Editorial note: published November 23, 2019, with minor edits from the original draft for purposes of privacy, and in recognition of the fact that many of the mental-health facets of this tale were, in hindsight, wildly inaccurate misdiagnoses.
Watched a short film earlier about a soldier returning home to meet his daughter for the first time - his AMAB daughter. Incredibly powerful, to the point that I don't think I can really talk about it much without needing to spend another hour crying again.
Poking around on the internets. Inspired to dig up some old writing of mine from the web graveyard.
I wrote this in 2007, shortly after being [mis-]diagnosed with some serious mental health problems. Very much before I even knew that trans was something I could be, and certainly before I had any idea what the dreams meant.
To the Woman Who Lives on the Edge of My Mind
We just can't go on like this, you and I.
Too many nights I lie down next to you, draw near to your warmth and softness with a happy, tired sigh.
Too many mornings I awaken with your head on my chest, the onyx rivers of your hair leaping over and between us, dancing rapids in a joyful mountain stream.
Too many days find my mind's occupations interrupted by visions of you.
Hot breath and tantalizing fingers grazing across my neck.
Eyes of misted emerald, glinting with the thousand facets of magical gemstone light, secret signs and mirrored glimpses into your soul... secrets which are my deepest delight to slowly unravel, as the courses of our lives are woven ever tighter.
Or should I cast my gaze instead across the gentle, elegant form, perfect specimen of that captivating feminine beauty that has the defied the explanation of so many artists and orators greater than myself?
Please, dearest one, do not misunderstand me - there is nothing of you that I find growing stale, no part of our time together that is anything less than perfect pleasure.
I do not wish to part our ways; if anything, exactly the opposite. My eyes probe for hints of your graceful movement around every corner, search every face in the crowd for the features I have come to know so well. My ears, in the quiet of the night, imagine they detect your hushed but urgent gasp and moan. Every inch of my skin craves the caress of your lips.
You know enough of my past now to understand. It doesn't come easily to me to care about anyone. There's always some excuse, some reason, some doubt, some misgiving. No matter how hard I try, though, I can't think of any reason to stop caring about you.
I live in mortal fear that something - anything - might befall you. I can only imagine that, regardless of circumstances, I would drop everything to be at your side.
I believe there is only one truly important thing for a person to do with their life, and that is to live it as fully and happily as they can.
It would be my deepest honor to stand with you as you pursue that goal for your own time on this earth.
So why, then, this letter? Why insist that things must change? Why damage what we have already done?
I'm afraid it's a matter of practicality, sweet one.
I'm afraid you'll either need to walk into my physical life, or walk out of my tormented mind.
We just can't keep on this way, you and I.
...and then it was now
There's a lot to unpack there. So many things that feel prescient, and so many things that I'm startled to look back on and realize just how far I have come in the time between then and now.
I didn't know, then, what the dreams meant. I didn't know why I kept waking up in the middle of the night in a delirium, crying and trying to find "her."
Where is she?
I don't know... she's... the girl that's supposed to be in my life, somehow.
There is an agonizingly beautiful symbiosis here. It plays with so many ideas that have become important to me... philosophy of mind, mathematics, the priceless but fragile wonder of complexity that we so mercilessly rush to obliterate in the quest for simple answers and final words.
Reality is a chaotic system - you don't "control" a chaotic system. There is no hope of control. Perhaps, if you dare - and you are deemed worthy of the immensity of the challenge - you may be permitted to dance.
You were right, you know. We couldn't keep on that way. It took a while... but I stepped into your physical life. And I am so glad to feel that it has eased your tormented mind.