an unofficial entry in the now-defunct “butch please" column
every year, we dance this dance. we say these lines, and i try to get my timing right, my nods and my apologies, but she has the monologue down, she doesn’t want this to be a two-man show anymore. she’s been reciting her part for so long now that i know half the words, too. there are moments when the sentences don’t even need to be finished for how familiar they are, how they fit into my memories like little white scars.
i buy you these beautiful clothes, and you don’t wear them. we save all year so you can have nice clothes, so you can have a nice christmas, and you never wear them. i never see them on you. what happened to the sweater i bought you last year? the one with the beads on it? why do i buy you these beautiful clothes if you don’t care? i would have loved to have beautiful clothes when i was your age, beautiful clothes like these. why do i bother? it hurts.
Every year, this is my dad. He’s got a great eye for picking out women’s clothing, and he knows the kind of stuff I like - and in fact, if the clothes he bought me were not tailored to show off the hips and tits I wish I didn’t have, I would wear the shit out of them. Because he picks them out, unlike my mother, in colors that I like, in styles that I like, in brands that I like. They’re all right - except for that fact that they’re all wrong. Because they are not the sum of their parts - the color, the style, the brand - and this is what I can’t explain to my mother, my sister, and especially not my father. It’s the way they’re shaped, the things they’ve been manufactured to accentuate, the way they make me feel like I’ve been wrapped up and put on display. My tongue feels thick in my mouth when I try to explain the difference, and it never comes out quite right, the reason for why it just HAS to be stuff from the men’s section. Because wearing clothes from the guys’ side is the only time I’ve ever felt comfortable in my own skin, and I hate to see the hurt on my dad’s face when I stuff his latest purchases into the back of my closet, never to be seen again. Because I know he’s trying SO HARD. He never says anything about it either, but I can tell because we’re so alike I can practically read his mind. And yet the one thing I can’t read is why he keeps doing it.