"Bonne nuit," l'infirmière a dit. "Good night," said the nurse, making it a gentle teasing command as well as a courtesy, and she turned off all the lights and closed the door. The orderly tiptoed in five minutes later to empty the bulging catheter bag, as Lisa had expressed carefully light anxiety about its fullness to the nurse. She had learned fast to grab her chances to ask for what she needed and to do it in ways least likely to piss anyone off. The art of being a proactive patient...tonight it had also earned her oatmeal cookies for a bedtime snack, the time to brush and floss and have the kidney tray of spit be emptied after, a third pillow, and the hand-cranking of the old-fashioned hospital bed back to flat.
Lisa had also made the split-second decision to answer the "any pain?" question with a no, trading comfort for clarity of mind. Time for more one-finger typing - her chosen coping mechanism. But then, feeling sleep come on, she set the phone aside, confident that she would be awake again before daylight, and in fine condition to do justice to her chosen title.
Stent, dressing, drain, catheter, ice packs: like being fucked by a frozen robot. Lisa gave in and called for pills. Oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid with a moderate to high risk of dependency. So be it. The hard stuff while she could get it. Waiting for the warm wash of the drug she tried an experiment: nipples still wired to anything down there? They had been before, especially the right one...future lovers take note. Hmm...hard to tell so early, but not nothing. Definitely not nothing. Who said being fucked by a frozen robot couldn't be hot?
Morphine dreams...Lisa jerked awake when she heard the patient in the next bed bark "house!", whatever sound she actually made. And she thought: so, I guess I'm really a woman now, huh?
No. Not in any way I was not before, anyway. In fact, since the operation I have been feeling more mannish than I have in years. I feel like Dave again. What the fuck is up with that?
Partly circumstance...the lack of opportunities, weirdly, to see myself in a mirror...unisex gown and the difficulty of shaving...being with a sister whom I see rarely enough that this is the first time I have felt that we were sisters together. But, also, now that it is absolutely clear that I am not and can never again be physically male, I feel free to act more male again. I was groping for this idea in my last post when I wrote about turning to the world with love in a new way.
I still plan to get the perm and second ear-piercings I planned for the weeks of recovery, both as treats and as visible signs of change to give folks something else to talk about besides my genitals. I'm not done playing with femme yet; but there may yet be stone-butch daddy times ahead too, or who knows what.
What I have done this week, it turns out, is engage in a radical gender-active form of body modification. The penis and testicles had to go. The new parts could turn out to be lots of fun, but they do *not* define me. Rather, they position me at a safe and natural starting place for further gender inquiry. If I am genderqueer, which is entirely possible, maybe the only reason I couldn't say so until now is because I needed to approach it from a fundamentally femme stance.
I am still so not done.