Book Two:

dave_beard.jpg (51349 bytes)

Boiled in Oil
by Melanie Anne

Part One: The Promised Land

Chapter 33

A Change in Perspective

October 24, 1992
(Transcribed from a micro-cassette entry to my diary)

Recently, I changed the balance of the kinds of hormones I am taking. I don't know if this is the cause, but I seem to be able to see much deeper into the emotional infrastructure of what it is to be a woman. I used to try to intellectualize what I was trying to be, but now I feel it. I don't think I could have empathized with these feelings while still male; testosterone prevents it.

Also, I find myself, although still capable of becoming aroused by women, thinking more and more of men. When I fantasize about love-making, it centers around the masculine. It a different experience than when I used to fantasize about women as a male.

As a male I focused on my senses of sight, anticipating what I could touch. Now, when I focus on the male anatomy, I am thinking in terms of what might be done to me. Thinking back to my first lover after surgery, I remember Bernard's arms most of all. From my training as a male it seems to odd that his arms should be the most sexy thing I recall.

When we were together, as we made love, his arms were not so much muscular as simply being male arms. I don't know how I can describe it. He had a hairy chest and a beard. He was so rooted to the physical, so focused, so capable. Just thinking about it now starts it all over again.

In the past, I have written about my relationship with Angel. She called me the other day. She is so sexually aggressive that even in talking with her on the phone I start to get involved. These days that isn't so difficult, though. Just driving my car over a bumpy road is enough to get things going. Sexual sensation after surgery is perhaps less intense, but more ever-present.

There are a lot of potentials that have bothered me: things out of place. Since surgery, however, the backlog of decisions I have to make has been whittled down. Perhaps because of this lessening of anxiety, things have been going very well with my family of late. Mary and I are very close emotionally. I've also been spending more time with my children, and we have grown closer as well. Yet, even with the pleasure of these improvements, I am still beginning to realize just how much I need a man in my life.

I find that I look at men with the same wonder and disbelief as all women do. They are definitely a different species, and I am clearly not one of them.

I have this dream that someday I'll have a ranch. And my husband will be out mending the fences while I'm in the house making dinner. Of course, I don't want him to be mending fences when I need him to help with the housework! I think what I want is to decide what I'd like to be done, then turn over the authority for getting it done to somebody else. I want to take the support position, once the project actually starts.

Creatively, I want to be known as the person who discovered something, and I want to talk about it and explain it. But I don't want to have to be the one who develops it, once it has been discovered.

I have discovered new things. I've seen the center of the universe and learned its secrets. And I've written them down as Mental Relativity and the story theory. In fact, I've done all of the writing that's been done about Mental Relativity and the story theory at the company, though it is under both Chris' and my name. I feel it's important to say that, because that's my contribution.

Chris' contribution has been, perhaps, having the company that makes this happen. He's taken the supportive role in this - that's the feminine job, whereas I have taken the male role in the development - that's my contribution, that's my dues, and I've paid them. And I'm getting really sick of it... [voice tightens on recording] and I'm starting to cry. [breaks into sobbing on tape] Because... I don't want to do that anymore. [ more sobs] I want someone to take care of me. [entry ends with sobbing]

October 24, 1992 - Later

The woman we most admire, is also the woman we most want to be. Each woman is all women. I look at a red haired beauty I saw today. It was a memorial on television for a 43 year old girl, almost, who was of Irish descent with flaming red hair. They said that her spirit had been as fiery as her red hair. It was a discussion of someone that I am, because I do have red hair (though my hair is brown), and a fiery spirit.

But then I noticed while driving home from an errand, a young girl of perhaps eighteen wearing a black tank top with long blond hair. And as I watched her, my hair was blond, and I was wearing that black top. On woman is all women. That is our strength, and that is what men try to take away from us.

They don't do it intentionally, mind you. But that disclaimer will be removed, after a while, because it is a fact of what they do, whether it is by intent or by neglect. It is not important. The important thing is that is what they take away from us.

They impose their hierarchy on us. The hierarchy of, "How high can we get?" - where in the pecking order we are. But for women, it should be, "How close can you get?" and, "How long can you stay there?" One is time and one is space, but "proximity" and "duration" are the important measurements for women, not "order" and "intensity", which are the measurements for men.

I suspect all women are bi-sexual. Because while making love to a man is simply making love, making love to a woman is masturbation. That's interesting, because there isn't any word for it that men have come up with. There is no single word for "being made love to". You have to couch it in the male terms of "making love". But, "being made love to", that is what you do with a man. But making love to another woman is masturbation.

And that is where our strength comes from - that we are all one. And any one of us who has a special quality can let it shine and let the others around her enjoy it with her, be part of it, make it part of them, so that we all grow as women by seeing what other women have to offer, and knowing that by their offering it is ours.

I thought for a long time that women were short-changed because men have that external communication link that gives them the ability to excel at external logic - which gives them the power to create an infrastructure that suppresses women. Women were shortchanged because they could not communicate directly as the externally biased men do, and there was no means of communicating directly heart to heart except through the external medium.

But that is not true. That is putting it in male terms. Another trick of culture. It tells us that you have to measure things by whether they are external or internal. But what if instead you measure in terms of logic or feeling? As women we can express ourselves equally in these two areas, but feelings are our first language and logic is our second.

The very ability we have to be one with all women is unique to women and puts us on an equal par. Sure, men imagine themselves in the role of the action hero. But they don't see themselves as actually being that hero, but as being the guy who replaces that hero - standing in his shoes, doing all the things he does, but they never imagine they actually are him.

I remember way back when I was first starting my transition, I said, "Now I am part of that group called "women", which includes the hookers and the nuns - which includes the beautiful beach bunnies and the withered, old hags - the bitches and the lovers - all of these I am by being "woman"".

All the women who struggled through history, it is all a part of now. There is only one time, and we all move through it. And I will take charge because I am.

November 3, 1992

I can say without hesitation, that right at this moment I am as happy and content as I have ever been. For me, keeping my family and still being able to date is a wonderful buffer to the potential of someday moving out or discovering I really want to stay. I get to experience and learn without risking anything in the process.

It's so good to have the finances in good shape. I have never been this secure monetarily. Not that I have a lot to burn, but I can have some fun and know it's not putting me deeper into debt. For example, today I went shopping for a pair of white jeans to show off my winter sweaters. I have quite a collection of sweaters which I dearly love, but only one pair of blue jeans to my name. This was one of the rare occasions when I didn't have to buy what I needed from the thrift store - I actually went to K-mart! Of course, then I stopped by the thrift store anyway, and bought four more pairs of brown slacks and jeans, so I guess I can't pass up those bargains in any event.

You know, it's kinda funny to find that there are no more internal or external problems that I HAVE to throw myself at. I look around and they're all gone. Now I have the unfamiliar task of retraining myself to take time to read, to visit friends, to take vacations, and simply to enjoy life. I am very glad to be who I am. I cannot even imagine what life would have been like if I had not -yes, "taken the courage" - to be who I needed to be: to risk it all on one spin of the wheel and be lucky enough to come up a winner.

I'm sure there are many wonderful experiences ahead. Life is just beginning, and every day is a surprise, and every new activity an adventure.

November 25, 1992

I just spent the last two days in bed with the intestinal flue. Fun, huh? In fact, this is the end of the longest time I've been out of bed since Sunday night. So, I got a few days extra vacation out of the week.

I could probably go in tomorrow, but Chris kinda hinted I might as well just take the day off, so I think I will. Besides, I'm not up to full strength yet, and don't want to blow it just before the holiday.

I'm still mulling over seeing Bernard again. He left a message for me the other day, but I haven't called him back yet. I know it will just be another sexual tryst (which is okay, mind you) but last time I had hoped that we would go someplace nice or do something special, and it took a bunch of wheedling just to get him to shell out for dinner.

Now, I don't know how you feel about it, but even if a guy is dull, it's worth going out for the male companionship - as long as you're doing something entertaining in and of itself. But spending time with a dull guy just to be with a guy is the pits!

If I wasn't still married, I'm sure I would feel differently about it, as I would get progressively lonelier until guys that I wouldn't consider began to look better than being solo. But it's just so darned easy to sit here every night with instant, reliable companionship, not lose any sleep, and not bother dating uninteresting guys. I guess I figure I can be just as bored at home as I can getting all dressed up and going out.

That's why I'm really looking forward to starting the college courses I signed up for: If I can meet a couple of guys (heck, even ONE) who is halfway fun to be with, then maybe I'll be motivated to want to do some dating instead of stoking the status quo.

November 28, 1992

I have spent nearly a year psychologically incognito. The previous three years had been largely and frankly documented in my book, "Raised by Wolves: A Transsexual Diary". There I had striven to record my journey of exploration into unknown mental territory; not so much a physical transformation as a rite of passage. Each step was fraught with confusion and self-doubt, even while my resolve drove me ever closer to a unity between Sense of Self and State of Being. Once I had completed the physical portion of that expedition with my sex reassignment surgery on January 9th, 1992, I elected to withdraw from the daily expression of my inner turmoil and claim my thoughts and feelings once more for my own.

During this year, I have ranged from periods of extreme elation to anti-social despair. And during this year I discovered many of the key concepts necessary to the theory of Mental Relativity. I have had sexual relations with male and female as a post-surgical woman, and also re-established and re-energized my relationship with Mary, my wife of 17 years - now, my Significant Other.

This year has been a time of learning, a time of understanding, and a time of healing. These months have softly guided me to an informed acceptance of myself. Gently, I have been made whole, even while my emotions surged in fits and starts. And now, nearly a year post surgery, my inner self is no longer an unfathomable sea of churning darkness but a still pool, clear and pure.

In the last few days, the final turbid fogs have settled like velvet, lining the fertile cusp of my soul. My being has become seamless, and in need of no further exploration. This is a concept impossible for a man to entertain: that one may know oneself so well that the inner self holds no secrets sequestered from conscious consideration. Many women, trained in Man's image through his schools, his laws, and his culture, have been blinded from this concept as well, no less than if they had been hobbled at birth to prevent them from going where their masters could not.

I realize this has a vindictive, almost revolutionary timber, but that is my intent. I hold Mankind in no ill will for building in their own image: how could one build in any other? But we have suffered under their charge no less than if it HAD been intentional to bind us.

More than the physical chains that only now are beginning to creak, the mental stocks contain within them their own invisibility. We, as women, have been denied a language of our own that would suit our unique perspectives, and rather have been trained in male as not a second language, but a first.

I, perhaps more than any other woman, had been force fed the masculine ideology as if it not only belonged to but sprang from me. So, I know it well. And yet, it was the very strength of that close encounter that enhanced the schism between my mind and the inappropriate garbage they tried to put in it.

Grateful I am that the bitter pill was never swallowed and the rote education never took. Still and all, I harbor no ill will toward men themselves, returning always to the certain knowledge that they acted unaware. To a man, there CAN be no other reality than the one they share among themselves. But if ignorance is no excuse, at least it is a reason. So, my destiny (which I choose for myself) is to bring forth an incontestable description of the co-reality (not "other", "alternate", or "second", but "co") so that ignorance is no longer reason NOR excuse. Then, perhaps, if compensations are not made, we may, in self-defense, rise up against the oppressor and drive him from our midst.

But not yet. For (as Mental Relativity reveals) neither side is right or wrong nor sufficient unto itself. No, each provides a different flawed view of the same elusive scene, with perspectives and distortions peculiar to their own.

We cannot see what they see; they cannot sense what we. So each of us is blinded from understanding so completely that we do not know it eludes us. We need them as much as they need us - and not in the same way, but for the same purpose: to triangulate on reality, filling in the other's blind side and making the picture as whole as only both can do.

That is the key difference to my philosophy that sets it apart from militant feminism: YES, we have been oppressed. And YES, we have been used. But silvering the other side of the mirror merely changes where the narcissism is: where the injustice resides.

No, we must not follow the Pyrite Rule: Do unto them what they have done unto us. Perpetuating the pendulum's swing will only bring it back against our daughter's someday down the line. The hope of working together, two distinct symbiotic species providing for even while being provided for, is the opportunity that unfolds before women of our age.

WE can put an end to the unfair subjugation of one species under the other by stepping forth to claim our own identity, then holding out our hands to invite our counterparts to join us in creating a synthesis of compassionate cooperation. In this way, we and all our daughters AND sons to follow will share in a greater fulfillment of life than either could imagine alone.

November 29, 1992

I have come to realize that my creative thoughts are intimately intertwined with my means of expression. So that, when expressing a new thought, it is best done fresh, while the arrangement remains appropriate to the melody.

That is why a journal now appears indispensable to me. Even though I may be inclined to polish the rough concepts documented here, the flavor and hence the meaning of the concepts would be lost by delaying their recording until they had matured.

It happens all too often that the object of my discourse is not nearly so important as the way in which it is considered. That circumstantial body of musings all about the topic are really the purpose of the discussion.

Again, the notion that the focus of a piece could be in the telling, not as merely an entertainment but an enlightenment, is sadly lacking in the male perspective. But that perspective holds little practical value in implementing my creative endeavors. Rather, when "the chase is afoot", it is not the time to sit back and plan strategies, but to burst force with the full fury of the moment. And so, a hodgepodge journal is created: not a tidy treatise revolving about an argument until the point is made, but living, flexing serpent whose head may not recognize its tail, yet altogether describe a snake.

Some of this work will be fit for publication, and I shall do my utmost to achieve that. Other portions are more suited to sharing with friends, and I shall see to it. Aspects of this work are intended for myself alone, either as a photograph of an unstable image before it collapses, or as a process of decision making serving no function other than to wrangle with an issue until I reach a conclusion. Any portions remaining are good for nothing more than a record of what I was thinking from time to time, and lord help us if THAT ever has value.

This all being the case, I shall cease expostulating on the subject and proceed with the application of it.

December 1, 1992

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I want to proceed with my relationships. I tried devoting myself to my family for a while, and although fulfilling, is not quite enough. Strangely, the key to what I want might very well be a fictional story written by a crossdresser for my gender newsletter. The story is about a guy who helps out his best friend by pretending to be his date to make his friend's ex-girlfriend jealous.

The story is all told in first person, and is great fun, being clever and well-written. But the surprising thing for me was that as I read it for the first time, I found myself getting turned on. I found that so weird! Here I am, fully female, living the life described in the story, and STILL I find it erotic. And then it hit me: I was female all right, but I wasn't living a life at ALL like that in the story.

Here was a young person, enjoying being a girl for the first time, dancing, being checked out, getting a first kiss - all in a very respectable, clean-cut way. And here was I, living with a woman and two kids, and having as my friends only those who remember me as a man.

Now, I don't intend to stop living with my family - at least not for a good long time. But I realized at that moment that I truly was missing dating. Not sex - dating. I want to be picked up and driven around, and hold hands, and feel an arm around my waist, and have a REASON to get made up and look pretty, and go to some fun places with some male companionship.

THAT is what I've been missing around here! I don't need it all the time - my family is fine for great chunks of togetherness - but I do need to do some fun dating regularly.

Soooooo..... Now that I've got all the sex stuff out of the way (so I know I did that) and now that my finances and schedule and feelings are all in order, it's time to move on this.

December 15, 1992

I feel like Dave is my husband, who was lost at sea. Only after news of his demise do I begin to discover all the things he had put in place to protect me.

Every time I sit at my computer and remember all the effort he went through writing a seminar about a subject that bored him to tears in exchange for that computer, I smile that he struggled so hard to provide me with a tool he knew I'd need. Each day I show up to work with my friend Chris, I think of the long friendship Dave had established with him, a friendship that was big enough to include me.

In both big things and small, Dave built a secure future for me, a future he never lived to see. I used to grieve for his loss, that he could not enjoy it himself. But now I have grown to realize that is not why he did it. Dave always wanted someone to do for. For most of his life he labored without purpose. This would have been tragic, if not that Dave, as his last days neared, had the opportunity to glimpse from afar the woman he had prepared for.

It was in this thought that I found understanding: Not only did I look back to see the husband I have never had, but in looking forward, Dave saw the wife he always wanted. How ironic that the cost of my becoming all the things he dreamed of in a woman should prevent him from ever meeting her.

Yet, I grieve not, for I more fully than any other, know the nobility of his mind, the kindness of his heart, just as he knew me. And tragedy does not hold sway, for though we may have been separated by time, we yet remain together in spirit.

I set the course for my life now, and brave uncharted waters on my own. Yet I know I will never be alone as my memories are forever married to his dreams.

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