by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
I don't care, I'm still free; You can't take the sky from me...
(Score to go along with story)
Previously...Pastor Andrew and Georgie discussed her future…
"Yes, Georgie, and a rather fine woman at that. You've got a lot of work ahead of you, child, and and I'm confident that you'll make the right choices. Wonderfully made, right?"
“Just a bit to the left,” the man in the white smock and mask said to the nurse, a smiliarly clad woman who looked very anxious; perhaps because of the men with the suits and blue hands that looked over both their shoulders. He manipulated the probe, keeping his eye, not on the screen, but on the men behind him.
“Are you sure this will work, Doctor,” The stern, taller of the two men said skeptically.
“I’m quite sure, but she’s going to need monitoring throughout this whole phase,” the doctor half-smiled, confident that he’d at least have a job for the time being…maybe even a longer life, from what he’d heard from others in the facility…the rumors about a decided reduction in medical staff that seemed to occur on a regular basis whenever the two men beside them visited the complex.
“Just be sure that she’s monitored; we don’t want anything to go wrong….”
The Pasquale home…a few days later…
“Georgie, have you heard from Dr. Avigne?” Frankie asked as she sorted through the mail. Georgie looked down and back again at his sister.
“She says the protocol demands another physician ‘be advised and agree to the plan of eventual surgery after a sufficient period of time for the candidate to acclimate his or herself to the rigors and challenges of a gender change.” Frankie smiled to herself at Georgie’s uncanny ability to recall even the most banal or nondescript conversations, feeding them back with the same tone and inflection as the original speakers. She caught herself and immediately frowned in sympathy to Georgie’s plight.
“She’s saying she won’t even sign off on a year’s time of living as a woman unless you get another doctor to agree? I thought that had to do only with surgery.
“Gorram Doctors.” Georgie blew out a breath. In an instant he was doing a spot-on imitation of Summer Glau ala River in Firefly. Georgie was an oddity, even in a non-linear world, because he already had demonstrated at least to his family physician and his pastor that he could indeed live as a woman for a year…forever, in fact, since he was…indeed a woman; albeit without the ‘REQUISITE PLUMBING” as he liked to say.
“Well, then I guess it’s up to me and Mom and you to find a doctor who knows what the hell they’re doing?”
The office of Dr. Nancy Pellier, PhD, PsyD….
“Georgie? May I call you that?” The woman sitting across from him asked; her tone was welcoming and warm. She adjusted her glasses back against the bridge of her nose, making yet another mental note to have them fixed. She brushed her hand unconsciously through her salt and pepper hair.
“Yes.” Georgie crossed his legs, not like a man with the ankle resting on the knee, but with leg draped over his other leg. His body language changed almost immediately and his arms unfolded as he…now she…sensed the doctor’s acceptance of her…as her. She smiled.
“I noticed the change…is that something you did to accommodate your request? Any one can act a part if they’re good enough, but that doesn’t make them Ophelia or Nellie Forbush.” The comment would have been insulting but for the growing grin on Dr. Pellier’s face.
“No, I’m not acting. I think maybe that the other way I present myself is acting?” Georgie’s demeanor and body language changed once again, presenting the young man who had originally entered the office. He smiled at her.
“Okay, so we know you can behave…present yourself as a woman, as it were.” She smiled back. Nancy Pellier had been a psychologist for nearly twenty-two years, and had never seen anyone quite like Georgie Pasquale, even with all of her experience working with autistic children and adults.
“What I need to know, and you’re aware of it, Georgie, is, are you in fact, a woman who requires gender confirmation surgery?” Like many of her colleagues, Nancy had come to recognize that the term ‘reassignment’ was not only inadequate, but unfair in describing the surgical procedures involved, since there wasn’t any ‘reassignment’ at all, but an adjustment of the physical attributes to match the emotional and psychological and even neurological characteristics of the candidate.
“I think so.” Normally an answer that would beg the follow-up question, “What do you mean? You think?” Georgie had heard that question almost a dozen times in the past month alone. But when he said, ‘I think so,’ it reflected cognition rather than supposition; He didn’t ‘feel’ he was a woman, he thought…knew he was in fact a woman. Nancy nodded.
“Well then, Ms. Pasquale, it seems we’ve got to get some paperwork taken care of so that you can begin that real life test the powers that be require. In your case, it seems it will be like a confirmation as the folks actually intended.”
Nancy had gotten used to the mundane and boring so much that it was actually a thrill to see the broad smile cross Georgie’s face at her remark. She needed no in-depth review or comprehensive questionnaire to determine Georgie’s status. She was completely convinced that Georgie Pasquale was an excellent candidate for GCS…now the task was to persuade at least one other colleague that she was correct, or the poor woman in front of her would either be consigned to a long struggle seeking help far away from home or doomed to a life of miserable loss of self; stuck in a body that was ill-suited for her life as a woman.
“Here…let me…” She sat in the chair as the girl behind her grabbed her hair softly. She began to weave a three-stranded pony tail for River, who sat quietly while humming softly to herself.
“Na qu, Tai hao? This is nice, don’t you think…I bet you’ll be turnin’ heads ‘fore long, “ Kaylee said as she held the mirror up for the girl who nodded but began to cry softly.”
“Oh…don’t you worry…It’s okay to feel odd…fact is, I sometimes feel sorta odd and outta place. ‘Cept sometimes when I see your brother.”
The Pasquale home....
“I don’t know. I guess he looks okay.” A voice came from behind Georgie.
“She, Stella…she…gotta get it right.” Frankie corrected her best friend. The girl smiled. She really was much more sensitive than that, but she had almost grown up in the house along with Frankie and Georgie. Her parents had separated when she was beginning middle school and the Pasquale home was much more welcoming than an empty house when her mother worked two shifts.
“I’m sorry, Georgie. You look great. I think the pony tail is pretty.” Stella looked at Frankie and shrugged as if to say, “Was that okay?” Frankie smiled and nodded.
“Dr. Pellier is supposed to call about the other doctors. Gorram Doctors!!!” Georgie sighed.
“She’s gonna find someone…she just has to!” Frankie said, trying to be optimistic. But the lack of success over the past week didn’t bode well for her erstwhile sister, and she was getting frustrated and really running out of the energy to be optimistic for them both.
“Why can’t you just go and get it done someplace else?”
“She could, but then things get complicated and maybe even difficult, since you never can tell.”
“Gee, Georgie, I’m really sorry.” Stella put her hand on Georgie’s shoulder and said softly.
“I think you look great.” This time, she wasn’t saying it for Frankie’s benefit or even for Georgie, but for herself. She had to keep saying that because she wanted the best for her best friend’s sib, didn’t she?
Stella had a crush on Georgie that dated back to when she was in seventh grade; he was so smart and she was so geeky, so they fit, from her perspective, even though he was a year younger than her and her best friend’s brother. So now to see the boy she always loved wanting to be girl?
“I’m going to live the way I want no matter what the doctor’s say.” Georgie declared. Stella pulled her hand back suddenly; she hadn’t meant to be so reactive, but what could she do with a statement like that. Georgie took note, but thankfully misinterpreted her action.
“That’s okay, Stel…I’m not worried. It’s the alliance I have to worry about?” A curious reference to their favorite TV show?
“The Alliance? We don’t have any alliance around here, and you’re wearing a cream colored cotton blouse, sis, not brown!” Frankie half-joked, wondering if Georgie was having an ‘episode’ over remembering an episode.
“NO…Jeez, Frankie…I’m not…the doctors…will any of them break ranks and endorse my RLT?” Both Frankie and Stella sighed at the same time, almost a duet since Stella’s sigh almost sounded mezzo to Frankie’s deep alto gasp. Frankie was relieved. Stella wasn’t. The doctors would give Georgie just what he wanted but take away what she had hoped for all along.
“Dear God in heaven, I hate myself,” she thought.
“I am so fucking selfish…okay…whatever…I’m letting go.” She bit the inside of her lip hard enough to evoke a painful bleat; ‘owwwww.’
“Nothing…just a cold sore…I’m okay.” She blinked back her tears after turning away quickly, fumbling awkwardly in her purse for a small tube. She did have a cold sore, but it wasn’t half as painful as watching the boy she dreamed of marrying since she was twelve just simply fade away.
Next: Take My Life, Please?
Compilation from the Score to
the Motion Picture, Serenity
composed by David Newman
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