It's the doors that are the hardest. You can look through your window in broad daylight and see what's going on outside, yet people can't see in your relatively dark living room. For those of us who crossdress that's a blessing. But the gloom of the house, or should I say 'closet', begins to close in on you after a while. All that practice with makeup, the circular miles logged from the kitchen to the living room and back through the dining room to perfect the skill of walking in high heels, the endless dithering about which blouse goes with which skirt no longer seem enough. The door calls to you, whispering of the freedom on the far side.
Freedom may whisper, but fear sings at the top of it's operatic lungs. Then longing sets up a counterpoint and desire adds yet another note to the chorus. It's just a trip to the store, with the simple goal of finding a present for your sister. A comforting twilight is settling over the landscape, obscuring any small faults in your presentation. One last time over the checklist: Keys, ID and shopping list in the purse, casual blouse and skirt, makeup satisfactory, no runs in the stockings. Squaring your shoulders, incidentally causing your bra straps remind you that you are wearing a bra, you swing open the door and make for you car. Three steps down the porch, ten feet down the drive, two houses over to the car parked on the street. With shelter in sight (whew!) you fumble for the keys and press the clicker. Suddenly the horn starts blaring over and over.
Panic button! You hit the Panic Button!
You lunge desperately for the door, dropping the keys on the ground while the Beep! Beep! Beep! echoes around you. Blindly you grope and just as you finally connect with the keyring the photo eyes on the streetlamps decide it's time to flood the street in merciless white light. You press the button to open the door and enter as the Beep! Beep! Beep! Becomes a louder and more insistent Honk! Honk! Honk! Where is the damned ignition switch? The key won't go in the hole! At last things align and you twist the key to start the engine.
Silence! Sweet, blessed silence!
Your heart continues beating furiously, you can practically see your breast forms bouncing to its rhythm. Calmer now you search the neighborhood for the hoard of people who will surely flood from their houses to investigate the automotive burglary, only to find the landscape devoid of humanity. Your rational self realizes that so many car alarms go off so often nobody cares any more, but your paranoid self is still sure you will be exposed as a fraud. Take a cleansing breath. Another. With the third you begin to feel more secure.
Put the car in gear, step on the gas, drive. Simple, everyday actions take your mind off the thrill and agony of being out in public dressed as the woman you have hidden within the confines of you home for so long. Eventually you pull into a parking space at the large and anonymous box store and switch off the ignition. You reach for the handle and again realize you have to go through another door and out into the world with absolutely no barriers between you and the rest of humanity.
This time it's easier. Gracefully you slide out of the seat, knees together. You press the lock button on the car door, keeping your fingers far from the panic button on the key fob. Crossing the parking lot is energizing, your skirt swirling as you move freely in the open air. Another door looms but you pass through it as the hidden sensors open it for your convenience, electronic technology replacing the gracious gentlemen of years past who would courteously open the door for a lady.
Taking a shopping cart you nod to the gentleman whose job is to greet customers. He casually waves his hand and smiles, unaware of the deception in your appearance. The long aisles stretch before you when you realize you haven't got the faintest idea what to get for your sister's birthday. You tell yourself that's why you're here, to get a birthday present, knowing full well that's just the excuse you needed to finally leave the house dressed as you really want to be dressed. Now really, you're dressed as a woman, you are in a store, so stop dithering and start shopping!
Tools? I don't think so. Automotive? Give me a break. Housewares? Getting closer, but she has enough kitchen junk and towels for two houses. Jewelry? There's a possibility. As you approach the counter you see a woman with her baby in the cart. The woman is not bad looking, but you firmly put that out of your mind - now is not the time or place for male oriented thoughts. The kid is cute as hell. Maybe two years old in pink footie pajamas. She has a brown knit cap with a large pink rose that looks like something a flapper would wear back in the 1920s. Her enigmatic smile rivals the Mona Lisa and her huge brown eyes bore into your soul.
As you walk by her head swivels and her eyes track you relentlessly. They say teenagers are the bane of crossdressers, does that apply to two year olds? Can she possibly have read you? You smile at her and continue to look at earrings in the next aisle, vaguely relieved she is out of sight. She is a damned cute kid, though.
Nothing inspiring in jewelry, so you keep going. Electronics? Games? Nah. Turning the corner in the fabric section you again find Miss Enigmatic staring at you with those big brown eyes. This time you risk a smile and a wave, but she only tracks your progress with that look of complete concentration that two year olds have patented. Sports? Garden? You're running out of departments and there is nothing that seems appropriate as a gift for your sister. Ladies fashions? Save the best for last. Again nothing that seems right for your sister, but that skirt over there would be perfect for you. Throwing caution to the wind you take it to the dressing room only to find those big brown eyes piercing you once more as you open the door.
"Well, hello again, cutie," you murmur in your best feminine voice. No response, only those liquid eyes fastened on you. Entering the booth you feel immense relief to be alone for a moment. Stepping out of your skirt you try on the new one. Pretty flattering. With your newly gained confidence you exit the booth to stand before the full length mirror outside. Yes, the skirt is just right. In a moment of whimsy you spin around to watch it flare out around your legs, only to stop face to face with those beautiful brown eyes.
"Wow! You're pretty!" she says with a smile.
Your sister may not have gotten a present, but this small child has given you a gift more precious than any you have ever received.
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