Beyond the Door

Beyond the Door
One of the pictures taken by the author on October 29, 2012.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

October 29, 2012:

On this particular Monday, I had had an outfit in mind all day that I wanted to wear later. It was based around a black trapeze dress from Tallissime (then a brand name used by Woman Within) and an Only Necessities cardigan in green-and-blue ombre, with oversized snaps and a tie at the front.  I got home from work, and, as soon as I could, I put it on, adding black tights and calf-high boots.  Then I decided to fix up my face, starting with some berry-pink lip gloss and brown eyeliner, to which I added some concealer...then a little powder to blend it...then a little blush to the cheekbones...then I looked at my eyes again and said, "How boring!" So I completed the look with some earth-tone eye shadow and black-brown mascara.  When she saw it, Sabrina thought I did a decent job, though she cautioned me to remember to take it off later. (As if I would forget!)

At that point, I decided I should get some pictures.  So I dug out our old Canon digital camera, which was suffering from a glitchy sensor, and set it up for timed pictures.  I got several shots which could be considered "acceptable"...although the picture included above actually came about by accident; I was reaching over to start the ten-second timer, but the camera had reset its settings and took the photo right then. A little cropping saved the image, and it became one of three that I uploaded to as the first actual pictures I'd shared on the site.

After I'd finished taking the photos and uploading them, I stayed dressed as Amy, and I noticed that Sabrina had left a couple of filled trash bags next to the front door. She never takes them out to the dumpster herself; she always leaves them for me to take out.

So I did.

For the first time, Amy Tapie opened her front door and walked outside.

The sensations of that night are burned into my memory...the cool breeze blowing under my skirt and through the material of my tights, the "clunk, clunk, clunk" sounds my boot heels made against the concrete and asphalt, the brilliant full moon overhead lighting my way. Unhurriedly, I walked across to the dumpster, trying to do so in a feminine fashion, tossed the bags in, and walked back to the apartment.

And the sky didn't fall in! No one cared; no one noticed; I don't even think anyone was looking.

The fear was still there...but it was no longer crippling.  I'd taken my first steps into the world.

January 25, 2013:

By this point, I was actually behind the wheel of my Ford Taurus, wearing a teal skirt-and-cardigan set with a white polka-dot blouse, tights, and boots.  My purse sat on the seat next to me as I first drove through the ATM at FirstBank, withdrawing a $20 bill, and then headed up to the McDonald's at Havana Street and Florida Avenue, where I intended to fetch myself and Sabrina back some desserts.  I'd been through this drive-through window before as Amy, using Amy-voice to order some drinks, without incident, so I didn't expect anything bad to happen.

At the drive-through speaker, I placed my order using my Amy-voice: a McFlurry with Reeses for Sabrina, and a hot fudge sundae for me.  This went fine, as did the interaction with the lady at the first window, who just took my $20 and handed me change, and I said "Thank you!" to.  At the second window, some confusion had apparently developed, so the lady there shared a brief conversational exchange with me:

"I'm sorry, ma'am, what was your order?"

"Umm...a McFlurry with Reeses and a hot fudge sundae."

"Okay, one sec."

She turned aside, picking up what I'd ordered, and then handed it to me.

"There you are, ma'am. I'm sorry, we don't have any more nuts."

"Oh, that's quite all right. Thank you!"

"Thank you!"

The woman at that second window had no idea how elated I was as I drove off.  She'd addressed me as "ma'am"...twice. She had perceived me as a woman!

Now I knew that I was real. That Amy was real. That I was capable of being a passable woman.  Never mind that my breasts were actually silicone, or that my "improper" genitals were carefully concealed.  My appearance was convincing. Even my voice was convincing. I could do this!

That was a sweet end to the evening...and the ice cream wasn't bad, either.  I didn't even miss the nuts for my sundae.