To love and be loved by a doll was an immeasurable gift, and Eddie was twice blessed. He had been sleeping with Simone here and there, a congenial sort of fling, for about a year. She wasn’t one to leave the house for anything short of an emergency, sexual or otherwise, and so Eddie found himself waiting on her porch with a backpack full of dicks more often than not. He had a new strap to break in, and he was probably thinking about that, or his friend who’d just had phallo, whether he wanted that too, when a butch answered the door.
Mel had drummer arms and a stomach flushed with muscle. Her hair was only just beginning to curl at the nape of her neck, delicate and soft as sage, and her left earlobe was cleaved from an old yanked earring. Her face was resplendent.
“Oh.” Eddie gripped a buckle on his bag, the straps biting into his shoulders. “I’m at the wrong address?”
Mel looked at him like how should I know, and Eddie still stuck on her arms stood on the porch, the dicks on his back, the dick in his pants, not knowing what to do, until Simone sang from inside the house, asking if her gentleman caller had arrived.
The mailbox squeaked as Mel fished inside it. She was looking at him, and she was smirking. “You’re as dumb as you look, aren’t you?”
Simone, appearing at the door, rolled her eyes.
“Girl, you’ll have to pencil him in some other time. His appointment is with me.”
The first time he got called a faggot, a grin threatened to crack his jaw in two. He had been walking to a standup show with a cis friend when it happened. A stranger, shouldering past on the narrow sidewalk, looked at them both and saw two fruits.
“Did you hear that,” Eddie asked once they’d turned the corner. His friend kept chatting like he hadn’t spoken, but Eddie couldn’t pay attention. A luscious warmth was melting through him. He felt, for once, seated inside his own body.
Later, at a bar, his friend spied him zooming in to every inch of skin in an internet FTM’s picture. The caption was an indulgent couple of paragraphs (let trans men be feminine!), but Eddie wasn’t there to read. He ogled at the hairy chest, the suggestion of abs, the drape of a deep cut blouse. So elegant, so fuckable.
His friend tilted the screen toward himself, incredulous.
“You want to be like that?”
Eddie locked the phone and stayed staring at the black screen. Sniffed loudly.
His friend took the vape from him, looked away, and exhaled an operatic sigh.
“Why anyone would want to be a man is beyond me.”
How stupid could Eddie be, delighting in harassment. He was fetishizing or projecting or something. An ethical person would not straddle a line in the sand, no matter how imaginary that line was, and step to the side of man. He drank. He should forget it, duh, why bother. There were so many ways to be a woman. And yet–shoulders tense, possessed by a lush want–Eddie was convinced that a faggot was a wonderful thing to be.
On their third date, the one that would end on Pulpit Rock, fucking high on the park bluff to the sound of people and cars passing below, Eddie brought Mel a paper bag full of his girl clothes. It wasn’t much. He’d gone through multiple purges, shedding fabric between apartments and spirals of disgust. A skirt, a few dresses and shirts. Eddie had a recurring nightmare where he wore them again, forced by an unseen presence to masturbate in front of a mirror. Still, good clothes seemed a terrible thing to waste. Didn’t he care about sustainability, about reducing his carbon footprint? Eddie never recycled, but he did care about Mel.
“It fits,” she whispered.
The dress was short on her, barely covering her ass, but it hugged her waist and twirled when she did, the mirror catching every angle, and it made her smile, she smiled at him, on the mattress, on his back, beneath her, hands sliding under the dress that had been his and never would be again. If he could, he would have given her the tits off his chest.