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Nov 6, 1980

Ah, how the written word so cleverly hides the ugly, the coarse, the awkward.

We read the words and think them independent of anything. We don't think of the hand that wrote them. Only the perfect thoughts we see, the delicate crystals suspended between body and mind.

But when faced with reality we back away, hiding inward. We then wish the thoughts on the page, and the thinker elsewhere.

A crude thing to say, true. But is not most truth painful? Awkward, like the seeing, the hiding, and the wish that we are not hiding. The thing we are hiding from.

Slow down, we move too fast. On the wheels of time we spin.

"Two further Kaspars come toward each other across the stage from different directions. They want to get past each other. Both step aside in the same direction, and bump into each other. They step aside in the other direction and bump into each other again."

The spinning wheels of time... Bobbing past, slowing down, waiting for to catch up, bobbing ahead.

We must communicate on such matters. Not letting them lie flat, while the opaque mists of time pound them into the asphalt.

I continue to hide my
identity behind a mask
of lies


The feelings expressed here become a recurring theme, reiterated in later notes (and probably in person) though camouflaged by a great deal of positive interaction in the interim.

I've always understood her to be saying that reading my notes felt abstract and pure but seeing me in person felt awkward at best, and induced a strong wish for me to be elsewhere so she could retreat to the safety of writing. I consoled myself by reading into it a bit of shock and dismay that she found herself feeling this way (in contrast to her more positive feelings about our written correspondence, not to mention how she felt about friends who were lucky enough to be outwardly female), but I don't know if that's really there.

This is the first time I've tried to formulate this and put it into more direct language; it always hurt too much, before, to think about the fact that she felt embarrassed or even repelled by my physical presence.

At the time, I did catch that she was having a hard time dealing with my physical presence, but reassured myself that everything was okay because she ended it with a statement that we should talk more about it. I always liked talking with her. As long as we were talking, everything could be okay.

On a subconscious level, I think I very much took this on board (which certainly didn't do anything positive for my self-esteem) and kind of already agreed with her. I didn't like being physically male either... but at that time, I believed that it was an intrinsic quality inextricably tied to genetics and immutable physical attributes and my nature as a person. I was very confused.

Since beginning my transition, I've often wondered if maybe my writing evoked an image of a more female person, and the cognitive dissonance of this being connected to my outwardly-male appearance was what repelled her. I like that theory, and I'm sticking to it until counterevidence shows up...

In her very last note (not counting the poem or the birthday card), #114 dated February 1 1982, the only plain-prose note she gave me after The Unfriending of Xmas 1981:

"The thoughts on the page and the thinker elsewhere" That so well describes my feelings to[ward] you since, well, the beginning. I just have difficulty dealing with you.

I don't want to get ahead of myself but reading this note inescapably brings me to that one, and the terrible feelings it evokes.

I think maybe the "mask of lies" sign-off was kind of a sideways apology.



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