Uncorked

Last week in New York, I walked along crowded sidewalks beside and old friend and we talked about our lives. Our real lives. The lives we don't talk about.

It's funny, how so much of me is laid bare in these pages, yet really, you don't know me any more than you know any other transgender pseudonym on the internet. Everything I tell you could be some elaborate fable. I could be the 389 pound phone sex operator you are *convinced* is 18-and-three-weeks old and totally into you. You and I have no tangible relationship relative to reality and yet, everything I haven't told you, every lie of omission in the story you read about me has effectively stopped me from writing all together.

***

She and I walked through Central Park under the cold, damp, creamsicle streetlamps, eating pretzels with too much Gulden's, talking about how difficult it is to hide some of our story and share the rest of it. We naturally want to keep the most tender parts of ourselves held back from the harsh LED lights of the internet, but those are the ones that push the hardest to come out and in order to stop them, we have to shove a cork so far down our throats that not another word can pass by.

***

Last month, I had to go through my archives for last year to pick my three favorite posts from 2011. It took me 8 minutes to read *all* of my archives. Three years ago, exactly on my 33rd birthday, I signed with a literary agent. One who approached me. One who signed me without so much as a proposal for a book. And three years later, I still haven't written one tangible sentence.

***

It gets to the point where, until you say the one thing you can't, you won't be able to utter any other words.

My husband is an alcoholic.

He was missing for seven hours tonight.

I am more afraid of what will happen next if I don't say that than I am afraid of what's going to happen once I do.

Mostly, I am just afraid.