Transplanted Life
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Calculated risks
Swiping that bottle of stuff from Carter's apartment in JP yesterday was a calculated risk. Obviously, by doing that, Carter's going to know I'm onto him. But I figured that (A) he'd know I was on to him when I dumped him today, and (B) I can't have that bottle out there. I just can't. There are just things in my life I can't expect other people to understand - I read comments (when they're working) and people bag on me for going to a ballgame or movie when there's all this larger-than-life stuff in my life. But until it happens to them, I don't think they can really understand what it's like not to have your self match your self-image to such an extraordinary extent. But I digress. The knowledge that someone can chemically alter your mood and personality with surgical precision without affecting anyone else, can make you pliant and suggestible - it is almost impossible to live with that thought.

And I'm not stupid. I realize that wherever Carter got that stuff probably has the capability to make more. For the rest of my life, I'm going to have to second-guess every time I feel happy, or aroused, or just like someone, and wonder whether it's natural or chemical. Quite frankly, so will everyone else, though they don't know it yet. But, it's like how we know there are guns out there, but we feel safer when we see people get rid of them. They may go right out and buy another, but until then we're safe, and they may not get another.

I got to Carter's apartment at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, which didn't give me a whole lot of time before he got home from work. I wasn't waiting another day, though. I got there, let myself in, and headed for the bathroom. I pulled the bottle out of the medicine cabinet and was quite frankly thinking of just dumping it down the sink or down the toilet, Maggie wanting more to work with be damned. Thankfully, I'm smarter than that, and got a chill thinking about what the fumes would do to me if I dumped it all at once. I could just see Carter coming home early and finding me blissed-out and horny, willing to do whatever he says. Maybe I'd feel honored to give him a blow job. Gross. I dropped it in my purse and it hasn't left my side since; I know Carter's got a key to my place.

While I was in there, I decided to make a clean sweep. Took my toothbrush. Went into "my" drawer and grabbed the clothes I'd left there. Then, after looking grabbing a garbage bag to take my things home in from the kitchen, I tried to search the place methodically for anything out of the ordinary. I'm no detective, but I didn't find anything. I turned on his computer, but didn't make any headway on that before I heard the key in the door. I turned the computer off, took off my shoes, and ran into the bedroom and fire escape. I barely made it out, and I've never been happier that a lock sticks than I was.

So that was yesterday. I barely slept last night. I watched the Sox game twice, both as it aired and on the midnight "Sox in Two" rebroadcast, but I can't tell you a damn thing about what happened during the game. And I was shaking as I got ready for work this morning. Shaking. I almost decided I'd just stay home again, but it's got to be done quickly. I had to take the offensive; I couldn't just be jerked around any more.

That's why I wanted to dump him in front of everyone. I wanted Kate, and Jen, and everyone to know that if they saw me and Carter going out again, something was wrong. It's self-centered, but I remembered thinking that few times in the history of break-ups was there such a pressing need for a clean break.

I expected yelling. There wasn't. I was talking with Kate when Carter came up and asked if I wanted to see a movie tonight. "No," I said, "never again."

He made some comment about me not being likely to drop movies cold-turkey, and I told him that it wasn't movies I was quitting, but him. I didn't say it loud, but the temperature in the room must have dropped, or people could pick up on Kate's intense desire to be elsewhere, but the area got quiet. He asked what I meant, and I asked if he thought I wouldn't find out. He said he didn't know what I meant, I said I'd found his traveling stash. Then he just nods, and says, oh, that explains it. I grip my handbag, but I don't think he can see it. Then he just walks away.

Kate just looks at me shocked, and drags me into the ladies' room so we can talk. Somehow Jen knows to come too. I'm still holding the purse - no way I'm letting it out of my sight when Carter's in the same building! - and we're barely in there before Kate's asking me if Carter drugged me. I say yeah, sort of, but I can't prove anything, and it's something too new to be illegal yet. Jen says I should talk to Mr. Kraft, but I don't know. I mean, what if he's in on it? He seems nice, but this all started before Carter worked here. I say I'll think about it, but I want to see if Maggie can find something out, first. I've read sometimes genetic engineer types tag their work with inert chemicals; maybe Maggie can get a hit from that.

Anyway, I call Maggie when I get back home; she can't wait to get her hands on more of this stuff to analyze. We're meeting for dinner tomorrow. It'll be weird talking about breaking up with my boyfriend with someone I can't help but think of as an old girlfriend.

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