I am a gardener, a writer, a Londoner. I am English. I am a geek. I am a cook, a painter, a slow examiner of minute details (you are rushing me, however slowly you go). Despite being shoehorned into a body that is cartoonishly female, I don’t understand what it is to have a gender identity. I was born, happily, with a soul that is firmly “it”. I find people who relate to me on the basis of my being a woman tiresome. I am a dutiful child, a sibling and friend. I am your best kept secret: I am loyal. I have my heart deep in myths, down with the bulbs, dead in summer, growing in the quiet dark in winter when all seems still and without hope, flourishing in spring, all herald-trumpets, quick to fade but dependable and undefeatable. I am a hermit, most likely to find contentment and rest when alone, unable to function in a busy house. I must have space, mental and physical: high ceilings, the outdoors, the sky. I must have animals in my life, dumb, wriggling, hot little beasts. I am not, and never wanted to be a parent. I will compete hard for money, but never in the smallest way for love. I cannot abide unkindness. I find many people beautiful, but very, very few sexually attractive, and that is dependent entirely upon feeling an emotional connection to them. In the absence of that, there can be nothing else. And the minute your back is turned I will begin leaning on the rules that have been explained to me, leaning, leaning, bending, finding ways around, burrowing under, subverting, unpicking. Not with malice. I don’t have any malice, nor any concept of revenge. If you are in authority I am compelled to test you. If there is a way it should be done, I am compelled to invent a new one. I can’t help it. It’s who I am.
It is my identity.
Other people differ. Some enjoy chilli and some play video games. Some people are strongly gendered. Some love casual sex. Some people are here to be parents. Some people dislike wasps but are mad for giraffes. Some never look at the world they walk around in. Some need religion. Some are afraid of everything, some are not afraid enough. Some can drive cars, or speak a dozen languages. Some can dance and jump and run. Some people like Ikea furniture.
Someone has to be Peter Hitchens.
So I might not like you, but I love you. There is a line in Whedon’s “Angel” (I am drawing on humanity’s most powerful canon, here), where the green-faced barkeep reminds someone that “it is the change from one note to the next that makes life a symphony.”
Oh, let’s remember to love each other. We are all monkeys in shoes, muddling along and post-rationalising everything we say, do, think, holding it up against the filter of other people’s approval: so afraid of rejection that if someone gives us that, we wear it defiantly, like armour. We grow small inside it and become lost (poor David Cameron rattles in the very toe of his suit of armour, and wants to give us all armour, just like his). But what we say, do or think, good or ill, is a note in the symphony.
That I would say something like this is predictable, because saying a thing like this is part of my identity. And that you may laugh at it and think it is nonsense may be part of yours.
But I hope not. x