She was a woman even though she was not. She was called Erin, like her birth name Arron. Simple, not THAT big of a change. Just a normal person with the desire to be what she was not. She wondered if such anomalies happened in the animal kingdom. Did a deer desire to be a turtle? Did a beaver need to be a mole? The animal world and the human world were not THAT different from one another. She had read somewhere that there was a bird, a Cardinal, that was both sexes, it was half red like a male and half brown like a female. Arron was born male but had always felt like a female. Her look had always been androgynous, the long neck like a swan, huge round eyes with long lashes like the tail of a comet and her tiny figure. Then came the gestures, the need to do something with her hair, her walk and her talk. There was always a desire to embellish the bland parts of her and paint the blank wall red. These things came so easy, this need to be a woman. A she. Not a he or a they. Oh, GOD! Who was responsible for all of this new pronoun stuff? It was so confusing, especially to the older generation but she shouldn’t be confused-she wasn’t old…well, not THAT old. She was approaching 30 in a few years but it felt like 50 in a few months. It didn’t matter, the world had changed so much that she felt ancient, out of touch, misunderstanding and misunderstood. Did a penis make a man? Her friend Zach, a young man of merely twenty-two now said his name was Amy. Call me Amy. Not Zach. Erin was perplexed. Zach was a hot boy, a straight boy- but now, all of a sudden, he wanted to be non-binary. He no longer felt like a boy and he did not identify as a male or a female.
The world was a twine ball dipped in Gorilla glue. She now had to call Zach THEY.
Erin went to Krispy-Kreme, bought two doughnuts and a coffee. She licked them like a sex act, then she pulled out her black Moleskin journal and began planning her week. She wrote the word MONEY. With REAL money the gas tank was always FULL, and you could press the pedal to the pedestal. She needed money to complete the surgery that would finally make her Venus with NO penis.
She got up and went home as she entered her apartment, she became herself again. Erin thought back to his days in high school, when he pretended to like cotton candy but craved sausage. She eventually became a vegetarian who craved meat, so she cured it and had sex with a boy named Caleb Adams. He was a gay, goth boy even after goth was no longer a thing. But they listened to Dead Can Dance and dressed in black. The sex was pure and white. Caleb’s skin was soft and slippery like lingerie. Both of them bit each other like baby puppies, hungry-even after feeding. They remained friends and lovers until time stole the sun from their hearts. And this had been the start of Arron’s GRAND question: If he was gay, then why did he want to be a girl? What gay boy would want a boy who didn’t have a penis?
Like twenty blind lesbians in a fish market.
He couldn’t be gay with such a stigma and stigmata. Yes, he was femme, but it was Goth femininity…club dance movements that made it so natural and easy to be a boy who was a girl. But before Caleb and sperm, Arron had been tying sheets up around his neck and letting them fall on his body like the dresses he had seen in Vogue and on Television. He would casually walk around like a movie star…like Emma…Angelina-those women who ruled Hollywood.
The phone rang and her mother’s pic appeared smiling like Olympia Dukakis. Erin craved another doughnut.
“Hello mother” Her mother cleared her throat “Hello there.” Meaning why haven’t you called me back yet.
“I meant to call but I was running around town all day doing errands. Is everything OK?”
Her mother asked her if she was sitting down and Erin sat in one of her plump thrift shop chairs.
“Because THIS is going to blow your mind.” her mother said, Erin snickered.
“I’m trans SO nothing can really blow my mind anymore, unless, of course, you’re getting married?” Her mother said HA-HA really loudly. Erin was now totally perplexed.
“I will never remarry. I have this new-found freedom and marriage will take that away.”
Her mother had become so active since Erin’s father died three years ago. Other women wilted when their husbands passed away, but her mother seemed to have come to life-grown fruits like a mango tree. She became a docent at the museum, joined a wine Meet-Up and even joined a dating App and was now dating a Biology teacher from some local high school.
“OK then mother, since you aren’t getting married and you’re not pregnant I hope, then WHAT?”
“ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?”
“You already asked me THAT and I sat down.” Her mother explained that a bank had contacted her and asked her information about Arron/Erin.
“But the thing is, that since your name is now Erin, you’re going to need to bring papers to prove that you WERE Arron.” Her mother said.
“I don’t understand. WHY do I need proof of who I was and who I am?”
He had been dead for three years. Why was she bringing him up? He had always been so disappointed with Arron’s choice to become a woman. Every time they were together Erin felt his sadness. She wanted so desperately to be accepted by him, well, not accepted just loved. When Erin was Arron, his father had always protected him, cared for him, defended him when the tyranny of society tried to tear him apart. The disappointment hurt more than the bullying. But her father never said an unkind word against the choice that Arron chose.
OH, MEN. Men…men…men. In order not to deal with men and their approvals, she chose to become a trans-lesbian. It was easier that way. Less hostility and more theatrics.
Why was there was always an approval to wait for? Especially with romance. She used to Flirt with men and wait for an approval, but the approval was always iffy and sour, as if she had been a last resort. Erin had come to terms with the fact that she was not beautiful or even attractive. No, she had more of a pizzazz appearance…always dressed to leave a memory, an impaled impression, like people often do at a Halloween party. A trans-lesbian-you see, with women there were no harsh approvals to gain. You just needed an emotional click. Lips. Kisses were all the same from either gender, tongues cured lonely thoughts. As you age everything eventually becomes fast food and Pop Rock sex.
When she told her mother that he wanted to be with women her mother was clouded with confusion and genuine shock.
“WAIT.WHAT? I thought the reason you wanted a vagina was to get a man- If you like women, then stay as you are. Keep the penis. Make life easier.”
“Mother I want to be a woman. Nothing is easier when you are not what you want to be.”
“I don’t get it Aaron (or did she say Erin?) Women suffer so much. Just waking up and putting yourself together is hardship. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. The make-up, the stockings-the hair. The harassments! The REAL things that come with being female.
“Arron?” Or had she said Erin?
“Apparently, he opened an account for you when you were born-not for me-for you! AND he left it there. He deposited all of his BONUS checks for the past thirty-something years.”
Erin jumped up so fast her ankle gave way and she almost toppled over and she screamed.
“Arron? What happened? Did you faint? Fall? Die?” Erin held her phone with her shoulder as she rubbed her ankle and cursed.
“I’m FINE. Now start from the start and tell me the name of the bank and what I need to do.”
Her mother said OK, but that she would definitely accompany her to the bank. This was not something one did alone. Erin sighed and rubbed her ankle some more as her mother gave her the information. Good grief, Erin thought. Her father of all people may be the person who would help her obtain the gender reassignment. Maybe he had not been THAT disappointed in her. Maybe he knew that life was hard for her and he wanted her to finally become what she needed to be. She made plans with her mother for tomorrow and hung up. She smiled and thanked her father silently, then loudly with tears.