Transplanted Life
Saturday, November 01, 2003
Looks like the hangover's finally gone
That's a new record for me - I've never gotten so wasted as to be completely useless for pretty much a whole day. Not even in college.

Halloween's surreal at the best of times, but last night... I got home from work and resolved that I would hand out candy for an hour or so before heading in to Somerville. I'm not in the greatest neighborhood, but there's still families with kids in the building, some of them real cute. Besides, I already splurged on the giant bag of peanut butter cups anyway.

It also gave me time to iron out the wrinkles in my costume. I'd bought a Supergirl costume off the rack, but it was sort of a one-size-fits-all thing and once Kate told me it fit (even if I understood the system used to determine women's clothes sizes, there's apparently insane variation between different stores), I was just sort of glad to be done.

The thing that drove me most nuts was the wig. I've only really had what I would consider long hair for a month or so, and it's just now getting past my shoulders. Its chestnut brown isn't really a match for Kara Zor-El's blonde, though, so I decided to try the wig. The thing is, I've never used one before. Heck, I'd never really even tried to put the hair I've got right now in a bun or otherwise "up". I eventually had to get one of the kids' mothers to do it for me.

This was after I realized that this costume was designed for someone just a bit less busty than Michelle, meaning it was tight enough that you could see my bra right through it. I figured I looked silly enough in the spandex top, short red skirt, and boots, and I'd paid just enough for the costume that if I was going to look stupid, I'd look authentically stupid, since I don't recall ever seeing Supergirl's bra or bra straps showing in any comic I'd read. Going without for one night wouldn't kill me.

Of course, while Mrs. Chan was putting my hair up, she pointed out that my nipples were showing. They weren't when I put the top on, but apparently moving back and forth or something had made the dang things stand up. So after the kids were gone I got some of the tape for bandages out of the first aid kit and did the X's. Kind of uncomfortable, but once it was done and the wig was on, I don't know how to describe how I felt looking in the mirror. I've gotten sort of used to Michelle's face and body and all, but with the blond hair, the superhero costume, and the weird sensation of the tape which I couldn't see, it was like the mirror wasn't even a mirror, but a window.

I wasn't the only person on the T wearing a coat over her costume, but there weren't that many yet. But I was kind of in a "who cares" mood; that second of not seeing the girl in the mirror as me, exactly, kind of made me feel like I was just playing dress-up or something. In a weird way, putting on the mini-skirt, wig, boots, and spandex made me feel more like Martin Hartle than I had in weeks.

I bumped into Carter at the T station; he was wearing a serious coat over his loincloth (it wasn't that cold, but it was good to be prepared in case the weather turned). He didn't recognize me at first, what with the wig and all, but he smiled big when he did. "Great costume! I wish you'd told me you were doing that, so I could have just pulled out a good suit and gone as Lex Luthor. Are he and Supergirl still dating?"

I laughed. "Not for something like ten years. Haven't been keeping up?"

"One of my foster families wouldn't let me have them, and soon I was too busy studying and doing ROTC to get out of whatever dump I was in at the time to pick it back up later."

"That's too bad; you've totally missed all the great stuff Oni's put out."

"You'll have to take me to a comic shop sometime and show me what's good."

"It's a..." Whoa. "Okay."

"Keen. Now can you show me the way to Jen's place?"

We weren't the first there by a long shot. Kate ran over to give me a hug, looking great in her pirate outfit. So did George, who I was surprised to see was in his mid-thirties. That's not out of line, really; I'd just pictured a guy about Kate's own age (late twenties), is all. He seemed cool, though. A little jealous when Carter gave Jen his coat, though... Let me just say the guy works out. He pulled Tarzan off with flying colors. Kate smiled at me. "Looks like you hit the jackpot."

"Oh, we're not here together..."

"We just met at the station..."

"I just didn't know how to get here."

One of Carlos's friends just rolled his eyes. "Guys, look at each other. It's not like either of you has any reason to fight it."

"I didn't mean it that way..."

"She's a wonderful girl..."

In unison: "It's just too soon."

We talked a bit, but I was soon making my first visit to the bar.

I had fun, though. I danced. I can't remember the last time I danced at a party, but, again, I sort of felt unconnected to any consequences. And it helps to have something to shake. As a guy, I never really got much out of dancing, but when you feel your butt or boobs or hair shifting a bit, it feels more like you're doing something, and having your hair (even if it's just a wig) whipping around is kind of exciting after a few drinks. And dancing with Godzilla (even sober, I still have no idea who was in that) was just hilariously ridiculous. You've got to jump over his tail and there's no way he (or she, for all I know) could feel a thing when he was running his hands over my body, the costume was so thick and authentic.

One of the last to arrive was Dimitri and his date. I was dancing with Mark at the time, and I was alerted to Dimitri's arrival when his jaw dropped. I turned around, and could see why. It was that girl from the pushcart, looking a little older in her goth-bride outfit, but still... Mark muttered something about how now that the children were here, we could start bobbing for apples. To her credit, she didn't wilt under the disapproving looks. When she went into the bathroom a minute later, though, Mark and I sidled up to him. "You've got guts, man, bringing jailbait to a party where half the people are off-duty police officers."

Dimitri snorted. "She's 17; that's not against the law."

"Yeah," I said, "but it's against the half-and-seven rule."

"What's that?"

"Just a rule of thumb. Take the older person in a relationship, divide his - because it's almost always the guy - age in half, and add seven to it. If the other person's age is lower, the pairing is officially icky."

(Yeah, I said "icky". What can I say, that's the exact word Wei used when she first explained the rule to me)

"Bah, it's no big deal in Russia."

Mark rolled his eyes. "You haven't lived in Russia for ten years!!"

The girl (whose name is evidently Sam) came back at that point so we stopped ragging them. Then we really did start bobbing for apples. I'm guessing alcohol can be absorbed through the skin, because I didn't swallow enough of the vodka-laced water to get nearly as wasted as I did. Of course, eating the apples which had absorbed the liquor didn't help, nor did whatever those things Carlos's friend Eric made using pumpkin, rum, and a blender. I really don't remember much from the end of the party.

Overall, though, it was fun. Changed my opinion of Halloween a bit, at least.

Friday, October 31, 2003
Why am I typing this?
GOd, what a night. That is without a doubt the best hallowwen party I've ever been to. Bobbing for apples takes on an entirely different feel when the water in the barrell is something like 1-ieghth vodka.

But,really, I think I drank too much. I didn't reallyize exactly how horny I'd gotten since Kurt dmped me, and after a few drinks (and apples), I think I almos slept with Godzilla. Not because Iwas attracted to the guy inside the costuej - I still don't know just who the fuck it was - but because at one point last night, I actually thought Gozilla looked hot. I mean, I sort of admired the ingenuity involved in the costume - I ond't know how the tail was articulated, and ,really, there was something sort of phallic about it when you give it a little thought.

To a cetain extent, It hink I was worried about nothing. A party's a party, and after a while at a Halloween party, you sort of forget that everyone's dressed up in goofy outfits, except when you make a goofy joke about your costume or the one the person talking to you is wearing.

I don't know why I drank so much; I'm usually not a big drinker. Well, Okay, I was in college, but evers ince ending up in michelle's body, I'be tried to be careful... Lower body waight and stuff I don't want eople to know, you know. I was just having fun, for the most part, but it seemed like practically everyone was going for sex appeal, and I think that was part of it..... I saw something pretty nice in Jen's school girl outfit and Carter's Taarrzan one, but I don't know whether o was drinkng to distract myselfor to work oup the nerve do do something. Good think I had Jen call a cab beore I did smething really stupid. I think I'll just peel out of htis thing and head to bed.

-Marti 9who's gonna worry about why ther's tape on my tits tomorrow)
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Just out of whack
What the heck is going on on Yawkey Way?

Not retaining Grady Little - okay, I get that. I approve. I've been asking for that since at least June. People from outside of Boston may think he got sacked because of a few innings of monumental stupidity in Game 7 of the ALCS, but those were just the most widely-viewed and disastrous examples of what we Red Sox fans have been seeing all year. Little was hired to be a calm center after the insanity of the Jimy Williams/Joe Kerrigan/Dan Duquette situation two years ago, and he did that well, but now the team's needs aren't so much for likeable as, well, smart.

But putting Manny Ramirez on waivers so that any team can claim him without compensation... I just don't get it. I know the Red Sox are run by smart guys, but this looks like something out of Strong Bad's playbook:

1. Get rid of Manny Ramirez
2. ???????????????
3. Profit!

As a baseball fan, it kills me to not know what #2 is. Is it "free up enough money to sign Pedro and Nomar for the rest of their careers", "sign Vladimir Guerrero", "acquire an absolutely killer starting pitcher," or something else? Does the team know something that would be utterly shocking about the health and prospects for next year of Manny and Jeremy Giambi? Why, so soon after being so close to the World Series, do you practically offer the Yankees (one of only a handful of teams that could grab his salary) a really good player like that?

The other thing that gets me about those scenarios is that they assume the Sox can do one of those #2s, that they're so sure of it that they can do the hyper-risky #1. Maybe they've been talking with Guerrero's agent all week and will have a press conference to announce it just as soon as someone claims Ramirez. In that case, well, you just have to look at GM Theo Epstein and say "well played", especially if Manny winds up in the NL where our pitchers won't have to face him.

But I can't help compare it to:

1. Switch bodies with Martin Hartle
2. ???????????????
3. Profit!

I don't know what #2 is here, either. Does it involve finding a rich wife like Natalya Tartakovsky? Stealing her body? Is living as a man profit enough for Michelle? Is it about getting away from something in her life (not that I've encountered anything, let alone anything unpleasant, out of her past)? Or is it really about being expected to learn how to live another person's life?

I've been worrying about the "why" a little bit more lately, ever since I saw that picture of "Martin" and Natalya. While I've been sort of stumbling around randomly, I have to assume that Michelle is acting with some sort of purpose (just as the Red Sox must be). I can't really grasp what it is yet - I still just don't know enough about her, even after three months, to figure out what her motivations are - but there is one conclusion I have a hard time escaping: Very few of the scenarios I can come up with end with me back in my own body

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Well, the past twenty-four hours or so have sucked.

I got the costume picked up - and hopefully sometime soon I'll convince Blogger to show the entry about how that came about. I didn't realize that it wasn't showing up until yesterday morning, after a night of listening to about fifty car alarms go off. I tried to bring it into work on a floppy (stupid, I know), but the quality control on drives and discs is almost nonexistant nowadays, and kept getting "disc not formatted" messages. My ass it wasn't.

Then, as I'm walking across the street to the Park Street T station, some kid grabs my purse! This woudn't happen, of course, if I'd been wearing a pair of pants that had pockets, but for some stupid reason I was wearing a dress today, despite the rain earlier. I try to run after him, but, of course, heels. Fortunately he's a stupid purse-snatcher and heads into a jammed-up subway entrance. It's gratifying that I can yell and two or three guys I've never met will try and stop him, but that just resulted in my wallet getting thrown over the turnstiles and into the station. He'd gotten all the cash, and as luck would have it, Michelle's ATM card landed right on the rail. The ones on the green line aren't electrified, but when a train comes in before you can get there...

I guess it's nothing permanently damaging - I'll just stop into the bank tomorrow at lunch, write a check out to "cash" for some spending money and have them send me a new card - but it means I didn't have $8 for the Weekly Wednesday Ass-Kicking tonight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
The last of this until Friday
I'm giving this Halloween thing much more thought, and bandwidth, than it deserves. I know I am. At least now I've got a costume hanging in my closet for Friday.

We got it after work; Kate had found a place sort of on the border of Chinatown and the Financial District that had been turned into a costume shop. It will probably be selling Christmas decorations come Saturday, and it was already pretty picked over, but it would do.

I told Kate I'd never really pegged her as a big Halloween type; she always balked when Jen or I suggested a horror move to go see. "Boarding school," she said, "since first grade. Not really far from home, but the dress code was as strict and uniform as the academic program. It was stifling at times. Anyway, Halloween was the one day of the year where we didn't have to wear the school uniform, and my dad always sent me neat costumes like no-one else's. If all the other girls were Princess Leia, I got to be a flapper. Not that I knew what a flapper was when I was eight, but I knew I stood out."

Then she asked me why I seemed so reluctant. I told her, thruthfully, that I'd never liked spending much time on my appearance no matter what the occasion, and I grew up in a neighborhood too quiet for doing much trick-of-treating. "And after I got these," I said, pushing my breasts up a bit, "I just started feeling hyper-aware of people judging me on outward appearances, and they really don't get who I am." Granted, this was a more recent occurance than Kate would know.

Kate grimaced a little, saying the handn't thought much of "Michelle" when they first met, pre-me-in-her-body, until we'd gotten to know each other. But she pointed out that what I did once I got someone's attention was up to me, and I had a leg up on some other folks in getting that far. And if someone doesn't want to peel the onion, get the next person's attention.

I guess that's fair. And it's not like I haven't enjoyed being the center of attention at times. Of course, when I was running around in the bikini I sort of approximated being ahppy, being with Kurt and not having this thing about what Michelle in my body might have planned for Natalya to worry about. Maybe if I had something going on in my life right now, and didn't feel as much at loose ends, I'd feel more content overall. Not that content is how I want to feel, but it seems more appealing than uncomfortable and paranoid.

Monday, October 27, 2003
Have I mentioned I hate this costume crap?
Of course, it doesn't help that the first place that came up when I looked for costume shops in the area was a place called "Hubba Hubba". As tempting as the idea of giving Michelle a really bad reputation can sound when I'm at my most pissed off, some of the stuff they had in there looked beyond uncomfortable, like it might actually cause injury or at least bruising and blisters. And the prices people evidently pay to look scuzzy... Gads.

I get no sympathy about this from my friends and co-workers, of course. Mark suggested I dress up as a "sexy secretary". Carter was with him and asked how that would be any different from my everyday clothing (more on that later), and Mark says "no underwear". There has got to be a harassment statute that covers that.

And my female friends, who are usually all "oh, I can't help you shop for underwear because I'd feel so inadequate" are emailing me stuff like this and this ("Pilgrim Patty", specifically) and don't get this because Jen's wearing it... It's madness. Even Kate's getting into it.

I'm half tempted to go down to the mall, buy a simple Red Sox T-shirt, a pair of men's jeans that come close to fitting this body and putting on a nametag that says "Hello, My Name is Martin Hartle" and just spending the day not pretending to be someone else.

Oh, and that whole "sexy secretary" thing. Weird. I honestly stopped and thought about how I should react. On the one hand, I sort of resented the implication that I was primarily sexy, like I was in the office mostly as some kind of ornament. Sure, maybe that's what Michelle was, but I know I'm more than that. On the other hand, I do spend time on my appearance, and occasionally wonder if I'm doing it right, so it's kind of an accomplishment. That "no underwear" bit was more than a bit crude, though. And Carter just off-hand saying I'm sexy every day... I just don't know what to think. He's single, I'm single, was that supposed to be sending some kind of signal? I like the guy to talk to, and looking at him objectively I see he's good-looking. If I'm honest he'd probably be as much fun to date as Kurt was - more, since I wouldn't have to watch myself to avoid showing how well I already know him. And, forgive me, but I have found myself feeling a bit horny the past couple of days...

Gah! Just the idea of letting someone else inside this body like that again is creepy. Just because I enjoyed sleeping with Kurt doesn't mean I like what it represents, and I'd still be lying to Carter, and where do I get off thinking he's even interested? I know I've made comments like that completely innocently before, when I was the guy.

I hate Halloween.

Sunday, October 26, 2003
Well, here goes nothing
I sent Natalya the email. I said that "Martin" wasn't to be trusted, that he was pretending to be someone he wasn't, and that if she talked to any of his old friends or family, they wouldn't recognize him from the way he acted. It came off sounding like some lame soap opera evil twin plot, but there it was. I didn't tell her about the more fantastic elements of the story, or who I really was, because that would just make her discount what I said as something loony and delusional.

So, time to get used to looking over my shoulder, wondering if I'm now The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Or if looking over my shoulder is even necessary; maybe whatever Michelle used to switch our minds left some hardware in the brains that could just zap me with fifty million volts or something. Or maybe just allow someone else to temporarily take over my mind and walk me into traffic. Or just render me extremely suggestible so that I would jump in front of a train of my own apparent free will. Or just "reformat" the brain like a hard drive, allowing someone else to take control of this body.

There are a whole heck of a lot of possible ways of eliminating you if they can get inside your head.

What's really scary, though - I'm looking at the bottom panel of this screen, and I can see the third paragraph of the last entry - "And if Martin finds out..." No quotation marks around Martin or anything. Am I already thinking of my body as belonging to someone else, and that they're entitled to my name? That's just... I mean, I worried when Kurt and I broke up that I might lose my grip on what my real life is, but so soon? How do I keep myself from sliding further away from who I am?


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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