what it might have been like:

I am thinking tonight of my summer at the Governor’s Honors Program. Thinking of how we all spent Field Day sitting together under a tree, talking about movies and about poetry. I am thinking of how sincerely I loved you and how differently it could have been if I’d known.

“Daniel,” I might have introduced my soft self. “My name is Daniel and I think I might love you.”

(Remember when I cried in Michael’s room that summer while watching Brokeback Mountain? You weren’t there, but I’m sure I told you about it.)

You quoted Romeo & Juliet at me before you kissed me and I wished I’d had narrower, boyish hips for you to rest your hands against.

We were really into Hedwig & the Angry Inch that summer, as I recall. We used to cuddle up on the floor of Jill’s classroom at night and watch movies, and that one was everybody’s favorite. (Of course it was.)

I wish I had been braver about anything. Wish I had tugged you by the sleeve into an empty classroom after one of those movies and quoted something beautiful and kissed you on the mouth. Kissed you with the same mouth that knew to speak my name aloud.

I’m new to this, so I don’t always feel like I’m allowed to talk about it, BUT: there’s a lot I’m mourning. There’s a lot that’s sad to me about figuring it out so late. I can never kiss a boy for the first time at nerd summer camp as the boy I think I am. Or a girl, for that matter. I think maybe that part matters less than I originally thought it did, but hell, I am learning every day.

I’m also a little tipsy on boxed Malbec and thinking more about Rocketman tonight. Thinking of that early scene when that handsome musician pushes Elton up against the wall and kisses him in his glasses and his cardigan.

Maybe part of my hopeful-grad school fantasy is it will be a little like nerd summer camp as an adult. Maybe someone will sit under a tree to talk about poetry and movies with me and maybe that someone handsome will push me up against a wall and kiss me in my cardigan.

(Yes, I also want to write plays.)

Also, while I’m thinking about it, I am allowed to want cardigans and ties and boy-pants and all of it even in this current body, soft and squishy and feminine though it is. There isn’t some test I have to pass before I can present the way I’d like, and there isn’t a test for you either. Sure, my first binder didn’t fit, but I can try again. I am not out of time.

I am not out of time.

I still feel like maybe I’m wrong about everything. Like maybe I made it all up. But when I have these daydreams, I feel something like relief, so… maybe there’s something to it.

Daniel Elton.

Just to write it again. Just to see it.

I like the way it looks.

And I like the way you look. I always have.

Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

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