Saturday, November 11, 2006

Alternative Torture

Hello, Buddha? I was just wondering, you wouldn't happen to have Krishna and Jesus' phone numbers, would you? You do? Could you please pass a message along to them? Actually, while you're at it, maybe send an e-mail out to all your buddies if it's not too much to ask, because HELP ME!

I may not know what it's like to be held in a filthy underground prison for no good reason, my family and friends having no idea what's happened to me, and having various appendages cut off slowly with blunt instruments. However, I have experienced the urban version, albeit for 120 excruciatingly sublime minutes.

The scenario:

It's Friday night, I'm freshly showered and shaved after a good day at work and an invigorating first-swim of the season; I smell lightly of musky aftershave and my hair is still slightly damp when I step out into the crisp evening air. We meet up for the last screening of La Bestia nel Cuore, and she looks ravishing even though she's dressed simply in slacks and a scarf; I stop breathing for a moment when I see her walking up the street towards me. She's seen me waiting, tickets in hand, and her eyes light up; she comes up to me, takes my shoulders and we kiss on the cheeks, three times, the last one lingering a little longer than the ones before. God, she smells heavenly; fresh and sweet, with only the slightest trace of perfume that teases my sanity long after she pulls back. Always elegant and delicate, always refined.

We exchange pleasantries as we walk up the stairs, and she asks if I want anything from the snack bar. I say no (I always carry a little bottle of water with me), but ask if she'd like anything herself. She says no, and we discover that we both prefer experiencing movies without the sound of rustling plastic wrappers and crunching popcorn. I hand the usher our tickets, and we walk towards Cinema 2 where I wait for her to walk through the doors ahead of me. As she does, I have to resist the instinct to lead her by the small of her back, reminding myself that she belongs to someone else. I follow her through into the darkened cinema, but she's stopped and turned around, and when I'm level with her, she takes my arm and we walk through to the top of the stairs, looking for some good seats. I ask where she'd like to sit, and she says for me to choose, so I lead us to some seats two-thirds of the way up from the screen. As she walks along the row of seats, my eyes focus on her wavy brown hair that cascades down to her shoulders and my mind wanders; I imagine what it would be like to gently draw her hair back and brush my lips against that little place behind her ear...

I shake my head slightly, almost as if I'm trying to physically shake those thoughts out of my head. She stops several places short from the centre, which is exactly where I usually sit in cinemas and theatres, and we settle down into the plush generous seats. I check my mobile phones and make sure that they're set to silent as she unwraps herself from her scarf. The theatre fills up quickly as we continue our conversation, mostly catching up on what's been happening in the last week. The lights dim before long and we briefly see some ads for the sponsors of the film festival before the feature begins.

In the solitude of the darkness, I settle down and am pulled in by the movie. Giovanna Mezzogiorno comes on screen and she looks exactly as I remember her from years ago, she's hardly aged at all. Between her and Stefania Rocca (albeit as pale as she was for this movie) I grow increasingly agitated as the movie goes on, and by the time we're treated to a scene involving their bikini-clad selves reclining in the mediterranean sun about three-quarters of the way through, I am fully aroused and intensely conscious of the gorgeous woman sitting next to me. My hormones are raging through my body, and the fingers on my right hand tingle when I think of her own hand, a mere 2 inches away. It takes every fibre of my being to resist bridging those 2 inches, to resist brushing her little finger with mine. Is this the right moment? We've hardly known each other, have I been reading the signs right? Surely, if I was ever going to let her know that she occupies my thoughts day and night, that I want to take her in my arms and make everything right, that this would be the perfect opening. In my state of alertness, I momentarily catch a faint hint of her perfume that quite nearly makes my brain explode. If she took my hand...

I chicken out. The flood of adrenaline abates, and I feel a little less overwhelmed by my need to take her face in my hands and kiss her, completely, passionately; to breathe in her essence as I feel my lips against hers. We come to a light moment in the movie and I shift in my seat as we laugh, adjusting myself discretely; if there's one thing to be thankful for, it's that I am at least spared the humiliation of a pants tent despite the state I've been in. The movie ends shortly and we sit in silence through most of the credits. As the audience thins out, she turns to me and asks if I liked the movie. We gather our things and head up the steps as the lights come on and the seated silhouettes gain faces and characters. I hold the door open for her, and she takes my arm again as we walk through the lobby, down the stairs and into the street. My face feels red as a beet, and I ask if she'd like a coffee to round off the evening. We walk 20 metres down the road to a nice restaurant that I used to frequent several years ago when it had another name, but had only dined at for the first time under its new name just 2 weeks ago. Luckily, the waiter who greets us recognises me (and remembers the large tip I'd left the last time), and promptly gives us an excellent table even though we're only having coffee and possibly dessert.

We have a couple of excellent coffees and complimentary dolci even though we'd declined the dessert menus, and continue our conversation. We never run out of things to say, and our conversations are funny in that we tend to flit from one topic to the next, never really finishing one thought before getting distracted and moving on to the next. We sit for an hour longer than we'd intended to, and I finally (reluctantly) ask if she'd driven here. She hadn't, and I tell her that I'm driving her home. She puts up no resistance, and we continue to talk as I lead her to where I've parked my car.

We get in, I remember to turn down the stereo (which had been set to "anti-eardrum" level) before I start the engine, and replace the Neffa cd with a Bossa-Nova / Música Popular Brasileira one. The drive is not a long one especially with the sparse traffic on the roads, and we're soon stopped outside her place. She thanks me for the lift and for the bellissima serata, then places her left hand on my face, her fingertips reaching behind my ear to pull me in towards her. She kisses my left cheek, and I'm surprised to feel her lips against my skin instead of her cheek. If I hadn't turned bright red earlier in the evening, surely I had now. I say goodbye, watch as she steps out of the car and wait for her to get safely inside before driving off. One final wave goodbye and that's the end of our evening. Now for the long drive home...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Are You Lost?

Kate can tell me that I taste like fish biscuits anytime. Especially when she's wearing that little dress.

Monday, October 30, 2006

All I want for Christmas...

... is my voice back. 2 weeks ago I was commenting on how nice and mellow my voice was getting, how smooth and open my voicebox felt. Now I fluctuate between sounding like I'm on the verge of losing my voice and sounding like I'd just woken up. In fact, my voice breaks when I try to sing in my mid-to-high ranges, or else no sound comes out at all. Other than that, the nice mellow timbre is gone and instead I have a squeaky sound because my voicebox feels tight and constricted, much like how one feels when very nervous. I feel like it's almost a strain to get my voice out. Other than that, I'm starting to feel like I have a lump in my throat (or, as the Czechs would say, I have a dumpling in my throat).

Ah well - all part of the process, I suppose. Which reminds me of a song - if you're in the mood (and have the bandwidth or the cash), check out Part of the Process by Morcheeba. It's an oldie but a goodie.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

1 week on Testosterone

God, I can't think about anything other than sex. It's difficult to sit and concentrate for long periods of time, and it certainly brings to me a new meaning to the term "raging hormones".

I wonder if all teenage boys go through this during puberty. Is it as intense as I'm feeling it? Or is it more a gradual, prolonged suffering that they face? I'm starting to understand why most teenaged boys are the dickheads that they are, and I can't really blame them.

On the bright side, I haven't experienced any mood swings or sudden aggression. With the drivers out there on the roads though...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My first shot!

NeedleI had my first shot of T today. I know, I should sound a little more excited. The truth is, I don't think I can come up with a sentence that would do justice to the event that may well be the first true step towards me being able to live my life as I want.

Again, it all actually happened a lot faster than I ever imagined it would. On Tuesday, I finally had my second appointment with my endocrinologist Dr.H (it was my own fault that I hadn't gone in to see him earlier) and he said that based on the results of my bloodwork, I was all-clear to start on testosterone. We had a good conversation to clear up the questions I had, and I left with a script for T that I could fill in at any chemist that had stock.

Dr.H was also kind enough to provide me with some information on a mail-order chemist, explaining that some chemists are inquisitive and would be suspicious of the testosterone prescription, as testosterone is not a recognised prescription for women. I hit my first snag when I went into the chemist on the ground floor of the same building (which had been deemed alright). After waiting patiently for an age while an elderly gentleman was given his prescription and a glass of water to take it with, I approached the chemist (himself an elderly gentleman) and handed him the prescription. He looked at it and seemed to study it intently, and I started to get nervous and self-conscious.

He eventually looks up and smiles, saying that I had an unusual prescription. I feared the worst, when he said that he only had in stock a different dosage that Dr.H usually uses. What a relief! He apologised, and asked if he should order the appropriate stuff in for me, which I declined. Anyway, I thought that that was a good introduction to the potentially awkward position of picking up T at the chemists - heck, if an elderly old-fashioned guy like the chemist can be understanding about it, it would probably be not as awkward as I'd imagined.

Anyway, I managed to fill the script at a different chemist later that day (again, they were very nice and friendly, and did well to make me feel at ease, almost as if I was just picking up some aspirin) but couldn't get in to see my GP till today. In fact, I was half tempted to cancel the appointment - I'd had a VERY full schedule today starting at 8 in the morning, and one of my first few appointments had run long and so, like a stack of dominos, I was running about 15 minutes behind with everything. Luckily, my GP Dr.L swapped my appointment with the one right after since the lady was already in the waiting room, so I managed to rock up "just in time".

Testosterone ShotAnyway, to cut to the chase, I got the shot. On my ass. On the right side if anyone wants to know. apparently we'll be alternating sides each time to allow for healing. I hardly felt the shot at all, but the area started to become a little sore later in the day, I assume from the deposit of oily hormones.

So finally, I'll be getting started on my T-Journal. I've also made a post in there about the specifics of my prescription and starting point, just as a first post. Check it out if you're interested.

Posted in hormones, transition, website

Friday, September 15, 2006

Become a better rider every day

What a day, what a day. Spent the whole day at a rider training course, and came home with mixed feelings. After all the scrambling I'd done yesterday, things didn't go so smoothly and I had to spend an extra $150 out of pocket today because I was careless about having a good look over my bike. Add to that the fact that I picked up a fucking nail in my rear tire somewhere on the way home.

Anyway, I had fun on the course - learnt a few things that'll make me a better rider. But more importantly, I came into personal contact with some idiots that really drummed into me the importance of riding safe out there. You know the types - the middle-aged asswipe who thinks he knows everything and just keeps doing what he's doing (don't ask me why he's at the course) until the day he wraps his bike around a tree. And at the other end - the neurotic chick who's doing the course just because her boyfriend thinks she should, and is riding a machine that's just way too much for her to handle because he said so. Needless to say, after the day was over, I waited a good while after they'd left and had a cool drink with some new friends before heading out onto the roads myself.

Anyway, the good news is that I learnt some things about myself and my riding techniques today. I've realised that I've "mellowed out" in the recent past. I always expect the worst from everyone else on the road and prepare accordingly, but now I don't get as agro when people act like real idiots and endanger my life out there. I'm more willing to leave a longer buffer space in front of me despite some drivers taking it as an open invitation to squeeze in. So what if my trip takes an extra 5 minutes? I wouldn't trade a leg and collarbone for those 5 minutes. Other than that, the only things I've really got to work on is to stop riding the clutch so much - both in the car and on the bike - as well as to tone down on the engine braking. It's all fine and dandy when there's no one behind me, but recently I've been using engine braking even when there are cars behind me just out of habit. Yeah, I know, real stupid. There's a reason for brake lights on a bike.

Anyway, I got through the course today with a perfect score. Now all I gotta make sure about is that I get a perfect score out there on the roads as well.

Valentino Rossi
If only I looked as good in the helmet

Posted in motorcycle

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First visit to the Endocrinologist

Had my first visit to see Dr.H, my endocrinologist. He was certainly a lot nicer than I'd imagined, although I'm not sure why I'd imagined a stuffy old strictly-facts type in the first place. Well, I suppose his waiting-room (well, the waiting room he shares with his other colleagues in Bondi Junction) doesn't help - lots of nice art pieces, but the receptionists were a little cold and harried for my liking.

My appointment was made for 3.10pm, but he saw me 5 minutes early. Nothing spectacular, but I'm used to waiting half an hour for doctors' appointments. I'm starting to realise that specialists are a different breed altogether. He asked a lot of casual questions, trying to build a rapport and made pleasant chit-chat. He made sure I knew what I was getting into, and gave me some reading material for the next visit while I asked him about some minor questions that I had. In any case, he was very attentive with all the facts of my medical history that I thought were relevant, and in general, I'm very happy to have him as my endocrinologist.

After a short exam (height, weight, and a quick exam of my abdomen) he sent me off to get my bloodwork done. I will see him again in 2 weeks, at which point if nothing unusual comes back in the results, I will receive my first dose of testosterone. The way we will be approaching it will be to start off with a low dose of 100mg (I can't remember if he mentioned enanthate, propionate or cypionate) every 2 weeks and gradually work our way up to a higher dose.

Posted in hormones