Monday, 25 September 2017

Crete Diaries 2017 / The Face in the Mirror.

After seeing someone almost every night in Crete while I was on holiday I tried to put myself in their shoes and wrote this story. Of course I don't know their real story and I've probably got it all wrong but I couldn't get this person out of my head until I had written something. Hopefully the real person will never read this but if they do I apologise in advance but this story comes from the heart.

The Face in The Mirror.

I was feeling quite happy when I came out this evening. My usual walk to my usual haunt is uneventful but somehow tonight feels different. Holidaymakers pass me by jostling playfully with each other, having fun. As I get to my spot,the spot where I stand and wait for "friends" I am joined by a man and a woman, maybe in their fifties, I'm not very good at guessing ages. I know they're waiting for the mini bus that will take them back to their hotel. I see different people waiting there every night for a while then they're gone,home to start saving again for their next holiday. The woman smiles at me and tries nor to look as if she's staring but I can tell that she's never seen anyone like me before, she's led a sheltered life.
The man avoids any eye contact with me. I can tell he's uncomfortable standing there within touching distance but that's where the bus stops so he has no other option. 
Usually people looking doesn't bother me but tonight for some reason it does. I feel different to all the other people out and about on holiday. A difference that has nothing to do with me not being on holiday but living and working here.

Tonight is hot and clammy. I think about how I looked in the mirror before I left my bedroom. I have a good figure,long red frizzy hair that could do with conditioning. I'm wearing skin tight jeans and a long t shirt with fringes around the bottom. Red six inch heels make me look even taller than I am. I'm on the wrong side of thirty five but make up works wonders. I look into my face. It's never the face I want to see. I look into the mirror and the face of a man looks back at me.
That's what those people see, a man dressed up as a woman,a man who is standing outside a gent's toilet waiting for business. And they're right! They're completely right! 

The cars pass slowly through the carpark next to the toilets, most because they're looking for that valued space in such a busy place but some because they're looking for someone like me.
Someone like me? Is that what I've become ? A cliche? One of those people who haunts toilets that your mother warns you to be wary of. 
I was born in the wrong body. I've always felt female,I always have been female.
I suppose I'm lucky I've always been tall and slim, no matter what I eat I never put on weight,I know,every girl's dream.
My parents couldn't cope with their son,their blue eyed blonde hair son telling them he was a girl. They're still in denial. I left home at sixteen and lived on the streets for five years. Eventually I was given  a place in a hostel and an address. I found a job in a supermarket and had money for the first time. 
I dressed as a man during this period as it was easier to keep my job and get on with people. Some friends were going on holiday to Crete and the cheap flights enticed me so I went with them and never left.
In Crete I became me again. Most of the time I dressed as the woman I felt I was but to be a complete woman is much more complicated and costs more money than I have. I work on a tourist boat during the day, hair tied up,cap on and at night I apply my make up and untie my hair.
If the right people come along I make good money but it's a dangerous profession, having sex with strangers. My clients are usually married men with 2.4 children. As long as they pay I will let them live they life they want for a few minutes.

I read in the newspaper today about a famous footballer who has undergone a sex change. Everyone says how brave he is,what courage it took for him to tell the world he was born into the wrong body. I felt like crying. He who has millions in his bank account is brave? He who paid for the best plastic surgeon in the world is brave? Oh no! Brave is standing outside a gent's toilet night after night and watching the looks on the faces of normal people going about their normal lives wondering what happened to make you live this life.
Brave is taking money in return for sex and saving and saving. Not eating, not drinking, no drugs,nothing to numb the humiliation of what I do.
Soon, when I have saved enough I will board a plane to Thailand where a surgeon (not the best in the world) will change my body. Facial surgery and fillers will change the shape of my face and my life will begin again.
I will return to Crete as a woman. I will find employment and I will walk past my old haunt and no one will recognise me. I will not stop at the toilets I will walk past. I will smile at the people waiting for the hotel bus. Someone else will be in my place,perhaps someone like me. Someone else hurting as much as I did. As I walk by I will not look back I will only look day.

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