I Should Have Been a Boy

I have something to confess. One night, I just felt like writing all these. It's so long. About myself.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lesbian. I will never ever hold any romantic feelings towards a girl, and I never had.

My dark dreams

At the moment I gain consciousness in this world, I felt that I should have been born a boy. I learned to walk at 9 months old. I still remember that day, the day I had the freedom to finally walk with my own feet. I still remember all the history of my slippers, from my pale cloth shoes to red rubber ones until I stopped memorizing them at age 7. I remember when I used to crawl with both my hands and knees. I even remember my favorite spot where I'd like to take a shit (that intersection of bamboo floor assemblage). And most of all, I still remember how I felt as a baby.

I believed I was a boy until I learned the difference. That was when I was 2. I saw these boys passing by our house with their clothes off and something dangling between their legs. I believed mine will grow in time. When I got really sick (with this kind of stomach disease that kept on coming back in a period of time due to some lack of hygiene or mistake in cutting my umbilical cord when my mother gave birth to me) at age 3, I went outside to take my favorite hobby of all--walking. And just outside our home, these boys passed by me. They looked at me and got fascinated with my enormous bloated stomach. They pointed to my protruding navel and asked me what it was.

I said, "That's my penis--"

I would have added "... growing." if they didn't start laughing.

I felt humiliated and got so embarrassed with myself. So they passed by me, muttering among themselves and laughing, "That's not a penis!" Since that day, I have gone so shy. I have questions and didn't have the courage to talk to my parents about it. I didn't want them to laugh at me. Or worse, get worried.

At age 4, when we played bahay-bahayan (play house) with my neighbors, twice I presumed the role of the father. I realized how queer it felt so I stopped and not having anyone notice it. And maybe my dreams affect me also. In my dreams when I slept at night as a toddler, I never had the role of a girl.

I was always a man.

Some of my dreams:

I was old maybe almost 50, tall with dark gray hair. I just keep on running, as if someone's chasing after me. I'm running on alleys between tall concrete buildings. And before long, these men with dark suits would reach me. When the pursuit ends, I'm on my knees with my hands on the floor. I'd watch them taking out their pistols from their belt. Their hands were gloved, white gloves. I can't make out their faces, they were clouded in darkness. If there's one thing I could recognize from their heads, the uniform hat they're all wearing and some of them were blonde. It was like what Daddy-Long-Legs was wearing. And I'd end up kneeling to them, begging for my life. And then I'd wake up.

At age 4, my dream would progress. It would always be that way. I'm on a chase. But this time, I'd be on my knees begging while they all have their guns pointing at my head. And then I'd wait for the first shot that never comes. And then I'd wake up.

At age 5, I learned something. Every time I wind up getting caught, I learned to create a hole on the floor under me. And then I'd fall forever on that dark hole. Well, not really forever. As the pull of something heavy gets stronger, I'd feel that the ground is nearing me. Then I'd feel both my feet hit on something (the other ground, probably). And then I'd wake up.

When I was 19, I thought that I'd get over the feeling. I've been dressing like crazy for the past 2 years then. Dressing so much like a girl, with frilly dresses, fancy short skirts, fishnets, corsets, meshed shirts and the like. So it surprised me that time while I hanged out with my Ninecest batchmates in AME at Trinoma. While we were all talking, this feeling washed over me and I just blurted, "No matter what I do, I still feel like a boy. I'm always a boy."

And my batchmates looked at me, most of them not at all surprised. Well, what do you expect from an organization with all sorts of queerness? And then this girl (forgot her name) pulled my head comfortably into her chest and said, "It's okay. We accept you." And even quipped, "I actually thought you're lesbian. Almost like myself." And I don't know if she was kidding, about herself being lesbian. And then the gay ones started talking about themselves being gay.

The thing about all this is that this feeling remains the same.

I feel like I should have been a boy.

But I don't have interest in girls.

I have interest in guys.

I feel romantic with the male species.

But I feel much of myself as a boy than a girl.

How would you call someone like me?

If you're into K-pop, you'd know that Amber of F(x) feels the same way but she's so much hard core. She keeps her hair short, her voice deep, her style boyish but she swears she's only attracted to guys. She just feels comfortable being the way she is. She's not a lesbian but she feels like a boy too.

My recurring dreams as a man just worsen the issue. Every time I wake up then, I'd feel much more a man than a girl that I was. I thought back then that maybe before I reach adulthood, I will be able to resolve the issue. But now that I'm almost 23, the feeling still remains the same. I actually am grateful with Lady Gaga because now I can just sing, "baby, I was born this way!"

I remember as I look myself in the mirror at age 6. I'd close my eyes and pray to God, "Please don't make my boobs grow!" It's because of this that I never felt sorry when I never grew my boobs. I had a pair that's almost flat. And because I fear an onset of war. I'd add to my prayers, "Please maintain my small height when I grow up!"

And because of this, I never felt sorry for my lack of height. As to why I prayed this when I was 6? Okay, the fact remains that I was already aware of how small I was as a girl, but there are chances that growth will spurt and somehow I just knew that. But the core of my sentiment was because I'm afraid of war. I was afraid of what I heard about martial law. Sleep wasn't much of help either. I'd always remember the pursuit in my dreams. I just thought that if I'm so small, no one would notice me just hiding in the ground. No one would see me walking. To put it simply, no one would see me. I wouldn't get caught.

And hence, another feeling emerged. I don't want to be seen by anyone. I don't want for people to know me. I wanted to be invisible.

I was so caught up with all these tangling emotions--feeling like a boy, anxious with the chase in dreams that it lead me to believing in reincarnation.

Maybe I was a reincarnation of someone. If I was not reincarnated, then maybe I was a psychic, tuning in to someone, picking up on someone else's memories. For as a baby, I wouldn't have such kind of complex memories on my own.

Another dream

When I was younger (as that old man on the chase), I was about 6'2". As to how I know this? It's more on the impression in the dream. When you 'wake up' in a dream, you'd just know who you are. The same goes when I was a huge monster whose nature was to eat people especially fresh ones--babies. Oh, about that. I was dreaming that I was a monster chasing after kids. My mum woke me up with me growling and my hands in front of me as if catching something. My mum was afraid that I was possessed. And my excuse? When she asked me what I was doing, while still asleep I said, "I'm playing Chinese garter". I was 7 years old then. I was a monster (inspired by the local film, Sa Kabilugan ng Buwan) who was about to eat two kids (my neighbors whom I've been in an argument that day).

So back to the six-footer. I was wearing a long cape. Like military jacket/cape. I was walking on the snow. All around me is dark. It was a snowy night. The snow is flowing from the dark sky. I was headed to somewhere. As the real me, I don't know where my destination was. But as the man, I was certain where I was headed to. As I walk (really slow), these shadows would fall behind me. Some of them, ahead of me. They weren't just shadows. They were people. Like myself. A few were female. And we're all headed to the same direction. And then I'd turn my gaze behind me. And as I look into their blank faces, I'd wake up in a cold sweat.

Over the years, the dream would progress. After the walk, we had a rendezvous at a snowy clearing not unlike the path we'd just walk on. We meet in a circle. The female ones are wearing this 'boxy' fur hat. And again, I'd wake up looking at their blank dark faces.

When I was 14, I had this war episode with Sadako in my dream. It was our 3rd episode with 3 stages each just like in a Play Station game. On the last episode, she grabbed me on both shoulders. We had that stance same like in a judo match. She was scary all right. But then I was scary myself for I had copied how she looked like. And we'd both be staring at each other's eyes, her white eyes enveloping my sight. And as I stared into her eyes, I saw a reflection of myself. My eyes were red. And I'd wake up.

Years later, I'll be back in that rendezvous in a snow clearing. And then, their faces would be clear. They're beautiful, both young and old, male and female. We'll be talking in our heads. With words I couldn't understand, yet a language my mind could understand so well. And then her eyes would start glowing red.

And I'd wake up.

I just enjoyed those scary dreams back then. Watching X-men and Baywatch at age 4 (or 5?) helped me get comfortable. I just imagined I was an X-man being chased. Thanks to X-men I was not that much scared of my dreams. I felt revitalized. But really, having a pistol point-blank on your head is really scary.

I also remember the time when I heard this reverberating vibration of music from afar. I really can't understand myself I was so scared of it as a baby. The worst was when a boat from the pier blows its horn. I would tremble each night when I hear them. At age 5, I settle to the comfort of looking at the forming patterns in the curtain just until the feeling would pass. I only understood all of it later because of The Lord of the Rings. The reverberation of sound would remind you of soldiers marching from afar while the blowing of horn would remind you of a comrade calling for war.

Somehow, I didn't grow scared of local folklore--of tikbalang, manananggal, tiktik, wakwak, aswang. I didn't really care about them. To me, the chases in my dreams are far scarier. For a normal girl, what would scare them is the thought of rape. When I asked for my girl classmates' really scary dreams, they'd answer--being chased by ungo (flesh-eating monster) or almost getting raped. And I never had the chance of experiencing their dreams. For one, seldom do I'm a girl in my dreams. Two, there's no local folklore in my dreams. If there are monsters, usually that would be me if not my pet or minions.

About my morbid nature in dreams, these are just few of the many. This time, they had nothing to do with my baby dreams. They are fed by reading books and watching movies for the imagery. I'll keep each story short.

Have I talked about how I was a mad king in my dream? It was a magical kingdom. I was really mad with the ones who raised arms against me. My immortal servant brought me a traitor. I cut his head. You should know the ecstasy of it. The frenzy of swinging the ax unto his head, as blood gushed, the feeling as his head rolling off...

I was a soldier--semi-Caucasian and Japanese. We were cornered. Our battlefield was in a cornfield. There were (how'd you call it?) dug-outs in the ground and piled sacks for walls. My comrades were dying everywhere. And my buddy and I are pursued. Until he got attacked by the enemy. I was so angry. There were three of them. Hours later, I finally had the chance to ambush them. I killed the two. The other one was too stubborn. I stabbed him in the stomach many times and he won't just die. I was at an advantage for I was tall and he was small. My sword reached him better. But every time I thrusts my sword in his belly, he's still clinging on to life. I was so mad and the last thing I knew... I was still stabbing him as I uttered, "Why can't you just die already?! Just die! Die! Die!"

This time, I was a girl. My mission was to save this man from the grasp of a young and beautiful but very evil witch. The man was young too and really handsome but I was not in love with him. I just want to do my mission. Many things happened. Fights and all. Until... I had to decide something... The story was so long actually. In the end, the man died. I failed my mission. The evil witch caught me. I was chained and severely whipped. And she asked this young girl (13?) apprentice to do something to me. As I was weaken and I stared into the girl's face, I was infuriated. She was a precious member of my village who was supposed to become a great person someday. And the witch ruined her. Due to my anger, I activated my magical abilities. So the girl and I fought. It was a really long fight, I'd skip on the details. In the end, I killed her. It was a situation of kill or be killed.

And then I have to face the witch alone. We fought.

I got a mirror shield. Her last spell backfired to her. She was dying with her own spell. But I was not satisfied. I want her to die with my own hands. As she lay on the ground, I went onto her and strangled her. I looked her in the eyes and told her to look at the last face she will be able to see. The feeling was so intense, I woke up. I was facing the wall with both my hands strangling an invisible head. I felt so bad I wasn't able to kill her yet that I went back to sleep again and continued the dream. So there she was in my hands. Her face reddened. And her beauty slowly fading away. Her face cracked and she choked blood. I was only satisfied when she broke into pieces and turned to ashes.

I realized that this has gotten too long. I still have too many dreams to tell.

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