Has it really been 5 years? Time flies. My story "If The Shoe Fits" was such an important work for me as it helped me deal with a lot of feelings I was having as I reached the milestone of parenthood. Alex had this wonderful opportunity to do many of the things I couldn't and his anxiety about what those changes meant reflected my own. In the time since I released the slightly mad Chapter 5 in which Alex/Ally rescues his/her younger brother Seth from the suburban den of a bored drug cartel family, I watched high profile cases of trans women begin to dominate my news feed. Laura Jane Grace, Emmy-award winning Laverne Cox, Andreja Pejic, and now Caitlyn Jenner represent monumental shifts in trans acceptance and media penetration. Since my story so far takes place before these events, it's made Alex seem like he could be a pioneer in this regard. It gives her story more weight.
Yesterday I stumbled across the If The Shoe Fits file, including an unreleased version of chapter 6, and despite the fact that I had a very important appointment, I couldn't stop reading. Now, as I get to the part where Seth comes in like a wrecking ball to explode Alex's college life, I know that I must finish this. I want to know what happens to these sometimes lovely, sometimes awful people. And why Alex didn't just go to a credit union :P I guess in some ways he wanted this all to happen. I can relate.
As the George RR Martin of Big Closet I promise, Winter is coming.
“Go ahead. Hit me.” I bared my cheek to the snotty teen like it was a challenge.
“You think I won’t?” There was more puffing of the chest and Alejandro cocked his hand back as if for a punch.
“I think you will and then I think you’ll smack my stoned, delirious brother,” Alejandro tried to rally his fans with a ‘get a load of this guy’ type smirk but it was weaker than before. “I’m not finished. And then I think you’ll go down to the hospital and start punching newborn babies and expectant mothers because you’re such a hard gangster.” Aljeandro hadn’t noticed but I was now up in his business throwing mock gang symbols like a rapping soccer mom.
The tone of the room shifted. The energy was in my favor. The girls were all for a show of machismo but were much less enthused by my newborn baby beatdown narrative. An adolescent inferno was blazing in Alejandro’s eyes that if not contained properly would consume his common sense and end with my brother and I getting some unnecessary facial reconstruction. I braced myself for the punch, shutting my eyes tightly.
Any second now I would hear the crack of his fist fracturing my cheekbones and shattering my jaw. I could look forward to three months of soup through a straw. The pretty face that was about to pay the rest of my way through college would be destroyed.