Saturday, September 27, 2003
Last weekend of September, I live in Boston, so, of course, it's seventy-five degrees out. Good thing I hadn't moved Michelle's summer things to the back of a drawer or closet quite yet. I already had some plans for the day, but figured I might as well enjoy the good weather while I could, and put on that goofy bikini instead of underwear. Then went for the shortest shorts she had, sandals, and a midriff-baring top. I'm sure a lot of guys reading this are thinking that they would never go in for dressing sexy if they were in my position, but it's actually a lot of fun. Just because this body is more or less wired to respond to men doesn't mean it completely overrides a lifetime of enjoyng the sight of a hot girl not wearing much, and I was definitely enjoying what I saw in the mirror. I can sort of disconnect myself from "her" and just be like, stick that butt out, shake it, now grab your breasts... That sort of thing. And then, when you go out in public, sure, there's a certain amount of shame from guys scoping you out, but after a while you do get to feeling like it's your body and taking some pride in it. And, if you've got the right temperment, knowing what they don't know about the girl they're checking out, that you're really a man inside, gives you a feeling of power. Even a girl as hot as Michelle can disappear if she wants to - get a lousy haircut, wear unflattering clothes, stare at the ground, mumble, and only a perceptive man who only exists in the movies will guess how nice she cleans up.
Anyway, speaking of movies, I opted to see Thirteen today. It's a pretty good movie, although not as shocking as some of the press might have you believe. I've got to admit, I had a weird perspective on it, sitting in my Daisy Duke shorts and watching junior high kids get themselves into trouble and try to look and act adult while still being kids inside. In some ways, I'm sort of an adolescent right now, dealing with a body that doesn't behave in the way I'm used to, fumbling through relationships without really knowing how I'm supposed to behave except for what I've picked up from observation... Of course, I'm more mature than the characters in the movie and think ahead, right?
I thought so... Until I realized I was sitting three rows behind Kurt and Denise. Seeing them there made me laugh at an inappropriate time: Kurt and I had never come to something sort of artsy like this - Lost In Translation was as close as we got, and that because it was the next thing starting - because I already knew what he liked, and thus never suggested it. Whereas Denise, working from a position of relative ignorance, was able to convince him to do something I wouldn't consider. It's funny, really.
They left before the credits were finished rolling, but Denise had to use the bathroom, so by the time I got up, they were just leaving the building, and I followed them.
Not terribly exciting. They walked down to the river, found a nice patch of grass near the MIT boathouse, and just laid there for a while. Denise had her shirt rolled up to get some sun, but wasn't as prepared as me, so to speak. I didn't take my shorts off, but it's not like that would have exposed a whole lot more surface area.
I couldn't really get a read on them. They talked, they touched, they seemed to enjoy each other's company, but how much? There didn't seem to be the sexual craving in Kurt's eyes that he always seemed to have around me, but then again, Denise is probably a cup size smaller than I am (with, I noticed, feet that are sort of funny looking). Or maybe I'm just hypersensitive to that sort of thing, what with my situation and all, and see stuff that isn't there, or isn't there as much as I think it is.
To not look like I was watching them, I spent some time watching the MIT kids in their sailboats - the Institute must have thirty of them, and they were spread across the width of the Charles River in front of me. One capsized, and the guy in it was dragged back to shore for a shower. I took a rowing class a couple summers ago, and they told me that the Charles is actually much cleaner than it used to be, so you're probably all right if you fall in, unless you touch bottom - all the crap that was dumped into the river over the years has accumulated in the riverbed, and if you stir it up... Well, it's bad.
I was so engrossed in this that I didn't notice Kurt and Denise had left. I looked around, and saw Denise's red hair up the street, and started jogging after them. Didn't even take the time to put my top on, just stuck it under one of the bikini top's strings. I'm surprised they didn't notice me; between this terrible job of tailing them and my lack of luck finding out anything on who Michelle really is and what she's doing in my body, I make a really lousy detective.
It was almost five o'clock by then, and I guess they were getting hungry, because they went to the Cambridgeside Galleria and went into the Cheesecake Factory. I suppose I could have gone in, sat at the bar or something, but I was afraid Kurt might spot me. I'm not really ready for a confrontation about this situation, and even if I were... Well, maybe it would be better to do it fully dressed.
Instead, I went into Best Buy to look around (needing to be reminded to put my top on; it's funny, you can walk around in a bikini top outside, but get into a climate controlled building and it's "no shirt, no sale"). After a while, looking at movies I couldn't play got frustrating, so I went up to the second floor, just planning to wander around the rest of the mall. Instead, I bought a DVD player.
It's the first sort of frivolous thing I've bought as Michelle. Groceries, new underwear, necessary apartment stuff, I've bought, but this was something for me. But, hey, who's been earning that salary over the past two months? Shouldn't I get something out of it?
It puts a hole in my "fly to Seattle and track 'me' down" fund, but only $100 or so (I bought some movies, too). It seems stupid, but I'd rented a movie last night and couldn't watch it. Just because I'm in Michelle's body shouldn't mean I have to settle with crappy pan-and-scan VHS from Blockbuster.
Of course, that meant having to take a taxi home, which drained my funds a little more. I was kind of amused when the guy at the store asked if I needed help setting it up. I wasn't sure whether to be amused because I've been hooking stereos and stuff up since before that kid started grade school, or irritated that he was patronizing me, like being attractive meant I was dumb.
Didn't hook it up right away, though - Sox were on. I really hate these end of season games that managers treat like spring training. They're boring to watch, and I imagine they must irritate the fans in attendance: They paid to see a major league game, the same price they paid in July, and you get the good players out by the fourth inning. Don & Jerry did announce that the Sox were holding a random drawing for the chance to buy Monster seats for the playoffs. I entered, of course, with both home and work emails and created a couple other accounts for the express purpose of getting around the "one entry per email address" rule. The game itself ended on a home run being called an out, which is about as weird as you can get.
Well, don't have to be at work or anything tomorrow, so might as well watch A Mighty Wind on my new DVD player.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Sox & Sex
I don't think there's any reason to read too much into the whole "Red Sox win big game --> Marti and Kurt have sex" thing. I'm sure the superstitious or overly Freudian will look at the past week and not help but notice the pattern, but until last night you could have said movies caused sex.
We were going to go to a movie last night, but the Sox being able to clinch a postseason appearance made us decide just to stay in and watch the game. We invited Wei, Jim, Jen, and her boyfriend over - Kate passed, having a blind date and not being much of a sports fan - ordered some pizzas and beer, and settled in.
Great game - the Sox absolutely destroyed the Orioles, 14-3 with Lowe not giving up a hit until the fifth inning. We yelled enough to annoy the neighbors if they hadn't been doing the same thing, there was lots of high-fiving, chanting "Yankees Suck", all the good stuff. Jim had brought champagne, although we mainly drank it rather than making a mess like they did in the locker room.
(Aside - that seemed to be an awful lot of celebration for being the best team not good enough to win their own division. Still, I guess playoffs are playoffs and emotions often run high at the last home game of the year, anyway)
It wasn't really a sexually-charged atmosphere, although the size of Kurt's living room meant Wei and I spent a lot of time in Kurt's and Jim's laps. There was kissing and tickling and stuff, but no groping or anything. Having one or people who don't know everyone kind of inhibits that. We all got a good buzz on, but it didn't have the inhibitions-smashing effect as last week.
The others left at around eleven; I stuck around, watching the postgame show with Kurt and helping him clean up. By the time we were done, it was midnight and I wasn't sure how late the T ran. Kurt had seen the area between my T stop and apartment anyway, and told me it was okay if I stayed there. It's not a rough neighborhood, but it's not terribly well-lit or anything, so why chance it?
There was an oversized T-shirt in Kurt's bottom drawer, and I felt a twinge of something as I wondered if Denise had used it. Not sure what I felt, guilt, jealousy, frustration, or even amusement. After washing up, I put it on over just my panties, and was sort of amused by how it made me look shapeless up top with my bare legs (it wasn't that oversized) and feet below. I started to head to the couch when I got out of the bathroom, but Kurt had a confused/disappointed look on his face.
Well, his roommate was due back soon, and I wasn't quite cool with lying on the couch half-naked as he walked in, so I joined Kurt in his bed.
It was different, like we sort of suspected we were going to have sex but weren't quite sure. The previous two times we'd done it, we'd started from him being aroused, but this time, I was more pro-active. His kissing me and tracing little patterns on my bottom got me a little aroused, so I started to work on him. I even reached into his shorts and gave his unit a stroke or two, which was, to be honest, kind of gross. Fortuntately, he was easily aroused.
Afterward, we were both pretty spent. He fell asleep first, with his arm around me, and although it wasn't as nice as being the one falling asleep with his arm around a pretty girl, it beat sleeping alone.
Everyone knew this morning, of course, when I came to work in the same clothes I'd worn yesterday. Jen teased me, and I imagine that the only reason Kate didn't was that she was wearing yesterday's clothes, as well. She just smiled and said it had been a while.
I wonder if I'm liking sex too much, though. I can rationalize it, say Michelle's body is heterosexual and trying to resist the hormones and pheremone responses would just be trying to swim upstream, but you'd think being penetrated would feel more alien and shocking. And it does feel that way, sort of, but the rush of good feeling or endorphins or whatever seems to make more of an impression. I'm snuggling Kurt afterwards, and really starting to think of him as a boyfriend. It's like the sex has kicked the relationship up a notch, which is scary. I'm all in favor of love, but just the idea that I could fall in love with Kurt... It makes me feel like a completely different person than I was the last time I sat in Kurt's apartment and watched baseball with friends, a different person inside and out.
Maybe this body is prone to sex addiction, and what I'm feeling for Kurt is some sort of whacked-out gratitude for providing an orgasm junkie with her fix. That's probably too easy an answer, though. More likely, it just can bring two people closer, that it's an active part of a relationship, rather than just a benefit.
And if that's true, I'm not sure where it leaves me.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
A horrifying discovery
So, Kurt calls yesterday afternoon, and asks if I'd like to see a movie that night. We end up going to Lost In Translation, which is very good. Sublime. Bill Murray should get an Oscar nomination, at the very least, for it. It's a great film, but one with very funny parts that even those like Kurt who are somewhat afraid of Great Films can enjoy.
Afterwards, as we're leaving the theater, Kurt says "so... do you want to go back to my place, maybe watch the rest of the game again?" And I say "yeah, sure", remembering just how much of the game we watched last time. But the movie was about making connections when you're a stranger in a strange land, and not being sure who you should be. I don't feel like going home alone, to an apartment that, though I've been living there for two months, still has the sort of transitory feel of the hotel rooms in the movie.
Maybe we wouldn't have had sex again if the end of the game hadn't been so great - the Sox were down 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, but tied it up on a home run from Todd Walker, of all people, and then would later win in extra innings on a Monster shot from David Ortiz. It got us excited, though, and he grabbed me for a celebratory kiss. I was wearing flats, so he had to put his hand on my bottom to sort of push me in and up, to meet his lips, which wound up with me with a hand on my butt and my groin in the same general area as his groin, and I could feel him getting hard.
I said something clever, like "oop!". He blushed, and I found that funny. He motioned his head toward his bedroom door. This time I'm sober, but I figure, what the hell, I've already done it once, and I always hated it when a woman got me erect and bailed. Besides, I didn't exactly suffer last week.
He leads me to his bedroom and, responsible guy that he is, heads straight to the condom drawer. I'm getting my shoes off and pulling my dress over my head, and when I look up he's getting his clothes off, too, and I make a horrifying discovery.
My best friend has a penis.
Now, this isn't exactly new news - after all, feeling it through our clothes had started this, and last Thursday it had actually been used. But I'd had my eyes shut a lot and we'd been so close together that my boobs kind of blocked the view. I'd seen it before, of course (let us talk no more of the trough at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway), but this was different. This was the medium shot of thing erect and purple, pointing slightly to Kurt's right, and about to be stuck inside my body.
Now, I don't know if it's just me, but my mental image of a man seldom included a penis. Not before the switch, or after. You just don't see enough of them for it to stick in your mind that other men have them. But now, I'm looking at Kurt's, and honest to god, it looks like some sort of parasitic alien life form. It's the color, and the gravity-defying posture. As he puts the condom on, I can't help but think, did every woman I ever slept with think I looked this ridiculous?
He intereprets the staring as something else, naturally, and pulls me to the bed. I'm really not much into it at this point - I make some sincere noise, but don't initiate anything. He doesn't seem to notice, and after he's come, I smile and say it was nice (which it was, don't get me wrong), and that I have to be at work early.
On the train ride home, I'm hyper-aware of every man in the car having a dick. It's a disconcerting thought, really, and I feel somewhat vulnerable. Maybe what Kurt and I had done Thursday hadn't quite been "making love", but we'd both gotten something out of it. This just felt like servicing him, I guess, and it was like drinking something with a lousy aftertaste.
And Kurt hadn't even seemed to notice it wasn't as good for me as it was for him. It wasn't his fault, but it was still kind of a letdown. And I'm wondering, are we going to do this all the time now? It's like, after I finally let him kiss me, it was like he had to kiss me every time he saw me after that. So now, every time we go out, are we going to have to screw?
It's girls' night tonight, but Kurt just sent me an IM asking if I was up for something tomorrow. So now I'm wondering, after yesterday's disappointing outing, should I pull out that "let's just be friends" speech, hope it doesn't lead to sex, or get back on the horse?
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Back to work today, just a little tired from not getting back to sleep unitl three this morning. For some reason the seven hours of sleep I got yesterday afternoon and evening (more than I generally get on a weekday) don't count today, so I was dragging much of the morning. I transfered a couple of calls wrong, which just made me feel stupid - three months ago I'd have been one of the people they transfered the calls to, and now I can't even handle the phone. Not that I was ever very good with phones, but, still...
Well, maybe. It's been so long since I've done serious programming that I'm not sure I'd be cut out for here. I could handle Jen's work, which is basically web-based reporting, but some of the other stuff you almost need a double-Master's for. Marcello is building search algorithms for the human genome, Dimitri and John are working on the control software for a device to track (and record data from) single-cell-sized probes injected into the bloodstream, Janet and Frank are working on an improved organ-donor database, Dave and three other folks are designing a "virtual cell"... Sophisticated stuff. I've been trying to poke around these projects, see if any of them could have anything to do with how Michelle swapped with me, but this stuff is so far over my head that it might as well be, well, magic. I wish I could talk to Mags or Wei about some of it - they'd be about a million times more likely to see something significant than I would.
Of course, I miss obvious things, too. Jen said she was glad I was feeling better today, especially since the last time she got that sick, her boyfriend nearly panicked. I didn't get what she meant until I was heading out for lunch. I laughed, figuring that since I'm on the pill and Kurt used a condom it was no big deal and, besides, women don't get morning sickness less than a week after conception, do they...?
Well, a quick stop and CVS and some time in the bathroom after eating has answered that one with a "No", I just had some bug. Biggest relief of my life - I doubt even getting back into my own body will feel as good as learning I'm not pregnant. Makes you think, though.
For instance, Mags and I broke up because when her period was late, it seemed like we both were afraid of her being pregnant. When we found out she wasn't, I was elated, and she was relieved, but... She also was somewhat disappointed. She'd had to face the possibility, and looking inside herself, had evidently decided she could handle it, but maybe I couldn't. I thought, at the time, that I probably could, but in the five minutes I was really taking the idea seriously today, I didn't think I'd be up to it.
On a lighter note, I'm amazed how easy buying "feminine care" products has become. I'd always gotten squirmy when a girlfriend had asked me to pick something up, even though none of them seemed phased by razors, shaving cream, condoms, or athlete's foot stuff (looking at the list, it doesn't look nearly as embarrassing as the metaphor requires). I thought I was going to die the first time I bought panty-liners, and getting the birth-control perscription refilled was almost scarier than waking up in Michelle's body in the first place. But now, it's gotten to be like buying toothpaste or deodorant. You just do it because that stuff is part of you, and if it's not tended to, it's uncomfortable.
That said, I still don't see the need to advertise it on television. Even if I can use the stuff, I don't need to be reminded of menstruation during Law & Order.
Monday, September 22, 2003
Under the weather
No matter what body you're in, feeling sick just sucks. I think it was just a 24-hour thing, but I felt lousy all day. I actually called in sick to work and spent most of the day in bed.
It's a good thing this didn't happen to me a couple of months ago, of course. I'd have just written it off as some menstrual-cycle related thing, gone about my business, and then puked in the middle of work or made everyone else sick. I just wouldn't have been familiar enough with all the internal organs and stuff.
Kurt called at about two, evidently having tried to get me at work, and asked if I needed anything. I told him I could be sick without help just fine, and didn't want to get him sick, too.
I did indulge myself a little, though - at around three I called my mom's number in Florida. I sort of wanted to reassure myself that I still remembered the number, and just to hear her voice. I made up a name and asked if she was there when Mom answered, of course getting a no. Whole call lasted maybe thirty seconds, but it made me feel a little better. Then I took a little nap. As in, I slept until 10:30.
Now I'm up and not tired at all. Guess it's time to start researching witchcraft again.
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Well, I expected some mail after getting that call, and the readers didn't disappoint me. It's kind of odd to think of your personal journal as having regular readers, but what isn't kind of odd these days? Besides, if I didn't want to hear back from them, I wouldn't have posted Michelle's e-mail address or added a space for comments (when BackBlog is running). Who knows, someone with useful information might see it and reply.
It's sort of gratifying to have folks angry on your behalf. As much as I can respect the "you've been given a great gift and should appreciate it more" crowd, and on some days even agree with them, this is a terrible violation. But a number of readers have been calling for revenge.
Take Chase, for instance, who offers several helpful suggestions, but I'll just address the first:
1.) START SMOKING! It's fun when there are no consequences. See how many packs you can cram into her lungs in a day. There's no way she's gonna find out, even AFTER you switch back. She'll have to deal with nicotine withdrawal and you'll be off scot-free! Serves her right.
The problem with this is that, in the meantime, I'm smoking, coughing, puking, smelling like Dimitri. For this plan to be a success, it's also crucial Michelle doesn't find out, because if she does, she either doesn't switch back and I'm stuck with a two-pack-a-day habit, or she could get mad and decide to step it up a notch. Do you want someone who can do things like switching minds mad at you? What if she decides her kindly grandfather deserves my life more than I do in the aftermath? The phrase "don't tug on Superman's cape" seems appropriate.
Revenge is tempting, but this is my life we're talking about. And there are several "my life"s to consider:
(1) The life I was born with that Michelle is now inhabiting. The one that she could, if she got wind of me doing anything untoward with hers, endanger or disgrace just as easily as I can hers. And she's the one who would know how to escape it without consequences.
(2) The life I currently have to live. Any bad reputation I cause, I have to live with until we get switched back. If we get switched back - Michelle could get hit by a bus or fail her test or just decide to settle down in my body, and I'm stuck like this for good. And then where does that leave me? To a certain extent, even though I believe this situation to be temporary, I have to be prepared to live with the consequences of my actions.
(3) My internal life, the one that is defined as a continuous stream of memories, experiences, and decisions. The one attached to my soul, if you will, as opposed to just a body. So say I start smoking, and Michelle never finds out, but she winds up with cancer because of it. Understand, what Michelle has done to me is despicable, and I wish there were laws I could use to prosecute her. But I also don't want to live with ruining another life just because I'm angry.
Maybe that makes me a wuss, or it's evidence that living inside a girl's brain has changed me fundamentally. I don't know. I do want a reckoning, but I want my conscience to be clear when it comes.
Meanwhile, some others (like "gothgirl" in the comment section) have expressed skepticism:
I don't buy it. Not for a second. Not for a nano. Two extra days? And she calls now? After how many friggen months? Riiiight. Excuse me, but the bullshit meter just burst through the scale.
Well, I never said I believed it. Really, that's the ingenious part about what Michelle told me - even if it's a complete fabrication, it fits the facts as I know them well enough that I have to at least take it seriously. It also multiplies the amount of research I potentially have to do to find out what's going on and if I can do anything about it. And even if I don't believe it, I have to think twice before picking up the phone or composing an e-mail, just in case.
It's frustrating, because at times, it seems all I can do is document what happens to me. That's part of why this journal is public and on the web, rather than private or in a book. I know at least one guy is forwarding these things to his friends; if this suddenly disappears, there will at least be some evidence of what happened to me for the next guy in this situation to start from, somewhere.