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julianacooper

Ireland

Unknown To Myself

December 9, 2018

For fear of appearing vulnerable, perhaps, it would be best- should the option present itself- to veil what had formed the year’s developmental state and certainly the melancholy of a conclusion. During more than half the year this was absent but now I find myself marking it up to a defining action- when funnelling it all down to a single aspect, this is the one I dwell upon the most.
I see my boyfriend from time to time, who is the subject I had wished to leave out. I’ve failed, of course, because it rounds back up by his presence in another air, another house, a different part of the same town, the suburbia and dust and crematory cars(it’s a rough area, lest we forget the writer’s headspace) that burn up more willingly by his hands than mine. Where there’s a security there’s the opportunistic saboteur within myself who wants to coat me with blood. This was why the unrest had been set about, extending out from my saboteur’s ghostly fingertips, since my past few days had dropped coral ink into the river and now the ripples had been evident though unnoticed all the while the years dwindled on and on; I’d realised just this week that he may not have been looking at me this whole time. How unthinkable it is! Despite what I had been lead to believe, it was by my own fault that his eyes saw double- and not just due to the glasses that were blinding nonetheless- but rather because I was not Juliana!
Consider, for a moment, the entire being in which you are confined. Whether it is acceptable to your mirror or distasteful or pretty as pie you cannot deny that it exists- unless you are now me, or wondering through the same hoops I am.
This being I am within was allotted to me when I was conceived. I have known nothing else in the physical flesh- or perhaps, nothing adorned by myself, the pasty pale skin pumped up with the intentions of making me out to be a homebody, or at least hinting at my reclusiveness- but this is Juliana’s corpse and not my own.
I had believed for too long that I was a girl. It was an idea brought to my attention all throughout a fitful childhood. It trudged on, despite my lucid best interests, until a series of moments two days ago had set it in motion and until it all at once occurred to me that my position as a ‘girl’ was something to challenge. It was not that I had felt as though the concept was a human thing to me; that I should drop blood and maintain hair down to the elbows and manicure and often times bask leisurely in something akin to a rosiness expected from us. I still sense that I would love to continue these activities until my body is deemed old and I can no longer leave the house without using the bathroom twice. Yet there is a slope inside me, pressing out against my ribs, that had concealed in its malformed shadow a little piece of identity the biology had allowed me to ignore, but now my mind would not, and this piece when pulled to a light: a brisk one yellow enough to sting the retinas, lit up through and through and told me what I never want to hear again. My entirety does not align with a girl’s. On a miniscule scale I feel I might be male too, and that I could not be given some mercy when it came to dismemberment. It’s quite honestly terrifying when a beast is identified through your own reflection, when your appearance no longer dictates what you’ve let affect your insides almost permanently. This boy writes now, and this girl tells him that he is writing. I may never be sure of what I am but it isn’t all Juliana.
Therefore when my boyfriend catches between shards of street lights my figure tomorrow evening, tickets to the ice rink handled with great, tender care, it will not fully be me who he recognises. ‘Juliana!’ he will think, on instinct, ‘that’s the girl I love’.
And I will smile, my skirt from time to time graced by the calm breeze. It’s all a solitary affair, a dream that cannot be transferred between brains, or a joke only resounding in those hearts who were present. It’s a piece I will carry about forever but without any methods in the way of dispensing. This year has rendered me forever an imposter.
This is a story about my recent struggle with gender identity and how it affects the way I feel about my relationship, and my worries about my December in this odd time. 

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