Taking Up Space
It starts off a hot, sticky morning the day I wake up as a man.
I hit the alarm and realise something isn’t right when my hand catches the stubble on my chin. I run my hands down to my chest under my vest: it’s flat. My large breasts aren’t rolling sideways, catching under my armpits. A moment of panic; where the fuck are they?
I open my eyes and look down, see curly black hairs where breasts used to be; small dotted nipples. And there’s something else strange going on below the sheets. I feel downwards. I have an erection. I let out a gasp, eyes growing wide. This is unexpected. I feel strangely aroused. I lift the sheet to peek below. Erect and throbbing, my new penis is a pretty fine example sticking out of my boxers.
I sweep my hands down my thighs and across my stomach. It’s flat. And there are no silvery, snaking stretch marks. My usually sashayed hips are just straight flanks down towards thick, hairy legs. My hand finds my new penis without intention, grabs it, firmly, pulling back. I feel a wash of pleasure ripple through my body. I idle there, masturbating, for a couple of minutes before the alarm rings again. I swear at it wanting to finish what I started, but I know I’ll be late for work, so I reluctantly let it go, for now.
This could be fun, I think, and I smile broadly. I jump out of bed, trip over the cat and run into the bathroom. Stripping off boxers, I stand in front of the full-length mirror, taking myself in. I’m not bad, quite cute in fact. I’d fancy me. Well, the old me would fancy me, I mean. I look to where my erection was and see it’s quickly shrivelling to a more modest size. I never realised how quick it could disappear.
I take a piss, firing it in a loop above the toilet, trying to do stunts. It’s such fun, why did I never know this?
I shower and explore my new body parts. I run soaped hands down large, hairy thighs and around sacks like stress balls. I stop as my erection is starting again and I don’t have time. I dry off, brush my teeth and run gelled hands through floppy hair.
I’m relieved to see trousers, jeans, t-shirts in my wardrobe. I pull on some smart brown trousers, and the tightest fitting t-shirt I can find. I’m going to flaunt this flat chest. I never wear t-shirts. And I will revel in walking the streets without getting cat-called.
I think of every morning, walking past those road workers by the tube station. Trying, desperately, to pull my jacket around my front in the hope my large chest won’t strain too much; that my ass in /that skirt won’t draw attention.
Before I leave, I decide to try out my voice. It will sound ridiculous if I still have a high-pitched tone. I speak to the man in the mirror. Hey there, I say, for some reason using a macho American accent. My voice comes out deep and sonorous. I sound familiar. I sound like my dad, I realise.
On the tube, I sit, legs wide and sprawling, taking up space. Entitled. A girl sits opposite, curling herself as small as possible into the seat. I smile at her flirtatiously, trying it out. She blushes. I feel large and powerful, invincible.
At work, I have to sit through a tedious creative meeting. I venture an idea on the Goldberg account; it’s not the best I’ve ever had, but it’s kind of a strange day and I’m not on top form. But the most surprising thing is when everyone listens to me speak. My boss nods at me appraisingly. Sarah, a colleague, agrees – she’s smiling and proud and mentions things like expansion and new territories. She pulls out a folder, but the boss simply shakes his head and she shrinks back into her seat, deflated. I smile at her sympathetically. She glares back.
I head to the canteen for early lunch, bacon and sausage sandwich without the side order of guilt. When my boss approaches me late in the afternoon, suggesting I apply for an upcoming promotion, he says it doesn’t matter that I don’t have the qualifications. We can work something out.
I lean back in my chair and look up. I don’t see a glass ceiling – all I see is endless blue sky for miles.
I catch the tube back home, hoping to see the girl from this morning. Hoping I can invite her out for a drink, maybe take her back to mine. I’d like to try having a one-night stand without being judged. Without being called bad names.
I’d like to see what it’s like to run my hands over smooth, curving flesh; to taste the sweetness of a woman not a man and explore a different side of me.
I’d like to see how it feels to be inside a woman; not inside her skin, but inside her like a man. To dominate, to experience climax and not worry if she does.
Just for one night. Before I have to go back
***Kate is a freelance writer based in the UK who writes articles, including regular contributions to online women’s magazine Skirt Collective, as well as publishing life writing and poetry both in print and online. She has a passion for flash fiction and short stories, and is usually found lurking around coffee shops, writing and listening to other people’s conversations.
She blogs at www.writerinresidenceblog.wordpress.com.
Find Kate on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/katejonespp ***