My life seems to have reached a semicolon in more than one way.
“I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. The semicolon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added… The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; to read on; it will get clearer. … it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.” __ Lewis Thomas
This morning, after I had put in my hearing aids, I could hear Pooch snoring like a pneumatic drill in another room – a lovely sound I cannot hear without my hearing aids any more. I thought about my last visit to the audiologist, when she told me that my hearing had deteriorated even more during the last year and that I was an excellent candidate for cochlear implants. She wanted to impart hope, but her message also sprouted fear: what if the hugely expensive procedure should fail and I end up deaf? I told her I wanted to think about it, to put a semicolon after this aspect of my life. And if I have to be honest with myself while typing this, I have already made the decision not to go for the implants, but the option remains there.
At work, I still have about 8 years to retirement. I have already been allowed accommodation for my hearing impairment in the way in which I perform my tasks. If my hearing deteriorates even more, I might have to retire earlier. I look forward to my retirement, to spend more quality time with my family and do more volunteer work for my animal charity, but will we be able to manage financially? Or will I need to ask for even more accommodation and try to reach my compulsory retirement age? Another semicolon.
And then the other thorn in the flesh: transitioning. I still want to go on T, even although B has put a full stop to it. My rational mind tells me that a big factor in her averse reaction, is the way in which she had been treated by men in the past: abused and abandoned. My heart aches for her and a part of me is telling me to leave it be, to live my life as a butch and not complicate our relationship or put it in jeopardy. Shawn, a fellow tribesman from Dawn to Don, has kindly mailed me the ways in which T has affected him physically and mentally. When I read through the physical manifestations, I know that they are what I want, but I can picture B’s horrified face in my mind. If only there was a version of T that would give me the mental effects and allow me to tick off a shopping list of physical changes I want: deeper voice, fat redistribution, muscle tone… So, another semicolon – without the pleasant feeling of expectancy, but still with a wooden bench of hope at the bend in the road.Notes:
* Project Semicolon is a “faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury”.
** I would be very grateful if more trans guys would be willing to share their experiences on T. Not the kind the Queen drinks from a cup! 🙂