Hiding in Plain Sight

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jerry just never felt right. That is, until he stumbled upon a certain video, which opened up an intoxicating world. Jerry tries to find his footing in that world, but soon learns that certain sacrifices will be required.

Hiding in Plain Sight

(2021)


 

It doesn’t matter when it started. Girl, it might have been there since you were born. You always liked crossing your legs; even as a child, there was something naughty and delicious about it. You tried your best to play the butch, didn’t you, Jerry? Baseball cards. Rock bands. A heavy beard, eons before it started to be fashionable again. Nit when you were alone in your room, you didn't listen to Jimi Hendrix. No, you listened to Belle and Sebastian. You were femme way back then, weren’t you, sweetie? You stole a thong from the mall when you couldn’t have been older than sixteen. That's right, hon, you snatched it off a lingerie rack at Lord and Taylor while Mommy was Christmas shopping. She probably wouldn't have said anything anyway. She raised you to be a good little fag. I think she always wanted a daughter--put a little makeup on you that one time you went out to dinner with the in-laws. The way that those brushes felt on your cheek--ladies who lunch would say, “Simply divine,” and they would be right. You wanted reverb, not overdrive. You wanted fragile beauty, not ragged glory. You were Laura, not Holden. You didn’t want to stuff your tongue down anyone’s throat. You wanted them to stuff their tongue down yours. Not even stuff. To be held like water, in their hands. In his hands. That’s right, Phoebe. So...yeah...it doesn’t matter where or when or how it started. Jerry just really wanted to be a girl. 

He was such a good little emo boi for about a year there. He sprinkled glitter on his eyelids before the senior talent show. He had a crush on the music teacher’s chubby little son--Mark. A brave encounter at the donut shop when some asshole asked Jerry if he wanted to suck his dick. Oh honey, you wish. So what if he didn’t really say it?

But then, college. How Jerry ended up joining a fraternity of all things, I haven’t a clue. All those shirtless boys didn’t hurt. Sometimes they’d get drunk at meeting and they'd throw their arms around his shoulder. They must have felt him, squirming, but they never said anything. 

On another ambiguous note, Jerry met Jake in college. Jake never imbibed, not a drop. Half the girls on campus wanted him, but he floated above it all. Jerry never saw him with any boyfriends, and he’d never dare to think of Jake as his boyfriend, but they spent a lot of time together. Who am I kidding? It was damn near every day. Jerry felt something strange, inside, growing. He wanted Jake to hold him, but Jake never would shut up about the Buddha long enough to lean in. Or maybe it never worked because it never could have worked: Jerry was still a boy. 

After graduation, Jake basically disappeared. Of course, he wasn’t the type to open a social media account, so he was hard to track. Jerry sent him a few long emails, but the correspondence dried up fast. Jerry never really amounted to anything, and I imagine Jake was jealous. It was the same with the fraternity boys. No one could really understand why Jerry never made it big, or whatever. The answer seems so obvious now, but it seemed a cosmic mystery to his friends and himself at the time. 

If they could see me now… At first, it wouldn’t make any sense, but after a moment, it would all click into place. And I’d touch his leg. And he’d touch my chest. They’re growing, I’d say, and I’d let him kiss me. 

 

***

 

I met Sabrina a couple months after I moved back to Rockaway. We worked together at the mall--Spencer’s, to be precise. Two punk kids dangerously close to adulthood, we found refuge in our mutual misconceptions. Maybe the misconceptions were what made the sex so good. Now I think, well, it was just because she was a dom. Now I think, well, it was just the rush of first lust. But back then, the spark could only mean one thing--Jerry wasn’t really queer after all! 

This was also around the time when gay shows and films and books stopped being so salacious and started being domestic. All those assignations in bathrooms and meat trucks that Jerry had drooled over as a teen seemed terribly romantic to him, but the idea of two men kissing gently, let alone chatting about expenses, or fucking grocery shopping, somehow seemed so wrong. At times, it seemed funny. At times, even gross. Never exactly right. And if he really was gay, Jerry reasoned, it would have felt right. It had to be something else. 

Sabrina and Jerry went out for half a decade--hanging on in quiet desperation is the Jersey way, he’d joke--and something was wrong the entire time, but he could never figure out just what it was. He had a girl, he had enough cash, he didn’t have kids--what else could he want? At times, he thought it was because he lived in a cultural wasteland. Jerry still fancied myself a musician, you see, and he’d noodle for hours every night, but the bands he managed to join never went anywhere. Now it’s clear; they never would have. You can’t write lyrics--even unintelligible indie drivel--if you can’t be honest with yourself. 

One of those bands, and the lead singer thereof, went by the name of 14-Karat Infinity. I know; Jerry knew. The band itself wasn’t much better: all the songs sounded the same, the lead singer bragged about being Bruno Mars’ cousin’s friend, he supposedly had a record deal, and so on.  That’s all it took: Jerry signed right up. Jerry had some vague notion of being a star; what he didn’t know was that you could be your own star. He should have called that wannabe out, and stolen his heels. 

That’s right. I didn’t tell you. 14-Karat Infinity was a crossdresser. 

The idea of being in a gay band, as he clumsily called it, weirded out Jerry’s friends and family (he’d never really been out and now, with Sabrina’s help, he was firmly back in), but it thrilled him. Sabrina must have tried hard not to have much of a reaction, but it probably made sense to her. Then 14, as the lead singer liked to call himself in casual contexts, told us that he wanted all of us to crossdress as well, or at least to dress androgynously. He suggested fishnets for me, the bass player--a detail I haven’t mentioned up to this point because, really, does it matter? Oh my God, I thought, this is great. I wasn’t rich, so I just went to the local Walmart; who knew it could be so glamorous? The stockings simply called to me, for real (as Jerry would say). He should have taken his purchase to the cashier, but he didn’t have the courage for that yet. This stuff is hard. So he used the infamous, job-killing self-checkout lane, and he bought his second article of female apparel. This time, he actually wore it. 

When Jerry felt those stockings embrace his--hairy, disgusting--legs...mmmmm. It was a high he’d never stop chasing. It did something, bois and gurls. Some might say it ruined me. 

Jerry bought those fishnets for a gig that never materialized. He’d even cancelled a long-awaited trip to the Golden Coast (nothing comes close) for the dubious opportunity. 14 never called him again--never emailed again, actually. See, he never actually called. Poor Jerry thought he’d done something wrong. Of course. 

I wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t just email 14, I would track him down. I would've slapped him in the face. You cost me California, you liar. Like, you can lie to yourself but don’t take other people along for the ride. 

Oh. Wait. Right. 

Sabrina, for instance. She’d really wanted to go to California. Jerry treated her atrociously. When the proverbial going got rough, he couldn’t comfort her. When she laughed at some ridiculous video, he couldn’t laugh along. And when her ship came in, he stood brooding at the edge of the dock, looking for all the world like he--like I-- wanted to jump into the deep water. Oh, stop it. Jerry fancied himself a poet, too. I mean both of us wanted to die. Very much so.

But how did Sabrina’s ship come in, you may ask. Why dear, the natural way. The way of the proverbial golden road. She kept her head down at Spencer’s. She showed up on time. She worked as hard as she needed to. She didn’t complain or talk back. She didn’t leave. And so, after a number of years, that ultimate pathetic symbol of the ‘Murican Dream was bestowed upon her: Sabrina got a promotion! I scoff, but the pay raise was nice. As was the insurance. Would’ve covered hormones, if I had told her. 

To do justice to how unfair the ol’ ‘Murican System is, it should have been me. I mean, it would have been, had I applied an ounce of effort and, more importantly, if I wasn’t one giant black hole. I didn’t even complain or talk back; I just wasn’t there. The man (sort of) wasn’t there, so the woman actually got the shot for once. 

I remember the night we “celebrated” Sabrina’s promotion. Thai place, fancy. Usual assortment of piercings and NOFX shirts. Nothingmusic playing in the background. Sabrina was irrepressible. She was positively gushing over all the things we (not she) would do with our (not her) new money. Visit Manchester and Liverpool and Portland, and maybe Tokyo one day. Jerry  had never been anywhere more expotic than Florida, but he shot her down at every turn. Manchester and Liverpool were shitholes. Tokyo--come on, we’ll never save that much. Spencer’s is going to close any day anyway. And Portland. Come on. You’ve seen that show. You know how utterly pretentious, how stupid Portland is. Jerry. You can go by yourself if you want to. Not here, Jerry. What? What do you mean what? Oh, am I making a scene. Kind of. I have no idea what you mean. Jerry. Fine, I’ll shut up now. Jerry. What? 

Yeah. It was like that all the time, but she never left him. Your guess is as good as mine. And it would have kept going that way too, if it weren’t for that damn video. 

Jerry and I have watched quite a few videos--a certain kind of videos, I mean--but most of them are pretty damn disgusting, or at least they feel that way after you cum. But that first one. I don’t even want to use words. There are none. Dozens or hundreds of boys dressed like girls--no, fuck that, boys transforming themselves through much effort mental and phsyical into girs, long hair, shaved body, painted nails, the posture, the open mouths. All of them flashing by in an instant, interspersed with captions like “Worship Cock” and “Brain=Dead,” over pulsing electronic backing tracks and simpering vocals, a cat in heat arching her back: “I’m not a…” and then, the most delicious pause “boy.” Neither Jerry nor I ever looked up the name of the song or the artist. It’s still a secret spell, my very own. 

And suddenly, it all clicked into place: the aforementioned fixation with crossing my legs, but so much more: why Jerry was so obsessed with RockyHorror, why he got...excited when he read about genderless aboriginies in World Cultures class, why being neither straight nor gay nor bi ever felt right. 

But then again, Jerry had experienced the same kind of epiphany before. He’d thought being gay made it all click into place. He’d thought it about being b. That same crystal-clear impression that this was the ultimate answer. But then, when the fool actually went to bed with a man, a real live cock in his mouth, it felt like a chore. Oh God, it’s all  boring. Is this it? Sorry, Julian. 

For every reason, for no reason, for whatever reason, Jerry kept watching the video. And others like it. SissyHypno, it’s called. Don’t Google it, honey. But why did I tell you? Or fuck it. Should I tell you? I think back to the days when Jerry was pulling his meat to those ideos, and it makes me want to look away. But what is it but bois and gurls asking for what they wanted and getting it? Jerry had to go through it to get here. To get to me. Right? 

All too exhausting. I could still kill myself. Surely I’d make a gorgeous corpse. 

But what did Jerry think? A kink. A phase. Something he could control. And every meme on Reddit said or implied that he couldn’t. Bullshit, he thought. Okay, Jerry. He’d learn. 

 One day, Jerry was shopping at the Franklin NJ Walmart on the corner of Rt. 23 N and some avenue. Muted mid-winter sunshine nearly asphyxiated by layers of cumulostratus leaked out of the cloud cover. The color was a kind of sort of muted gold. Jerry thought it looked alright, but could hardly feel anything, at all. Thanks, Phoebe. 

Jerry entered the center of a terrible kind of universe, head down, determined to purchase his peanut butter and GreatVale coffee grounds and get the hell out of there. What made him look up, for the briefest of moments in the direction of Women’s Apparel? Jerry's heart rate sped up. His pupils dilated. His salivary glands prepared for something yummy. He snatched the leggings. Self-checkout again. 

Thank God Sabrina was out, discussing anime with some brilliant cashier or other (Sussex Co. produces quite a few of those). Jerry fumbled himself out of his pants. He tore off his shirt. Wriggled out of his ugly boy underwear and pulled them on. Our legs looked perfect oh besides the big toes with the Doomsday toenails. But the way it felt. Need a poem for that one. Need music. No. Impossible. 

Sabrina was out quite a bit those days. Maybe she had a lover, Jerry thought, but he didn’t care. We loved having the house to ourselves, Jerry and I. Perfect couple, right? And so, Jerry’s deviance grew deeper. He bought a pair of floral leggings. He bought a pair of black panties. He bought cherry red nail polish. He bought a leopard-print bra. What a clueless little boy that Jerry was: no one wears leopard print any more, not even old women. 

And Jerry was clueless about other matters. Jerry didn’t know how to tuck, so-- when he tried on those panties in front of the mirror--his questionable manhood stuck out like a sore thumb. That was about how big it was too; how could Jerry have ever thought he could make it as a man? In any case, the fuck-ups didn’t stop there. He made a total mess of the nail polish (he applied it to his toenails, of course; you couldn’t look at Jerry without thinking “coward”), and it chipped away little-by-little over the coming weeks. Ugly. And when Jerry tried that bra on, he wept. Yes. And, bitch that I am, I won’t make fun of him for that. But why did he cry? The empty cups. His hairy chest. His thick arms. His face. He was no woman, not even a sissy really: still just a stupid boy. 

So Jerry knew what he wanted, at long last, pretty sure. But all the years of searching, of finding out who he was, trying on different labels, had reduced him to a nub (and not in a good way). The helplessness was what made all the sissy garbage so titillating to him in the first place. And now he’d reached the limit of what he could do without being caught. 

He was in the shower one day, washing off the funk that came from another pathetic hypno session. And he looked down at his left leg. Bony, no curves, no life to it. Giant feet. And those Doomsday toenails. Either Jerry or I (or both of us) picked up a rusty old nail clipper (I would have replaced it years ago) and trimmed them, but the main problem remained. Hairy. So fucking hairy!

(Don’t laugh, you assholes. I’ll come and find you. I’m not Jerry. I can fight.)

Either I or Jerry or both pisces up one of Jerry’s cheap razors and Jerry’s cheap-as-fuck bar soap and either I or Jerry or both lathered up that revolting leg. And he or I or we started shaving it. But then Jerry woke up. Jerry saw what he or I or we were doing and Jerry freaked. Sure, he could wear long pants around the house, but what if he forgot and wore shorts? And it wouldn’t grow back evenly, so he would be fucked in the summertime. If he stopped right now, maybe he could save himself. He chucked that razor away from him like a piece of a homeless junkie’s shit. He almost slipped on his way out of the tub, but he caught himself at the last minute. Did he check his look in the mirror on his way out the door? Do you even have to ask?

Sabrina never asked about Jerry’s half-shaved leg. In fact, he didn’t try to find it, but she still didn’t notice. A whole summer of wearing shorts came and went. The closest the subject came to coming up was when Jerry cancelled a beach trip at the last minute. Some of Sabrina’s friends were coming, you see. Go by yourself, he told her, but she insisted on staying anyway. Jerry, you asshole.

Jerry didn’t plan any beach trips with his own friends, of course, but he hadn’t done so for some time.

***

There’s something about the sissyverse (the millions of pictures, videos, meme--the list goes on) that you need to understand. If you don’t understand it, you’ll never know how all the magic (or all the bullshit) works. 

First, there’s the degrading shit--the vids in which the sissy begs her mistress to be uncaged, for instance. These made Jerry (and, sometimes, make me) excited because they confirm our fears. Nodding along, saying yes in a soft, sibilant voice while consuming this garbage allowed him/us to relax, to an almost existential extent, more than anything, way more than any sex he’d had with an actual person. He didn’t have to fight the tediously intolerable anxiety that real sex entailed, and so he had energy for something else. To be a person, he supposed. 

But then there’s that other kind of content--the pics of the pretty sissy smiling, eyebrow cocked, caged clitty--so small, so demure, so ladylike. These conveyed to Jerry that self-actualization was just a few minor alterations away. In fact, some memes or comics depicted the transformation process as instantaneous: put on a magic bra, turn into a beautiful girl. Drink some elixir, your cock shrivels in between your legs. Eyes bulge, idiotic. Hair sprouts. It always seems painful, but pain is pleasure, no? And at the end, gorgeous curves, cocksure, cockless. Hm...click click click. 

And then you wake up, your shirt’s covered in cum, your crotch smells like a 14-year-old boy’s laundry basket. And you look at yourself in the mirror. And the hair, and the five o’clock shadow and all the infuriating right angles. So you have no choice: you have to log on again. Call it the ol’ sissy two-step and cue the ragtime. 

***

Anyway, friends. Jerry had none; how could he? People visit friends in order to relax, and Jerry could never do that. As such, he had no real use for them, just as they had no real use for him. The same goes for Sabrina; she was starting to realize it, too. It’s funny. For all his dreams of transformation, Jerry wasn’t pleased at all to see how much his life had changed, a fact which he saw, clear as day, when Sabrina walked out the door. Actually, she never said goodbye. She just said she was going to visit her mom in Virginia. When she didn't text or IM for a day, it was refreshing. Jerry slept in his leggings for the first time, a fact he didn’t even notice until he was sipping his coffee the next morning. He took a long shower. When he touched himself, his clitty got more excited than usual, and he realized he could say it out loud: “I’m...a... girl. I’m a girl! I’M A GIRL!” But his fingernail didn't feel good in my little hole, and there was brown residue around the half moons, when he looked, when he was finished. He soaped his hands up good and slammed the bathroom door. 

A few hours later, he was watching TV, still a boy show, with his legs crossed, looking between them. He couldn’t see his dick, only a nicely trimmed mound of pubic hair (I’m still a natural girl). If he posted a pic of it, no one would be able to tell. Maybe it wasn’t even there anymore. It could have disappeared. Did he want it to? But then something made him think of Sabrina (some romantic imagery perhaps) and he logged on to FB to IM her. Wait. This can’t be right. He didn’t see her icon at the top of his friends list. heHer messages didn’t appear in his messenger folder. He searched for her profile, but none of the Sabrina Joneses were his Sabrina Jones. The giggly anime avatar with the pink hair was nowhere to be found. He turned to old tech and tried to call. I’m sorry but the number you have called has been disconnected; goodbye. He went to the bedroom. Her dresser--half the stuff was gone. Had she? Yes, two bags she’d taken. And he hadn’t found it odd, what? Whatever. Jerry sank into the memory foam in a most unladylike manner. She’s really gone. Fuck. 

 How logdid he sit there? Long enogh the ugly midday light to start to fade into the golden hour. Jerry didn’t think of anything at all until it occured to him, for some reason, to take another shower. Jerry didn’t puck up the razor that time; I did. Now or never I basically whispeed into Jerry’s ear. 

But I couldn’t have moved his hand on my own; I wasn’t strong enough for that yet. So then we started shaving the body that revolted us so much. We started with the arms. Left forearm. Upper arm Right forearm. Upper arm. The back of the neck. The lower legs. The upper legs. The chest. That was the best: what had been man boobs were now little itty-bitty titties, and I knew just how to make them grow, and now he knew he wanted them to. And then we did the crotch. 

Jerry rushed to the other room and then, in front of the full-length mirror that Sabrina had insisted on buying (a waste of money, Jerry’d said), I took a step back and let Jerry take a look at himself. He shook his hips from side to side. He stuck out his tiny but promising ass. He touched himself, but not in that gross way--just the fingertips, all over his/her/our body. And sank into the bed again; ladylike this time. When he woke up, he ordered his first cage.  

***

Jerry had been following Sophie for a while now. It started when he discovered a video of her ravaging her ass while smoking a cigarette. Something about the way she ashed on herself turned Jerry on to no end. And there’s nothing wrong with that. After beating his way through a few more of those videos, Jerry discovered a different kind. One that would change his life, tnot to put too fine a point on it. Hey girls,” she started. Jerry liked that. For the next twenty minutes, Jerry didn’t touch himself but got quite excited nonetheless. Sophie told her story: never felt right growing up, years of unsatisfying experimentation, stumbling upon the sissyverse, about a million other steps, and finally she stood before me--a marvelous individual, more feminine than most women. And happy. Nothing hidden. Her shame and power is available to all, at a glance. Sophie closed the video by telling us gils not to be kink-shamed, to realize we didn't have to go any further, but if we did. That it was allowed. That it was fucking cool. On the morning after Sabrina left, Kerry commented on that video. He lad it all on the line too. The shame. The thrill. The questions. His hands really were shaking when he pressed send. But he made me proud. Sophie wrote back: “Thank you, Jerri! PM me anytime you want,” along with a few emojis, and her email address. 

It took a good long while to take her up on her offer. In the meantime, I pushed Jerry to take other steps to cut ties with his old life. I made him quit his job of course; neither of us wanted to run into Sabrina. In fact, neither of us wanted to run into anyone who’d known Jerry in what we considered to be our former life. I made him call his mom and tell her he needed a little extra help that month. Could she detect the fact that I’d modulated my voice up a half-step or two? She didn’t say anything but yes. Since she had recently retired and since she had no man to see the world with (I’d never met my father), she said she had little to do but clean all day and hence little to do with the inheritance she’d received from her own parents. Between that and the meager savings Jerry had managed to accumulate (Sabrina and he had never opened a joint bank account--surely a harbinger of things to come), we had enough to disappear for a while. 

***

“You’re off to a great start,” Sophieful (short for Sophie the Beautiful) wrote back, “But have you considered the following…” What followed was a list of milestones that every good little sissy had to accomplish. It sounded like a game. I’d always loved games as a kid, and I felt like a kid again generally. 

I’d already taken quite a leap by shaving all that ugly hair off, but we could see it creeping back. Only estrogen would fix that for good, but we weren’t ready for that yet. The next few tasks were relatively simple: grow your hair out, eat better, work out. We tossed all of Jerry’s boy food: no more sugary cereal, frozen pizza, ramen, etc. We bought steel-cut oatmeal for the fiber, sugar-free granola, almonds--all of it in bulk, all of it bought from Amazon at cut-rate prices. We’d become quite a tech-savvy little sissy: all those hours of porn sure paid off!  Turns out you don’t have to be rich to eat right, or to develop a relatively thorough skincare routine. With a little left over, I indulged a weakness that showed the old Deadhead was still there, buried deep but still there and not disappearing, and there was comfort in that. I’m speaking of the embarrassing amount of rings, bracelets, and shawls we purchased. I guess Jerry was going for some sort of mix of Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks, and I allowed him, for the moment. But with what was left, I took over. I checked off one of the more daunting items on Sophie’s list: I bought a cage. Yes, it’s absolutely crucial for the newborn sissy to purchase the perfect cage: too loose and you won’t see the shrinkage you’re looking for, too tight and it hurts (not in the good way). And then there are the aesthetic considerations, such as color and design. There’s plain ol’ white for the cheap girls (and weddings), but maybe you need to up the estrogen quotient and go for pink (always a good decision). For the goths out there, for the S&M set, you have the stainless steel cages. Those also happen to be the most expensive. This time, I didn’t let Jerry cheap out. We ordered what I wanted--the stainless steel. 

The first time Jerry slipped our little clitty (and it did feel like that, it certainly didn’t feel like a penis--gross) into that stainless steel cage, we felt the rush. You know what rush I’m talking about. The one we’d felt when he bought those fishnets, the one we’d felt when we shaved ourselves bare. And now I was starting to figure it out. If I didn’t want the yum yums to fade, I had to keep pushing. If I wanted the hair to stop growing back forever, if I wanted real tits, if I wanted to be a real girl, I had to bite that bullet and take that estrogen. 

I still wasn’t ready to out myself to anyone but Sophie, so going to a doctor was out of the question.  Thank God for the dark web. Got the syringes pretending to be a diabetic. Got the hormones by claiming to be menopausal. I’m not ashamed of it. Fuck, I’m proud. I don’t know about Jerry, but I’m not about to feel sorry for cheating a part of a system that seemed to have been designed to keep him in his place, in a prison of a body that he realized he hated. For example, every beer commercial. Hell, every commercial, period. Speaking of beer, Jerry would drive past hick bars and fantasize about going in, in all his imitation Stevie Nicks regalia, and letting someone pick him up. Half the time the story ended in the hottest sex he’d ever had (and with me losing my virginity). The other half of the time, it ended with us raped and killed in a back alley. Only estrogen might obviate that eventuality (and even then, there was no guarantee). But the need went deeper than that. Hell, the way I looked, I couldn’t even get a job, couldn’t even have a friend, couldn’t even be honest with my fucking mom. So yeah, if I could get my hands on something that would give me a shot of leading a normal existence, I was going to take it. 

But I couldn’t take it. Jerry stood in front of the mirror, clutching the vial and the syringe in a sweaty palm. Eyebrows raised, mouth ajar, a deer blinded by the high beams of a 1987 Dodge Ram. In the end, Jerry ran to our phone and texted Sophie. 

A day later, I stood in front of Sophie in her boudoir (the name fits), shaved, shawled, made up (my nails were on point--thank you YouTube), and staring at the group: Sophie, Jerry and me. “Look up, sweetie. You’re glowing.” And she was right. I could still see him underneath everything, but now I knew for sure: I didn’t want to, never again. And besides, a few drinks in, bathed in neon, maybe I could fool ‘em. After all, boys are dumb.

I held up a sparkling gold IPSY bag. Well, Sabrina’s. I had my own now, but Jerry was using this one for old time’s sake. Jerry used to keep weed in it, back when that was the only way he could feel right. Now we kept our estrogen and a fresh syringe in there. And as for getting high, all we had to do was look at it. Hell, Jerry hadn’t smoked in months. But anyway, Jerry was standing there in Sophie’s boudoir (purple plush, bead curtains, pictures---Marilyn, Gaga Madonna, Sharon Von Etten--dildos, lube, and more bras and panties than Little Edie could dream of) clutching this little golden bag. 

“Am I ready?”

“Why are you asking me?” Sophie winked. 

“I don’t think so.” 

“Good girl. I agree. In fact, you have to do two things first.” 

“Tell me.”

“It’s more fun to imply.”  She wiped a hair off my face and patted my head, like a lost kitten, like a wayward child. “Your first task involves a man. Your second, a woman. Should you pass, a final test: you and the needle.”

To fulfill Sophie’s first request, I turned to Reddit where, as they say, you can find pretty much anything. I’d seen enough sissy content by now to realize it wouldn’t be hard. Heh. Anyway, I shaved my legs, painted my toenails jet back, and snapped a shot of me in my cage, and posted it to the r/sissyperfection subreddit. The caption contained two words: “DM me.” 

You really don’t want to know how filthy the responses I got were. H, you think you do, sure. But you don’t. Take my word. All the typical garbage: incest play, rape fantasies, daddy/daughter shit. So many of the men fixated on objects they wanted to stick up what they called my ass. For the record, it’s my boipussy, and this useless limp between my legs is called my clitty. Get it right! But anyway, it was broomhandle this, hockey stick that (who plays hockey anymore?), but that shit about the broken bottle? No. I can fight back, you know? Small, but fierce as hell. That’s not how they saw it. Oh no. Bitch. Cunt. Slut. Whore. He-she. Freak. Nothing. They used such lovely names. I tapped into something alright. I guess I asked for it, but one particularly aggressive piece of shit who called himself RedPillPepe45 asked me to meet him on a certain orner. He’d pick me up, he said. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. DON’T DO IT!

But I did do it. When I got into the dude’s Buick, with its drooping upholstery, I was ore scared than ever but also disarmed. I noticed his Mario Brothers hoodie. He was overweight, acne scarred, stoo- shouldered. Jesus Christ, I thought, it’s Jerry back from the dead. We talked about video games and Marvel while he drove me God-knows-where. We stopped in the middle of a parking lot on the edge of what looked like a state park. When my heart didn’t explode, he proceeded to put his warm, moist hands all over me. And his breathing was audible. And there was something foul lurking beneath the scent of Axe Body Wash. I tensed up. I closed my legs. When he tried to kiss me, I sealed my lips and clenched my teeth. And to the dude’s credit--I never did learn his real name--he started slowing down, and eventually he stopped. Afterwards, he was like a wading pool when you let the air out--he basically collapsed in on himself. Crestfallen. Shit posture. Mouth gaping wider. SMell, worse. I felt sorry for the guy, so I reached over to take his hand. He jerked it away, violently. Started the car. Drove me home. ANd he only said one thing the whole ride, right before Jerry opened the door: it was something between a sigh and a whisper: “I thought that was what you wanted.” 

I showed up on Sophie’s doorstep an hour later, sobbing. 

She held me, but she shushed me. “Now you know,” she said, wiping tears away, smiling. “And now.”

I nodded. “One more. Who is she?”

Jerry must have driven past the restaurant five times before he actually parked and walked up to the door. We snuck a peek: Sabrina was in there, texting someone, laughing. Jerry felt a pang of jealousy in spite of it all. More than a pang. In fact, after a while, he could bear it no longer, pushed the door open, and crossed the threshold. When I first saw her, she looked confused. Oh… Jerry? And then she nodded, just like Sophie had. I guess we’re more predictable than we realize. But anyway, Jerry burst out sobbing again. But at the end, we hugged. She was just happy Jerry had figured himself out. So was Jerry. So was I. 

I was smiling on Sophie’s doorstep after that one. Smiling so hard I almost broke my jaw. Yes, my. Something had changed. 

Sophie took me inside and sat me down. “Tell me everything,” she said, running to the kitchen to make me a cup of coffee with a sweetener called monk. 

 “I thought that was a show,” I said.

“You’re behind the times, sweetie.” That didn’t make me feel so good. “Seriously, you have to eliminate refined sugar, and that stevia crap isn’t any better.” She placed a mug with a funky logo in front of me: Betty dreams of green men, it read. “A girl’s gotta watch her figure.” I liked that. “So...begin.” 

I told her about how I thought Sabia had looked happier, and about how I was proud that impression hadn’t made me feel guilty. And how the jealousy over the new boyfriend subsided. After all, he wasn’t really competition: Jerry had never wanted to be her boyfriend, because he’d never wanted to be a boy. I told Sophie I’d told Sabrina that. And neither of them was upset; they could see it was true. I did feel somethingshitty when I saw how happy she looked when she talked up the boyfriend. He listened. He liked her friends. He wasn’t miserable all the time. Ad they had sex--a lot, apparently. Yeah, those details made me feel shitty, but that shitty feeling wasn’t jealousy: it was envy. Sometimes it takes a half a lifetime to tell the difference. 

“So...you got closure?”

“I don’t know.” I looked at my fingernails: the nail polish was chipping. 

And then I told her about what I really felt shitty about, what made me start sobbing. I’d wasted her time. No. That’s too easy. I’d wasted years of her life. Still not enough. I’d wasted a good portion of the best part of her life. Oh, you thought I’d say Jerry wasted them. No, that’s too easy too. I am Jerry. And I’d fucked this poor girl up. No matter how many panties or wigs I bought, that would always be true. 

To my credit, I said it aloud. And then Sabrina smiled. And she hugged me. It wasn’t the kind of hug you give your kid when they’re scared of the boogie man; it’s the kind you give them when they’ve won the championship: “I knew.”

“That I was...trans?” The word felt new, but right. 

“Not that. But I knew something was wrong. I knew something was missing. I thought it was your job or your family. When I realized I’d never figure it out, that’s when I left.” 

“You were brave.” 

“So were you. You’re being brave right now.”

“I’m not.”

“Shut up… queen.”

Our eyes locked for an instant. 

“You are,” she said. “But the point is, I could’ve left at any time. And we weren’t wasting time.” 

“I was hiding, in plain sight.”

“We were growing.” 

And if you think that’s corny, you can go fuck yourself. 

“Wow,” Sophie said. That was it. She picked up my empty mug and took it to the sink. By the way, that monk? Itwasn’t so bad after all; I drink it all the time these days. 

When Sophie returned from the kitchen, she looked serious: “Now the real fun begins.”

***

The real fun, as it turns out, is absolute hell. My boss laughed. My mother cried. Thank God my father was dead. But the worst part? They all reacted the same way, with that look. The look that said, “I knew it all along.” I thought I was delivering this big revelation, but all I got in response was “meh.” You can throw away 93% of your former identity, spend your life savings, subject yourself to countless humiliations (you wouldn’t believe how many middle school bullies reached out to hit on me), and discard the vast majority of the privilege you might have enjoyed, but it was just another day in 2019 for most of them. Maybe a like, here or there. Even the most supportive comments were just words. In the end, I had no friends, no girl, no man, not even a pet. There were times when I felt like the world’s biggest fool.

Nevertheless, she persisted. I shaved my legs. I painted my nails. I ordered the estrogen. I almost wanted it to break the bank, but it only cost me around $30 per month. Part of me thought I’d missed the boat; I should have come out 15; at least there would have been some mystery then. As it turns out, I’m still chasing that first high, the one I got from that first sissyhypno video. I’m not a… boy. You’d have to see it to understand, but I would never recommend doing so. It’s gross. Maybe I’ll share it with someone someday. Maybe with you. But what would you say? No. Don’t tell me. Please. Better to be alone than to spread my poison. And better than that look. 

But fuck it, I said, looking into the mirror. So what if my hips weren’t voluptuous? So what if a trace of a 5 o'clock shadow lingers on my chin. So what if I needed a whole new wardrobe? So what if I still had no idea about makeup? There was time. I’d done the hard part. I’d cleared my plate. I’d torn all the old scraps from the canvas. Like an old show once said, I hadn’t made a life for myself. I’d made life possible. So what were my offs--one in 10, one in 100, one in a million? Either way, you’re saying there’s a chance. So I sat down. I crossed my legs. I drew my right arm out of theat frilly flowy thing I’d never throw away no matter how dated it looks. I split open a Rely-On alcohol swab, $2 for 100, bought at the same Walmart where I’d bought my first pair of leggings, many moons ago in a far-off place. As a queer boy in a high school musical once sang. I played the wizard. Should've been the princess. No. The evil queen. And I uncapped one of those cheap syringes I’d bought from Canada, pretending to be diabetic. Well, there was something wrong with my blood. No, not wrong. Not special either. As I drew 50 CCs and numbed up my arm, I sat up just a little straighter. Sophie’s voice whispered to me, so did Sabrina’s, so did Springsteen’s: No retreat, baby, no surrender. The needle pierced the skin. And I looked out the window, not even registering the pain. I was struck by the light. I wouldn’t dare describe it. Something was on fire. Not West Memphis. Was it sunset? Sunrise? 

Both. 

 


Submitted: June 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Tony Chiba. All rights reserved.

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