I Trusted You

I trusted you. I TRUSTED YOU!!!!!
It was 6th grade. We were best friends. Best friends trust each other. I trusted you. 
I was going to be spending the night at your place. Something I’d done on several other occasions. The only difference is that you knew a little more about me this prior to this sleepover. I confided in you. I trusted you. 
You were interested in knowing more about this other side of me. Just so you could understand. That night you had grabbed some of your sister’s clothes. They were gone and you said this was a great time. Your parents went upstairs to bed. We were staying up really late, like always. After sufficient time had passed, we knew your parents had fallen asleep. You grabbed these clothes for me to try on and show you. And I happily obliged. I trusted you. 
You were fantastic for the first few, but then on one particular outfit, your expression changed. The air changed. I loved what I was wearing and it must have shown through. We sat down to play your Colecovision, but you kept moving closer to me. But it was ok. I trusted you. 
When you wanted to stop playing and move to the couch to just watch tv, I thought nothing of it. I trusted you. 

 

We were fine. Planet of The Apes was on. I was, unassumingly, watching one of my favorite films. I noticed you inching closer but, again, thought nothing of it. Next thing I knew you were right beside me. Yet still, I trusted you. 
When you put your arm around me, I jerked away, but it seemed ok, so I settled in. It felt like nothing was wrong. I felt like the girl that I knew myself to be. I did nothing but sit there, letting you hug me. It seemed innocent. I trusted you.
But then you tried to kiss me. I had to stop you there. I felt like I had done something wrong. I was trying to figure out why you thought it was ok to do this. I guess I shouldn’t have let you hug me. But when I pushed you away, you changed. You were no longer my friend. You were a stranger. I had no clue who was sitting next to me. Your eyes changed. Your expression. Your body language. I felt extremely uncomfortable and tried to push away, but you were stronger and bigger. You pulled down onto the couch and wouldn’t let me up. When I started to shout out, you covered my mouth, and stared into my eyes. Hatefully. “Don’t say a goddam thing. You want mom and dad to catch you like this? Shake your head if you get it.” So I did. You took your hand away to hold both arms down as you lay on top of me.  
“I won’t scream, but I am going to tell.”
“No you won’t. same reason you won’t yell. You don’t want anyone to know.”
You laid down on me, fully. I was scared. I told you to please stop. I was absolutely terrified where this was going. Then I had a thought. Stop fighting. Get your trust. You trusted me. I trusted my feeling.
I reached down and found what I was looking for. And squeezed the living shit out of them. My hand became a vice. You were now at my mercy. And I showed you none as I squeezed tighter and twisted. You now seemed like the one who was scared. I told you to stay away from me from then on. Don’t talk to me. Don’t talk about me. Don’t even look at me. If you did I would tell. I didn’t care. I wanted to open up to everyone and I’d take you down too. Oh, and I’ll disclose your telescope that seemed to NOT be pointed toward the night sky, nor down in a resting position, but rather, directly at the bedroom of your neighbors’ daughter. Disclosing this would leave you in a much worse place than my coming out. Did you believe me? Did you trust me?
After changing, I called my parents to come get me, because I was sick. That was it. The end of a lifelong friendship. I trusted you! I TRUSTED YOU!!!
I fucking trusted you.

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My First Day As Me

I had been a jumble of nerves over the weekend. I had committed to a journey that would be a lifetime coming and a lifetime after.

I had spent the week telling people at work that I was transitioning beginning Monday (hormones as well). I had no idea if I had the strength to do this so publicly. I was working at Target in a small town in Indiana. On the sales floor, in electronics and entertainment, a very busy part of the store. Of course, it was Target, so it was always busy anyway.

I had built a rapport with many of our guests. I hoped it was enough to keep them on my side, but you never know with people.

It was Sunday night and I had to get up in plenty of time to be at work at 6am. So I set my alarm for 4. There really wasn’t a need to set it because I did not sleep at all that night. 4am rolled around and I rolled out of bed and into the shower. I was a nervous wreck.

I spent a long time on my makeup and my presentation. I think I looked ok (a whole image thing with myself) and off I drove. I got there early, as usual. I just kept thinking “Can I do this?” I was contemplating reactions from coworkers and guests. Despite everything we had done leading up to this, I was afraid we had overlooked something.

I walked in with the rest of the crew. Nothing was really said. We chatted as we had done every morning. In we went.

I had to put my shelf strips in order and as I sat at my desk I had a couple people come up and talk to me. Welcoming me back to Target as me. One of them, who usually is just matter of fact, sat down and said if I ever needed anything to reach out to her.

As I walked out to the sales floor, I was still doubting how I would be accepted. I walked back with the same greetings I had received any other day, plus some shout outs from people I had not spoken with before. Those who knew me came up with hugs and congratulations. I was overwhelmed. I was overjoyed.

I loaded up my morning carts and dove in to work like every other morning. Circulating books with new releases and new positions. Then it came. 8am. The store was now open. The nerves at this point were bad enough that I thought was going to be sick. I felt weak. But worked through it. I gathered my inner strength and prepared.

What came next, I was in no way ready to take on. We had a good sale going and the traffic to electronics picked up right away. And there were no issues. Not a single person I was helping had anything negative to say. Some said nothing, but used proper pronouns. Others gave quick congratulatory hugs and smiles.

As the day neared its end, one of my all time regulars came in. I had been helping her pick a camera for the last few months. She was about to become a grandmother and wanted a good camera. I was about to loan her mine. I saw her and her daughter looking and I approached. She didn’t look up right away, but her daughter was looking intently. She said, “I was being helped by a very nice young man….” Then she looked up and after looking, got the biggest smile and ran to give me a hug. We talked for a long time. She asked everything she could and I was happy to oblige. Her daughter said she had not recognized me at all. They were so happy for me. I almost cried.

Just as my day was wrapping up, another regular was in the toy section. She did recognize me and came running up to me with a hug and conversation. Another very open minded person, she already did not follow gender boundaries with her child. She did not believe in girl or boy toys, just toys. We talked about a lot of different things, not just my new journey.

I left with such a positive outlook, and it continued until I left to move to L.A. I could not have asked for a better experience. My journey has been met with positivity along the way. I am beyond thankful for that.

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The Power of Yes

The enormous power of the word Yes. It is the single word that made John Lennon move toward Yoko Ono (she did NOT break up the band, Paul did). Yes is a word that leads to a veritable cornucopia of possibilities.

A couple years ago I wrote about the negative sides of saying “yes”. I wrote how saying that single word, without any followup, moved me toward the journey I am on today. If I had only added a, “..but only if we can make this work.” to the end of it. But I didn’t. I said “Yes” to the question “Are you happier as Jen?”. This was asked on our wedding anniversary. It changed the future as I saw it playing out.

But today I am in a much better place. Today I write about the amazing positive energy that flows from opening ones self up to the positivity in that word. A small word that can lead to so many wondrous things.

Throughout 2015 I said yes to new things very sporadically. Sometimes they would pan out, other times not. When they didn’t, I have come to realize, is when I did not open myself up to the full potential that moment was actually affording me. This changed late in the year.

October rolled around and I was asked if I wanted to say some words about Caitlin Jenner for an awards video. I said yes and opened up a world of emotions while talking. Later that month I was “suggested” to attend a launch party. I did not know the show. I knew nothing about it. I went with two close friends and when I stepped out of the elevator, I felt like “Yes” stabbed me in the back. Nothing but models. Gorgeous people. Well dressed. Very poised. And me. Motorcycle jacket, plain striped dress, boots and a hat. But then I met Laura Jane Grace. Cool. Then they announced the show and someone involved. Cait! I ended up getting to meet her, which rocked, and then resigned myself to “meh” the rest of the night away in a soft chair. But that didn’t happen. I met the most amazing person with whom I was immediately comfortable. We talked for hours, about everything. She changed my life and gave it a new spark. We became instant friends.

The holidays came and went and New Year’s Eve was upon us. I was invited to the house of Zackary Drucker, a producer for Transparent. I said “yes” and went with a dear friend. I felt very at home there and found it easy to actually talk to people. I had opened myself up to the experience. To the universe. I spoke with several people, which is something this introvert never does. I was taken out back to another conversation with more amazing people. The universe was talking and I was listening. “Yes” was the sound the wind made as it blew through the trees and fire pit. As it blew past my ears.

The beginning of 2016 is no less spectacular. I am at ease with everything, except dancing, and maybe traffic, but aside from that, I’m good. I began writing more. I auditioned for a play, something that I had not done in over 25 years. I was nervous. I was freaked out. I was coached by a very close friend. I was cast!!! I spoke at my church, Neighborhood UU in Pasadena. The feeling of the words being received was phenomenal. The feedback was amazing. Yet another experience to make this journey whole. After all, The great lyricist Neil Peart penned, “The point of the journey is not to arrive. Anything can happen.”

I’ve been told, often, that I am an uplifting, positive person. I guess I just never opened myself up to receive the energy I was letting out.

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My Own Private Hell

My Own Private Hell

(I, in no way, view being trans as hell.  It’s a journey, pure and simple, that definitely has its own challenges.  It is not for the weak)

The road that this leads us on this journey presents itself in many ways. Maybe you knew right away. Perhaps you were born with a sense of no fear. You were able to blurt it out at a young age.

For me, I knew early on. My earliest memories were filled with this sense of doubt. Something felt wrong. I had no clue what it was, but it was there. I was also born with a sense of self esteem that was pretty low. But I was a happy kid none the less.

My parents were told, before I was born, that they would be expecting a girl. The baby quilt that was made for me prior to birth had a pink border and Little Bo Peep in the center. I loved this blanket and took it everywhere. I kept it until it fell apart. Much longer than I should have carried it. It was, indeed, my security blanket.

As I grew, I noticed the girls around me. I noticed how they were changing. I noticed their long hair. These were all things I could not understand. Why did I have to keep my hair short? I was always informed that no boy should have eyelashes as think and long as mine. I was a cute little kid. But I was a “boy”. This was my role. I better get used to it. So I did.

I dressed up as a boy every day. I cried almost every night. I prayed. I asked my teachers why, when I prayed for something so hard, did it not come to pass. “Well, sometimes the answer is no.” That was a bummer of an answer, but I kept praying. I prayed that I wold wake up and that this boy’s life had been a dream. I’d wake up and find my wardrobe and body were set right. That my parents would have the little girl my mom always wanted. But this god we prayed to said no. I still had no clue that there was a label for what I was experiencing. This hell I existed in on a daily basis. My own private hell.

I searched around to find a hint of this in friends, or even strangers. Would there be a tell tale sign that I was not alone in this? So my research began. Well, as much research as a small child could find in the confines of their home, in the confines of their small town. But I searched. I’d heard some slight references here and there, so I dove into the volumes of The Encyclopedia Britanica. Through this thorough research I found a two inch square. Transvestite. I paired this up with Websters Dictionary. This led to cross referencing Cross-Dresser…..neither of which really sounded like what this feeling was, but maybe that is exactly what I was experiencing. I’d never dressed up so I had no point of reference for that. I also found a one inch mention of Transsexual. Trust me when I say that the entry in the encyclopedia was not kind and the meaning in Webster’s was not much better. It was a mental disorder. This did not seem right. So I remained quiet and hid this so-called disorder. I aged further.

As I pretended to like things I was supposed to like, and do things I was supposed to do, I managed to find some things that would span both genders acceptably. At the base of all of this, I wanted to be the girl who was cheering or the girl who was kicking ass. Both were me.

Around junior high I discovered talk shows. This opened up an entirely new world to me. Donahue was the largest syndicated show, followed later by Sally Jesse Raphael, Oprah and others. Even Springer, who was so genuine ion the beginning and the acting side show that it became. Within the confines of these hour long programs I began to see others like me. I had names for what I felt and I was not alone. That fact was the most important. I was not alone. Gender Dysphoria. Transsexual. Female Impersonator (not so much). And I began to race home after school on days that I saw had these topics listed in the TV Guide. Caroline Cossey (Tula) became an inspiration. These shows were sometimes difficult to watch because of comments from the audience, though most were understanding and inquisitive, many were attacks, subtle and otherwise. The “devil’s advocate” questions from the hosts. These were good, but sometimes too vague. I did, however, revel in the possibilities of what I could achieve. My plan was brewing.

Through this time I had tried so many times to tell my parents. But I couldn’t. I lacked the courage to do so. Being fundamental, evangelical baptists, the church had very clear views on what was right in the eyes of god. Unfortunately being gay or trans was not in his views. At this point I stopped praying for the change. Not a single prayer was answered, for this or any other request. It seemed rather pointless. I had also lost all love for our religion and was beginning to walk away from it as well.

I remember the first time I wore a skirt and began to dress up when I could. It wasn’t sexual. It was right. This is how I was meant to be. I felt it to the very soul. At those moments I was no longer dressing up as a boy, but rather, dressing in the clothes that should have been mine all along. Since I was old enough, I had more time alone at the house. If it were at night, I would run back and forth to scour the street for traffic. Then I would walk down to the mailbox. Hoping no cars came through the edition. The first time I wore heels it was like any other pair of shoes. I was my happiest in those moments. Then came the time to change back. Dress up like a boy. Put everything back where it was. I was happy on the outside, but internally I was devastated. My only happiness found in the memories of the time I’d spent as a girl.

Next came high school. Did I mention I went to the christian school run by our church? Yeah, since grade three. Daily being taught that everything about me was a sin. Even my interests in art and film. Five days a week at school. Sunday School and church Sunday morning. Church Sunday and Wednesday nights. It was horrific. Anyway, back to the school story.

My freshman year (and last at the school) provided a unique opportunity. It was Spirit Week for the basketball season. This particular day was ICCA day and we were supposed to wear something we’d never want to wear again. Well, what better thing for a boy to not want to do at this school….than to come to school as a girl. I formulated a plan with another male student. We would do this.

When the day came, we showed up with far different visions of dressing up. His was comical, amateur drag while mine was a realistic as I could get. When I was asked if I needed help with my makeup, I said no, except for the eyeshadow. Then thought I should ask for help with it all. Better not give away the fact that I knew any of this first hand. So the day progressed. I was getting several compliments from the girls in the grades above me. The dress up went through most of the day. With about 2 hours to go, I was told to remove this ‘get up’ and change back into my normal school attire. Regrettably I did. At the end of the day I had two of the cheerleaders, who were seniors (and adorably cute) come up to me and say that they thought I made a much prettier girl than I did a guy. I told them I appreciated that and they gave me a huge hug. Acceptance at a Christian school was rather rewarding. A few weeks later one of the teachers told my mom, not in a ‘tattle tale’ kind of way but as a “We really thought he was one of the girls” kind of way. She was most displeased. It was at this point that I knew I would never tell my parents. I would suffer in silence, just as I’d done so far. At least I knew I wasn’t alone.

My sophomore year I transferred back to the public school I had begun in. After seven grueling years at the hands of the church, my dad was ecstatic that I had decided to leave. The tuition was a bit much, we were not rich and my mom worked in the church office in exchange for tuition. I didn’t know that until much later. After driver’s ed, I realized that the freedom of Yorktown High School was going to be a much better fit for me. Much more open minded than Heritage Hall (or Heritage Hell as those of us who made the mass exodus after Freshman year called it). I survived at Yorktown. Still keeping everything private, but the atmosphere was much more open. There were a couple gay students, and I admired them so much, but still kept quiet about my own journey. I wish I hadn’t, but I was too scared to come out. My own weakness. I recalled the passage rom Dune about fear but it didn’t matter. Through this time in high school, I did come out to one of my best friends from church. He had said he dressed up as well. On a certain sleepover, we discussed this much further and raided his sister’s closet. Seems he was much more interested in me being dressed up than dressing up himself. He threatened to tell if I made any sound or told others about this later. He pushed me onto the sofa and sat on me, pinning my arms down with this knees. I was not sure what he was about to do, but was unable to protect myself. I was not strong and he was taller, heavier and stronger than me. As it ended up he just clumsily felt me up and forced me to kiss him. Another thing he threatened outing me over was if I told anyone about his amazing telescope….that I happened to find pointed at the neighbor’s daughter’s bedroom. Seems he was a great guy. We were not friends after this. I have told this story just once before. I rarely bring it up. I was frightened.

After learning to drive I got a job. This allowed me to actually begin buying my own clothes and makeup. And then purging everything because of the guilt and shame associated with this. This is a nasty cycle where you buy and buy and stock up, then you purge, only to buy and buy to restock and then purge again. This gets expensive and wasteful, though I always donated my stuff. Then came college.

I knew much more about who I was and what this was called. I wondered where I would fit in the spectrum. Would getting ‘this’ far work. Would I need to go a step further. Was I truly a transsexual? This seemed like it was the answer. I had been doing a lot of research. My plan began to formulate. I would graduate college, move to California and transition. Only after transitioning would I return to Indiana and tell my family. This was the plan. Life interferes at times.

I met a girl in my freshman speech class. My first real girlfriend. The first year was great, the other two were a downward spiral, however, she did enjoy the Jen side of me very much. It was nice. I had another girl in college that knew and it allowed a little more freedom and exploration. Then it happened. Being pulled over in a redneck town to the west of us. The single most horrifying day in my life. Also the day that changed my resolve forever and truly planted the seeds for this journey that was to happen several years later.

I was out driving around like I had done so many times before. Not every one consisted of getting out of the car and going in anywhere, but sometimes I woulde go into a mall just to walk briskly through and then leave. That moment of pure euphoria (and fear). This particular day I decided to go to Anderson, Indiana, a city just to the west of us and one that I felt less likely to run into people I knew. So off I went. I was feeling pretty good, although to look back now, I know the wig was most likely a wreck and my makeup was probably far too heavy, but without digital cameras or cell phones, a selfie was not had.

I drove to their mall and parked on the far side, for lesser foot traffic. As I got me nerve up, I spotted this black car with dark tinted windows. I didn’t think much about it and got out of the car to go inside. But something felt off. I decided to go back to my car. I didn’t trust the black car. I should have gone straight home but didn’t want to waste a me day and I didn’t have to be at work until later that afternoon. So I then drove over to K-Mart.

As I parked at K-Mart, I noticed the black car again. But I was determined. I got out of the car and went in. Looking at the car to see if anyone got out or if I could see in. Neither. So I looked around for a few minutes before my nerves began nagging at me once again. I hadn’t seen anyone follow me so I headed back to the car. The black car was gone. Again, going home would have been the best thing but I chose one more stop. Life is all about choices. Right or wrong. They mold us. I got into my car and drove to Mounds Plaza. They had a Fashion Bug there and this was to be my last stop. I parked the car and sat, thinking about that car. Thinkig about the wasted trip and the overwhelming fear I was trying to overcome. Then I saw it. The Black Car. I swear it was my own personal version of DUEL, without the whole truck trying to kill me part of it.

I froze and just looked at it. It slowly drove past me and around behind me. Parking a few spots away. I was freaking out more than a little and was coming to the realization I needed to just go home. A gentleman in a cheesy 70s cop style of dress walked by. Rust turtleneck, sunglasses, tweed jacket…think a cross between Baretta and Jim Jones. Well, that did it. I was leaving. I started my car and left. As I pulled away, I saw him walk back to the black car.

As I pulled out of the lot and on to Scatterfield Road, a motorcycle cop passed me and immediately turned around with lights on, motioning me into a parking lot. Fight or Flight was in full swing. I did neither. I pulled into the parking lot of Perkins Pancake House where the motor officer asked for license and registration. My heart stopped. I reached for the registration and the world began to move in slow motion as I looked uo and saw the black car and the bad 70s dressed cop step out from it and walk my way. He took the registration and license. “Well now, it says here you’re a boy.” And so it began.

I realized right away that I needed to be as respectful as a 19 year old could be. Yes sir and No sir were to be my main answers.

“So, uh, what were ya doin?” he sharply asked.

“Debating on whether or not to go in,” I quietly replied.

“Well, I think your ‘bating alright, weren’t you?”

“NO!” I replied sharply

“Are you callin me a liar?”

“No. I’m not, but I was not doing anything in my car but deciding on going in.”

“I’m pretty sure you were hiking up your skirt and…”

“I most certainly was NOT!” I said loudly as I cut him off.

“Then you’re calling me a liar. You do realize that even to be dressed like you are is against the law. It’s called indecent exposure. We got people like you we lock up all the time. Usually prowling the hotels and truck stops.” and he walked angrily away.

At this point the motorcycle officer came to the window and said that he was sure I wasn’t doing anything but I’d better admit that I was or this would get pretty ugly really fast.

The unmarked officer came back. “So, you gonna tell me what I want to hear?”

I struggled with every ounce of my strength. I’m not a liar and I only accept responsibility for things I did not do in the most dire of circumstances, usually to protect another person who made a mistake. I did not want to fold to the pressure but I could visibly see his face twist in anger. Moving in super slow motion.

“yes,” I said softly.

“Yes WHAT?” he snapped.

“what you said,” I replied.

“Well I want to hear you say it out loud.”

So I confessed to something I didn’t do. Something I would never do.

At this point the car door was and I was escorted out of the car. The motorcycle officer stood to the side with me and said I made the right choice. The unmarked officer was tearing through everything in my car, making threats to call my dad, etc…I was terrified. Then a squad car arrived.

“Your chariot awaits, princess” came the sneer from the unmarked officer. Into the back seat I went. The ride to the police station went on for hours while the officer spewed even more hatred and accusations my way. I’m sure the ride was no more than 5 minutes, but it felt like an eternity.

When we got to the station, I was brought in the front door. Everyone must have been told, from the officers to those in the waiting area, as everyone began to howl with laughter and fake cat calls. They were asking if I was the officer’s date and if he’d be giving me a good one later. He took me upstairs to an interrogation room, sat me down, left and shut the door. Commence the 2 hour stretch of taunts, mockery and threats.

I sat in the room alone, knowing there were people on the other side of the mirror. Outside the door came comments such as “We should put it in with the guys in the holding cell. They’d make it a real woman.” “It wouldn’t be able to walk after being in with them.” “Maybe we should just have a party up here and all line up.” They would beat on the door at regular intervals. Continually the threats of sexual assault were the main focus. I felt like a caged animal you see pacing back and forth, but I rocked back an forth instead.

Finally the unmarked officer came in and sat down. Much nicer now than before. He sat calmly and discussed what could have happened and that I could be charged with indecent exposure at any time because of being dressed this way. It’s part of the Indiana parameters for this charge. He said he would let me go but said I had to go to therapy and he needed proof of it. A letter within two weeks and a letter after each session, with a final letter at the end, stating we were done. If not, he was issuing a warrant. He then made me go in for mugshots. With and without my wig. I was devastated.

I asked where my car was and he said they had it towed. I asked if he could take me to get it. He laughed and said call a cab. So I did. As I came back downstairs, I was still being mocked by those in the front room. The taunts became too much and I went to wait on the sidewalk. When the cab pulled up he asked where to. I gave him the address and then asked to run by an ATM so I could get money to pay him. He was such a nice guy. We talked a bit and when we got to the lot to get my car, he stopped me and said he wasn’t leaving until I got my car. He was scared for me and showed me he had a pistol in the glove box. So in I went.

The two stringy haired hicks at the counter asked if they could help me and when I said I needed my car, they began to laugh and make fun of me. They yelled for Mary to come help me. A very polite lady came out and without making a movement, made the rolling eye jester about the other two and mouthed the words I’m Sorry. While we were taking care of the fees, the two guys stayed behind the open window and continued to laugh and point. She finally turned around and yelled, “Knock it off you jackasses!” and the laughter lowered to a murmur. She smiled and sent me on my way. I went back to the cabbie and gave him a huge tip. He wished me the best but still waited until I was at the gate with my car.

I drove home quickly but cautiously. I threw away everything….at a dumpster……about 10 miles away. I felt as though I was done with this. I was petrified. For the next several days I rushed to the mail to see what was there. Nothing. I looked at the paper every day. No listing. On the next to last day of the two weeks I found a therapist at Ball State who changed my life.

Upon entering her office, we got through the initial BS and got straight to the heart. “Do you want to embrace this side of you or are you trying to get rid of it?” I’d never been asked that before so I thought about. I liked this side of me. It felt right, so I told her I wanted to embrace it. She said, “Good, because it isn’t a disease. It’s not curable.”

She agreed to the letters, even though she stressed she didn’t think he could really do that, and so began our 5 month meetings. It was so rewarding to speak openly about this. About how I felt. We discussed sexuality and gender. We talked about all of the feelings I experienced when dressed vs living as a boy. One of her last statements to me was this. “Whether you choose to fully embrace this or not, I feel you are a transsexual based on everything you’ve said. It isn’t cross dressing. It isn’t transvestism. Those carry with them fully different emotions. You’ve not mentioned those emotions once. You, my dear, were meant to be a girl.” We hugged our tearful goodbye and she sent the “completion of therapy” letter off to the Anderson Police Department. And off I went, to bury my secret once again, though I was thrilled at what she had said, and knew it to be true to my very core, I did not want to lose my family. So it stayed as a thing I did every so often. As often as possible.

I spoke of this to nobody for probably 15 years, maybe longer. The emotions are as strong now as they were then and the memory of every moment is engrained in my psyche. It took years to even drive back through Anderson. I freaked me out. I was terrified to go back in any manner of dress. This victory was tremendous when I overcame that fear and strode boldly into shopping. This was actually quite strengthening in many ways. I found an inner strength and fire that would not burn out.

Within a couple years I had broken up with my girlfriend and floated around with only friends. I was ok with that. I needed to detox from that relationship with whom I dearly refer to as “Creature”. It was a weakness that made me stay. Nobody else wanted to date me so why not stay with someone who liked and accepted me? And cheated on me. And manipulated me.

After wandering around with the company of friendships, my resolve grew strong. Get through college. Move to California. Transition. Tell the family after it was complete. Then life happened. I met the voice of my wife while working at the Muncie Public Library.

We had to call over to the main library whenever someone was getting a new card. What I got on the other end of the phone was an adorably smart assed girl. Through months of just talking in small intervals over the phone, I began to fall for this person I’d never seen or met. This was so foreign to me, but the connection was there and it was strong. Like The Force, I could feel it. So I made my move. A “hello” note and doodle in a video she had requested…..which she never opened because it was a movie for her parents.

Then her mom came in and I made a reach out. “Are you Joy’s mom?” “Yes! Are you Tim?” Crushed. I said no. I decided to be a little stalkerish and walked to the main library one day to catch a glimpse of this person who had won my heart. It didn’t matter, but she was CUTE!!! Cute and quirky AND a sarcastic smart ass. My perfect trifecta. So like any normal person, I went back to work and did not say a word to her. She came in a couple days later and we had our first face to face. She cracked up about her mom’s faux pas. She didn’t like Tim, he just happened to have gone to school with her and shared the same last name.

A couple weeks later, she blocked my car in and we sat and talked for a couple hours and then decided to go get pizza (bonus 100). While we were out, I asked if I should get her home and if her parents would be worried. “No. I told them we were going to go out tonight.” That blew me away. We talked a total of about 5 hours that night after work. We sat at The Flying Tomato and just soaked up one another’s company. Laughing through it all. That’s when I found out she was a senior in high school and I was in college. And we had a six year difference in age. It didn’t seem to matter to either of us. We were lost in one another. A few weeks later we began to officially go out. I’d met my soul mate. After a few months of going out I said the fateful words. “I love you.” She was quiet and then a few minutes later said it in return. She had never been told that and did not know how to react. I’d never said it, so I thought those few minutes had gone on for eternity.

This wasn’t part of my plan. How can I have a girlfriend when I plan on leaving and transitioning? This would only lead to hurt and sorrow. I gave her hints and clues without ever actually saying anything about this other side of me. As our relationship grew stronger it also became physical. This physicality led to pregnancy, marriage and the most amazing daughter a parent could ever ask for. My plans for transition and moving had now officially halted. With pure elation, I thought “I have a family!” We were beyond broke. I still had to finish college and upon completion moved to full time at the library. Something that paid a tremendous salary of $12,000 a year. Rather than follow my field, I took security and a paycheck. I took care of my little family. My entire life was devoted to them.

Like any marriage, there were ups and downs, mainly financial, but we never fought. This was eas for me, but she was fiery. It was harder for her. I set guidelines early, though. I will never argue with you about money and if the argument has no real bearing on anything else, I would go for a walk and come back. Arguments were senseless to me. Disagreements were ok. Not fighting. I was open with her about everything once we realized we were about to spend our lives together. She was ok and embraced it as a part of me. We had no clue if it would go beyond the occasional dress up or stay as it was. She said from the beginning that we would always remain together, no matter what.

There was a lot of stress over this when her parents caught glimpse of it. They were 100% against it and urged her to leave me. But she felt the same as I. We were soul mates. We were destined to be together. You could feel it. Then, on our 20th anniversary, we went out as Jen and Joy. We were enjoying a great dinner when she stopped, looked me in the eye and asked, “Are you happier like this?” I sat quietly for a while as she reached across the table and took my hands. I began to cry and told her yes. Her eyes teared up as well and said that it was ok. We’d get through it together.

Well, we tried, anyway. As I began to be Jen everywhere except for work and visiting family, she realized that, although we were soul mates and still madly in love, she was not attracted to women. She began to take therapy sessions to deal with the grief of loss as I was to become a woman.

My aunts and uncles had found out “something” about what was going on. So I set the record straight and spoke to my Aunt Cindy about it. My parents did not know. I had to tell them now. They had celebrated their 50th anniversary in September of 2012. They were to leave for Florida the end of October, so I told them I had something extremely important to tell them mid October. The time was at hand. I felt I’d lose my parents. But I told them. My mother went into immediately blame over something she had done or failed to do. I assured her it was neither. My dad had figured I was getting divorced and was going to come out as being gay. The Transgender aspect surprised him but he was immediately accepting. We hugged intensely and I saw him crying. I told him he wasn’t allowed to do that and he said there was no stopping it. My friends who had been on standby to console or celebrate were pleased to know it went well.

On February 18, 2013, I began taking hormones.

February 23, we celebrated 22 years of marriage.

February 25th we filed divorce papers

April 1, 2013, I was no longer married to my best friend.

There were moments I thought even our friendship would not last. We kept the house. I stayed in it every night. She would go to her parents Friday through Wednesday, then sleep over two nights. The physical attraction was gone. The internal attraction was strong. It was awkward but familiar. It was ok.

She had been in an accident late winter of 2012. She met a police officer who immediately fell for her wit, even after an accident. So they had started conversing. Since I knew we were divorcing soon, I never said how much it destroyed me inside. Then again, my transitioning was doing the same to her. I had nothing to stand on for objection.

I was told about a job opening in California. The company my best friend, Sarah, had been working at for a couple years was expanding form Fremont to the LA area. I applied and actually got hired. July of 2013 I packed up the Uhaul with my best guy friend, Jeff, and travelled across the west to Glendale, CA. He had helped us make the move in 2009 as well, that ended horribly and we went back to Indiana shortly after arriving.

My first year here was full of turmoil. Adjusting to being alone. Adjusting to California. Adjusting to a new job. Adjusting to all the changes that were going on within me. I wanted to die. I was alone and unhappy. I wasn’t going to do anything to myself, but if I’d been in an accident, I felt it would have just been easier on everyone.

Then I began to make friends out here after about 8 months or so. I had begun going to a support group and finding out far more about our community than I had ever known. Life began to gel. 2014 was just a year. I made a couple great friends and that carried through to 2015.

This year everything clicked. It was a great year. I took part in a video for Caitlyn Jenner. I was mentioned and quoted in Glamor. I got to meet Cait at a launch party for a show she was producing. I met more and more people in our community. I got to do background work on season two of Transparent. I became very close friends with a handful of people. These people are in my inner circle and mean the world to me.

The last few months of 2015 were filled with YES. I would do things I’d normally pass on, and each time it was rewarding. I was still finding myself. Still finding my inner and outer voice. The end of 2015 was spent in the company of such amazing people. I met new friends and got to talk to people whom I truly admired. New Year’s Eve was spent at Zackary Drucker’s house and was just filled with artists, writers, industry people….all truly amazing.

2016 is going to be the year of renewal and change. The year of saying YES all year. The year that Jen blossoms. Watch out world HERE I COME!

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The Long And Winding Road

Despite being one of the most arduous songs in The Beatles catalogue, and a horribly done remake by Billy Ocean, this entry has exactly nothing at all to do with the song.  Either version.

This post may upset some, enlighten others, upset family members, and cause de-friending, but I hope, more than anything, you come to an understanding of another journey I have taken, also personal, but hopefully worthy of sharing.

I am a born again Christian Atheist by way of Lutherans and a toe-dip into the pool of Quakers.

I was brought up in the Baptist faith.  Fundamental Baptist at that.  There were things that I gleaned from this, God is love, but only if you follow him, thou shalt not hate, unless you don’t agree with whatever they stand for…that is against your ideals.  You can pick and choose passages to prove your point, especially if they are dispersed all over the place in totally unrelated events. I think to try to confuse the one you are carrying debating (or flat out arguing with).

I attended the church from my earliest memories, and was enrolled in their school from 3rd – 9th grades.  Oddly enough, third grade, and the daily teachings (6 days a week, twice on Sunday and Wednesday night) is the point in time when I began to question what I was being taught.  Not being arrogant about it, not being snide or troublesome, I truly just wanted answers to a very basic question.  I asked this of my Sunday School teachers, as well as my school teachers and am blown away that they never went to my parents about this.

“How do we know that the Bible is nothing more than a great book of stories, and 3,000 years from now that culture doesn’t look back at us and talk about these stories AS a collection of myths?” (keep in mind, I had no idea who Joseph Campbell was, but was deeply into mythology, still am)

The answer?  “Because we have faith.”

The Rebuttal? “Well, the Greeks and Romans had complete faith in their myths.”

The re-rebuttal? “Well, our Bible is the truth.”

The re-re-rebuttal?  “They were pretty darn certain their myths were the truth.”

The re-re-re-rebuttal? “The Bible was written by God.”

The re-re-re-re-rebuttal? “Pretty sure it was written by guys.”

Classmates gasped!  Teacher growled and told me to sit down and stop causing problems.  So I sat down, although I really just wanted an answer besides the one word ‘faith’.

So the seed was planted and I began to look into other beliefs whenever I went to the library. I found out that several other religions had the same stories, with different characters, but the same stories.  I was sure I was on to something.  

So I let some time go by and I asked my question again.  Same teachers.  Same responses.  Same result, but I had more information on my side than just questions.  I brought up the fact that there were the same stories spread throughout cultures.  The explanation was that it was due to the spread of Christianity.  I told them that many of these predated Christianity.  Gasps and growls.  Same response.  “Sit down.  Stop causing problems.”  However, this was also met with a trip to the office to be lectured about how the Bible is the word of God and it is the basis of our faith…so I also asked the dean the same questions.  I got the same answers and was told to not ever press the issue again or I would be in trouble for insubordination and subject to further disciplinary action.  So I stopped.  Asking out loud.

Basically by jr. high, I really had something that opened my eyes.  I’m spraying a hose in the back yard and what do I see?  A rainbow!  If the rainbow was a sign after the flood, and therefore after every storm, then why could I create a rainbow with the a garden hose?  Was that a flood and a sign to insects?  I chose not to ask the normal factions, but did ask my science teacher. He explained water vapors and that maybe that story was a little exaggerated (he was a great teacher) or at least our continuing the story was a bit misplaced.

So those were the beginnings.  I ended up staying at the church until I was 25, mainly to appease my parents, but, of course, work would rear its ugly head and I would have to miss Sundays or Wednesday nights.  Then college and the massive amounts of homework.  A couple times I would feign interest in sports, like the Superbowl, to stay home.

Our church was known to be quite welcoming……….if you were white.  I remember being the only person that went up and spoke to a visitor at the church.  This African American woman had come in during the pre-service time and it was like the old west when the gunfighter came into the bar.  I don’t mean that she threw open the swinging doors and angrily called out to that mean sunuvagun, or belly up to the bar, but rather, the entire place went silent as she walked to her seat.  She sat alone in an entire pew.  Nobody greeted her.  Nobody sat by her.  After the service, she was not greeted or welcomed by anyone, so I ran up to her and welcomed her, even though I didn’t want to be there either.  This was around grade 6 or 7.

That wasn’t the only time I witnessed racism within the realm of our church.  I remember being at one of our family friends’ house.  That evening, the evangelist for the week had dinner at their house and we came over as well.  After dinner, us kids went to play while they sat and talked.  I was in fourth or fifth grade.  I came out of the back room to ask for something to drink, but being the quiet mouse that I was, nobody heard me come in the room.  A joke was being told.  A very racist joke that I can repeat word for word to this day, but I won’t.  The evangelist told the joke and the adults laughed.  I was crushed and decided I wasn’t really thirsty after all.  In defense of my parents, theirs was a very uncomfortable laugh, but their friends and the evangelist were laughing riotously.

Eventually I left the church and ended up within the Lutheran religion.  I found the services to be nice and the people genuine, but then I realized how many of these people were basically there to socialize and exercise their piety.  And I wasn’t really getting much out of it.  So I left.  Then I went to one or two Quaker fellowships and just didn’t find anything that appealed to me. I was quite done with religion.

Toward the end of college, I had done so much research and found that I had absolutely nothing to gain from a religion that was used to hate and judge, and set itself above the other religions.  Yes, our church said ANYONE outside of  fundamental Baptist teaching was wrong and going to hell.

So I turned my back on all of it.  I’m an atheist.  Not an Anti-Theist, as I would be as bad as any religious trying to force their views on me, but I no longer believe in any greater power.  I believe we make our own destiny, our heaven and our own hell.  All of this is contained with each of us.

I walked away from all organized religion and hadn’t stepped foot in a church in a number of years until this past November, when I attended a Unitarian Church in Pasadena.  Best experience of my life.  A church, where the religion is left at the door.  Everyone is welcome.  Atheist, Buddhist, Baptist, Catholic, Hindu…..anyone.  All views are welcome.  All discussions are interesting and carried out by intellectual people.

I have been attending each Sunday and am feeling at home, although I have yet to stay for the Coffee and Conversation, as I am just bad at initiating conversations, or carrying on conversations with those I do not know.  But that is my next goal.

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The Epic Poem Strikes Back

 

Another epic disaster, I mean, poem

 

ENTRY 114: April 24, 2007   I had been asked how long it took to write these.  When I sat and figured up the time spent, it was about 40 hours per poem.  They rocked then, but I see where things needed to be tightened up now. But I won’t.  This was my voice 7 years ago.

Life was different.  I worked for a PBS station in Muncie, Indiana and did not think I would ever lose that job.  I owned a house in Yorktown.  I was married.  Life was good and full of promise.

 

The Death Star Destroyed

The Rebellion on track

They fled to an ice planet

Till the Empire Struck Back

 

On Tauntauns they searched

For a clear sign of doom

Through space the Probes swept

Though not with a brrom

 

“A meteor hit over there

Han, I’ll go check it out

I’ll be back. I’ll be fine.

I don’t have any doubt.”

 

“You’re jumpy. You’re edgy.

Do you smell something girl?”

Then a growl and a roar

Luke went down with a whirl.

 

“Has anyone seen Luke, sir

The princess needs to know.

It seems that our master

May be lost in the snow.”

 

“I’ll go out on my Tauntaun”

Han snapped as he yelled

“You’ll freeze out there, Solo.”

“Then I’ll see you in hell!”

 

Luke awoke in an ice cave

With something not right

He was hung upside down

His lightsaber in sight

 

As he squirmed and he struggled

The creature came to do harm.

Luke force grabbed his saber

And cut off Wampa’s arm

 

Out to the ice fields

Luke ran once again

When appearing before him

A clear vision of Ben.

 

“Go to Dagobah

Look for Yoda, of course

He’s teh one who trained me

He can teach you the force.”

 

As the vision did pass

Han came over the hill

He found Luke in the snnow

Lying rather too still.

 

“You can’t leave me out here

C’mon Luke give me a sign

We gotta get back to base

Before we run out of time.”

 

With his Tauntaun now dead

Han sliced through its hide

“I thought that these things

Smelled bad on the outside!”

 

The rescue commenced

Now the Snowspeeders tried

“Captain Solo, do you read me?”

“Nice of you guys to drop by!”

 

“We’ve heard from our Probe Droids

A fractal report.”

The Rebels are there,

No need to retort.”

 

“Set a course for Hoth

To that system we’ll go

Do they think they can hide

On that planet of snow?”

 

Luke healed in the Bacta

A kiss from his sis.

Han had argued about feelings

Boy he really was……mad.

 

They tracked down the probe

it was blasted to bits

If the Empire is coming

This is really the pits.

 

“We slowed way to soon

No they know we are here.

He was clumsy and stupid

You’re in charge General Veers.”

The Empire is coming coming

We’ll have to retreat.

We have a good army

But if we stay we’ll be beat”

 

“Off to your ships

The ssnowspeeders will fight”

The size of the AT-ATs

Showed the Empires full might

 

Armor too strong for blasters

The Force help us, we beg.

“Use your tow cables

And go for their legs!”

 

Some machines were brought down

But the battle not won.

“The command center’s been hit

Let’s get to the Falcon!”

 

To the rendezvous point

All the Rebels did head

“Set a new course, R-2

We’re going to Dagobah instead.”

 

The fleet got away

And the Falcon did too

But the Falcon’s the ship

Vader chose to pursue.

 

“I’ll engage Hyperdrive.

Leave the Imps in our dust.

OK. Punch it Chewie

Or the escape is a bust.”

 

“The Hyperdrive’s busted

I was trying to say

But you just wouldn’t listen

You pushed me away.”

 

The Imperials were gaining

Their tractor beam primed.

“We’ll fly through the asteroids

To buy us some time.”

 

“They’d be crazy follow

But we can’t stay here long

You said you wanted to be there

When I was finally wrong.”

 

“That one looks good.”

Han scouted a hole.

“A crater to hide in.”

So he plunged down below.

 

A long narrow cave

Away from Imp eyes.

“This rocks not too sturdy

Do you think this was wise?”

 

Back out to Luke

As he tried hard to land

With a water soaked entry

He craved Tatooine sand

 

To get up to shore

Through the swamp he did go

When R-2 fell in

Something pulled him below

 

It spat him back out

Through the air the droid flew

If you recall, I said,

Be Careful, R-2.”

 

 

That’s all for now. My brain hurts. Also, I had to delete several blogs because I maxed out. I will archive them and add a link later.

 

 

The EpicPire Strikes Back…poem part 2

 

ENTRY 115: April 25, 2007

 

Empire continued…..

 

“Bounty hunters on board

We don’t need their slime.

We can catch this space pirate

We just need more time.”

 

On the planet that bubbled

Like a great giant soda

Luke spun round to see

Our cute little Yoda

(note: thanks Weird Al)

 

“A great Jedi Master

I am here to find

I don’t want any food

UGH! You’re wasting my time!”

 

With each passing bomber

The cave shook as before

“Lord Vader, you now must

Contact….THE Emperor

 

A blast sent the Princess

To the arms of Solo

The droid breaks up a kiss

“Great! Thanks 3-PO!”

 

“What is they bidding,

Shall we plaot a new course?”

“This young one. Skywalker.

Is strong in the Force.”

 

“Turn him we must

Or destroy us he’ll try.”

“He will join us, my master,

Join us or die!”

 

“The boy has no patience

Teach him I can not.”

“I, too, was impatient

Or do you recall not?”

 

“Ben, I can do this

Tell him it’s so!”

“Hmm. I will decide who to train

Or let go.”

 

“I’m not afraid

Yoda, you are mistaken.”

“You will be. You will be.

When to the tree you are taken.”

 

As Han fixes the ship

Leia lets out a yell.

“There’s something outside!

What it is, I can’t tell!”

 

“Looks like a Mynock.

They chew on the wire.

Without any power

Our problem’s more dire.”

 

“The ground in this cave

Seems much softer than rock.”

Han shoots at the ground.

The cave sends out a shock.

 

“In to the Falcon

Let’s all get aboard.

Chewie fire up the engines

While I close the door.”

 

“The cave! It’s collapsing!”

Leia started to squirm.

“This ain’t no cave, sweetheart,

It’s a giant space worm!”

 

Out of the frying pan

In to the fire.

They escape the Space Slug

And Now here’s the Empire.

 

Luke’s miniscule Master

Taught him to make rocks float.

But Luke lost concentration

His ship sank in the moat.

 

“Do this, my young one”

“OK, Well I’ll try.”

“Do or Do Not.

You doubt, but tell why.”

 

“The ships far too big.

Yoda, open your eyes!”

“I’ll get it out

Judge me not by my size.”

 

The little green elf

Stretched his arm out once more.

He lifted the X-Wing,

Brought it safely to shore.

 

“I don’t believe it!

Yoda!” Luke yelled

“That is your problem.

That’s why you failed.”

 

“A reward for the Falcon

By any means that you will

But no disintefrations,

I want proof of the kill.”

 

“Is that understood.

Mainly you, Boba Fett.

If there is no body

No reward will you get.”

 

“We have him, Lord Vader

He’s there, just ahead.”

“Then cripple the ship

I’d rather nopt have them dead.”

 

“He’s turning to attack us

He’s coming head on!

Hurry! Shields up!”

“Uh, um, Captain…..it’s gone.”

 

“They can’t have a cloaker

But they’ve nowhere to hide!”

He had not a clue

The ship stuck to their side.

 

Hans plan worked out great

The Imps opened the latch

Then Solo let loose

The Falcon his in their trash.

 

“We’re in a tight spot

Of that there’s no doubt.

We need to find a close system

Where we can go and hide out.”

 

“This one looks good

A city up in the sky

Run by a buddy named Lando

He’s your kind of guy.”

 

They fired up the engines.

Took off like a jet.

What they hadn’t noticed

Was the sly Boba Fett.

 

A Tibana Gas Mine

Was Lando’s ne place

“Sure buddy. Hang here.

I’ve got plenty of space.”

 

“We’ll fix up your ship

Have you fast on your way.

Unless I could get you

To hang out and stay.”

 

“An R2 unit?

I just love that sound~

No! Wait! Don’t get up!”

3-PO’s heads on the ground.

 

“Inside this tree

The Dark Side you’ll know.

Leave your weapons out here

Then inside must you go.”

 

“I trust you, Yoda

But I’ll feel much safer

With my weapons at hand

Or at least my lightsaber.”

 

Down past the roots

To a hollowed out crater.

It was here that Luke came

Face to face with Darth Vader!

 

That’s it for today. I’ll try to finish it up tomorrow. This one might end up being longer than the first. YIKES!

 

 

The E(m)picPire Strikes Back Poem conclusion

 

ENTRY 116: April 26, 2007

 

Luke ignited his saber

And cut Vader’s head off.

But what Luke saw next

Made him shake, gasp and cough.

 

The mask broke apart

And there in it’s place

Was a sight so disturbing,

Luke saw his own face.

 

“3-P-O’s been gone

Far too long to be lost.

Sure Lando accepted us

But I’m not sure the cost.”

 

“Something’s not right

I’m not sure what it is…”

Then the door slid wide open

With a swoosh and a whiz.

 

It was Chewie with 3-PO

“He was found in the trash?

Chewie had to grab Goldenrod

And make a mad dash.”

 

Then Lando came in.

“Please join me for drinks.

Look around our fair city.

Let me know what you think.”

 

“Is your droid quite ok?

He’s in quite a few pieces.

Looks like he blew up

With those cuts, dents and creases.”

 

“You run a good business

Right down to the letter.”

“And I’ve made a nicec deal

To keep the Imps out forever.”

 

The door slid wide open

As fast as was able

There was Darth Vader

At the end of the table.

 

I had no choice

They arrived just before you.”

“Yeah Lando. I know.

And I’m sorry too.”

 

Han fired off a shot.

Vader glanced it away.

“Fett and I would be honored

Come. Sit down and stay.”

 

“My friends are in trouble

This one thing I know.

I must leave and save them.

I simply must go!”

 

“Save them you could

But their futture’s not clear.

Destroy what they fought for

If you go and leave here.”

 

“They’ll die if I stay here.

Through torture and pain.

I swear when I finish,

I’ll come back here to train.”

 

“Luke it’s too soon.

You’re in terrible danger.

Don’t go to the Dark Side.

Don’t give in to anger.”

 

On toture devicecs

Han screamed out in pain.

“Don’t harm him, no Vader,

Or my bounty’s in vain.”

 

“The pain, it is great

With no harm or loss.

If he dies on the table

We’ll cover your cost.”

 

As Luke flies away

We learn of another.

Is there something unkown?

Is Luke a Big Brother?

 

“Chewbacca and Leia

Can stay in this city.

If I leave a garrison here

It would sure be a pity.”

 

“This deal’s getting worse

But what can I do?

Ah, Lobot, go hide

And wait for my cue.”

 

Lando and Han

Get in to fisticuffs.

“Thanks Lando. O’l buddy.

You’ve done quite enough.”

 

“The one Vader wants

Is not even you.

He wants some Skywalker

And he’s here right on cue.”

 

“This chamber’s for freezing

It could hurt Skywalker or worse.”

“I don’t want my prize damaged

So I’ll test Solo first!”

 

“Bring in the captive

Into carbon he’ll go.

“Oh, Han, I love you.”

Han just said, “I know.”

 

With a wheeze and a hiss

Down into the pit.

3-PO said, “It’s quite safe

Though freezing’s the tough bit.”

 

“He is allive

And he’s at perfect rest.”

“Lead Skywalker to this place.

He’ll have a grand test.”

 

“Take the Wookiee and Princess

On out to my ship.”

“That wasn’t the bargain!

Man! What a jip!”

 

Like caught sight of Leia.

“Get out! It’s a trap!”

Then he saw Han’s body.

“Man what is all this crap?”

 

All through the city

Thoughts swirl in Luke’s head.

Will Leia be all right?

Is Han Solo dead?

 

Through closed and locked doors

Luke is led to the chamber.

He senses Lord Vader.

He senses the danger.

 

As the battle begins

Luke gets caught off guard.

Vader starts up the freezing.

“This wasn’t that hard.”

 

“Obi-Wan could not teach you

Enough to be strong.

Hmmm, you’re not in the pit.

Something is wrong.”

 

“Seems though, he taught you

To control your fear.

You still have to fight me

So get back down here.”

 

Down on his wrist

Lando pushes some buttons.

Lobot and the guards

Jump out with their weapons.

 

“I know it’s quite late

But I’ll do what I can.

There still might be a chance

We can go and save Han.”

 

As they run through the halls

3-PO sees R-2.

“My heads put on backwards

There’s no thing wrong with you!”

 

In to the ship

Went Solo and Fett.

Despite shooting at him

Away he did get.

 

“We got here too late

And now he is gone.”

“If we hurry we can still

Get to the Falcon.”

 

“Your hatred brings power.

Of this you’ll soon see.

You’ll need all your anger

If you hope to beat me.”

 

“Your anger. Now use it!

Strike hard as you can!”

Luke fell from his mark.

Vader cut off his hand.

 

“Obi-Wan was too caring

That’s really too bad.

Did he ever tell you

What went down with your dad?”

 

“He told me enough

So don’t even bother.”

“But I’ll bet he never told you

That I was your father.”

 

“That isn’t true!

It just cannot be!”

“Search you feelings, my son,

And soon you will see.”

 

“Join me and we’ll rule

This Galaxy far and wide.

I can take out the Emperor

With you at my side.”

 

“I’ll never join you!”

Then Luke shouted, “NOOOooo!”

He fell from the platform

To the vents down below.

 

Vader just stared

“Now what a disaster.”

What would happen to him

When he told HIS Master.

 

When they got to the Falcon

They had a small fight.

“What’s that R2?

The ship’s not fixed right?”

 

“That isn’t true.

It’s fixed. Lando said.

Now let’s get on board

And fix me up instead.”

 

Luke fell through a shaft

And hehld tight to a vent.

Was Vader lying?

Did he say what he meant?

 

Luke called with the Force

Trying hard to reach Ben.

But instead of Kenobi

We see Vader again.

 

“He can no longer help you

But I can, my son.

Hang on a bit longer.

I’ll save you. I’ll come.”

 

“Please hear me Leia.

I was such a dope.

Now I need you, please,

You’re my only hope.”

 

“Luke’s still alive!

We have to turn back!

Go up and get him

Through the top hatch!”

 

“I got him! He’s safe!

Get out of this place!

We’ll punch in the settings

And hit hyperspace!”

 

“If we hit it right now

We’ll excape by a hair.

What?! They fixed it!

This just isn’t fair!”

 

R-2 get back here

You won’t fix it right!

Oh my! You did it!

I should have held on tight!”

 

A replacement hand

Works as good as it can.

“May the Force be with you.

We’re off to save Han.”

 

The falcon takes flight

And we wish we could stay.

in this galaxy we love

So far, far away.

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The Ballad of Luke Skywalker, A New Hope

This was ENTRY 64: March 5, 2007.  That was the year that I blogged every day for a year on starwars.com.  I made some great friends through that.  Some I have met, many I haven’t, but this was a great exercise.  I also wrote one for The Empire Strikes Back (to come soon) and I have most of the one for Return Of The Jedi on paper somewhere.  I need to find it and finish it.

 

In the Outer Rim world of Tatooine

Lived a boy that would rather just not be seen.

He lived all his days looking far far away

He didn’t know his father had once been a slave.

 

He wandered the same areas as his father before him

He’d never known the Jedi called Qui-Gon Jin.

He never knew why he was watched over by Ben

He never knew the Jedi would rise once again.

 

To Anchorhead he would daily report

To hang out with his friends in this outer world port.

His best friend in the world was a fellow named Biggs

A moisture farm is where Luke called his digs

 

Living out there with Owen and Beru

It didn’t seem odd drinking milk that was blue

Along came the droids to help out with the chores

But with all that help he’d still have to stay just one season more.

 

A glitch within R2 and the holograph shone

Other desperates out there, he wasn’t alone

The image pleaded for help from a Jedi back when

He then said aloud, “I wonder if she means old Ben”

 

R2 went roaming to find Obi-Wan

If not found, his troubles would be more than a ton

Across the vast wastelands went the boy and his droid

In his landspeeder they quickly crossed over the void

 

Finding the little droid marked in their scope

3PO and his new master gathered new hope

The feeling of dread shot into his nerves

As he spotted the Bantha of the Tusken Raiders

 

One sprung up before him no one else was around

The force of its hit sent 3PO to the ground

They dragged Luke back to the speeder to start looking for goods

They hadn’t looked but a minute when a sound changed their mood

 

The call of the dragon from far over there

Was a threat that none of the Tuskens could bear

The source of the sound made R2 look once, then again

For over the landscape came none other than the old hermit Ben.

 

 

He checked on the boy said hello to the droid

He helped Luke back up and then grew paranoid

The Tuskens are easily frightened you see

But they’ll return soon in numbers far greater than three

 

Back to Ben’s dwelling they went along course

It was there Luke first heard of the Ways Of The Force

His father had once been a grand Jedi warrior

Until he was cut down by another who had changed his behavior

 

Darth Vader destroyed the last of the Jedi

It was during this crusade Obi-Wan had to hide

Come with me and learn the Force and its ways

This was your fathers weapon from more civilized days

 

Luke hit the button, the blade sprung with a hum

This weapon is powerful, be careful young one.

You must come with me, to Alderan, of course

I will teach you and show you the ways of the Force.

 

Alderan is still such a long ways away

My uncle, he needs me, this is where I must stay

I can take you to Anchorhead it’s close by, you’ll see

There you can get transport in to Mos Eisley.

 

You must do what you feel must seem right, but of course

No one can go against the will of the Force

As they left old Ben’s cavern a sight filled Luke with dread

The Jawas that sold them the droids were now dead

 

If they traced the droids to the Jawas they’d soon be at Luke’s home

When he arrived he found he was truly alone

Owen and Beru lay dead on the ground

The terror so vast, Luke could not make a sound

 

Everyone’s gone. There’s nothing left for me here

I’ll come with you and help fight and show that I care

To Mos Eisley we’ll go watch your step, it’s quite violent

That’s our best bet for a ship and it’s pilot

 

In the streets the Empire is fast at its chore

But these aren’t the droids that you’re looking for

The Force can be used to make senses blinded

Especially on those who are known as weakminded

 

 

In the bar Luke encountered beasts of all kinds

But one pair hid not what they felt in their minds

Diplomatic at first to keep Luke out of harm

Soon igniting the weapon, the pair Ben did disarm

 

The Wookiee Chewbacca led them back to a table

We need passage to Alderaan if your ship is quite able

You never heard of the Falcon old man?

It’ll get you ‘cross systems faster than any ship can.

 

I’ll meet you at Docking Bay Number 94

Best get going we’ve got Imp Troopers at the door.

As Han started to leave he was forced to sit back down

By Greedo a soldier for the big man in town

 

Greedo started to push just a little too much

To be safe Han pulled the blaster so used to his touch.

The threats came along in quick short little bursts

But we all know that Han Solo really shot first.

 

At the bay with his ship, Jabba stood with his men

He wouldn’t let Solo get away once again.

But the promise of money much more than was owed

Made Jabba glaze over but a threat he bestowed

 

If I don’t get my money a price on your head

Makes no difference to me if you’re alive or you’re dead

Han bowed as he left to start boarding his ship

When Stormtroopers came in to stop this little trip

 

They blasted their way out into space

It was there that the Imperials started their chase.

Can’t you out run them you said this was a fast ship

I’m calculating lightspeed, kid, so button your lip.

 

As they flew through the stars Han took repair notes

Luke was with Ben trying to fend off a remote

With the blast shield down he could not see a thing

When he’d get hit with a bolt, you just knew it would sting

 

They flew and he practiced who knows for how long

When Ben had to sit down as he felt something was wrong

A pain as though thousands in anguish cried out

Something terrible has happened there can’t be any doubt

 

 

On with your practices, Ben said with a smile

Learning the Force isn’t easy, it does takes a while.

As the alarms started beeping, Han slowed down with care

When they came out of hyperspace, Alderan was not there.

 

We’ve hit meteors but they shouldn’t be here

They’re not on the map, am I making it clear?

Alderan isn’t here, it’s been blown away

I’m tellin’ you something, here I’ll not stay.

 

A TIE fighter trying to get back to its base.

How did it end up alone out in space?

It’s heading for that moon! What in tarnation?

That thing’s not a moon it’s a giant space station!

 

Han tried to reverse but the ship wouldn’t go

We’re caught in their tractor beam, they have us in tow.

They’re not going to get me without a good fight

I’m shuttin’ her down, everyone hold on tight.

 

Would you fight if you knew it’s a fight you can’t win

Some things are too strong you must simply give in.

You are a smuggler you’re fast on your feet

We don’t have to surrender nor do we retreat.

 

The smuggling compartments look just like the floors

I’ll hide with my friends and you hide there with yours

Tell Chewbacca not to growl or breathe very hard

With fortune we’ll catch the Imperials off guard.

 

The searchers found nothing but a false log on the shelf

I never thought I’d use these for smuggling myself.

The second team came with their heavy equipment

They were caught unaware by the uncovered shipment

 

Hey down there can you give us a hand

The scanners so heavy we need at least one more man.

Two went aboard what happened next we’re not sure

Out came Luke and Han in their Stormtrooper armor

 

In to the gantry they took the guards down

They took off their helmets and looked all around.

R2 came up with the tractor beam grid

It told how to disarm it, well, 3PO did.

 

 

Ben went off looking for the tractor beam tower

He hoped it would be easy as a lever named Power.

When R2 found the princess the computer did say

She’s in 1-1-3-8 and they’re going to kill her today.

 

To rescue the princess, Luke came up with a plan

I’ll put these on Chewbacca or perhaps you should Han.

Don’t worry Chewie I see what’s in his mind

Marching into the detention block won’t be a good time.

 

Where are you taking this thing asked the guard

With that Chewie broke loose and hit him quite hard.

They shot all the crew, the cameras and more

Luke ran up the cellblock to find her prison door.

 

Aren’t you much shorter than a trooper should be?

I’m here with your droids and Ben Kenobi!

You’ve managed to cut off our only escape route

Get out of here flyboy and into the chute.

 

A garbage chute princess what a wonderful smell

I’m thinkin’ we should have left you back up in your cell.

Something grabbed Luke and pulled him under the water

Help me look, princess, you’ll be my spotter.

 

It just let him go Han said with a grin

It didn’t last long as the walls moved on in.

As Luke called for the droids 3PO looked disheveled

Shut down all the mashers on the detention level.

 

Once out of the peril the captives did run

You came in that thing she said spotting the Falcon

You are certainly brave, braver more than I thought

I’m sorry it’s a freighter, princess, not a royal yacht.

 

As Han chased after some stormies, Luke and Leia ran

Ben was sneaking to the tower as only Ben can.

Ben scooted across the small narrow ridge

While Luke had just blasted the controls to the bridge.

 

Here is a kiss, a kiss for good luck

Let’s swing across and hope the rope stuck.

They ran to the Falcon, the princess, he’d saved her

But he looked to one side to see Ben fighting Darth Vader.

 

 

A duel between forces one good and one bad

Luke had no idea Ben was fighting his dad.

Ben looked at Luke and with a sly cocked smile

He knew he had succeeded keeping Darth busy a while.

 

Luke shot several troopers he really had no other choice

When he heard Run Luke Run but it was Ben’s voice.

He got in the Falcon the pain tearing inside

No time for mourning, here came the next tide.

 

TIE fighters approaching, here they come

Hurry up kid get up to your guns

They shot down one and then two, three and four

Before they knew had happened, the TIEs were no more.

 

Let’s get these droids to your Rebel friends

I can’t wait for this mission to come to an end

What are they carrying, Han motioned to ‘R’

Inside are the plans to that horrid Death Star.

 

I only hope that a weakness soon can be found

Or else the Empire will keep gaining ground.

Let’s head off to Yavin, the fourth of its moons

We’re based in the remains of an old temple’s ruins.

 

Hello Captain we’ve no time for our sorrow

I hope inside of R2 some time we can borrow.

Look over the readouts and all of the plans

We must be ready to do all that we can.

 

So you got your reward and you’re off now, that ends it

What good is a reward if you ain’t around to spend it.

Come with us kid, you’re pretty good in a fight

I have to stay here, Han, I know this is right.

 

As Luke left Han shouted, May the Force Be With You

I hope it looks over you and all that you do.

As Luke continued to walk he saw Biggs, his best friend

I told you I’d make someday in the end!

 

Oh Biggs have I stories, so many to tell,

The conversation was cut short by the new Rebel Yell

All crew to your ships, right now do report

We’ve got to get out there and protect the fort

 

 

I’ll hear all your stories when we’re done with our fight

I’ll stay up and I’ll listen to those stories all night.

The ships they all lifted on up to the skies

The ships named after letters, the Xs and Ys.

 

Red Group Gold Group please report in

We’re attacking the Death Star though our chances are slim.

We’ll give them a fight like they’ve never seen

We’ll take it right to them and that b@$t@rd machine.

 

They’re defenses are made for a full scale attack

Our snub nose fighters are much smaller than that

They can’t fend us off using standard warfare

They must come to us, face to face, up here in the air.

 

They’re taking us down, we’ve lost Tiree, lost Dutch

Our damage to the Death Star isn’t amounting to much.

Into the trench, we must soon reach our mark

More star systems will join us if this erupts into sparks.

 

Flying the trench the target’s in sight

Looks like they’ve got nothing they’re not going to fight

Then back in the distance Darth Vader appears

Taking out all three Y-Wings, you know he did sneer.

 

It’s now up to the X-Wings, Well, Luke don’t you know

He sped toward the trench in the surface below.

Into the trench Luke had no real choice

Then all at once he heard old Ben’s voice.

 

Trust your feelings my young one this I say to you

Though the target is only a meter times two.

Don’t trust your eyes, let the Force be your guide

Your aim will be true you will not be denied.

 

With Vader approaching too quick from the rear

Wedge if you’re hit then go, get out of here

Leave it to me and to Biggs my dear friend

The two flaming stars will bring this to an end.

 

Vader downed Biggs and then R2 was hit

Luke stared more intent, this was going to be it.

Just when Vader had him dead to his rights

There came a blast from above, but still out of sight

 

 

You really can’t think I’d let you go it alone

Now blast this thing kid so we all can go home

The planet’s in range, commander, fire at will

The Rebellion will be wiped out with this massive kill

 

Luke’s proton torpedoes flew straight and flew true

Luke, remember, the Force will always be with you.

Right to the shaft the torpedo went in

The day of the Empire had come to an end

 

The Rebellion was saved and the heroes were honored

Darth Vader flew off, this defeat he must ponder.

One small individual, the Rebellion he saved

In that galaxy we know, far, far away.

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