Transplanted Life
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Really, this doesn't suck
In some ways, this whole thing about Kurt seeing Denise on the weekends is good for me. It's a sick, warped thing to say, but I actually feel better about lying to Kurt about who I am, how I know him, and why we started dating in the first place now knowing that he's keeping something from me, too. That's cynical, I know, but it makes us somewhat even.

To a certain extent, the disconnect between our weekdays and weekends is a good reminder that this isn't my real lift, so to speak. It would be awfully easy on some days to just forget I ever was Martin Hartle. Answering to someone else's name, working her job, wearing her clothes, and sleeping in her bed 24/7 does a number on you. I spend so much time being Michelle Garber that it just becomes second nature. I'm even Michelle in my dreams almost every night now. So much of this has become part of my daily routine, that in a way Kurt's double life is a regular reminder of my own.

I guess it also makes our relationship less than heartfelt, but is that such a bad thing? Eventually, if what Michelle said is true, my time in this body will end. I presume, once I'm back in my own body, I'll get used to wanting to screw women again just as quickly as I acclimated to this body's heterosexuality. Then, even if I've told Kurt everything, where does that leave us? Tormented? With a question mark over every relationship we have with anyone in the future? I hate that idea.

Of course, if I accept all that, it means that when Kurt and I do see each other during the week, and go at it like rabbits, then it's happening basically because I like his penis in my vagina. And, put bluntly like that, the concept still strikes me as repugnant. With no hormones or biological imperatives pushing at me, I just look at that sentence and say, yuck, what kind of homo are you? I say that even though I'm typing this in my underwear and Michelle's breasts are right there as I look down at the keyboard, big as life, making it really difficult to think of myself as male. I sit in front of the computer, stone-cold sober and forty-eight hours past the last time I had someone touching me, and I'm still capable of making excuses or trying to rationalize that it wasn't my idea, that I'm just following the script as best I can, improvising because no-one's handed me the last page yet.

But I hate the idea that my life's not my own, even if it is true in a very literal sense. Would I make excuses for playing basketball if Michelle were a seven-foot-tall twenty-two-year-old guy, even though I've never been a big fan of the game? Of course not, so why should I make excuses for using Michelle's innate characteristics now?

::sigh:: Not getting any sleep tonight.

Friday, October 10, 2003
Bad game early
Clearly, yesterday's comments angered the baseball gods, for the game was ugly from the very beginning. The very beginning, as Gabe Kapler got thrown out trying to steal in the first with no-one out. Why is this team trying to steal? If you can get extra-base hits at will, and the opposing pitcher doesn't have much, it's not worth the risk. It's not playing to your strengths.

That boneheaded move managed to kill my good mood early. Kurt had taken me out to dinner at a nice little place in the North End, and we walked for a while before heading back to meet up with Wei and Jim at The Place. He'd even bought me flowers, which I still feel are pretty useless. We were about to walk into a bar and stay there for a few hours watching a ballgame, and drinking, and all that stuff, so what was I supposed to do with them? I appreciate the gesture, I guess, but it's not terribly practical.

I've learned to pace myself with the booze, it seems. Time was, I'd have matched Kurt drink for drink, but this body's fifty pounds lighter than the one I left, and just can't absorb as much alcohol. So I pretty much alternated Rum & Cokes with No Rum & Cokes, and was able to stand on my own until the end of the game.

(Now, if Grady Little had been as cognizant of what works for his team as I was for what this body can take...)

Kurt was a little lubricated by the time we headed home. It wasn't worth getting on the T, but it was a long enough walk for him to apologize for not being able to use his apartment several times. All, he said, because his male roommate's boyfriend's parents wanted to meet him just like they were a regular couple.

I told him that it was pretty cool, actually. After all, I said, there's no such thing as a typical relationship. What's unusual about theirs, relative to the majority of the population, is just more obvious.

So he asked what was unusual about ours. I was tempted to give him the complete list, but stopped at how he was a college graduate making good money and "Michelle" wasn't, so some might see her/me as lower-class or something like that. He said that was different, to which I replied, yeah, that's the point, and as long as no-one was being abused or hurt or couldn't know what they were getting themselves into, what's wrong with different? "You wouldn't be complaining about 'different' if I asked another girl to join us some night, I bet."

"Well, that's a different different. You got any ideas?"

For a brief moment, I considered saying, well, let's see if your other girlfriend is up for it this weekend, but didn't. I told him it was just a for-instance. Fortunately, we'd gotten to his apartment by then. He kissed me good night, and then went upstairs, while I went home.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that Kurt's homophobic or anything. He wouldn't be living with Dex if he was. But I do think he's too conservative for me to ever tell him the truth about who I really am, or at least not until it's all well behind us. Not for years, I imagine. He's just not ready, and probably won't ever be, unless he gets to have my experience.

Thursday, October 09, 2003
Won't be at Kurt's tonight
From comments:

the Sox win the series? dream on! they're going to beat the A's just so you Red Sox fans can suffer yet another loss to the Yankees!

Didn't happen tonight, and I'm feeling really optimistic about the rest of the series. Saturday is, of course, Pedro Day, and we could see a repeat of Pedro-Roger I from four years ago. Tonight Derek Lowe faces off against Andy Petitte, and doesn't that sound more advantageous for the Sox than Wakefield-Mussina?

Not sure where we'll be watching it tonight, though - when I woke up this morning, I heard Kurt and his roommate arguing, because apparently he's expecting his boyfriend's parents and doesn't want us rowdies in the living room. On the face of it, reasonable enough, but it quickly degenerated into a pointless argument over who told who what when. Wouldn't even be worth mentioning if part of what he was complaining about wasn't "finding that slut's clothes everywhere".

Slut? Slut? Aside from having a point about how we tend to leave clothes (and not just mine, mind you) lying around, I don't see how I can fit that description. I'm not promiscuous, and Kurt and I don't do anything really weird - the strangest was last night, when I let him stick his unit between my boobs, but we probably won't do that again, since that brings it uncomfortably close to my mouth, and that's just not happening ever (in almost thirty years of being a man, I've washed my hands almost every time I went to the bathroom, but never my dick, and I assume Kurt's ratio is similar, so the prospect of a BJ is too nasty to consider). I didn't give it up on the first date. And it's not a self-esteem thing; I've said "no" more than once, and had that respected.

Of course, I missed the really good stuff, because Kurt made lots of shushing noises when his roommate said "now, if it was just Denise..." Is she quieter or something, or is it just because of how we look? I guess a sleek redhead whatever-she-does makes a better impression than a busty secretary. Of course, if it's the other thing, I don't know whether to find it amusing or scary that I could be more enthusiastic during sex than a natural-born woman. I'll go with funny, just because I imagine everything is more fun when it's new.

Anyway, I waited five minutes before grabbing a bathrobe out of Kurt's closet and opening the bedroom door, stopping their conversation dead cold. By the time I got out of the shower, Kurt's roommate was gone and we were talking possible plans for the evening. We'll probably just meet up at The Place or something like that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Mustn't judge...
I am giddy waiting for tonight's game. The pitching matchup doesn't really favor the Sox, but the offense has been showing signs of waking up. Could be an epic series; I can't wait until we all gather at Kurt's tonight.

Hopefully, by then, I'll have stopped fretting over how the guys were looking at this girl during lunch hour. Usually I eat with Jen & Kate, but Kate was in a meeting and Jen was meeting an old college friend. Besides, going out with Dimitri, Carter, and Mark meant I'd be able to have a burger. The thought of having a mid-day burger - and fries! - seemed somewhat scandalous after a couple months of rabbit food with the girls for lunch.

Anyway, we're sitting down in the Common, talking about not much of anything while stuffing our faces when Dimitri tilts his head toward one of the pushcarts. "Check her out."

We look over, and the girl manning it isn't really the type that's ever done anything for me. Way too many puncture wounds (OK, "piercings"), pale, dressed in black and big, clunky boots, bored-looking. Her black hair's just as fake as Michelle's blonde hair was when she first switched bodies with me. And...

"Dude, she's kind of young."

Carter's right about that - once I look closer, I don't think she can be a day over seventeen. By which I mean "just turned seventeen-point-oh", all skinny legs and no creases in her skin anywhere and a bit of acne by her temples.

I say as much, and Dimitri says that's impossible, because she'd be in school at this hour. Carter says she could be a dropout, while Mark says he bets she's a runaway. I can see that - she's got a large duffel sitting behind one of the pushcarts, and the job probably pays in cash daily - but Dimitri makes some comment about not seeing why any kid would run away from home in America. We all just shake our heads, but I notice Dimitri sneaks some looks back at her as we head back.

I know I'm not really in any position to judge what another person goes for - after the game tonight, I'll probably get groiny with Kurt, and sex with your best friend despite having been a member of the opposite sex until three months earlier while lying to him about who you really are can't be healthy. And Dimitri may not really think she's that young. And it's not like he acted on it, and I'm sure I've checked out a few high school girls on the subway thinking they were older in my time. But, geez... I'd just started to tune out Dimitri hitting on me every morning. Now, it's just going to seem extra-special creepy tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Bills and such
I should just move in with Kurt. I'm staying over there a fair amount during the week right now, he's got a kickass home theater system, it's much closer to BioSoft than Allston, I could easily walk to a movie theater other than the "Allston Bombay 2", and I could lay the responsibility for making the bills get paid off on him. He's good at that, whereas I've apparently dallied too long on my cable/internet bill and now I can't receive my email, half the links on the right side of this thing don't work, and I've got to do all my research and stuff from here.

This is a major problem for me. I'll be turning thirty early next year, or at least my original body will; I guess in this body I'll just be celebrating an accumulation of thirty years of post-natal memory. You'd think I'd be able to manage my own finances by now, but instead I keep blowing bills off until threats start being made, and wishing I could just hand it off to a roommate, wife, or boyfriend, for crying out loud. Even being in another body and brain hasn't made me more conscientious, and who knows how much trouble I could be in if I screw up Michelle's life too badly?

(It is kind of tempting to consider moving things along with Kurt quickly just to see what kind of bind she would be in when we switch back. It wouldn't be fair to Kurt, obviously, but the idea of Michelle suddenly being back in her own body during her honeymoon and trying not to give away what happened is an entertaining scenario. Not really a nice thing to do, considering she's probably doing really good things for my credit rating just by not being me in that body)

But it's not going to happen. Kurt's clearly not ready to explain me and Denise to each other, and, let's face it, I'm not ready to introduce another big change into my life right now. It's like the not paying bills, I guess; I must tend toward laziness. Right now I've got a roof over my head, a job that doesn't pay as much as it could but also doesn't have long hours, a continual learning curve or deadline pressures, some cool friends to hang out with, and even a relationship that's going well enough when you accept its limitations. And, hey, I'm getting laid. It's a different kind of getting laid, and there's more than enough male self-image left in me to feel sort of ashamed of enjoying it, but you know what they say about the relative merits of bad sex and no sex at all.

In the meantime, I think I'll use tonight to decompress from spending the weekend watching that intense divisional series so that I'm ready for the upcoming intense ALCS. It'll be a good "me night" - see a movie, grill some swordfish, and then watch some scripted TV. I think there'll be something soothing about the very ordinariness of it.

Monday, October 06, 2003
An apology
To all those reading, I'm sorry if I came off a little cranky yesterday. I was doing a quick check of my email between the end of the great, great ballgame and getting my groceries done, and there's a couple letters in the inbox about how they can't wait until baseball season is over so that maybe I'll write more about wearing high heels or other stuff like that. Maybe I was just PMSing - it is that time of month - but I just took it far more personally than I should have.

Because, I do appreciate the curiosity and interest of those reading this blog. Living a lie every day, not able to tell my friends and loved ones what's happening to me... I'd have cracked long ago if I didn't have an outlet like this.

Getting back to the PMSing thing... It weirds me out. I didn't feel any different yesterday. It's not like there was so much excess whatever hormone it is sloshing around in this body that I could say "hey, my brain feels funny". But I acted differently, and thought differently. Why? Because some body that isn't mine has more of some chemical than usual in its bloodstream in the days before menstruation.

I should be used to this. We all should be used to this - while we have this idea of the soul, which defines who we are outside of our physical appearance, crammed down our throats from birth, who we are changes constantly. When we go through puberty, our priorities and desires change radically, and we've got no control over it. We look at things differently, and act differently, under the influence of endorphins, adrenaline, alcohol, marijuana, fatigue poisins... You name it. A large part of our personality at a given time is not something spiritual or ethereal, but chemical.

I just... Well, it's the idea that Michelle's chemistry, like any woman's, is constantly in flux. Most of the chemicals I listed above are released into the bloodstream as a result of something you do, and I know a man's chemistry is in flux, too, but it never struck me as being so significant as it is for a woman - not something you have to think about.

Gah. This must be the fifth time I've written this, but I don't feel like I'm any closer to understanding my situation.

What I do understand is that everyone's heading over to Kurt's for another game-watching party tonight, and at least in the game, something will be determined - either Boston or Oakland is going on to face the Yankees, not some wacky part-Sox/part-A's construct. One or the other.

Sunday, October 05, 2003
More ball
Sorry for all those reading this looking for "girl stuff". But, the thing about life is, it goes on, no matter what's happening to you, personally. Your father dies, but that doesn't mean you don't have finals to study for. You get dumped by your girlfriend, but that doesn't mean everyone else around you should be upset. And just because your life has turned upside-down, doesn't mean that life doesn't go on.

And just because my life has been turned upside-down doesn't mean the Red Sox are going to stop playing great baseball. I mean, can you imagine if the Sox won the world series for the first time in eighty-five years and I missed it because I was too wrapped up in myself? Sure, no-one would blame me afterward, but, man, I'd hate to miss it.


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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