Where I Am Now

I think I need to be clear where I stand.

In 9 days I will be undergoing genital surgery at OHSU. A new phase of my life is beginning.

I feel like the specter of reincarnation first raised itself when my dysphoria hit a critical point. I have been trying in vain to hash out some explanation of how this is related, to no avail. The doctors are stumped.

But the recent discovery casting one of the most important memories into doubt has given me hope that maybe this whole episode is almost over and I will finally convince myself on an emotional level that none of this was real.

I already feel some distance now between my alleged memories and my emotional state. Sometimes it’s the most natural thing to see history as only history; other times I swear if I could carve every tender feeling for idyllic English villages out of my heart with a bayonet, I would. I feel as if there is some dissociation from the raw feelings of loss and pure dread I once knew but if it is dissociation, why hasn’t it broken down yet?

I expected, for example, to feel a lot more emotional at “They Shall Not Grow Old” but apart from some brief moments when I felt my pulse race at times that made sense (jump cuts of night raids), I didn’t leave the theater with my knees shaking. I just felt kind of numb.

My most difficult feelings are about the British Isles in general. I crave the pastoral mildness of the West Country and the look and feel of the Edwardian era to such a degree I often have to look away from things that invoke it too strongly for me. Even my photographs of England from when I was there in 2003-05 are bothering me lately. I want to take them down and put up bright tapestries instead.

I want to forget I ever set foot in England in this life and completely dissuade myself from the notion of ever having been there in other lives.

I want to cut my last ties with Private John William Harris of the KSLI. How often have I said this?

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