Me and Them #1

Swirling thoughts flooding my every labored breath, I neared the finish line. Moving away from all I’d ever been, all I’d tried to know. Understanding and love were not the driving forces in this new life on which I sought to embark. Compassion and empathy were as trite as the passages of scripture uttered by societal junkies and progressive blasphemers. It was not joy that pushed me closer as I braced my small frame against brutal April rain. There was but one truth that echoed in the otherwise vacant corridor that was my conscious thought.

I don’t want to die.

I thought I did for so many years that it had become second nature to goad myself towards any means to an end. The blade could slip at any moment. Teasingly coy, my self-reflection taunted my fraudulence, knowing I cried wolf with every passive suicidal wish. It’s a long way down from this bridge.

That train is moving just fast enough.

You can taste the toxic fumes.

No, I would reply. You know I don’t really want to.

Coward.

Pussy.

LIAR.

He was right. I was a liar. Lying to my parents about how I made my money. Lying to my friends that I was happy and content. Lying to myself that I was okay with who I was.

And then. Truth.

I don’t want to die.

I would have somersaulted across the threshold, slid up the banister to the fourth floor, heralded my arrival with a shout and a whoop. If only I hadn’t been so scared.

Unless. It wasn’t fear at all. It was.

Excitement? Determination? Joy?

My demon spat at the mere mention of the word. Joy. How dare you? Who do you think you are? You know what you are, so don’t even bother. You’ll give up just like you’ve given up on everything else.

Fuck you. Fuck you.

FUCK YOU.

Terrified, the demon shook me from head to toe, quickening my inhales and quivering my exhales. But then there I was. Standing in front of the desk. Waiting for the lady wearing oversized glasses to peer up and ask how she can help me.

And then, the music swelled. The room grew slightly brighter. Colors were a bit more vivid. I was entering reality plus, a place so close to real life I could hardly tell the difference. This was where I lived or, rather, where my higher self was waiting for me.

“Hello! My name is Aria. I’d like one ticket to lady town, please.”

“Well hello, darling,” she replied. “And who are you seeing today?”

“Dr. Breadman. I’m early, I couldn’t help it. I’m just so fucking excited. Oh, shoot, sorry about the language.”

“Fuck that, this is YOUR day. You speak whatever language you need.”

“Well thank you, Doris. You have already made this a lovely visit.”

I swiped the form from Doris’ hand and skipped over to the chair before I sneezed and the room returned to normal and I found myself staring into a pair of bespectacled eyes.

“Can I help you?”

“Oh, yeah. Sorry. Um, I’m here to see Dr. Breadman.”

Doris disinterestedly scanned her monitor. “Name and date of birth?”

“Ari — er, I think I’m in there as Daniel Melton. Date of birth is 1/28/87.”

“Okay, you’re all checked in. Do you want me to change that in here?”

“No, thank you. That’s okay.”

Lifting the clipboard with the form, I sauntered over to my seat. Reality plus always left me a bit shaken and very disheartened. After waiting for several minutes, the nurse appeared to call me in. Fear had returned and my demon was cackling.

Fucking liar! Fucking liar! You know that person isn’t real. You know what you are, you piece of shit.

Gulping down a sob, I followed the nurse to the second exam room on the right. It was a standard exam room used for a standard exam. She completed the vitals, made small talk about the weather, and congratulated me before leaving.

You dumb cunt. If only you knew. If only you could see.

Shut up. Shut UP.

Without me, you’re nothing. I know that. You know that. It’s everyone else who is too blind and stupid to know what you really are.

Fighting the urge to pull a fistful of hair from my scalp, I was rescued by a knock at the door.

Dr. Breadman was a jovial, middle-aged doctor who had a penchant for giving frank information with a smile. He was one of the most casually pleasant individuals whose acquaintance I’d had the privilege of making. And he was one of the first men I’d ever felt that way about without fighting the urge to suck his cock.

“Hello, Daniel! You must be excited.”

The goddamn soundtrack picked up where it dropped off and the room suddenly smelled like Saturday morning cartoon cereal.

“Oh my god, please call me Aria. Yes, I’ve decided on the name and yes, I am fucking stoked to be here.”

“Ha! You should be, this is a big day for you. Your life is about to begin the way you want it to.”

“I finally get to write my own life instead of playing a supporting role.”

“That’s a fantastic way to think of it! Have you decided what you want to start with?”

“I’m ready to just dive right in. Let’s get that prescription written so I can start growing some titties.”

As the reality plus version of Dr. Breadman gave a hearty laugh, the room once again reeked of disinfectant.

“I’m nervous,” my reality replied. “If I start both the anti-androgen and the estrogen today, what should I expect over the next few months?”

“Well, you won’t see any physical changes just yet. Within a couple of weeks, you should begin to notice your mental processes and thought patterns adjusting. Most people know at this point if they want to proceed.”

“How’s that?”

This isn’t for you.

“Well, some people recognize the changes as a shift into something better than they’ve ever known. They begin experiencing a sort of completion, if you will. Others feel worse as a result of this process, often signaling that transitioning might not be the right path for them.”

You already know you’re one of those people. The ones who should never have bothered trying this in the first place. By the way, this building has 12 stories to it. A drop worth sinking to.

“Let’s do it. I want to start today.”

I don’t want to die.

It’s only going to get worse from here.

I DON’T WANT TO DIE.

Are you sure you want to live?

I have no other choice.