After Life

Book Two: Purgatory

From Journeys and Transitions

by Melanie

A Clip from Melanie's Video Journal - November 9, 2005

Chapter 81

Grizabella

November 10, 2005

Just a quickie tonight.  No, not that kind of quickie Ė just a short entry.  It is ten oíclock, and I really want to get to bed, but just had to put in a short note to keep too long a gap from forming.

Letís see Ė picking up where I left offÖ.  Teresa and I went to KFC.  It is about a 15 minute drive from here.  This was her very first trip out in public with her new look, and she dressed it up!  My, my what a looker she has become.  She wore a long, casual, denim skirt, unbuttoned all the way to the top because she had those fancy black stretch pantaloons underneath Ė you know, the ones with the black lace at the bottom that are actually meant to be seen, but look like lingerie?   She wore a push-up bra and low-cut top with a gentle overshirt around her shoulders.  The side light from the window gently outlined her cleavage, and illuminated her soft-featured beautiful new face.

God, she was just gorgeous, in a very earthy, real, and unpretentious way.

How did I feel about this?  Conflicted.  On the one hand, hereís this knock-out babe I suddenly find myself shacking up with.  (We actually think of ourselves as married Ė after all, weíve been together nine years now!)  On the other hand, in comparison to her, I am much older looking than the actual four years that separate us.  I suppose that is partly due to the swelling from the surgery which has stretched out all the wrinkles, but then again, everything around the forehead was pulled tight Ė essentially an upper face lift Ė so itís too soon and complex a situation to know exactly how old sheíll look when she is fully healed.

But that dayÖ well, it was both eviscerating and devastating.  Still, my mood remained lifted due to our talks earlier in the day, and I tended to enjoy being with her far more than I felt intimidated or caught in a harsh spotlight by comparison.

In fact, when we arrived at the KFC, she remained in the car (due to the still visible bruising) and I went in for the order.  Now, normally these days Iíd be pretty nervous about seeing anybody that up-close.  But I knew I looked pretty good that day.  Probably had more rest, and also the anti-aging cosmetics Iím using now have started to have an effect.

Well, they mistakenly forgot to include a whole chicken breast we ordered, but hadnít actually charged us.  As I left the restaurant I saw that the manager had stepped out of a side door for a quick break.  He saw Teresa (he was already checking her out when I came out of the place) and he saw me get in with her.

Then I discovered the case of the missing chicken breast, and went back in.  The manager was in there too already.  I told the clerk what had happened and said I didnít mind paying for the additional one since we hadnít been charged.  But the manager jumped in, grabbed one and started to pack it up in a box.  I again re-iterated I didnít mind any extra charge, but he handed it to me and said, ďDonít worry about it,Ē with a smile.

Well, thatís quite a contrast to what Iíve been experiencing the last few weeks.  I knew I hadnít had a problem with the clerk, and now, the manager gives Teresa and me a free chicken breast.  FFS pays off for her, and my confidence takes a rise.

On the way back home, then, it was all laughter and fun.  Tension had really broken.  We ate our chicken, had a good evening, and went to bed to cuddle and giggle once more.

Next day, we were a bit tired, but in really good spirits.  Teresa continued reading the first book of this journal from time to time.  I started paying attention to my business again, dropped some mail off at the post office, and made a trip to the supermarket, again without negative incident.

And when I looked in the mirror, I was looking better and better.  I guess a little rest and some heightened moods have a big impact.  Still and all, as I drove on the way to town, I took every opportunity on the winding mountain road to adjust the mirror to look at my face, wait for a straightaway, and take both hands off the wheel to pull up my lip and see if it still made things better.  It did.

Teresa was pretty active yesterday Ė too active.  She started doing chores, worked on some of our business issues, was up and around and generally burning energy.  And when we went to bed, it was equal to the very best times weíve had since I opened up my heart that night at Cocoon House.

Sex these days has gotten spontaneous, playful, fun.  It is also taking up a lot of time.  We went to bed at ten oíclock, intending to go to sleep, but by the time we looked at the clock, it was nearly two hours later!

Well, all that energy took its toll on Teresa.  She woke up in the middle of the night with a lot of pain, so I got up with her and made her a cup of cocoa, as I like to do.  (I had tea in deference to my diet.)  We stayed up for almost an hour, chatting.

In the morning, she awoke in lots of pain, but with hours to go until her pills.  And she was WASTED!  I mean, it was like a hangover after a three-day drunk.  She had no energy, her mood was subdued, and she looked like she been dragged around the block a few times.  Female, but totally toasted.

I also had kind of a crappy day.  I was looking forward to actually making some progress on my business today, but some work I had done on the web for a new partner had some problems, and I had to spend most of the day fixing it.

Before that, I went off to Placerville again, this time to the Office Max, to pick up ten sets of build-Ďem-yourself shelving units that they couldnít deliver because their big truck couldnít make it down the hill to our house.

So, I had them load the boxes in my little Saturn (a feat I have performed many times with this sturdy little car) and schlepped them back to our home.  On the way, I stopped in town to pick up Chinese Food for Teresa, as per her request.  Couldnít have any myself, though, as there is no way to figure the calories, and Iím still keeping in between 1000 and 1100 each and every day.

Speaking of which, I hit a milestone this morning Ė 159 pounds!  I finally made it into the 150s.  Havenít been there in over 10 years.  Started at 180.5, so thatís 21 Ĺ pounds in seven weeks, meaning, Iíll hit my goal weight of 150 in three more weeks!  Then I can reevaluate and see if I want to lose anymore.  But that, of course, will have to wait until after my appointment with Dr. O, as I have surgery in less than four weeks, and donít want to over do the diet the week before surgery.

Speaking of which, Dr. Oís pre-surgery package arrived yesterday in the mail.  It had the usual cover letter, but because Iím only having the lip done, there are a lot of things that donít pertain but werenít removed (like being in the hospital for two days and such things as needing to show up for things on December 0th!Ē)

Got my prescriptions for the antibiotic and the Vicodin, but none for the vitamin K (a blood thickener) which Iím pretty sure I donít need for this surgery, but which the cover letters I need to begin on November 0th.  So, Iíll be calling Mira tomorrow to see whatís the up and up.

I have to admit, though it is fun to get the materials, and Teresa wanted to watch me open them, Iíve kept my reactions subdued, as I feel kind of like a pretender to the throne having such a minor procedure.  Still and all, I guess it entitles me to at least attend meetings of the Dr. O Society, albeit as a non-voting member.

And truth to tell, there is a not inconsequential degree of ďsurgery envyĒ in all this Ė wanting to be part of that sorority Ė wanting wear a Tee Shirt saying, ďI survived FFSĒ Ė and barring that, perhaps, ďI went to the same doctor that performs FFS!Ē (Which is kinda like a movie advertisement I once saw that said, ďFrom the people who SAW Start Wars!Ē)

In fact, and all joking aside, I do have to ask myself if the yearning to belong has in any way influenced my motivations to have surgery.  Perhaps, at least a little.

Which comes back to where I stand today, this evening actually, in regard to the surgery.  Well, Iím not sure.  Sorry about that.  Yesterday I felt so good about myself I almost thought of it as an option.  But I took some more pictures of myself today, and even did a video, and when I look at the results, I think, ďNo, I shouldnít have the surgery because Iím just so damned old that even if I get made prettier, Iíll be a pretty, old lady, like that desperate Grandmother in the see-through nightgown from the cartoon series in Playboy, back in my day.

See, hereís the crux:  I only found the fullness of my female heart two and a half weeks ago.  And now, as Teresa said today, all the sexuality and experimentation and desire to be desired is essentially the experiences of an adolescent girl.  But this pathetic adolescent girl is 52 years old.

Itís kinda like waking up from a coma that put you down at age 16 and discovering youíre 52 now and missed out on the chance to be young and pretty and be silly and femmy and soft and outrageous.

I think I wouldnít bother me quite so much, except Teresa honestly looks about 28 now (or at least while the skin is still stretched).  If she gets a second chance, I want one too!  If hers is a permanent roll back of the clock, then I also want one.  And as she looks totally female now under all conditions, I want that too!

But I only just barely have the money I need to do very little about it.  Face lift would help me.  Eye lift would get those wrinkles gone.  But is there time to make the money?  Is there time to get the work done before Iím so damn old that Iím totally beyond even a taste of that freedom to be that I just discovered I wanted?

Of am I just full of the usual shit, look fine, could act any way I felt without ridicule, and simply canít give myself permission?  Could be.  Likely even.  Case in point:  Teresa ordered a bunch of new clothes, lingerie, and stuff from a number of online stores.  The first batch arrived today.

In the box were peasant skirts, a whole range of camisoles, some with sequins, some with lace.  There were fitted and flared denim jackets, new slacks, and many things that layered together to make her one hot tomato, looking sometimes more like 18 than 48 and never more than 28.  With that blond hair, her earth-woman expression, and that overpowering feminine energy blazing gently from her eyes Ė what a vision.

I enjoyed seeing her try all that on.  She thought Iíd be mad, said she, that she was spending so much when I canít since Iíve leant all my money to our joint account for bills except for the money I need for the lip.

But I wasnít mad at all.  Just envious.  I didnít lament that I didnít have those clothes.  I lamented that they wouldnít have looked nearly as good on me.  Oh there was a day when they might have, but I never knew my heart then.  So now, here I am, too old to wear those things, with her just 4 years my junior, and she looks so damn good in them.

But it was the shoes Ė the one pair of shoes she bought that knocked me for a loop.  A simple pair of flats, nice velveteen flocking, but there was a little graceful non-functional shoe lace on the front, tied in a curvy little bow.

And I looked at that gently curving lace, and I looked at her gently curving face.  And I realized that her features, from the new cut of her jaw to the gentle rise of her nose, and her perfect breasts, and gradually sloping neck (with no Adamís Apple since she started hormones at 18 and I at 38) and all those features matched so perfectly that shoe.

And then it hit me Ė I really know that I can pass as a woman when I try, without any difficulty.  And I really believe I can pass even in crappy conditions once I get that lip and perhaps a lower face lift.  But what Iíll NEVER be able to do is have those smoothly graceful features that she now has.

Dr. O was able to take the rather large block of her granite jaw and brow and carve them down into a perfectly graceful line.  But my features, though (as Dr. O has said) fall naturally in the female range, are more the sharp female features you see in many women.

And the problem is Ė thatís not the woman I wanted to be.  I wanted to be a soft and feminine and delicate woman.  But I never thought I could.  So, I went for the career woman look.

And yet, I remember when I was first starting out, right after SRS, I used to dress in white pleated skirts with fuzzy pink sweaters, my hair drawn back to expose the line of my own neck.  And it worked so well that men would start conversations with me on the street and tell me I was beautiful.  One guy working the cash register at the 7-11, actually reached over the counter and pulled me across it and kissed me, right in the damned store!

But that was then, and this is now.  And though I absolutely do not begrudge Teresa her first opportunity to enjoy this kind of thing, watching her grow in the ability to do it brings sharply to my attention the fact that those days have left me behind Ė AND I WANT THEM BACK!!!

Not sure yet if that is possible.  Need money.  Need surgeries.  Need other stuff.  But Iíll start with this lip before even that money is gone, and then Iíll work hard to get what I want to have.

And, hopefully, Iíll either come to terms with this whole thing, or achieve my purposes with enough time left in life to pay attention to something else beside transformation.

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