Back when I was a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man I found myself able to summon a range of emotions that ran the gamut from common to not-so-common. The checkout person at H Mart trying to scan my fish sauce puts me in mind of a Roman housewife trying to coax an eel into a copper pan. The lamb with cumin hails from Afghanistan. “Nomen est omen,” said Plautus. “Nomen est omen.” Plautus itself means “plodder” or “Kick the Can Down the Road.” Such was the acumen of the 9th Legion they devised a plan to introduce a diet of offal boiled in a sheep’s rumen to the already sluggardly Picts. In 82 AD the lifespan of a sheep was almost as long as that of a human. Things were rarely simpler, though, than back when I was a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man who now found himself pretending to be a woman.

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