Intimate loneliness gnaws at my bones like a starving dog worrying for marrow. The frisson of desire and the pleasures of rubbing flesh are easy enough to sate–there are many people who find trans women desirable, but they are the sugary and saturated fats of snack-food relationships. I’m craving the protein in the banquet of intimate companionship to truly quiet my hunger.
I have friends who call, text, and tweet, and others who I meet in person for a movie, dinner, drinks, and talk, and they fill my life with camaraderie and joy. They’ve been there for me through the disintegration of marriages and the gender I used to live as. They’ve supported me by seeing me as me, and advocate for me and trans people in general. Now that much of the Sturm und Drang of my transition is behind me, we just hang out. They’re awesome.
But there’s no one in my life now to spoon me at night when existential dread settles and sprouts on me like mold spores. There’s no one I can roll my eyes to when a checker at a store is failing very hard to pretend I’m not trans. There’s no one to argue with about what to watch on Netflix. There’s no one to cook dinner for or pamper with a massage. No one to find that special gift for.
For many trans people like me, those who lost a long-term committed relationship due to transition, this is a normal phase and part of the arc of transition. After seeing dozens of trans women go through this phase and seeing that some have yet to exit it, even after years, I bide my time.
I fill my life with my kids, my writing, my music, and my current job of closing my mom’s estate. I run, I hike, I read, I binge-watch Star Trek. I visit with friends and talk politics and life. I plan my garden, spend time in my workshop, and pull weeds. I think about getting involved doing more things with other people I don’t know.
I send stars and hearts and write messages, doing my best to flirt online. I have dates here and there while navigating the new-to-me world of dating as a woman. I wonder when the magic moment will come, offering to end my loneliness, and hope I don’t miss it.
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