Fran set me a challenge... here are the results
|It was 8am on a Sunday. Bleary eyed from the night before, john awoke and glimpsed around the room. Sure enough, he saw his dress, stilettos and tights on a crumpled heap on the floor. That same feeling hit john, that familiar feeling of tiredness at being trapped in the wrong body. Jean, his more outgoing and vivacious alter ego, would have to be more carefully packed away for another week.
Jean understood. She was johns comfort and outlet in an otherwise constraining world, that trapped him in like the corsets Jean wore. Only not in a good way. john had learned to cope with this, to deeply suppress his feelings and emotions underneath the lines of the accounting spreadsheets he filled in every day. Jean would have no place in the sombre, deafeningly predictable world of corporate accounts. In his office, the most prized possession was the corner office. Jean offered a much more glamorous prize: his freedom and identity.
Every fortnight John followed the same pattern. It was a ritual performed like clockwork, studiously perfected over the years. His very own ‘stars in their eyes moment’ – the only difference was that before and after could not be traced. As John peeled off his clothes, he imagined this is how a caterpillar felt, coming out of his cocoon to blossom into a wonderful butterfly, glittering with colour.
On canal street, Jean was well known. Her karaoke renditions were the stuff of legend and she was never without company. Nobody knew where she came from though, nobody ever really asked. It mattered not. This was a place where being yourself was the only requirement, where people came not to be judged and to dance their fears away. Liberation. In odd moments, John wondered what his colleague Geoff would make of this now. It would certainly be a more interesting tale of a weekend than yet another story of a bargain at a car boot sale. Who the hell collected gnomes nowadays anyway. Geoff needed to get out more!
But not here. This was Jean’s domain. Sometimes, she even ventured into the main parts of the city, as alcohol bought with it a daring and sense of risk that a more sober judgment would simply not allow.
But where to next? What of the future? As John gingerly rose from his bed, he started to think. Stumbling into the bathroom, he caught a glimpse of himself. A long hard stare. What did he want to do? A sense of fear and excitement gripped him. John looked back at the heap of clothes on the floor. Did he really want to live his life in secret forever? Suddenly the image of Jean appeared behind him, and beckoned to a world where freedom and liberation was not just an occasional, but an every day reality.
John didn’t know it at that point, but at that moment he had just taken a decisive step in his journey to becoming Jean on a permanent basis.