My housemate at the bathroom door. I assure them I was okay. A goofy smile. The sort of smile you’re supposed to hide because it’s genuine. I was okay. I am okay. I am genuine.
A deep breath and I had control again. It would be a series of steps. Wipe. Wash. Work. I had found that woman. I would find her again.
I got close. Close enough? Maybe even the same, but it didn’t hit the same way. Is that what it’s like for addicts chasing that first high? I hope not. I want to find that woman again.
My housemate gushed when I emerged. I did a good job this time. I wish they’d seen the woman in the mirror though. Too critical? Maybe they were seeing her now and I’d lost her.
I know my flaws. I know what can be flagged as masculine. Male. I know what face I usually see in the mirror. Not my face, but the face I have. The face I’ve seen for years. I’m used to finding that face under the makeup. Under the hormones. Under the surgeries.
Who do I trust?
The person looking for flaws will find them.
Watching the change makes it seem less impressive.
I watched every brushstroke this morning. I inspected every layer. Maybe I was too close to the process.
Yet, I still saw a woman in the mirror.
I saw a woman in the mirror.
My housemate deserves my trust. They saw me with fresh eyes. They knew what face went into the bathroom and what face came out. They must be seeing the woman in the mirror.
A deep breath.
I will act like the woman in the mirror would act.
I have known for a long time that I am a woman. The woman in the mirror has shown me which woman I am.
Chisel it in stone: I am the woman in the mirror.