Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tales From the Vanishing Lip

In the dream I was one of about 20 in an algebra class. I understood everything. I had a beard that was shiny and thick, each hair delineated like CGI fur on an animated mammoth. It was one of those texture-dense, surface dreams; everywhere my eye landed was rich in color and dimension, a trippy evocation of smell and sound trapped in the wood-grain of my desk and the dirty linoleum under my feet.

I let my gaze drift to my leg – the denim thick and dark. There was a frayed hole, about the size of a half-dollar. Through it I could see my dick.

I was frantic. Who’s seen it? Who’s spotted my dick?

It wasn’t until later that afternoon, having been up for a good eight hours, that I realized I’d dreamed I was a man.

In real life, I roam my chin for blemishes. I’m a consummate pick-artist. I love the face-poking. I should find it satisfying that my new skin cleanser is working so well, but what I’m actually galvanized by is chin hair. I think, “I’m losing my soft, hairless skin!” and I’m momentarily dismayed. You can’t pick and choose the effects of T, as any transguy blog worth its greasy skin will remind.

I love the migrant stomach fat- my entire lady life has been spent rubbing my fatty Italian sausage legs together. Now they’re thick with muscle, and the lumpy fat deposits have a retiree’s yen for travel, moving towards the middle, joining others in the gated community of back fat. My head seems to rise from my thick neck like asparagus; no longer does the ladylike distinction between shoulder, neck, and jaw beg for an adornment, pukka beads perhaps, or pearls. The testosterone enhanced neck and jaw is crafted by a clumsy giant who got bored half-way through.

I love my squarer torso; I adore my newly acquired forehead. Nevertheless, it’s shocking to find more face hairs. Even as I believe I desire them. This mind is randomly distressed by these changes. I wonder if we get the transition we need, meaning: mine has been slower, less obviously dramatic than others. The great Transsexual T-Gods seem to understand that this T-guy needed a gentler road, an easing into his masculinity, as opposed to the beard-at-three-months variety other guys seem to manifest.

I would’ve lost what presence of mind I had, if I had sprouted a beard at 3 months. I still wonder if I’m doing the “right thing,” and I’m constantly having to remind myself how much I love my new body, and how I never, ever want to go back.

My friend Sarah broke from my 1 tranny year celebration Moustache Party to help a friend fix her bike. She arrived replete with vaselined facial hair, a Stevie Ray, Texas flavored tuffy with her Allen wrenches at the friend's house. “God I hate drag” groaned her friend, an MTF. I don’t love drag either, frankly, although I adore a moustache. I used a sentence with the words “drag” and “blackface” together but I don’t really think drag is like blackface, because drag is a homage or parody (or both) to something that in and of itself is kind of a homage or parody. Many of us in transition have found - at the end of a long, hairless day - gendered presentations to be pretty hilarious.

As Sarah was debarking the Moustache Party Barge, she was bid adieu by our real-boy friend Manchoodle, who cocked his head in a particularly Manchoodlesque fashion. In full Texas guitar god/mechanic drag, she cocked back, imitating him perfectly, masculine in the extreme. Even those gestures we believe completely ours, the most nuanced, the most intimate and personal, are often our schtick. Where does gender end and schtick begin? And if you’re reaching in your pants for the answer, believe me, it’s NOT THERE.

I grew up in the sixties and seventies, which were moustache heydays of a kind. Facial hair was so alluring, so compelling, so…sexy…although sexy was conceptually not a part of my vocabulary…To this day I will sketch the outline of a man’s face, and then lovingly, nearly a whisker at a time, shape a hairline, sideburns morphing into muttonchops, an adolescent’s wispy upper lip fur evolution into full-blown Mexican Mustachio. It is an unbelievably soothing pastime.

There is a moustache on my house. I heard Patrick Starfish today, on Spongebob Squarepants, exclaim a yen for the ‘stache, which Spongebob drew for him with a magic pencil. It promptly flew off Patrick’s face, thus initiating full-blown anxiety attacks in several transguy viewers.

I fear the moustache, yet I crave it. I felt that way about sex, once upon a time, and now I want it every minute of the day. Will I love a beard, be a dyke with a Van Dyke? At eleven I would’ve killed for the kind of evil douche chin fur Robert Downey Jr. sports in Iron Man. At 48 the shit’s coming in white, my eyebrows are curling, and nostril vines are snaking out of the nose. This is what it means to be a man, yo.

I’m besotted, enamored, smitten with the ‘stache. Is it any wonder teenagers and budding trannies cultivate their seven chin hairs? Rub me with your stubble, transman, I’ve got an itch bigger than Pinocchio’s desire to be a real boy. But be wise – look: there grows your “nose.”

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