solemnity of pentecost 2020
i take it all in for one last time.
i am distant from my body and waiting for cataclysm.
the day is long. and it is short.
time compresses, more than normal.
i have been in the cracks between it. made wrong like a splinter. threadbare skid in the silk of it. i've tried so hard to go, and the hole looms and dares and i take the damage but i'm stuck.
i can't reason why but for the beauty of it.
and it all seems brighter to me then, in the gold of the last day.
and it is that much harder to go.
this isn't the first time i've split as compromise. i believe this. part of me climbs out free, and the rest stays. i lose it. it doesn't come back.
and no simple way to say that when i touch my feet to the smooth rocks and hold my breath for as long as i can (training, for the ocean, for pearls, for sharks) that i am always that age, again.
i want to be warm.
i want to be in sunshine.
i want green leaves.
i want to see them from a home that feels permanent
i want cool weightlessness.
i want to layer my paint with confidence, light and intentional strokes, not laboured layers, hesitant, all nerves.
i want to feel comfortable in a crowd. i want to be tangled up in friends.
i don't want to forget anyone.
i want to know everything i need to know and act on it.
i don't want to disappear, leaving nothing.
i want to love everyone in the way they need
and where they feel how i love them.
i want to make room in my head for you.
i want to make room in my head for me.
i want all the words to say what i mean, in the right way, in every language. i want to know about rhotic and non-rhotic, all the tones, voiced and unvoiced, palatised. i worry the language that i am most fluent in, more than english, gaeilge, are the signs and symbols of trauma.
maybe find some mutual intelligibility. maybe learn the shorthand.
i want to hold the hand of someone like me and feel deeply that we are alike in the way we allow ourselves to be.
i want to hold myself and for that to be enough when there is nothing else.
i want to know all the parts and introduce them. i want to be safe and not scary.
i want to take my shirt off by the water.
i want it unremarkable.
i want to leave it on silvered driftwood and i want to push off from the sand. i want to skim the bottom.
i want to see where you live. where you make home. i want to know what time feels like for you. i want you to know what time feels like for me.
i lie curled in my hurt afraid that it dims all the outside hurt i should learn and be strong enough to shoulder. i'm afraid it makes me slower. more selfish in the wrong way. how do i turn hurt into action?
my exit is only scary when it's out of my control.
i want to be all the colours in my palette, visible under magenta light.
i want my cat to know i miss him on the cracked and sunbaked stones.
i want to lie down where the grass meets the rock and pet his head.
i want to imagine only up to this impossible beauty. in a moment surrounded by infinite moments colliding and receding. and halt it there.
nothing more. nothing worse.
i'm scared to know.
i'll know late or not at all.
i'm sorry i have to be here.
i know how things die back home.
i want to feel pain without dread
and let it pass through without burying it,
without being some new unfelt rending each time over.
it seems so much like a punishment.
i want to think and feel without fear of dipping deep.
i want to know how to hold the warm body of a little life without imagining the day it will be gone. i want to stay until it's gone, unafraid, without imagining, finding worth in what is still here.
i want to decide when to leave: not forced out in terror, but, if sadly, then calmly.
i want to tell you what i know.
i want to remember what i used to know.
i want time. i want to slow down.
i want to make it all quiet.
that doesn't explode in my head.
i want you to know who i am wherever i am.
i want to know what i can't from the surface.
i want knowing to be easier.
i want to know what your face means, and without asking.
i want to be clear.
i want to reconstitute.
i want to be the prism from which you see a spectrum of all my possibilities, everything i am trying to honour and let play, all of these parts integral even if seemingly-dissimilar from the shape of the glass holding them. i want to be a man and i want man to mean what i say it means, and i want that man to be all of this and more, and look and feel different to you and your touch. i want to resurrect and sculpt from nothing a boyness and visit it by choice.
i want to be known. not as in fame but as in seen and as in loved the way people do/are. for what little and all i have. known as in remembered for doing exactly what you need to the extent that i can offer. i want to be good not as in soft, delicate, unchallenging, but good as in enough... enough to get by, enough to end a day, enough for both of us to fall asleep,
and that is the softness.
i want to slip away.
i want to come back.
i want to want it.
i want to want to be here more than i want to leave.
i wish there were words floating above my head that flashed every time someone is about to tell me to "get help." every time someone asks for my fucking star chart or meyers-briggs or quizilla-what's-your-favourite-colour. don't need a replacement for calvinist fatalism. every time a self-identified professional looks me up and down and says i'm fine, i'm so articulate, i'm so well-read, i'm so feminine, well i'm a man now so rescind it, i'm so obstinant, try losing weight, try hating yourself back to normal, you chose this after all, there's nothing wrong, everyone feels this way, it's a personal problem. there's this allegation that if something was really wrong, your parents/a teacher/someone would have noticed, it contends that your parents/a teacher/someone knows to know, or even cares-- or believes in disability at all. and believes in the value of a life even if they gain nothing from it.
i have been in and out of the mental health system since i was twelve years old. i've been in and out of the mental health system, leveraged as a poor substitute for: child protective services, divorce, domestic abuse prevention, a living wage, physical medical assistance, disability resources and support, acknowledgement of disability in name or behaviour, training/resources for transgender support (emotional/material) in home/school/workplace, a substitute for outright saying "you are a waste. you ARE waste. we will not debase ourselves likes this. look me in the eye-- look me in the eye or you're lying." the mental health system is a threat as it is violent. medical providers are cops in their own right and the mental healthcare is to diffuse the danger you pose to public image, to a boss/professor/parent, because power is perfect, power is beautiful, and you should want to exploit and abuse with impunity like them. if it has been this hard for me, it has been as much and even harder for so many others, especially multiply marginalised/people of colour.
if you should find this sometime later when i can't speak for myself, please don't let anyone name me as anything different than what i am right now, even if it doesn't seem to fit. please don't let anyone say what i was born as, in name or gender. if i have left at a certain point where i've made amendments to a personal biography, please use them rather than a birth certificate. please defer to my partner or to a friend with whom i've spoken recently. (please remember such revision is violence the same way suppression, withholding, gaslighting, conversion therapy and what families do to their children behind closed doors/before they kick them out is violence. a slow violence.)
and, in such an event, please be sure to note that it isn't untimely, in the sense that i've asked many doctors many times for help. if not imploring them to acknowledge my illnesses at all without stigma or mockery, or to acknowledge what was happening at home. or to up my meds, or to fill them at all, or for more tests, or for help getting these things when my illnesses & disabilities prevent me from doing so on my own, or to call out the abuse of fellow practitioners, or to not prescribe me meds i'm allergic to, or to call me what i like, to call my partner what they like, or just to pronounce my name. they wanted me to get to a place i barely respect, and where i couldn't reach alone. i couldn't bootstrap my way there.