Transplanted Life
Saturday, August 09, 2003
Weekends are going to be tough.

During the week, Michelle's got a job, so my time's pretty full, and maybe I'll do something after work with Kate & Jen, or I'll just come home and sit in front of the game. But on during the weekend, if there aren't any errands to run, I can't be "Michelle the secretary", but just "Michelle the girl", and I don't know how to do that. I mean, sure, in a literal sense I can't help but do it, but this morning, I picked up the local alterna-rag, and I couldn't think of something a single girl on a limited budget would do. Then I chided myself for worrying about whether Michelle would be into it or not, but I really don't feel like calling attention to myself.

So I've just been sitting around the apartment all day, surfing the web and stuff. One thing that's kind of aggravating is that Michelle doesn't even own any books or subscribe to any magazines. The obvious problem is that there's nothing for me to read, but it's also a reminder of how I know nothing about her. I was thinking about this, and my latest crackpot theory is that Michelle didn't actually exist until a month or so ago - that this body's some kind of clone or genetic engineering (maybe done by one of BioSoft's clients), and my brain patterns have been plunked into it as a clean slate.

The scary part of this theory is that it would likely mean that my body was either dumped or still had the "original" me inside, and there'd be no way for me to get back. That's silly, of course - I met Michelle in a bar, not some mad scientist's laboratory, and she wasn't acting like a zombie then. Besides, if there was another me out there, wouldn't it be updating this blog itself about what he was doing in my new job and how great it was to see the Mariners beat the Yankees today? Whoever had put my mind in her head would have to somehow intercept my email and phone calls to myself, too, though, so they might just somehow be intercepting this blog. It's not like I'm getting email in response to it, so how's that for a theory? "Real" Martin Hartle is out there, doing whatever he's doing, happily updating his blog, and my mother, Kurt, Wei, and everyone else he knows are reading that. But when I try to access, either from work or here, it gets redirected to this second page, which only I and whoever's running this experiment can see. Maybe they targeted me that way - people expect me to leave, and I'm already keeping a journal, so they'll be able to get analysis of what's going on with me while it happens. It's not too far-fetched, once you accept that my mind could be put in someone else's body.

Then again, when I went to the bathroom this morning, I noticed Michelle's body had started its period. Maybe that makes her (or whoever's using her brain) paranoid.

Friday, August 08, 2003
New reason to dislike Fenway Park's seats - there is no comfortable way to cross your legs if you show up in a short skirt. Not that I'd normally wear that to a ballgame, but I hadn't known that BioSoft had bought a block of tickets for Opening Day, and their previous receptionist had evidently returned hers when she moved out of Boston. So, hey, free ballgame and the afternoon off. I certainly won't argue with that, but I'd showed up dressed for work, since no-one had told me otherwise. This isn't the first time I've felt inconvenienced by Michelle's clothes, but it was the first time it really bothered me. If I fall on Michelle's face because her stupid heals get stuck in a grate above the subway, well, that's her fault, isn't it, for sticking me in this situation. If I forget I'm wearing a skirt or a loose-fitting top and bend over to pick up a quarter, that's not my butt or boobs people are getting a look at. It just doesn't matter; it's not really me getting ogled or looking stupid.

Until, of course, it happens in front of my friends. I've only known the folks at BioSoft a couple weeks, but they all were really apologetic about not telling me earlier. Some of the folks left early, when the game got ugly, but you don't leave a ballgame before it ends. We met up with them at Copperfield's afterward, but it wasn't that much fun - the Sox lost, everyone was tired since the tech guys had all come in early to try to get some work done with the afternoon blown off. I left pretty early; guys were hitting on me, and I wasn't in the mood to imagine how they'd feel if they knew I was only Michelle Garber on the outside, and all Martin Hartle underneath. And, it kind of hurt when they asked what I did, I said I was the receptionist, and some guy made a comment on why the person getting paid the least had to wear the most expensive clothes. I made some wise-ass comment and bailed soon after.

After getting back to Michelle's, I just sat around bored for a while before remembering that I do, I guess, kind of have a boyfriend. I called Kurt up, but he was on his way out the door. He promised we'd do something Monday, though.

Now, I think I'll drop. Today just wore me out, for some reason.

Thursday, August 07, 2003
I think I've created a monster.

It was my week to choose what Kate, Jen and I did for movie night, and after being stuck in chick flick hell last week, I decided to overcompensate in the other direction, introducing Kate and Jen to the excitement of "Wednesday Night Ass-Kickings" at Allston Cinema Underground. The ACU is basically a loose program of movies a little too out-there to play the local art house. It has included kung fu, obscure rock-n-roll documentaries, Japanese Weird Shit (how else do you categorize Takashi Miike?), and has turn-of-the-(twentieth)-century French porn coming up. Playing last night was Royal Warriors, a 1986 movie starring Michelle Yeoh, who the ladies remembered from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and that James Bond movie she did.

It is, to not mince words, pretty bad. The writing was awful stuff straight out of the cliche machine, the acting wasn't much better. The music - oh, good lord, the music was maybe one step above that which is usually associated with porno. We take it for granted that even direct-to-video stuff in the US will have a decent orchestration; this was one guy with a synthesizer, I'm sure of it (a ca. 1985 synth, at that). The action was pretty good, but it was pretty clear that it wasn't Kate's thing at all, and Jen seemed to be pretty much in the take-it-or-leave-it category.

That is, until the last act, which was insane. They kill off one of the main characters and the villain, replacing him with a cackling, over-the-top, loon. Didn't expect that. And then the final action scene involves a tank that came out of nowhere, a crane, and the bad guy doing kung fu with a chainsaw in his hands. Jen had been starting to get the same look on her face as Kate, until the chainsaw. Then it was as if a lightbulb flashed over her head. "I get it... Anything goes!" After that, she was laughing as hard as any of the other three people in the theater, not including our group (and the guy running the program is talking about what he's planning for November! It must be a labor of love).

So, anyway, she was doing all the kung fu moves and stuff as I hung around, waiting for the train with them, since Michelle's studio isn't far from the theater. She took a sheet with the upcoming shows with her, and Kate was begging her not to choose Life Of A Ninja as next week's movie. Jen didn't promise anything, but I think that's because she was entranced by the poster for what's on the other screen at this theater...

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
My dreams have been a source of some comfort for me over the past two weeks. It's the one time when I'm really myself, in body as well as mind. I seldom remember my dreams clearly, but it's nice to have my subconscious reassure me that it's the world that's insane, not me. So even if I fall asleep with my mind spinning theories that I actually am Michelle Garber, but I'm nuts and the whole idea that I'm realy Martin Hartle in her body is some sort of bizarre delusion, when I wake up, I know who I really am.

Last night, though... I was with Maggie in her apartment, and we were messing around a little. One thing led to another, and we wound up in her bed. She was wearing that special nightie she'd just bought, and in the dream I thought she'd bought it for me. Another thing led to one more thing, and soon we were making love. And it was fantastic, my whole body seemed on fire in a good way. Then something just felt, I don't know, wrong, and I opened eyes I didn't realize were closed to see that suddenly I was the one in the nightie, although it had changed and reshaped to fit my male body. I was on my stomach, and I could feel the panties stretched around my ankles, and something else that was like a tactile question mark inside. Like my subconscious didn't know what something felt like. I looked over my shoulder, and there was Kurt, giving me what I guess you could call an organic colonoscopy, all the while calling out Michelle's name.

Cue the waking up in a cold sweat.

I don't think you need to be a professional to figure out what it means - (a) I'm horny, (b) I'm still very much attracted to Mags, and (c) I know full well what Kurt eventually would like to do with Michelle (though I doubt he's actually thinking anal), no matter how much I try to avoid thinking about it while I'm awake.

I tried to go back to sleep, but after that dream, Michelle's body was ready to go, so to speak. I opted for a cold shower instead, which didn't help a whole lot but did at least confirm that the plumber had been around sometime yesterday.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Today just covered the entire spectrum of weird. I was, as you might imagine, somewhat worried about the shower after the incident with the laundry last night. It'd be easy to say that it's Michelle's body and reputation it she shows up at work dirty and stinky, but you know what they say about how you can't smell your own BO? It apparently doesn't count for me - apparently whatever part of my brain or mind or whatever is in her body is still wired to filter out my own odors. So, if Michelle stinks, be it because of not showering or showering in sewage, it annoys no-one more than me.

This is a roundabout way of pointing out that I didn't trust Michelle's shower, worried that her deodorant wouldn't be enough, and thus I rooted through her medicine cabinet for the perfume. Let me just say right here, right now, that there should be some sort of labelling standard for how powerful the stuff is. I won't say what I did just for the purpose of not sounding like a complete idiot, let's just say Michelle's body smelled like lilacs. All. Freaking. Day.

Work was pretty quiet, although I gather BioSoft's main phone number is one off of a video rental place that specializes in Bollywood musicals. Their web site apparently went up today with a slight typo.

Anyway, after work, I headed to the Galleria to replenish Michelle's underwear supply. It's money I could be spending on, I don't know, food, but Michelle's boobs are big enough to make this a priority. So, first stop after work was Victoria's Secret. They've got nice stuff there, but, yikes, is it pricey. I was heading to Sears when I bumped into Maggie, literally. I was going out, she was coming in, and I just stood there, surprised, and said her name. Of course, she didn't recognize me, and asked if we knew each other. I should have just run off, but I missed her, damn it, so I said we'd met one time at the ballpark. I don't know if she subconsciously knew me, or just was trying to be polite, but she was like "oh yeah, now I recognize you..." "Michelle." "...Michelle!" We talked baseball, mostly, until she pulled something really sheer off the rack. "What do you think? I've got a date Friday, and I think it might just be the night!"

Well, I froze. I seriously hadn't considered the possibility that Mags had moved on, even before I (or my body) had moved to the other side of the country. It was stupid to think she wouldn't, but, man, I'd hoped, even if I wasn't in any position to do anything about it. I told her this guy was a lucky man, and got out of there as quickly as possible.

It's good, I suppose. I mean, things have changed, and I can't very well expect everything else to stand still, or to be able to just act like nothing's happened. And Mags is a great girl; I hope she's happy. It's just sort of an uncomfortable reminder that if she can say she's not the same person she was yesterday, well, where does that leave me?


(And then, I find out that we're talking $15 apiece for a bra, even at a department store! And panties aren't much better. Man, do I miss 3 pairs of briefs for $10. Although I must admit, any feelings of guilt about Kurt paying for everything on the date just vanished)
Monday, August 04, 2003

It's been one of THOSE days. The air conditioner was on the fritz at work, and of course it was on the day when I'd picked something out of Michelle's wardrobe with long pants (I have to admit, the bare legs on hot days thing is kind of nice). So then I had to spend the whole day supervising the guys who were supposed to repair it, and most of what they did was to expose some big venting tube hose thing in the ceiling that blew some kind of dust out. With the way my life's been going, Michelle's body probably inhaled a whole bunch of asbestos and will likely die before I get to be a man again.

So, when I get back to her apartment, the white top I'd been wearing is dark grey. I needed to do a load of white clothes, but things here are apparently in just as fine repair - when I went to put the clothes in the dryer, the water they'd been soaking in was this disgusting sludge. I called her landlord, but it's all ruined. I'd say it's not my problem, but I've got to live on Michelle's paycheck for now, and that leaves her with something like twos bras left. Which means shopping tomorrow, which she can neither afford nor do I have time for.

And that leg-waxing stuff... Hurts. No big surprise, I know, but it's just a perfect fit with the rest of my day. Tomorrow had better be better!
Sunday, August 03, 2003
First Date
Well, we're going to do it again.

Last night was fun, although I had a hard time looking at it as a date. Over the past couple weeks, I guess I've managed to tune out a lot of things from Michelle's body that remind me that it's not mine. It doesn't feel natural, exactly, but I can walk and feel her hip joints moving without thinking "that feels wrong", and ignore that her voice sounds different from mine. So, while we were sitting across from each other in the restaurant, it just sort of felt like we were still two friends hanging out, most of the time.

Except, of course, we weren't. I had to hold back things like saying "remember the time we took Mags and Melissa here?", or acting like I knew too much about him. He was pretty surprised when I disputed his claim that Terminator 3 contradicted the other two, though I was careful not to use the same words I used right after we'd gotten out of the theater. We were able to rattle on about the Sox' (at the time) three game losing streak despite some good trades for most of dinner. Just like we were old friends.

Of course, Kurt never studied me quite like he studied Michelle during dinner. I got the impression he liked what he saw, although he would have liked it more if I'd left Michelle's hair blonde. I told him the truth - that more than the roots had started to show and it just seemed simpler to go with the real color than keep it up. I didn't say that I liked looking in the mirror and seeing something a little different than the woman who had stolen my life, of course, but I did say that changing your hair color can give a girl a new outlook.

It was an awkward moment when it came time to settle the check, though - all the girly stuff had sort of been at the beginning of the dinner, so by the time the waiter came, I started to reach for my wallet. I let him pay, but it was a reminder not only that I'm in a woman's body, but that I was treating this as sort of an obstacle or a task to be done, while for Kurt it was a real date. I hope that however this plays out, he doesn't get hurt.

Then we went to the Somerville Theater to see The Italian Job. It's a second-run theater, but that doesn't mean Kurt's a cheapskate or anything. Here in the Boston area, movies are expensive, and even a second-run theater charges $6.50, even though a similar theater in Kurt's home town is called a "dollar theater". And the main auditorium at Somerville is pretty nice; they hold concerts there.

Of course, Charlie's Angels was playing on the main screen, while The Italian Job was in one of the smaller ones with the aisle up the middle where the best seats would be in a more modern theater. The movie itself wasn't bad (I haven't seen the original), but not so good that Kurt and I didn't keep sneaking glimpses of each other. It was fun to look at Kurt this way - we guys get a certain contented look on our faces when we're just sitting next to a pretty girl, and Kurt hadn't had that look on his face since he and Melissa broke up.

So, after the movie ended, we had that awkward moment where the date is really over, but you've both got to get on the same subway. We seperated at Park Street; he did his little "kissing the girl's hand" thing he does on the first date and we agreed to see each other again.

All in all, not a bad way to spend an evening. (Can't say I minded Kurt paying for it, either, what with Michelle's receptionist salary being somewhat less than what I'm accustomed to) And, if all goes well, maybe next time will be a double-date with Wei and Jimmy - seeing Kurt again kind of reminded me how I haven't seen or heard from Wei in a couple weeks, either.

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Note: This blog is a work of fantasy; all characters are either ficticious or used ficticiously. The author may be contacted at