Transplanted Life
Monday, December 22, 2003
It's not like this is the first time I've worked with someone where there's an attraction thing going on. It's just, obviously, different this time.

1. Carter's a guy and I'm...not. I know it's a bit late to be weirded out by that, considering all the opening of my legs I've done with Kurt and others, but it's not just that. With Kurt, the attraction came later, after I'd gotten to know him as Michelle and he'd gotten to know me. It was a thing that grew, and might not even have been attraction on my part; it might have been more like comfort. Or not even comfort, maybe just familiarity. I don't know. And the guys I spent the night with, I don't know I felt attraction to them. That was something more clinical, not so much being attracted as saying "that's the best option considering likely unattachedness, not being a danger to me, not being something I've tried before..."

But I like Carter. I like being around him, listening to him, talking to him. I don't quite tingle when I grab his hand to pull him through a crowd, as I had to when showing him to the comic shop, but there's some kind of boy-girl voodoo going on there. It worries me. It means I'm acting different. I've written in this journal about not liking the thought that my actions are as much about chemical reactions going on in whichever body "I" currently reside in as something less quantifiable in my brain, but it's still there. I try to think that all that stuff that's intrinsically me is still there, and it's just always been influenced by something else. Maybe human consciousness is inherently sexless, and the body's genetic programming is always "in the way", and we just don't realize it because most people only get one brain and body per lifetime. That may be worse, though - it means none of us are ever who we "really are". We're just interacting with each other through imperfect interfaces.

And, you know, having an attraction raise scary thoughts about the nature of human consciousness is worse than wondering what it says about your sexuality.

2. I don't know what the future holds. Nobody ever does, but what if what Michelle said was true, I may only have another month or two in this body. So is this really the right time to be starting something, or allowing the possibility of something starting? Should I even be getting used to being attracted to a guy?

Which also brings the honesty thing up. It felt good to break up with Kurt, after a while, because I was no longer lying to a person I cared about just by being. It felt good to sleep with strangers, because with no emotional attachment, because it didn't matter who we were as people to each other. They weren't quite things, and I wasn't quite a thing, but we weren't exactly individuals, either.

But, as I said, I like Carter. We've seen a couple movies together, so we're basically just friends for now. And we're post-switch friends, so it's like with Kate and Jen. I don't worry so much about not telling them everything until it becomes important. You don't ask your friends about their past unless they volunteer; friendship has limits. But before too long, Carter could have a right to know that I'm a man stuck in a woman's body, that someone else currently controls whether that changes, and that anything I tell him about my life before July is either going to sound unreal or be some kind of half-truth.

3. The one that was a really immediate concern today, though, was just our positions within the company. He's a professional, part of what the company is selling. He's got the college education he can talk about and use. I'm just support staff. I'll bet I don't even appear on the company's org chart. Where the employees like Carter are the company's resources, I'm like one of the employees' resources. Not the equivelent of paperclips or a laser printer, but if they need something, they ask for it, and I do it.

Not that I think Carter would use that to put me in a compromising position, or that he's got any real standing to mess with my employment status. But it's like we're in different castes. Even if I don't work directly for him, we're not equals here. Sure, Kate and I aren't equals, either, but she's kind of a resource, too, working in finance. Jen's not in that category, but there's not as much chance for power inequity in friendship as there is in... well, in what a guy and I could have. You've got multiple friends, but (generally) only one boyfriend/girlfriend. There's not the same type of physical intimacy. The expectations are usually less personal.

Like, when Carter, Dimitri, and Mark went out for lunch today, Carter waved at me, and I wondered how the other guys interpreted that; it's not like we'd snuch out Wednesday or Friday night. Were they judging me as trying to climb some sort of ladder, judging him somehow. Did I have to rethink every interaction I had with these people? If Carter or I acted on what was going through our heads, what would our boss, Mr. Kraft, think?

Ugh. Just writing about it now is making my head hurt. I think I'll go wrap presents, do a little mindless work.

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