Shoveling and Cats and Even a Picture That I Drew

Today I shoveled the balcony – fascinating, isn’t my life fascinating? – and it was kind of nice. It wasn’t actually hellishly cold out today, and the sun was bright, and things were actually melting; of course the warm spell is going to run its course in a couple of days, but at least we get today and tomorrow off from the cold, and we can go outside without our portable microwaves and bearskins. Anyway, I cleared all the snow off, at least three feet of it, and flung shovelfuls off the side and watched them go thump down below. My mom left instructions on a note for me to not hit people. The forest looked beautiful, sitting just to the side of our apartment, which is the last one on the row – I never know whether to call them apartments or townhouses, because they’re somewhere in the middle. They’re not nice enough for townhouses but they’re slightly nicer than apartments. The forest used to stretch away past the back fence, too, but it was replaced a while ago by ugly cookie-cutter row houses, much nicer and also much uglier than the ones that belong to our condominium – but we’ve still got a good chunk of woods left, complete with a family of deer that I’ve seen a couple times and even a stream that flows through the bottom of a ravine. I once walked around in there in the winter, down to the stream, and tried to make a fire with a lighter in my pocket (because I’d been reading too much Hunger Games or something) and burned my thumb. Nothing ever works out like you think it will in your head. Both my mom and my dad are against me wandering around in forests, which I absolutely hate – I’m not breakable, or stupid, and if I ever came across a druggie or a weirdo or whatever kind of (other) people hang around in forests, I’d just walk away. I doubt anyone would go after me because I’m a “girl”, because I don’t look like one, and if they asked, I’d just say the truth, that I’m not.

I had a thought, while standing in the three feet of snow on the balcony today, that it might collapse and I might die. I constantly think things are going to collapse, so it’s just as unfounded and paranoid as ever, but then I wondered what would happen if it did. Probably I’d appear in some little column in the city newspaper that doesn’t give much information and has an air of “we don’t care about a kid dying from a balcony collapse” about it. What would the title be, “16 year old girl dies after balcony collapses”? Or maybe my mom would honor my memory by making them do “16 year old boy dies after balcony collapses.” Then again the newspaper might not care about what I was or was not and do an ambiguous “16 year old dies after balcony collapses.” All I ask is that they show a good picture of me, not my latest school picture where I look like I’m choking on something gross. Well, it’s not really my fault, the lady made me take off my hat – and it’s not like my face flat-out disappears when my hat is on, you can still see me just fine. I thought about rebelling but decided it would be a big fuss over nothing, so I took it off, and that’s why you can see my slightly greasy hair and my bizarre stressed-out expression. Better than the grade eight class picture, though, by a long shot – in that one I stood on the top row with a good foot of space between me and the next guy, staring out at the camera behind the most terrible haircut in the universe with strangely shadowed eyes, as if I became a zombie in that split-second where the picture was taken. It’s awful. My school pictures are a strange progression – I start out tiny, chubby, and girly, and then turn into a boy in grade two, and have long hair in grade four and look sweet and innocent, which is destroyed by grade eight, where I look like I’m going to kill someone right after snorting some cocaine. Grade nine is bad because I look so girly. I guess grade eleven, this year’s, is an improvement over the last good chunk of years – I may look like I’m about to throw up, but at least I look like myself. Sort of – I mean, I don’t perpetually have that “I’m going to be sick” expression. At least I hope I don’t.

So, apparently my mom is going to tell my French grandma that I’m transgender before she goes away to Florida. (Because Florida is a magnet that attracts rich old people. I had a strange image just now of a cloud of old people floating through the sky, led by some part of their body, going in a southeastern direction.) Anyway, my grandma’s going on Monday, and today’s Friday, so that means, if I give the green light, that she’ll know either tomorrow or the next day. Well, shit. A thousand shits.  I love my grandma and I can trust her to accept the Large Uncomfortable Boy-Revelation (also known as LUBR?) but it’s not as if I actually WANT her to know. I’d rather no one ever know. I know they have to, but Jesus Christ. This is incredibly stressful, this process of telling everybody. I wish I was Native American, because I’m pretty sure being transgender is much more accepted in their culture – with the Two-Spirited people, which is what I am, I suppose. I’ve always loved the Native American spirit names; at an LGBT rally in the summer I met a man named Thunder Bear who was two-spirited, and it made me happy. He said he was called “thunder” because of his voice, and that, “When I talk, people tend to listen.” And he told his story, and everybody listened.

My spirit name, let’s be honest, would probably be something like Depressed Pinecone, or Crying Earthworm. Not to make fun of the Aboriginals, because I love their culture – I’m just totally not cool enough to be a Thunder Bear.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. When we went to the library today I noticed that the outdoor rink was open, so very possibly I could head over there, but then again, it’s very possible there’ll be people on it other than me. Maybe I’ll do it anyway, I’m not really sure. Besides, it’s going to be warm, so the ice might be a little melty, and that’s no fun. It’s much better when the ice is hard – and preferably not full of ruts and holes. The best thing in the world is when the zamboni just finishes, and you step on to glimmering ice, still slightly wet, that freezes off and gets this perfect smooth quality after a couple of laps around. But unless I play hockey again, I’ll never get that beautiful moment of stepping onto fresh ice, which is a shame. I really want to play again, but I’m having qualms for two reasons: one, because even if I do my transitioning thing and am comfortably half-boy, physically, by next year, even then the guys that I’ve known for years that have gone up through the levels with me will realize something about me. That I’m not as girl as before, maybe. Even if Devin’s on my team, like usual, and I have him there to protect me and to lean on a little, it’ll still be uncomfortable, without a doubt. The second thing is that I don’t want to play on the Orleans house team, really, either, because that means having to make friends with new people, and also probably sucking, because I’ll be doing year two of midget hockey and people will be better than me. Probably also much taller. I’m infinitely glad that I’m at least a reasonable height at 5″6, but there’ll be boys who are above six feet, and that doesn’t work when you’re so much shorter. Unless you’re some kind of short superstar, you just can’t keep up, not on a physical level. And I’m definitely not a superstar – I’m average, and my wrist shot is so bad that five year olds have much reason to laugh at me.

Anyway. None of that’s very interesting – more interesting than shoveling the balcony? Maybe at least that. I try to tell myself my life is full of things that would be exciting to write about, but I really don’t think it is – the biggest thing is that I’m transgender, and I think I’m starting to exhaust that topic by now. I can mention that my cat slept on my banjo case for a few hours today – apparently it’s his now? – and that earlier when I was out shoveling, he joined me briefly on the balcony. First he stuck his head out to smell the air and make sure that the coast was clear, and then he slowly, gingerly, put one paw down on the snow, brought it back again quickly, looked undecided, and then gingerly put both his paws down, and came fully onto the balcony. He tip-toed his way over to the railing to look out, while I shoveled snow above his head and tried not to whack him by accident. Afterwards you could see his little paw-prints in the snow – I must say, it was cute. You could tell that he didn’t appreciate how cold the white-stuff under his feet was, but he was too curious to not check it out. He’s a bit of a pain – he bites us sometimes, meows at our heads to wake us up in the morning, and bashes his head against my door in the middle of the night to force his way in and sniff my guitar and walk out again, but he’s also sweet most of the time, and has a cuddly side. He climbs on my mom’s belly when she’s reading in bed, and when I get home from school he rolls onto his back and waits for me to come pet him.

I wish I had a dog, though. I want to get a dalmatian, because not only do they look cool, they’re also apparently smart and energetic, which are two things I’d love in a pet. My grandparents’ dog is sweet-tempered, but kind of stupid, and there’s no real connect between her when you’re playing with her or whatever. My cat and me, as stupid as he may be in the grand scheme of things, really get each other – I can call him from a floor away and he’ll run up to say hi (well, sometimes), and when I sit down on the footstool downstairs and leave a little bit of space for him he’ll notice and jump up and lie next to me. I don’t know the specifics of cats’ intelligence, but he’s got some smarts going for him – when he’s not barfing up ribbons he steals from the cupboard, anyways.

So, it’s another while before school starts again, and I’ve got some days to waste doing whatever inane things that I do. I guess I’ll write some more of my fantasy story, or the one about the zookeeper, and maybe go up to the outdoor rink, and see if my friends want to get together. We’re supposed to have  Yu-gi-oh cards/video games day sometime during the holidays, but the way that works is we all just wait around for Josh to set it up, so we don’t have to really do anything. I want to get together with my dad, too, and get a new winter hat, and maybe a new jacket, so I don’t have to go skating in cold weather while my body slowly freezes like it did last time. And honestly there’s a little bit of vanity involved – I feel too girly or fancy or something in my current coat. And I have enough money to buy one for myself, which is an incredible thing, since I’ve never had that freedom before. Any money I’ve ever collected in the past has always been below a hundred dollars, and then I’d go and blow it on a record or a new Pokemon game or whatever – but now I’ve got two hundred, which is unbelievable. I’m probably showing my inexperience, but I’ve literally never held so much money before. I’m tempted to use it on the 2DS and the new Zelda game, which I desperately want, but I’ve done stuff like that before and I tend to end up regretting it slightly. I don’t know. I could get a job, that might be a good idea – God forbid I turn into one of those blank-faced grocery store check-out-boys, though. I am thinking about doing co-op next semester, with animals or something, even though that wouldn’t be a paying job. We’ll see.

I think it’s funny that my blog is called The Cellar Boy. It’s like I’m shoving it your face. I’m a cellar BOY, all right? Ain’t no cellar GIRL, or cellar CHILD. It feels a little self-conscious, now that I think about it, like I’m having to convince myself I’m actually a boy. Which I know I am. So it’s not really necessary. Maybe you need to reminded – I don’t know. How do the spam bots see me? I’m curious as to how I sound through my blog. Hopefully I just sound like myself, whether or not it’s a girl or a boy – although I’d really rather not be thought of as a girl, and if that’s still how you think of me, then I’ll politely and aggressively remind you that you’re totally on the wrong track.

boy brynn green background

So, I drew that picture on my computer in a pointless spurt of whim. If the lightning bolts and the bloody sword don’t convince you then you may turn your attention to the toque and the t-shirt. That is how you can picture me, if you want.

Moving on, now that it’s almost January, the thick of winter is officially looming around the corner, and soon the weather is going to turn into that “wear long johns or die” phase that happens about now. Also my nose is going to be stuffy until June, but that’s just the way it is, I accept it; currently my nose IS stuffy, and it’s been that way since probably early November. I only get about a five-month period of non-stuffiness before the seven months of stuffiness kick in again. It’s cyclical, so at least it’s predictable, but it also sucks. I’ve been waking up with a sore throat for the past three or four days, and I figure that means something ELSE is wrong with me, after almost, just barely, getting over my last cold. Whatever.

I’m always waiting for something, it feels like. Maybe that’s always been true. But now I’ve got to wait for January 13th, where I’ll get to see my doctor again, and I swear, if he just wants to talk again I’m going to throttle him. I don’t want to talk. I’ve talked about my issues for years, I’m tired of talking – let’s just throw some Magic Boy Drugs at me and call it day.

Well, it’s getting late-ish, so I’d probably better go away and do something else now. I don’t know what that “something” else is, though. Lately my evening rituals include checking a million times to make sure I’ve turned the bathroom tap off, so that’s not exactly something I’m looking forward to; I know my gender dysphoria is the most invasive thing for me right now, followed closely by my anxiety, but after that it’s got to be the OCD – I never talk about it to my psychiatrist because it only affects me at night, or when I’m stressed out. I’m not like Monk from the TV show, I can control it to a degree. Just not with the bathroom tap, apparently, or the various things that I have to touch in my bedroom before I go to sleep. Anyway, just add it on to the pile of issues I have already. I’m a walking psychiatry diagram, sometimes it feels like.

Anyway, good night, spam bots. I’ll see you sometime later. ~ The Cellar Boy

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About thecellarboy

17. I write, play music, and have a cat that likes to bang his head against doors until they open. View all posts by thecellarboy

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