from a series of essays called transition, #3: “standing at the crossroads”

i would say when i was younger these were my feelings but i would be lying to you, for these thoughts occurred throughout my life…
we hear the tale, did robert johnson sell his soul to the devils at the crossroads to learn to play the blues, his music can be so haunting and if so, what would it take you to sell your soul… by selling your soul you have consciously given up any hope that what you seek in life can or will be reached… you are willing to pay the price for eternal damnation just to experience your upmost desire even if it’s only for a moment… remember prayers have been prayed for a lifetime and they were just empty words heard by no god or being… you are desperate, reaching out to whatever can heal your soul… in my case i just want to be happy…
my sight, a gift or a curse, i often wondered… during most of my life it was simply a double edge razor, her image was everywhere, everywhere except in the reflection i saw in the mirror….. during my late teens and adult years two songs played continuously in my mind, the Rolling Stones, “Paint it Black” and Cohen’s “Dress Rehearsal Rag”… my world was just that, i hated what i saw and i wanted to paint it black to take my pain away…. everywhere i looked i saw what i wasn’t and it hurt…. my dreams at night were always broken only to wake and find yet my prayers were not heard… so why not sell my soul, could it be worst than the pain i felt every day…. i would stand naked in the shower grabbing what i wanted to be rid of… a razor would heal my soul so easily….. a thousand times i played my dress rehearsal rag in my mind…. it would be so simple but i was a coward so i just cried….
and today my identification all reads “female” but is that the case….. my real identification are the “tells” i carry everyday because my hormones poisoned my image for 66 long years, i have the image of a male… my shoulders too broad for a girl, my hands, facial features and the list could go on and on…. we transition in so many ways to heal, my body language can be modified and i can imitate her reflection but that can only go so far…. i dress many times to hid the “tells” that scream out who i am…. but who am i… even that i struggled with, all as part of my transition….
and now, today i hold my bag of silver, what price i’m willing to pay… silver i had not, but did i sell my soul for this silver….. i am transgender, i am now and i will always be…. you are female and i am transgender, it’s that simple…. so what am i willing to do to be as you…. yes we share the same gender but that can not be seen, abstract in a way, all in the mind…. but stand me naked before the world, cut me open to see my secrets and i will never be you… XY is not XX, the code of life can not be fooled…
in less than two weeks i will lay on an operating table for nine long hours under the care of a surgeon just to change some of my facial features… can the knife be a miracle… no, and that’s not what i’m seeking, i’m too wise for that… but the knife can soften the “him” to bring out more of what i feel in my heart, but i wonder, am i just selling my soul but in another way…..
tess julianna 11/3/17

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