Two Pills

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Description: Before me on the kitchen table sit my meds. Just a couple of pills hanging out, so innocuous that if you were heading to the fridge for some Chinese leftovers you would probably miss them completely. The circular one, the larger of the two, is the color of desert sand and stamped with the letter 'G' (presumably the initial of the manufac- turer). Its diameter is that of a shirt button and just as easily lost on a busy day. Out on the street corner it goes by the tough-guy name of 'Spironolactone.' Officially it is a 'potassium-sparing diuretic' used to treat patients suffering from congestive heart failure, hypokalemia and certain forms of hypertension. It is also an ingrethent found in topical lotion used to combat male-pattern balding. That's because Spiro's an anti-androgen, a testosterone blocker. This is not candy, I've been dutifully warned. Too much can result in potassium poisoning, the major symptom being a sudden fatal heart attack. Other side effects include sterility and, the one I'm concerned with, breast growth. For nearly three years now I've been taking 100 milligrams, twice a day.Finding a reason for this oddly beautiful existence isn't what drives me anymore. Nor is finding the right shade of eye shadow, lipstick or learning how to 'walk like a woman', whatever that means. Some transwomen swear it's all about the presentation, how well they pass in public. I used to think like that, too, until the day I woke up late and ran out of the house without any eyeliner or lipstick on. It wasn't until checking me out in the mirror before lunch time that I even realized my eyelids and lips were bare. That didn't stop me from feeling like a woman. Because feeling 'like a woman' isn't something external but rather intrinsic. Pretty dresses don't make me who I am. Neither does a Double D cup. Or even sex-reassignment surgery. That scalpel won't make me female. Either I am already, having been born a woman born in a man's body, or I'm not.
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