In the predawn darkness my eyes slowly open and search out the luminescent red clue about how predawn it really is. A low groan slowly escapes my lips as the numbers come into focus, 4:00 AM really? who’s idea of a joke is this? I need to get up in a couple of hours 4 hours is not enough sleep. I close my eyes.
Somehow I have not been able to convince myself that sleep is what I should be doing. The thoughts start slowly. One random thought about what lies ahead on my gender journey, followed in in quick succession by, the commitment I made, worry about money, the thousand details that I need to takes care of, It is looking at this point less and less likely that sleep is anywhere in my immediate future. Then the big one, the surgery, fear of the unknown, fear of the pain and a long recovery OK I give up. I’ll just lie here and dive into it, maybe I can get some type of accommodation with my subconscious.
Once I stopped fighting, my mind shifted into overdrive. It created a first class vision of my upcoming trip to Montreal.
I was lying on a wheeled gurney staring at the ceiling. An angelic face bends close and says softly, ” are you ready Rachel?” A slightly drugged smile comes to my face as I nod my head almost imperceptibly.
The thought that I will wake up in a couple of hours and it will be done. That which I have thought about for so long will finally be a reality. The excitement tempered by the sad fact that I have had to do this alone, but that worry is quickly replaced as my eyes are drawn to the ceiling slowly passing above. I think that they should paint a mural up there, some colors to shower down a peaceful feeling, a soft reassuring face smiling down. I remember that this is a hospital and sanitary white is the rule but white ceilings and florescent light are not very soothing.
It feels so real, this twilight dream. I have been here a hundred times. Hundreds of tiny snippets of this sequence of events. When I first asked my therapist how do I tell if the vision is real if what I believe is truth is in fact that. She suggested I write to myself, I’m not sure why the act of writing frees up what has been there right along, but apparently it does. This vision is what came to me then, the long slow journey to the operating room. The next installment always being that half drugged return to conscientiousness and realization that when I look down I will be complete.
I’m not sure how many more times I will have this dream in the coming months, but I look at the calendar and mentally figure there about 120 days left, it prompts a quick breath and the briefest cold shiver of panic, but it passes quickly and I remember