Letters from a Lost Girl #3
Luzern, Monday August 1st 1960
I wonder where you found that surname you gave me. I’ve never heard it before. It sounds foreign. My father’s family name was Tyzi. He came from a long line of magicians on Drailong, that island where I used to live. So you see, my full name is Kaitling Tyzi, although people here in Peter’s world call me Kate.
You write that the boy David in that picture you sent me appealed to you because he was free to be who he was and be comfortable with it. I have never wanted to be anyone other than who I am. Well that’s not strictly true. When I awoke in that crippled body I longed for the Kate I’d been before. Pain was a constant companion and I sorely missed the joys of running and jumping. Although I didn’t mope about my ill luck or swear at the author for having done that to me, I certainly didn’t simply accept my lot. I always knew I’d be able to set things right. And I did.
But coming back to that David, pictures can be misleading. Who knows what thoughts go through pretty David’s head or what pains he had to undergo to look like that. I can well imagine trying to be a woman could be a real prison for him. Some people, like Andrew, are compelled to do things they don’t want to. It’s not like that with Peter, though. Being able to dress as a girl is a real freedom for him. He loves it. It might not be later, though, when and if he stops taking the hormones.
My! What a mess you describe. So you lived in an orphanage too. I can understand you feeling muddled. Like you, I had very little physical contact with people when I was younger. Although not because it was forbidden. I never had a mother, as I told you. And my father never remarried. He ‘d hug me when he was really pleased with some work I’d done, but it didn’t happen very often. That makes him sound strict. He wasn’t. He was demanding. I appreciated that. I am demanding too.
Unlike here in Lucern, we were not accustomed to kissing each other on the cheeks at every opportunity. And unlike in Peter’s home, we didn’t shake hands when we met either. In Drailong, we would bow to each other from a respectable distance. At home, I had no real friends of my age. I was surrounded by visiting magicians and servants, so there was no question of physical contact with them. I suppose that made me rather serious. I was like a little grown up. But none of that way of life seemed odd to me. And, unlike you, I never felt I lacked anything, neither then nor now.
Even when I met Fi, who seemed to love taking Peter in her arms and cuddling him, that never made me feel I’d missed out. I just enjoyed it, like receiving a gift. When I first saw Fi, I was a bit jealous. I wanted Peter all to myself. But Fi was so playful that I couldn’t help liking her and we became friends. Not because she was a girl though, but because she bubbled over with joy and life. I have to admit that it did feel good to have friends of my age I could be with and talk to.
When you talk of touching, it is clear you mean more than showing love and affection. I have no experience of that kind of thing, so it’s hard to imagine what you felt. It must be terrible to have physical intimacy forced on you by an adult. That happened to Andrew. It filled him with doubts and guilt. As if his uncle had awakened a monster in him and Andrew couldn’t tell where he stopped and the monster began.
You mention trust. How it was so often broken for you. I can well imagine that if people frequently betrayed you, it must have been hard to know who to trust. It makes sense that you would end up unsure of yourself and others. The way you tell your story, it sounds like you are attracted to untrustworthy people or they were attracted to you. When I was shut away in the convent, there were a number of girls I couldn’t trust. But I never had any difficulty knowing who to trust. I felt like I was standing on solid ground when it came to trust, maybe because as a little girl although relationships were very formal, they were always clear and trustworthy.
The concert was very moving yesterday evening. We were in the Munster where the Lost Girls gave one of their first ever concerts and where Peter and I finally got back together. It is the largest church in Lucern and the building was packed. Peter and I slipped out the back once the concert was over. We sat on that same bench we’d used the first time he came to Lucern. The moment was ripe for a kiss, I found myself longing for it, but I couldn’t help thinking how people would react seeing us kissing. Girls might be able to hold hands and even kiss each other on the cheek, but not kiss like I wanted to kiss him. Instead we just sat there holding hands in silence and watched people wending their way between the gravestones heading for the back gate out of the grounds.
Tomorrow is a national holiday here in Switzerland to celebrate the original founding of the Confederation and our concert was part of those festivities. But more about that later.
The Boy & Girl Saga
Boy & Girl – Imagine Peter’s delight when he finds himself in the head of a girl, he who secretly dresses as a girl. Yet, despite his wild hopes, that girl is not him. She’s Kaitlin, the daughter of a mage in a beleaguered world. Peter has his own problems when a new girl at school threatens to reveal his girly ways. Becoming friends, Kate and Peter confront their problems together.
In Search of Lost Girls – In search of Kate, his lost soul-mate, Peter is beset by individuals hell-bent on stopping him dressing as a girl and besmirching the name of all those who befriend him. Meanwhile Kate has been dumped into a girls’ orphanage where, despite constant abuse and mistreatment, she emerges as a decisive figure in the rescue of her fellow orphans.
We Girls – Peter is beset by an existential choice, retain his androgynous ambiguity or say goodbye to his girlish self. Circumstances, however, force both him and Kate to take up other challenges. By straddling the line between child and adult, between carefree creativity and weighty responsibility, between play and work, they find imaginative ways to confront far-reaching problems on which adults persistently turn a blind eye.