Chamomile in My Coffee

Chamomile Coffee

What’s wrong with me?

He’s been Lucius for almost 40 years now. That uh — I don’t want to dead name him — but I’ll just say that the “girl” I grew up with is long gone now.

That airy, lovely long haired teenager that you’d never guess was abused, she — he — became this old guy you’d expect to see sitting quietly on a park bench.  But I —

Love him?

He doesn’t look like ‘her’ anymore, or even act like ‘her.’ And I know that person I became friends with was a facade. They must have been going through so pain I can’t even imagine. But no, I’ll say it.

I love him. I’m not gay or any of that teenage crap, I just — I love him? It’s not even the body, or that voice, it’s just — I hate this talk about sexuality. Gay, straight, bi, whatever — I’m not — I don’t —

— feel that way. About love personally, I guess.

What is a body? Like really, what is it?

I hate looking at mine, I’ll tell ya that. These narrow shoulders, barrel chest chest, ugh.  Thank God for suits.

Give me one with shoulder pads and a crimson shirt and I’m what they call a scary business man. Hairline recedes a bit? Let those black curls grow out, lean back more, be youthful. You can make it work. I do it every day at my meetings.

I fooled them all. They see my masculinity and buy into it.

Lucius is a man as much as I am. Agh, no, who am I kidding. He’s way more of a man than me.

I don’t even know what I am anymore. I could never admit that though — still not PC for a CEO to come out as gay. Think I could even open up with any of this gender shit?

They’d crucify me.

The only one I could see understanding my — state — is Lucius. But he hates me. I hurt him once. Badly. What with my toxic masculinity and everything.

Not being sarcastic here; my masculinity is a tool to bring others misery. I’ve exploited it for years. I’m a bad person. It’s what my therapist tells me. She’s really nice. Black. Queer. Young. Grounds me, no bullshit. Teaches me about the terms the kids are using nowadays. PoC, LGBTQ, demisexual, the works.

Therapy, another one of those things guys like me aren’t supposed to have.

I probably sound like an idiot. I don’t want hormones or that shit — I can’t even begin to think of what that — change — would — could be.

They all see me as this big scary man and yeah, no, I play the part. I do what I need to to get by.

But did my body create that? This thing that I am? I never asked for that, I don’t want that. I just want to be —

Agh.

Lucius. Help me.

Or don’t. You shouldn’t have to.

I’ll keep going, I don’t have nightmares like you did. Or phantom pains or dysphoria — do I have dysphoria?

Is this what he was talking about? Holy shit.

I can’t think about this right now. Maybe later.

I have a meeting about business proposals or some shit. All of us in suits proudly drinking black coffee.

I want to like — put a chamomile bag in my coffee.

What? Chamomile in my — I can’t do that. They’d keep giving me those stupid, eyebrow raising looks I’m supposed to give people too when they act like nimrods.

They’d laugh at me — sneak looks at each other the whole meeting — and ignore me. Make me small.

Huh.

My assistant could just prepare it for me. They wouldn’t know.

God. Is it even worth it though if they don’t know what I’m up to? Like isn’t that the fun of it?  People knowing?  If they don’t know — why am I doing it?  Like me.  My — ah, feelings — on the inside.

Non-binary fifty seven year old Hector. Ha.

I can’t sit around in my fancy suits, act like an asshole, but tell myself when I go to sleep that it’s okay because I’m not a man.

It won’t affect how they see me, or how I talk to them. I’m too big in this city to even really have a private life. I’m — I’m in a pickle, I think.

Plus I’m old.

I don’t — feel like one of the guys. Never really have, not since Lucius came out and wow — that was a long time ago, huh?

Problem is I’m surrounded by men. Ha. I say that like I’m not one of them.  I mean, I’m not, but I might as well be one.

There’s no women in what I do. Should I try to hire more women? I never liked Burt in accounting, he’d definitely be the first one to go.

Then I’ll replace him with a woman.

I’d like to be more progressive. Most of us, um, “enbies,” are pretty progressive. I mean, I think I am, you know, I voted for Obama. Bernie too, didn’t work out though.

Come to think of it, why didn’t I donate to his campaign? I got the money. Well, I guess I’m a corporation and he wouldn’t like that. He’d probably hate me actually.

Ha. Look at me spiral. Am I the bad guy?

Ah shit, I’m going to be late for my meeting. I better call my secretary and tell her to drop the chamomile in the coffee — what the fuck — chamomile in my coffee? Talk about a midlife crisis.

Let me try this. Just once.

My name is Hector Morton Welles. I would like to go by they/them/theirs.

I know you trans guys are super anti-capitalist and everything, but yeah I’m a CEO with an ever expanding bank account. I’ve probably hurt your — our — community too. I’m not your typical “enby” but I — I don’t know, can I join you?

Please.

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