Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: "...physically, he had not always been what he was..."
Source: A Tale of the Ragged Mountains by Edgar Allan Poe
My father missed no opportunity to remind me that physically, he had not always been what he was—that he had spent the first half of his life as a female. He was, technically, my mother. In that he had undergone his transformation when I was less than a year old, however, and in that my biological father was entirely unknown to me until many years later, the person whose womb bore me to viability was, and always would be, my father.
Sometimes he referred to his past form to emphasize the array of experiences that we held in common—I know what it's like to be a little girl, young woman, etc. More often, he mentioned it in order to encourage me to experiment and to explore—to try new things, unhindered by conventions that continue, even now, to outlive their relevance or their utility.
If my father's greatest dream for me was that I pursue novel interests without regard for societal norms, he would not have been disappointed. It is difficult for me to imagine—nay, I cannot imagine—any way in which I might more entirely have escaped the trajectory that nature and human expectations had set for me.
[about my timed writing exercises]