Sunday, August 31, 2003
Boston is what you might call a college town. In fact, you could make an argument that, as far as the United States goes, it is the college town, with more institutions for higher learning per square mile than anywhere else. Harvard, Tufts, MIT, Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University, Emerson, Suffolk... Bunches of them. The population of the area swells by some outlandish number every fall, and then drops during the summer, when the tourists appear. A side-effect to this is that practically everyone who lives here is on a September-to-August lease. Even those who aren't students, since there's a good chance that they first came to Boston as students or moved into an apartment last occupied by students, are on this schedule.
Michelle is not; she has one of the alternate leases, which runs June to May. But I'm thinking she/I may be the only person in this building where that's the case; there are three moving vans outside right now, there were vans outside yesterday, and there will probably be vans outside tomorrow. But it's not really the doors propped open, furniture moving in and out, and the noise that's getting to me right now.
It's the stuff left behind. Look out on the sidewalk, or in the laundry room (where the garbage and recycling bins are kept, because that's the smell we want to stick to our clean clothes), and you'll see tons of stuff just left for the trash man or whoever wants it. Stuff like clothes hangers, where I guess it's easier to just get new ones at the new place than to transport them, or entertainment centers, which are bulky and just may not fit into the new apartment. But some of it is just strange. I salvaged a perfectly good stereo system this morning. And books - there's always a ton of books you can just pick up if you want, along with magazines. Never seems to be anything I want to read, though.
(The irony is, it always seemed to be copies of Cosmopolitan or Elle or something like that. Now that a magazine full of women's hair, makeup, and clothing tips would actually be useful, it's all Road & Track and Popular Mechanics)
Anyway, I just realized, I'm stuff that's been left behind. "My" body is one that its previous owner cast off, hopefully temporarily, and my mind sort of fell out while my body was on it's way out of town. Michelle's mind, in my body, is doing exactly what was planned out, but I'm just stuck here, using her body because it was left behind.
Bah. I've got to stop thinking like that. But it's something to wonder about, too - I look at my entry for a week ago, and it's like a different person wrote it. And I sort of wonder why that is. Sure, the rational part of my mind says that everybody has good days and bad days, but I'm not everyone. Unless someone actually operated on Michelle's and my bodies to physically switch our brains, then what "I" am right now is the memories and behavior patterns of Martin Hartle (the soul, if you want to get spiritual) recorded onto Michelle Garber's brain. And the way you act isn't just based on experience - there's chemistry, hormones, and the like involved. Heck, every once in a while you'll read an article about how studies show that many serial killers have a certain part of their brain smaller than average, or that the brains of heterosexual and homosexual men have some sort of structural differences.
So, I wonder what Michelle's brain is like. For example, I'd bet money it's heterosexual. The software component of my mind is still recognizing attractive women, but it's not triggering quite as active a response from the body. There is a response, but it's not quite as visceral as I remember it being in my own body. But that may just be different neurons - I don't know.
And then I have to wonder about Michelle choosing to jump into my body. Even considering its seeming impossibility, it just seems like a crazy thing to do. And I say that word, "crazy", and I wonder if it's the sort of crazy you'd treat with therapy... or with drugs. If she was mentally unstable in some way (and Kate did suggest she may have had these mood swings before I arrived on the scene), am I going to inherit that?
It's too bad I can't afford a shrink on Michelle's salary. Even if he didn't believe my story (or I didn't tell him), I'm sure that it would help in some way.
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