Dustin loves time, and he loves waking up early to reflect on it. The concept that if given the right amount anything can happen. The perfect dish, the perfect painting, the perfect response. His alarm rings at 7 am, waking him for his morning routine of reflection.
He can feel the heat as he stretches from the bed, his scars tingling a bit from the exertion. He’ll need to apply more topical cream on them later. Going to the bathroom he gets ready for his day with a cool shower.
He pads softly across the tiled floor from the kitchen to the balcony to enjoy his paper and coffee in the blazing Minnesota summer heat. It’s only 8:30 am but he can tell today will be a scorcher, a dip in Lake Calhoun later is much needed.
One thing he enjoys more than time, especially in this weather now more than ever, is walking around topless. He couldn’t do this six months ago. He would have had a tight black or white binder strapped across his chesticles. Overheating himself in the brutal summer months.
His can’t believe his dysphoria was so unbearable. That is until he found the right therapist and group of friends to help him get through until his surgery. He was so closed off and antisocial for such a long time after his ex. Never feeling worthy, not even for the few friends that helped him so much.
He has all his mail sitting and the newspaper folded and ready. He gets to spend this Saturday morning going through his mail that spent the week piling up while he was out of town for work.
Most are bills that were already paid and need to be filed, others junk, and he’s eagerly ready to discard the pile for his paper when he sees his name handwritten on an envelope at the bottom of the junk.
It’s from back home in Oregon. His parent, well his mother, sent him a letter. His heart warms, he hasn’t spoken to any family member in close to a year and a half.
Dusty(hope you don’t mind a nickname),
Hope all is well in Minneapolis. I was thinking of you when me and your pa were cleaning out the shed last weekend. All your skateboards and ramps you built when you were Janey are still in there. He actually said ‘I wonder if Dustin still likes skateboarding as much as my little girl did.’
I won’t lie or sugar coat it, he said it a bit condescendingly but he used your name this time and not nothing derogatory. I feel like he’s coming around. And I know I am too. Just give us more time.
Hopefully this summer you can come visit if you get time off work. I saw your photo on Facebook and you don’t look like me anymore, but so much like your father did when we first met.
Call me sometime. Your sister wants to hear what you sound like now that you got all those hormones in ya.
He smiles softly. He hasn’t spoken to his mother in almost four months, just moments before his top surgery. And before that it was a lot longer.
When he started to transition three years ago, he had just moved from Oregon to Minnesota for work. His then girlfriend couldn’t handle the pressure and trying to use proper pronouns and his chosen name that after a year in their new apartment she packed up and left him.
His parents claimed it was a sign; That he was already sinning by fornicating with a woman. Now he was trying to take hormones and alter his body to become more masculine, more himself.
He knew his mother feared he’d be killed like so many other of his trans brothers and sisters or assaulted in a bathroom by some sick pervert. but he has been relatively fine since he moved to Minnesota, maybe a few bible verses were belted at him but nothing too serious.
He shakes his head of the sad and negative memories and focuses on the letter. His mother took the time to reach out to him over something so insignificant and minuscule, yet it feels like a weight was lifted off his shoulders. He misses them.
He vaguely recalls the miscellaneous mini skatepark items he built as a young teen in their surbuban neighborhood. His friends always included him, even though he was anatomically a female. But at 11 he didn’t know what the term lesbian was, much less transgender. He always knew he was different. Settling with the label ‘tomboy’ most of his life.
He sets aside his coffee and newspaper, taking the letter inside to call his mother.
They aren’t on the best of terms but she’s trying, they all are. The letter clutched in his hand is proof. And that’s all he can hope for now.
Soft footsteps fall behind him and slender arms wrap around his waist.
“Hey there. What’s that?”
“Letter from my momma. They said they were cleaning out the shed and found some of my old skating ramps. I might go collect them in a few weeks.”
He turns slightly to the girl around his waist and smiles. Samantha Wright has been his rock for years and the last few months he’s had the pleasure of her being his girlfriend.
Six months ago he would have never believed he would find someone to love him, his body. But she helped him. Cared for him, was with him before and after surgery. Someone who knew him as Dustin and only Dustin. But knew about Janey and what she meant to Dustin’s future as a man.
“See, I told you they would come around. Can I look?” He hands her the letter and picks the slender phone up off the counter. His mother’s number never left his favorites list and he can hear his mother’s delighted squeal before the phone reaches his ear, he barely pressed the dial key.
“Hey ma, yeah, yeah I got your letter. I was at a work conference out of town. Yeah, this is my voice now. Yeah, no my girlfriend is here. No she isn’t living with me yet.” He chuckles and kisses Samantha’s cheek, returning to bask in the morning sun and his mother’s soothing voice.
Time. It’s fickle. He remembers the phone hanging up in his ear after he told his mother he was starting hormones, and again when he announced his surgery. He gave them the time they needed to adjust to his new life. His transition. He is still their child. Their son. He hopes one day he’ll be able to sit at the table with his family and have an amazing Sunday dinner his mom perfects.
Only time will tell.
Photo Cred: Javier Nadal Colomer via 500px