Transplanted Life
Thursday, September 11, 2003
Back to where I was
My friends at work picked up on me acting strange yesterday. I told them I was just PMSing, which might have been partway true, and that I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, which definitely was. I didn't tell them what had kept me awake, of course.

It was like being knocked back two months, except it wasn't. I had the same acute awareness that I wasn't in my own body that I had when Michelle first switched us, that I should be something else, but without the confusion. At times, I almost seemed to be standing outside myself, amazed at how much I'd acclimated to Michelle's life. There's all these little behaviors, accumulated over what really isn't much time - crossing legs because I'm wearing a skirt, tucking hair behind the ear before answering the phone, signing (and answering to) Michelle's name. It's disconcerting - where is Martin Hartle in there? Where was he the night before, when I was doing something this close to having sex with his - my! - male best friend?

What's weird is, all that stuff still seems right. It fits with who and what I am now. I even like living Michelle's life, on the days when I can overlook how it happened. But I don't like feeling as though I've abandoned my life as Martin, either. I'd like to be able to hang out with Kurt without him kissing me, to talk to Wei about something we did in college, to call my mom and ask her how her shuffleboard game is coming along. I'd like to at least be friends with Maggie again, and not just as her meeting someone new, but to have her forgive me for thinking mostly of myself when she thought she might be pregnant.

But what can I do? Call my mother and tell her what's happened? She'd never believe me, and if she did, she'd probably do something to alert Michelle, and I can't imagine that turning out well. However Michelle did this, it's a secret, and a big one. People protect secrets like this.

So I stewed most of the day, until it was quitting time. I almost told Kate and Jen that I didn't feel like heading back to the film festival with them, but they said there would be someone doing Q&A at this one. So, what the heck. It'd beat watching Enterprise, right?

Of course, the screening of The Company with Neve Campbell was sold out, so we saw My Life Without Me instead. I liked Sarah Polley in Go, and the rest of the cast was full of familiar names, if none were exactly movie stars (sorry, Scott Speedman).

It was a good movie, but now I'm wondering if I would have cried afterward if I still had my own body, or whether there was some female chemical in this body's brain involved.

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