This thing I said I was going to–you know, finish up these rewrites on Chapter One? Yeah, I finished those. No, they are in the can for real. I’m just as surprised as you.
I worked over the last part of the scene in some good detail. It was a lot of Kerry wondering why Annie liked to stand close to him, or sit even closer, or, when they were taking a picture here and there, she’d slip her hand into his. The kid’s only a few months past eleven and not the sharpest spear in the social activities group. So, yeah: he’s a bit confused.
Actually, he’s a lot confused. Because . . .
(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
There was another thing as well . . .
While walking through St. James Park, as Annie was telling him about Buckingham Palace, there were a few moments when Annie tentatively reached over and—well, first she touched his arm, then after a minute or so she sort of leaned on him for a few seconds, and then, maybe a couple of minutes after that, while she was pointing out something, she took his left hand, gave it a small squeeze, then walked with his towards the palace. It took him nearly a minute, but he finally found the nerve to wrap his fingers around her hand and continued walking like nothing important was happening.
But he wasn’t like that on the inside. He was worried he was going to get too excited and crush Annie’s hand, because Kerry had felt his heart race and sweat break out on his forehead, and there were a few moments when it imagined he might lose it all, snatch his hand away, and run off. But he maintained his cool—all through the park, and later when she did the same thing on the Tower Bridge, and then again while walking through Queen Mary’s Park after they returned to the Baker Street Station.
Annie did that, but I have no idea why. He shifted his gaze away from his hands; as he didn’t want to look at Annie just yet, he looked down the aisle towards Ms. Rutherford. Maybe it was her first time being out with a boy, and she—I don’t know—she wanted to feel like she was out on a date and she didn’t think I’d mind . . .
Ms. Rutherford turned and gave Kerry a little smile before going back to whatever it was she was reading. He stared at the back of her head for a few seconds before flashing back on last night—
Kerry took his seat and watched, out of the corner of his eye, as Annie sat to his left, just as she always seemed to do. Collin was to his right, and Alica and Ms. Rutherford were almost directly across from him at the circular table.
Ms. Rutherford first spoke to Alica and Collin, who both grumbled about having nothing to do. She then looked at Kerry, gave him a cheerful smile, saying he certainly looked happy, then turned to Annie before addressing them both. “So, you two: how was your date?”
Annie gave Kerry a quick side glance before answering. “Oh, it was incredible, Ms. Rutherford.” Then she turned to Kerry, her eyes bright and her face aglow. “Wasn’t it perfect, Kerry?”
Just like that moment in the restaurant, Annie filled Kerry’s vision, and just like last night her hazel eyes were bright and locked upon him—
Ms. Rutherford asked about our date.
He shook from side to side. “Oh, oh.”
“Oh what, Welsh boy?” Alica chuckled again. “You know, you’re cute when you’re actin’ simple.”
I love torturing my kids. Who needs whips when you have Annie?
Later today I’m going to compile off the parts I’ve rewritten and mail them off to someone and see if they’ll look them over, then I’ll start rewriting a few other scenes that require an intervention. Not a lot, but they are there–including one that demands a full rebuild.
But I’ve finally struggled through Chapter One. Onward, right?
Now that the writing stuff is updated, it’s time for a little personal interjection. What? You thought I only spoke about writing? Foolish people!
A couple of weeks back Aussa Lorens, who is found over at the blog Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy., wrote about her birthday, and mentioned that her birthdays were often filled with adventure. Some people are lucky that way: their birthdays are moments to remember, exciting days that stay with them for most of their lives.
And then there’s me.
I commented that I’d never had an adventure on my birthday, that most of them were pretty much, “Eh, it’s Friday” sort of deals. This didn’t sit well with Aussa, and she tasked me with going on an adventure for my birthday.
So the mental clockwork that is my brain went to work, trying to find an adventure that would put Flynn and Jake to shame. And . . . I got a whole lotta nuttin’. I mean, I write for something that I hope will one day be a living, and coming up with interesting things for my characters to do is the order of the day. Unfortunately, I think my chances are pretty slim to none that I’m going to save an entire civilization, or save a friend from a Lovecraftian horror, or communicate with a ghost that it looking for justice. Nah, that isn’t happening.
What does that leave? I could head back up to Centralia and dance naked on the abandoned portion of PA Route 61 until I come down with a touch of carbon monoxide poisoning like I did during my first trip there. Or I could head back out to The Abandoned Turnpike and walk the entire length, going through both tunnels, maybe scaring the hell out of myself as I spend more than a mile in the complete darkness of Sideling Tunnel . . . nope, I’ll do that some time later in the summer. There’s still the trip I want to take out to where the Hindenburg crashed and burned, but I have scheduled a visit.
No, we’re talking an adventure. Something that I’m going to remember.
Then it hit me: I knew what I’d do.
Thursday I spoke with my therapist–yes, I have one of those, and she did ask if I’d speak with her more than a couple of times a year. A certain subject came up, and her comment was, “Cassie, you’ve been ready for a year.” Which is true: were it not for having to change jobs a couple of times since the end of 2012, the thing we were discussion probably would have happened last year. I agreed with her, and then did my little thinking thing–
The conclusion I reached was, yeah, bitch, it’s time to pull the trigger and start moving forward. In the story I’m writing there is a thing that Kerry Malibey does: when faced with a bit of a challenge, he’ll look straight ahead, sigh, and say, “Okay, let’s do this.” That was pretty much me Thursday night: this needs to be done, so you best get to work.
Yesterday afternoon, after returning from work and enjoying my dinner, I filled out and submitted a patient intake form, making an official request to begin my hormone replacement therapy. And that’s it: the trigger’s pulled, the gears are grinding, everything is being put into motion. This is the point in the program where, if you’re transgender like me, you’re saying, “It’s time to rid myself of all those nasty hormones that have been driving me crazy for decades, and get on the hormones that are going to change me physically, mentally, and emotionally.” It means you’re starting off on a path that you’re probably never going to turn away from, because in a few months you’re going to develop breasts, you’re going to see fat moving to your hips and butt, you’re going to start having emotional swings that are going to having you laughing and enjoying the light of day one minute, and leave you crying in the darkness damning your existence the next.
This all culminates with going out all the time as the person you have always wanted to be. Not just out for breakfast and shopping like I do now, but everywhere–even at work. Yes, I have my plan laid out for that, and it’s a scary thing, because if everything goes as plans, I’ll come out to them about the time 2015 is rolling into town, and they’ll start seeing a new me walking around the office. I’ll change my name legally, I’ll have new identification, just about everything that was the old me will exist in a few photos and little else.
That’s the thing of this: I’m finally saying goodbye to one person while saying hello to another. I’ve been out since 2012, but it’s only in the last few months that I’ve started presenting in public. I am, just like my current story, a work in progress, and things will continue to change–particularly once I start hormone therapy and begin going through puberty again. Yes, ladies: what you did as late tweeners and early teeners, I get to do now.
This has even more importance now, because yesterday was the last day of me me being fifty-six years old, and today is, as they say over at The Oatmeal, “Pop Out of a Vagina Day,” aka I turn fifty-seven. And not comes the scary part–
I’m gonna post a picture. Hang on, ’cause this is gonna be right up there with Cthulhu waking up.
Okay . . .
Here I am:
And this is the last birthday I’ll have as that person in that picture, because a year from now who I am at this moment will really, truly, be a memory, and there will be a completely different person in that picture next birthday. My face will change some, I’ll have new glasses, I’ll finally get my brows worked on–in short, I’ll be a completely different person.
A lot of people set off on adventures that change their lives: in my case, I’m changing my life completely, and if that isn’t an adventure–
Then I guess I gotta throw myself in a volcano. That’s exciting for a bit, but it’s a bit difficult to write about later . . .