I Passed A Girl

I Passed A Girl
(a poem, I suppose)

I passed a high school girl on the sidewalk as I was walking today. I glanced at her a couple of times as I walked by; curious, gently probing looks. She was pretty in the way youth is pretty, and she didn’t glance back at me, but she perceived me all this same — I could feel that much.

She felt… Guarded, cautious. I felt suddenly concerned, as if her defensive posture said I had been read male. I dressed casually today and shaved this morning, and I thought I looked pretty good, but the short dark hairs along my upper lip might have given my history of testosterone away.

And yet, her guard felt nothing like the familiar fear of assault, however brief. Nothing in the girl’s countenance projected physical concern. No, I had instead felt emotional concern — the posture of someone protecting her self image from the critical eye of an older woman. She was not afraid I would tear at her body, but afraid I would pierce at her heart.

Ah, what a tumultuous cauldron of emotion. Elation at being read feminine, a mark of my long progress. Despair at her defense, her apparent need to protect herself from the presence of unfamiliar women. Curiosity at my own feelings, the ephemeral musings of being unsure if my experience was perception or projection. There is no way to know now; better to freeze this moment in language and release it back into the world, a mystery in which a deeper truth may some day be discovered.