A short warning. Always be careful what you wish for when talking with strangers!
I’ve been standing here for days, looking with dull eyes at the passing traffic.
Perhaps next time, you’ll find me sitting watching the people go by day after day. My life is now a sequence of sudden changes followed by long periods of doing nothing.
This wasn’t how I planned things to be. Well, to be blunt, I drifted mostly. I went to school. I did well at exams because being a bad boy was too risky. I went to Uni because it was the expected next thing to do. I got a job because .... it was the next thing to do. I bought a car, a house because that was what came next. I tried to go out with girls because. I tried and tried to have a social life.
I never really fitted in with most folk. I enjoyed sports and yet I never desperately needed to win. Winning was nice, mind you. It meant that you’d done pretty well at your especial task and, in a team game, that everyone had worked well enough together to beat the opposition. But a game lost 20-22 was so much more pleasure than a game won 40-0. I’ve been on the receiving end of a game lost 80-5 and our 5 gave me immense satisfaction.
Cars – they’re vehicles to get me from one place to another. A new car is nicer than a old or dirty car, a powerful car is more fun than a beat-up banger. But, for me, the important thing is that it’s a Galileo, that is to say, ‘for still it moves’.
Beer, Booze, Parties - I did them but never with the apparent passion of my 'mates'.
Nicotine, Weed, Dope, other drugs - never.
I was stupidly content (oops, nearly wrote happy) working or sitting at the computer. Was I really 'a boring nerd with a boring life' as I overheard one time. I didn't want to be. I never planned to be - but then I have to agree I never planned any of my life.
Bloke stuff was never what I wanted to spend all my time on.
Winning – not my thing. Doing my best – yes, but the winningness was never what I needed.
Was I a man at heart? Was my inner drive to compete or to collaborate? I know that I was a better than average listener provided I could keep my mouth shut and not keep offering solutions. Now THAT last bit, I’m told, is a bloke habit.
Was I a woman at heart? I never said that either. I don’t think I ever even thought about not being male. But I didn’t want to be a male caricature. I didn’t want to be a typical male. I didn’t want all the labels that attach themselves to ‘male’.
Macho. Tough, Strong, Decisive, Alpha, Leader, Powerful, Dominant, and no doubt others.
So few occasions when I could claim to be any of these. My reviews always, or often, said 'Great Number Two', 'Excellent when motivated', 'Needs to push to get ahead'. Sometimes better comments like 'Useful insights', 'great support', 'great contribution'. But always with some sort of caveat, some trick of the phrasing to make it clear that i wasn't quite good enough.
I was sort of in the middle. No, that’s not accurate either. I just wasn’t as macho as most of my male colleagues and friends. I certainly wasn’t feminine. Looking at things with a few years hindsight and the learning of some psycho-jargon, I was ‘on a spectrum’. I was mostly masculine but with some skills that could be labelled feminine.
Spectrum - now there’s an idea that is found all over the place nowadays. None of this black-white inflexibility demanded by the good-evil us-them system.
But beyond the ROYGBIV* colours there's another common way to look at groups of people. Most of you will know the ‘typical’ curve for a graph of a group of things – you know, the one that looks a bit like a bell [That’s why it’s called the Bell Curve or the Normal Curve and other names]. I’m not in the middle of that curve. But the group I’m talking about has TWO main peaks, not just the one. One for Male and a separate one for Female and all the variations spread around nearby.
So, like I say, I’m a bit off-centre. Not off the scale unless you are the sort of person who truly believes the scale only exists at the black and the white ENDS of the spectrum.
If you link the two ideas, more entertainingly, perhaps one could view the actual black-whiteness as a pair of these ‘bell curves’. If you think about it then rather than the single priapic (albeit short, stubby, phallic) single there is the double curve of an unusually shaped pair of breasts. What quaint mathematical concepts perhaps only available to a trans-mathematician. The ultra-male butch exists to the far-side as far as possible away from the ultra-femme at the other end. The huge proportion of people are very masculine with a touch of feminine or very feminine with a touch of masculine.
But enough of that fanciful digression. More about me and how I got to be here.
It’s not the first time I’ve bent someone’s ear about my idea of this double-peak male-female curve and how it explains where I belong. Looking at my graph, I’m somewhere in the cleavage, so to speak.
I never saw myself as off-the-scale. That's for weirdos and freaks and so on. I've seen what happens to people who ';dare to be different' and that's not me. No way, no how. I've seen how the system can chew up and spit out those who it sees as wrong, different, unusual or in some way wrong. I don't approve but I don't have the power to change things.
I’m like many men. I can get a bit over-focussed on things that interest me. That also means I can be bloody boring too. Which is unfortunate because I’m only talking about things that excite me in the hope that my target or targets will get just a bit of my enthusiasm. Actually, from some points of view, you can see my approach as that of any other extremist. I want to bring people to my cause, to my addiction, to my way of thinking. I really don’t believe that I’m that pushy or demanding. I’m certainly not that successful. In part, not being as alpha as some others, I don’t have the charisma which would bring others flocking to my heels.
That’s a shame because my intellectual arrogance KNOWS that my ideas are excellent and should be endorsed by others. Oh well, maybe some time in the future, eh.
When I’m not thinking too much for the average man, I enjoy sitting in coffee bars and the like watching people go past, watching people enjoy themselves. Looking at the faces and the expressions, trying to guess what has been happening, is happening and might happen next.
That’s where I made my mistake. I actually said this out loud. I’d been chatting with the old lady on the next table. She was well dressed and I was actually surprised to see the likes of her in an ordinary coffee shop. She was well-dressed, clearly well-off and her comments about the passsers-by had echoed many of mine for being well-targetted. We never had a clue about the reality of what we said. How could we – we were one side of a pane of glass, our silent unheeding victims the other. But her quips seemed just that more accurate than mine – and often nastier, even perhaps bitchier.
My playful mind meandered – rich, bitch, which, niche, flitch, kitsch, ditch and so on - and it began to make a vulgar little poem.
My accomplice in people-watching glared at me for a moment as if she could hear what I was only thinking.
Then she actually said, “It would be so difficult if those folks,” and she flicked a casual hand, “could hear what we were saying.”
I’d spent probably too much time expounding my idea of the ‘Breast Curve’ and why it encapsulated so much of modern psychology and much of modern philosophy. It contained the yin-yang ideas of the East with the Spectrum ideas of the West. I hadn’t really noticed how bored she was getting nor the expression on her face.
Then I said, ‘There’s times I’d just like to sit and watch the world go past. Take a break from all this thinking which most folk don’t understand. Just sit or stand and take my time.”
Then I waved my hands enthusiastically and knocked my full coffee cup over her dress.
“Arrogant puppy. Have it as you wish. Follow me.” And with no more ado, she swept from the coffee bar with me in tow, my wallet left behind with all my shopping. Into the dress shop next door where I stood as she spoke with the manager. It was as if I was hypnotised. I certainly felt as if I could not, dared not move.
Time passed. Life meandered slowly past my barely moving eyes. I stood as she had placed me.
As she left, she murmured, “Be like your four monkeys. See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, Do no Evil. Just watch the world go by in this gorgeous little dress shop. You’ll grow to love it. Eventually.”
Evening came and hands lifted me. Towards the display window. My badly-fitting clothes were taken from me. New costumes were held up, assessed and replaced with others. Eventually, I was re-dressed in sleek satin underwear, a slinky summer dress, suitable accessories for a ‘Girl about Town’.
Never upset a rich witch bitch. I’m just a different sort of man, a mannequin. Most thoroughly no longer a man. She wouldn’t have left me as a male in such a shop. Am I a transvestite? A transsexual. I don’t know.
All I know is I’m trans and posed.
ROYGBIV - Colours of the spectrum. Often remembered as 'Richard of York gave Battle in Vain' or my preference 'Real old yokels guzzle beer in vats'. Why Newton allocated only 7 colours is far beyond my understanding.
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