I was absolutely woman.
It felt very, very lonely.
And so definitive.  Final.  I was going to be a mother.  Mothers aren’t boys.  No, The Love would be a father, and I would be a mother and we would be a family, and as much as we tried to be equals, there would be roles.  He simply couldn’t breastfeed, as much as his nipples were sweet.  There were things already I couldn’t do, for the femininity.  I could barely walk for goodness sakes.  I certainly couldn’t climb a tree.  I couldn’t knock down six tequila shots in a bar in Berlin.  I had to wear a bra.
Our gender islands were, for the first time, completely separated.  It felt awfully isolating.  I wanted to make him feel what I was feeling – a creature in my body, dancing and twisting.  I wanted him to swell up and become all round too, so we could share it, like we shared everything else. 
But from now on, we would forever be different.
It was a sort of grieving.  A letting go of my boyhood.  In France, before a man gets married they have an enterrement de vie de garcon, like a bachelor party.  In French it means ‘Burial of the boy’s life’.  That’s exactly how I felt.  I was burying my little bachelor, my boy, that was why I felt sad.  There was no mistaking me for a boy from here on in.  There would be curves and breasts and female instincts and mothering and stuff.  I had to let the young buck go.
So I did.  Once I could identify what the feeling was, it was so much easier.  I could tell The Love what it was.
“I’m sorry,” I told his poor face, worn from days of torment.  “I’ve just realised that you’re a boy and I’m a girl and we’re going to experience this differently.  And that we’re sort of alone together.”
And he smiled and we hugged in that warm and awkward way, the basketball between us.


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