I got to bed later than intended last night - just before midnight - but dropped off to sleep without difficulty. However, I woke at 4.00am, and after half an hour knew I wouldn't sleep any more. So I got up, had a cup of tea, and watched two hours of Danger Man. It took my mind off the coming events of the day. I'm just beginning to require panic management. It'll take an effort not to worry about whether I die during the next thirty hours. Sounds melodramatic, but then I do have a preference to stay alive and experience whatever may come in the years ahead.
That's better: a soothing sunset while gentle waves lap at my feet. This place was Duckpool, a bay north of Bude on the Cornish coast. M--- and I spent a happy two hours there in June 2006. It was warm and calm and the sunset just got better and better, though it never became red and fiery.
I thought of showing another sunset we shared in April 2007, at Tongaporatu on the west coast of North Island, New Zealand, but that had danger and anxiety attached to it. M--- and I had become separated while exploring a picturesque river mouth in the late afternoon. There were cliffs, caves and sandy expanses to hide us from each other. At first it didn't matter. Then it did. The tide was coming in. I had visions of M---, ever one to forge on ahead and go where I wouldn't go, slipping and lying injured. I went far along the foot of the cliffs in the most likely direction to find her, getting more and more concerned, turning back only because the light was fading and I felt she couldn't possibly have gone so far. How utterly relieved I was, how overwhelmingly glad, when I met some locals whom M---, equally concerned for me, had asked to look out for me. We were reunited back at the car park, the sunset now blood red and in its final stages. Looking back, it was perhaps almost the last precious moment of extreme unmitigated pleasure to be with each other. How fear and danger can unite!
But not much more than a year later, the shadow of gender dysphoria began to destroy what we had.
And now we have arrived here, with myself (or my condition? Does it matter which?) setting the pace, in control, and M--- the hapless victim. I don't know what lies ahead - if there is an 'ahead' for me of course!
All this said, I refuse to brood. It's now getting light, my bags are packed, my lift is arranged, and it's uncannily like going away on holiday. I've had a cooked breakfast, not because I'm abandoning the calorie-controlled diet, but because I wanted to go to the toilet and clear myself out. (I apologise for such practical thinking) But the breakfast fitted in with the holiday feeling too. And when I get to the hospital, it'll be like checking in to a hotel, and my room will be like a hotel bedroom, except for a strange-looking bed and some specialised equipment you don't normally see in hotels.
I do hope I enjoy my stay. And the souvenirs I'll come away with.