So far away

  • Posted on March 8, 2014 at 8:38 am

This week I was revisited by a feeling of being alone. After several vibrant long days at work, with some small sense of achievement, coming home to a silent flat for a whole evening alone hasn’t felt like fun. Nor was it sufficient stimulus for the opportunity of doing the dusting! I did some writing, which was good. In fact two poems, one, Voice, I put up here pending revision and better crafting, the other left me in a quandry.

Lyricists have long been in danger of writing love songs to people they’ve subsequently cheated on, poets are often asked if it’s autobiographical, and novelists where such ideas could have come from other than within. So it is with this other poem I wrote. I actually like it, because it’s neat with use of words and ambiguity, a touch flirtatious, but heartfelt too. And though it doesn’t speak of love, it is a love poem. And it speaks about when love is unspeakable. Perhaps there is nothing as bittersweet as unrequited love, especially when it isn’t just intoxication or infatuation.

As I approach the two-year point since the final vestiges of living-as-male were shed, everything seems so far away. By now it is unreachable. I have memories, and I dare to touch them again, though I’m still not sure whether they are people frozen as statues as in Narnia, or moving images like photographs in Harry Potter. Both are an evil magic in some ways. But more to the point, nothing has filled the space. And I don’t really know what the space is any more. What does ‘a committed relationship’ mean now? I don’t want the claustrophobia of me or a partner not being able to do their own thing because everything has to be done together, but I do want to know that there is someone who always puts my interests ahead of others, simply because they always care, and because I know they have a love that won’t change from day to day. I want affection; I want to be wanted; I want to be cuddled. More: I want to give the same without it being blocked because of what I am.

How do you say this?

I dipped a toe in the online dating pond, not as far as paying, only as profiling. In response to ‘woman seeking woman, Brighton, within 60 miles’ and lots of good things about me, I have had a stream of people who might be interested (overlapping profiles) – from Scotland, Lancashire, Northern Ireland and it may as well be Timbuctoo! OK, unless I pay, there won’t be real matches, but they’re not exactly encouraging me to sign up and pay. And anyway, I actually don’t want this kind of relationship-finding displacing a best friendship I already have. Nor do I want to lose a friendship by saying anything I shouldn’t say.

As yet I have not experienced anyone showing the slightest ‘interest’ in me. Just as my wife would tell me ‘I just don’t know how to relate to you (as a woman)’, I don’t think people do know. I’m safe as a friend, but I’m not in the category of possibles, because, well, what am I? That was my last relationships blog, so I won’t go there again, but it does fit this feeling of ‘so far away’. Anyone I think may be a possible ever-closer friend/partner knows exactly where to stop and defend territory (or any inclination to make me an exception). As soon as I am not one thing or I am another, I know we are destined to be ‘just friends’. And that is how I fear it will always be, however I feel.

This isn’t a grouse, but I keep thinking about this Midas Touch – not that I turn anything into gold and add value, but that what I am is a danger to anyone who gets too close: I would change them. Know me, and you instantly become one of those people who knows a transsexual person. Touch me and you instantly become someone who touches … Kiss me and you instantly become someone of ‘other’ sexuality. Love me? I can be your friend while you go dating.

I don’t know how to bridge the gap, so if you have any really good ideas, please let me know. Anyone I talk to about this is terribly kind in their words. Of course I’ll find someone, I mean, haven’t I a lot going for me? Musician? Artist? Writer? Dancer? Thinker? Philosopher? Terrible jokes, but somehow still fun? Highly intelligent and witty? Committing, loyal, kind and deeply loving?

Sadly, none of these things count if, when you imagine being intimate, what I am makes you feel less than what you want to feel you are. You’re ‘not wired’ for people like me? Being wired differently myself, I can never understand that either.

Ideas on a postcard please.

And just because I really like it for touching a really tender spot, here is ‘So far away’ by Carole King.


« Voice Phoenix »


1 Comment on So far away

  1. Skyangel says:

    I was really moved by some of the things you’ve mentioned here, especially about being haunted by the past as it must feel like a mist you can no longer venture back into at times, but I hope as always that with more enlightenment people will understand better and accept trans people are still normal people at heart and need as much respect and affection as any of us wish. I think it’s probably the awkwardness people feel when being associated with anyone who might stand out from the crowd that makes them shy away from their true feelings. I seem to remember many years ago reading a very lovely story of a cis-male who fell in love with a t-girl and was prepared to marry her but when his family found out the truth they made him feel so uncomfortable that he broke the engagement off. I realised then that it’s not just a question of a cis-partner accepting a trans person as they are but also about how strong and important it affects how other people view them too in accepting.

    You say you have had plenty of responses to your listing though which is very encouraging and I’d love to know how that works out if you choose to meet up with any of them!



Leave a Reply