Cellarboy the Overlander (also Jake Bugg)

I’m tearing through a series of books by Suzanne Collins about a kid who visits an underground world and has to save them a bunch of times from utter doom, because why would you want an army or a police force when you’ve got unassuming twelve year olds? It’s written for young kids (not Doctor Seuss young, although that would be terribly amusing), more for the 9-12 age-range, hence the books’ placement in the 9-12 section at Chapters. I feel a little weird picking them up, but then again, it’s sometimes equally embarrassing wandering the teen section. Have you ever looked at that shit? It’s the fastest way to completely crumple up your faith in the world’s goodness.

In these books, our inexplicably successful hero falls down every once in a while to the underground world, where he rides giant bats and fights mean creatures that want to kill him, eat him, or dismember him. (Reference to scary alive jungle vines.) One of the things I really like, though, is how he never comes out unscathed – sure he always wins, but people die, get sick, and generally are worse off than they were when they started out. His dad was missing for years, held captive by rats, and his mom, in the last book, suffered from a plague and nearly died, forcing a time limit on him to go find the cure. He also has a baby sister who is, I must admit, ridiculously adorable, and there’s also a romantic intrigue in there, (a somewhat unlikable warrior girl) although Suzanne Collins doesn’t make it cheesy or stupid, and thank God for that, because everybody knows how insufferable those 9-12 romances can be. Hey, you guessed it, Rick Riordan.

The story isn’t fantastic, but it makes me happy, and it’s hard to be happy these days. My mom has been in the hospital for the past couple of days, but she’s doing better and they’re pretty sure it’s just an awful infection – and that they can fix it. I went to see her a few hours ago and she was sitting up, and she could walk again, and she laughed at my stupidest jokes, which is a sign that either she really is doing much better or that the narcotics she’s on are really working. Either way is good.

I missed school all last week, and this week I haven’t gone, either. My anxiety has been attempting to build a spiky building of some kind inside my stomach, and any way I move, it hurts. I don’t know if it’s completely because of my mom, or a mix of several things, including her of course, but I’ve been having troubles. My obsessive compulsive stuff keeps me up an extra twenty minutes or so every night, and it’s at the stage where I dread getting up even if I have to go the bathroom, because I know I’ll get stuck doing some ritual or other. And grandma, please stop coming into my room – especially if it’s because of the unripe red bananas we got at the grocery store. I miss being at home, because there’s less people – just me and my mom, and my cat – and therefore less chance for interruptions. Not as if I mind interruptions all the time – but when I’m sunk deep in my writing, and it’s about the bananas – I just need that couple of hours where I can be on my own. To decompress, as my mom calls it.

The Suzanne Collins books are starting to get uncannily relatable, because of the fact that the main character’s parents are both having issues, and he has a little sister, and there’s, you know, jungle vines that would happily dismember him, that being a metaphor for my problems. His mom’s sick, my mom’s sick – his dad’s sick, my dad’s sick. He has to face horrible things that he hates and wish would go away. I really feel like we’re in the same place, even though he’s twelve and not real, and I’m sixteen and real. I think. Let’s not get existential again, though. I’m too tired for that, fuck.

And you know, I got ten hours of sleep last night! Funny, because I feel exhausted. The world gets a nice long middle finger for that. At least ten seconds, maybe fifteen. Why don’t you make some sense sometime, eh? I’ll buy you a chocolate bar or something.

Maybe it’s psychological. It probably is. I had to go to the hospital myself, in the endocrinology-something section, where they were finally able to set up my Lupron injections. My grandma brought me because she knows that I’m transgender now – and she was extraordinary about handling the news. A quote from Nana: “She is just ‘he’ with an ‘s’ in front of it.” Well, shit. You don’t find grandmas like that anywhere, do you? She grew up in the 50s and 60s when being gay wasn’t accepted, and she takes this news like, I don’t know, even; like an extraordinary person. My uncle knows too, after seeing a pamphlet about transgender stuff that I left by the computer, but we haven’t talked about it and besides, he’s my uncle. Find the most understanding and accepting person you know, and increase their awesomeness by 10, and you’re still several notches below my uncle. He has some sort of Asperger’s-like condition or other, so he’s different than other adults – but more wonderful than other adults, too. Nah, I don’t worry about how he’s taking it.

So, I sat in the endocrinology-something place for a few hours and was brought in to see the first doctor, a pregnant woman whose name I missed. She asked me some stock transgender questions, and was really nice and awesome; she reminded me of one of my best friends. One of her questions I found really funny – she asked me what my idea of masculinity was, and asked me to tell her what person I saw myself as; I thought that was a bit tough, because there’s nobody I really see myself as, but I said Win Butler, and so she Googled him. Then she said I looked like him. Then I died. The ultimate honor! I look like Win Butler! Holy shit! After that I told her to Google Jake Bugg because, if I look like anyone, it’s him, and frighteningly so. If my music career falls through I’m going to be a Jake Bugg impersonator, because I feel there’s money in that, or will be in the future. Anyway, the whole thing amused me greatly, and I told my mom today about it. She suggested the reason that the doctor asked me that was because they want me to have reasonable expectations for what testosterone and surgeries can do – so no Arnold Schwarzenegger body, in other words. The doctor even asked what my expectations were, and if I was thinking about rippling biceps – I said a very passionate and honest “No way, ew” and then directed her to Win Butler and Jake Bugg, who are, let’s be honest, somewhat girly men. It’s no secret I can be somewhat on the girly side – or what do you call it when it’s a boy? Flamboyant perhaps. A moment while I shake the rainbows out of my hair.

When I can joke about this stuff it becomes less stressful. However, I don’t know how I can joke about the needle they’re going to stick in my leg next week when I get the first Lupron injection – because that isn’t funny. Surrounding the idea is a cold haze of unpleasantness, similar to how I felt about my blood test a little while ago. And apparently I have low levels of calcium and vitamin D, but at least that’s a normal thing – so now I’ll just be sitting around force-feeding myself four glasses of milk a day to account for it. Or taking the supplements, which is what they actually prescribed.

Fuck my room is cold. I have this suspicion that the two outside-facing walls are just a sheet of drywall, some tissue paper, and another sheet of drywall or something. I have four blankets, count ’em, four blankets, and they actually kept me toasty last night – I felt like a caterpillar on a summer’s day. It was nice. I’ll do that again tonight.

Probably going to stay up too late again, too. Last night I was so tired I had to go to bed early, and by eleven I was out like a light, not to wake until ten thirty the next morning. But my usual thing is to stay up far too late into the strange twilit hours of the morning – I’ve shredded my way through an entire series of anime and 12 episodes of another one, plus a lot of writing and internet-messing-around. The anime series I finished was really good, I wish I could say great, but meh – a little too much inconsistency to win a wonderful mark from me. Plus it constantly felt as if it was going to turn into some kind of porno, even though, ah thank God, it never did – you have all these good-looking men standing around leaning in close to each other, and after a while you just sit and accept that if it’s going to be a porno, it’s going to be a porno. You should note that the Japanese are surprisingly and somewhat uncomfortably free with exploring the sexual aspects of things – and sometimes it gets pretty grating. In this anime (Kuroshitsuji, or Black Butler) nothing actually happened, but so much almost happened that I came away from it relieved and vaguely disappointed. What I really liked about it, though, was how they played around with gender – there’s actually a transgender character in there, even though he’s kind of stupid and ridiculous; but I appreciated it, at some level.  Not to mention whoever does the story seemed to thoroughly enjoy sticking the main character, who’s a boy, in dresses sometimes, maybe in a comedic way, or maybe not; and the other main character, the sexy butler guy, is not exactly masculine. Plus in his demon form he has high heels on, so you know. Hey, shit gets real when the sexy butler wears heels. And it’s true.

I’m looking around for another anime to watch now. I was into Sword Art Online for a while, but it’s starting to taper off and get less interesting; and I tried Attack on Titan, but I hate the main character, so I can’t watch it. I find it impossible to enjoy something when the main character is difficult to sympathize with. Unlike in Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins) who I can completely sympathize with. I have the fourth and fifth books, and I look forward to being happy by reading them – I’ll take my time to appreciate them more, too. I usually just speed my way through everything and then only remember half of it, including life, I think. I should really slow stuff down a bit so it doesn’t keep passing so quickly, as I barely get my feet down in one month before the next one’s come up on me. For instance, it’s nearly March, and I’m pretty sure it was just January.

Spring’s coming, though. I can feel it a bit in the air, seeping into the dark winter chill and breathing some freshness back. It’s still cold out, but not bone-chillingly, and there’s more sunlight – I’m looking forward to the spring, for the first time in years, thanks to the magical boa constrictor I wear around my chest. And that first Lupron injection is coming, it’s almost here, and then I’ll go through menopause. Sounds really fun, doesn’t it? Sixteen years old and psychologically a boy, and I get to have menopause! But seriously, that’s what it is – my evil little girl-hormones are going to get the shit knocked out of them, for about three months, until I can procure my Magic Boy Drugs, otherwise known as testosterone, and hopefully then face the new school year in a better place, a much, much better place. But first I get to be a middle-aged woman.

I really hate that idea, and I bet the spam bot reading this thinks it sounds weird, which YES, IT DOES, I fully admit that it’s weird. Talk about your weird puberty. Go from regular female puberty to menopause and eventually to non-regular male puberty, and then fuck knows where, I guess I’ll just be a Jake Bugg impersonator.

I think that’s all I have in me today. Thank you for getting this far, as always.

– Brynn

jake bugg

photo (19)

 

(I couldn’t resist, my apologies, spam bots. Also the fact that our haircuts are exactly the same is amusing but not intentional.)

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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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