When I used to work at a far lower-paying and less-dignified job, there used to be this regular with whom I’d talk about the mysteries of time with while I made him his latte in the morning.  “Time just goes so fast,” I’d say, and he’d laugh.  “Just wait until you’re my age.  Screw having fun, it’s living longer that makes time really fly.”

I’m not sixty yet, but why does every year get faster and faster?  I feel like I just got off the plane from China, and really just got off the plane to China, I feel a little like there was snow on the ground last week and I had a neck brace on.  It just occurred to me that my car accident took place five months ago.  I still feel it in my bones and my subconscious like it happened five weeks ago.

So it’s nearly fall again, and probably — hopefully — this will be my last fall in Michigan.  There’s something uniquely magical to fall in southern Michigan, the way the air smells reminds me of the least happy but most beautiful times in my life, when I would sit in the backyard after school filled with the mortal fear of something.  It seems like an odd thing to romance, but it’s not hard.  I realize now that the things I worried the most about then were just my brain’s way of feinting around the real problems.  The smell’s always there though, and was there last year, when I would ride my bike to my first class from the farmer’s market on Wednesday mornings with a pint of apple cider in my messenger bag.  Or two years ago, when Brendan and I stayed up all night painting our room and cleaning our house.  Or three years ago, when I moved, terrified, into South Quad.

I don’t know how exactly to explain what’s happened to me in the first half of my twenty-first year.  Going backward to January, these are the earth-shattering things that happened to me: I started testosterone; I started seeing a real physician; I fell madly, deeply, irrevocably in love; I took a long, trying trip to China; I flipped over a car and nearly died; I became a full-fledged adult.  The bits of my life that didn’t make any sense before are starting to fall into place.

This year is so different.  There is a sense that it is the beginning of the end.  (My predictions for November: McCain.  Unfortunately.)  There is a sense that it is the end of the beginning.  (I need to take the GRE in October.)  For me there’ll be more than a chill in the wind.  The leaves are already turning and I don’t know if I’m really ready for all of this.

This fall I’m sure I’ll be updating more.  I really want to leave a log of my transition, and a log of the progress toward a scholarship for transgender students at U-M.  I want to leave a little mark on the internet about what it means to be gender non-conforming in academia.  More about my testosterone therapy tomorrow.

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