Today, I am neither man nor woman, animal or spirit. I don’t know what I am today. And if you live the kind of fluid existence that I live, there will be days when you do not even know if you are sweat or tear, wasp or butterfly.
Right now though, maybe I am everything.
You know, I was walking down a street this morning and goodness, the men, they stared. Appreciative stares, I think. And see, I really hated it. I could taste the bile in my mouth. I think that the only thing that prevented me from just telling them all to shove it, was the music in my ears. Matt Kearney, All I Need. There is this really nice rush in it with the drums and guitars, and I cannot explain, but I love it. It gives me life.
They look at me and see a tall, thin, brown-skinned female.
Of course, a few will think of what I will look like naked, a couple will wonder if I have a tattoo that they cannot see. But that’s about it. That is all most people will be willing to concede where I am concerned. The physical.
But goodness, what about the real me?
The part that I cannot yet show, the part that keeps me up at night, that I fight incredibly hard to reign in?
What about the part that just really cares only about cooking in a clean kitchen and bathing in a bathtub without streaks?
And they say all the time… be careful of this, of that person, of those people… but what about the part that somehow just loves all of humanity, that doesn’t really care about secret agendas and blind espionage?
What about the part of me that likes fast? Fast speech, fast cars, fast walk. The part that is afraid to give in to slow because then it means leaving my happiness to the fates that I do not believe in?
And what will I do with all those sketches under my bed? What about the music that I make, that no one has heard? Or the ideas that I come up with, but cannot share? What about that recipe book, the gospel of food according to me, the one that I am almost done writing? And the little cards that I make, but do not give to people?
And the hugs that I want to give but can’t? The words that I want to say, but won’t? The murderous rage against child molesters, what about that? The part that wants to go to school again, in an obscure country, get a degree for my heart, live on a farm with horses and fresh milk, and beautiful sunsets, and still waters? Tell me, what am I to do with all of that?
But even as I am sat in my chair now, I can feel the end coming. When I will not be able to hold all of these back. When people either want to stay or run away. When I will be the outcast that I was born to be. Slowly I am inching towards the divide. Me and the voices in my head. Me and my Nneka show. Me without the encumbrances of insignificant yet significant people of my heart.
Then, you will look at me and see not my height or the shape of my lips. You will look at me, and you will see everything. Not man. Not woman. Not animal. But something. Something within, without, and round about.
You will see me.
And it will be enough.