my little brother is five. i want colors on my nails, he says, when he really means: let me feel special let me be fussed over, let me show when i'm feeling beautiful
the man in my bed is awake at three. i cried for four hours when i read my mother's diary, he says. i've never told her but i'll never be the man my father was
the man in front of me is telling us about his transition. i felt incomplete, he says: i went through puberty and watched the knees of the boys grow bony and large, striated and muscular. i felt afraid
a father is visiting denmark for the first time. when i became a young father it meant working more, not less he says, as a shadow crosses his face
We are at a birthday party, eating Mexican food, and you tell me that at some point in your teenage years you became worried that you were suffering from multiple personality disorder. You woke up every morning and looked at your hands, or stared in the mirror, and weren't sure that who was thinking in there was who you were. Or that you were multiple selves. Or that the self you were supposed to be wasn't the body you inhabited. Or that you were thinking too much. Or something.
You remember that your father's idea of masculinity, all stoicism and no reactions, no physical touches, no feelings - it was the wrong frame for your existence. Maybe you weren't a man, you wondered. Maybe you were two men. You were the wrong kind of man. You were just wrong. And what does it mean to feel 'wrong' in your sense of manliness? You told your mother and she assumed you were coming out to her. But that wasn't it. She was ready to accept this frame. But you weren't looking for that kind, either.
the snow had begun to melt, which meant that someone found his body in a field, in a twisted steel torso of car remains. there had been fire before there was snow. it had enveloped everything. and then the snow had fallen over it all, shhhh, a quiet blanket, to put the scene to sleep for a harrowing six months.
i was second-degree affected, which wasn't much. i watched your reaction behind a pane of glass. you didn't understand. you had been close friends in college. and afterwards? i'll never forgot what you told me, that you just 'didn't really talk much' about emotional things, personal things. how could you have known this was going to happen?