Thursday, May 9, 2013

Juniper Lane

Soon after writing and posting “My Story Starts at Sea” I got a call from my Endocrinologist’s office.  I just had regular blood work the week before and I was expecting a call with the results.  The nurse asked if I was taking my medication properly.  I thought I was, it has been nearly 2 years since I started hormones, but I went over in my head my pill routine that includes over 15 pills per day.  They are for a variety of medical issues, not only for my transition.  I have learned some trans-women try to speed up the process by intentionally overdosing, but not me. The nurse’s question made me curious about the results, were my estrogen levels too high or too low, or was there something else? 
I had been feeling a little out of sorts of late, but I didn’t think to make a connection. Apparently they were way too high, with readings that were the equivalent to that of a pregnant woman.  Now, that would be news. 
weekly pill duty

In the meantime I had a busy few weeks away from home here in Maine.  I drove to the Empire Trans Health Conference in Albany, New York then to a National Lesbian & Gay Task Force leadership retreat in rural North Carolina. After 2,000 miles and 7 different beds, I’m exhausted.  On the first day of the retreat, we were asked to write a short poem about ourselves as part of our introduction.  Our short verse was to touch on places, smells, foods and sayings that are part of who we are.  I felt like I was still in a fragile place and one of my hopes for the retreat was to find some peace.  As we were brainstorming, my mind wandered back again to the ocean and childhood.  Here is an expanded version of the poem I wrote in North Carolina.

Juniper Lane

I am from a rented log cabin found at the end of dead end. It’s near the edge of woods guarded by Evergreens that eagerly reach towards the sun. The house is much too small for my large family yet we all fit inside like clowns in a car.

Close to the ocean, the air is a fragrant mix of pine needles and salt water, and mornings smell of coffee, bacon and cigarettes.  I can still taste slightly sour milk and cereal from little cardboard boxes in the back of my throat. 

Red-winged black birds call and tease each other playfully hiding in the cat-o-nine tails and thorny brush that line the short dirt road to the shore. All day, I laugh, explore, and play at the beach, stopping only to refuel with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and lemon-lime tonic.  A quick cold shower washes off some of the fugitive sand before I run out of the bathroom crying earwig, earwig, earwig! 

Cool foggy afternoons persistently try to damper our vacation, but there’s work to do.  With the promise of a reward, it’s time to clean and vacuum the cottage; go penny candy store, go!  I watch with wonder as my brothers and sisters play cards.  Before too long supper is ready and we crowd around the picnic table. The charred grilled chicken and corn on the cob is washed down with a Dixie cup filled with lukewarm orange flavored Za-Rex. 

The long days of summer won’t last forever, but the evening sky is aglow with a warm soft light and there’s a little time for games on the wet grass before I’m sent off to bed.  Red Rover, Red Rover, send Gia right over!