Blogging in the wee hours again. Why fight it? The ongoing post-operative discomforts aside, I'm feeling energized. It is, however, a little late to get clever with structure - I am already shifting on my knees even know, trying to ease the kink in my back - so straight chronological reportage and a hastily tweaked first draft is what you get, Bub.
I posted (relatively) early Friday evening but then still couldn't sleep, and ended up back downstairs again at about 3am Saturday morning (about 24 hours ago). The only other person up was Melanie, the night nurse. She was lying on one of the couches in the living room wrapped in a blanket, trying to catch a nap, but she sat up and talked with me, and we ended up having an intense hour-long conversation (both of us switching back and forth between French and English, which was cool.)
I learned that Melanie is in her thirties, has a teenage son and a 16-month-old daughter named for two different strong women in her family's history, that she just bought a house where she now lives with her boyfriend, and that in addition to working here at Asclépiade she is also back in school for further studies in nursing. If I had seen her once and you asked me to describe her ethnicity, I would have said she was black, but in fact she has a white Canadian mother and a black Haitian father, and thinks of herself (she says) as white. She believes she got the job here because she talked in her interview about the feeling she knows from her heritage and upbringing of being stuck between two worlds.
Melanie and I discussed the similaries of the false binaries and mixed-up and complicated in-betweens of race and gender in North American culture. We talked about different peoples' definitions of happiness and success. She recited a poem for me in French; I did my voice-work practice poem, Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" for her in English. I have met and connected with a lot of nice people here, but I think of Melanie as a new friend. Interesting that the one person I bond most closely with is not trans.
I was back in bed about 4:30a and slept until breakast, and the rest of Saturday was boring. Kept myself busy with French reading, walking, a DVD. Achieved the very important first bowel movement after surgery just in time to avert nursing intervention - I was starting to hear my name mentioned behind closed doors. A period of intestinal discomfort has followed; overdid it with the prune juice which is available at every meal...and that's enough mundane detail.
I went to bed early this past evening in hopes of actually sleeping when it was dark, but it was not to be; so up again to stand outside for a bit in the soft warm air of a Montréal summer night - and that's when the emotional dam burst. I started sobbing. Back inside, and thank goodness for Melanie, there with tissues and a long embrace. She also fetched me my ultimate comfort food of raisin cereal with soy milk, which I have been missing. Back to bed again for more crying. Not new reasons, just the real ones from all along, showing new facets at this phase of my transition. I really really really really really don't have to be a man any more. And I finally get to be loved for who I really am.
When I was talking with Melanie over comfort-cereal we compared emotional landscapes. I taught her the English word "rollercoaster." "I don't cry very often," she said, "but when I do..." she groped for a phrase in English. "C'est comme un orage," I said - It's like a storm. She nodded. And I thought again of Eve Ensler's marvelous monologue about what it is to be a girl.
I wrote two posts ago about the possibility of turning back toward masculinity now that I am safely on this side of the surgery, and that might still happen, but right now I feel the resurgence of my femme truth. I am an emotional creature, and this is happening. It's really happening. I get to live.