Transplanted Life
Friday, April 02, 2004
Cloak & Dagger
Best not to post anything on April Fool's Day, unless you've got something really clever, which I didn't.

Well, anyway, I guess I had Mags pegged. As busy as she must be, she has a hard time resisting a mystery. I got a call at work, even, that she wondered if she could meet me tonight. I told her I had plans, because the four of us (me, Carter, Kate, and Dennis) were doing the Anita Mui double-feature at the Brattle. She, of course, said she would meet me there, between shows, in the ladies' room. Not one to mess around, is my Maggie.

The day seemed to take forever after that, and I got a little paranoid again. The whole time I'd been on the phone, I'd been worried about whether Maureen or Carter or anyone was walking by, might have overheard me, or even somehow understood the PBX system well enough to listen in on the phone call.

Then came after work, when we took the T into Harvard Square and opted to just run into the Crazy Dough in "The Garage" for pizza. By that point, a little of the paranoia had worn off and the whole exercise was seeming kind of fun, like an adventure. It's odd to say that, but after eight and a half months, you don't quite take being a different person, physically, at least, than what you've always remembered for granted, but it is possible to get used to it. Even scanning the internet for various bits of information becomes routine. You almost have to have a secret within the secret to recognize just how weird and amazing one's life can be.

Anyway, we bopped around the Garage for a while. It borders between being hip and being nerd paradise - it's got a science fiction bookstore and a tattoo parlor; an otaku shop and a Hootenanny clothes store (not yet warm enough for me to be looking at that stuff). It's got a Newbury Comics, which is really a CD store with comics way off in a corner and goofy pop culture stuff all over the place. Something for everyone.

Carter asked if I ever thought of getting a tattoo, and I had to say I never had. He nodded, saying it would have to be just the right one. I've sort of got the feeling he might want to come back sometime. At any rate, we spent nearly an hour window-shopping, which kept us out of the rain.

The first part of the double feature wasn't great - made no sense whatsoever, really. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

As I got set to meet up with Mags, though, I realized I'd forgotten about the "going to the ladies' room in groups" thing. No avoiding it, though, since the rain tonight was the kind that gets absorbed through the skin, and both Kate and I really needed to go. It got kind of awkward, since I think Kate expected us to leave the ladies' room together, too. So, while she was talking washing up, I did the only thing I could think of, said the pizza really wasn't agreeing with me (a lie, since this digestive tract has none of the problems with peppers that my Martin one does), and broke wind.

As an aside, let me just say that after the better part of a year endeavoring not to do that because I figure it's something girls don't do, farting felt fantastic. And it did chase Kate from the restroom.

Made it unpleasant for Mags, unfortunately, but she was in too heightened a state of scientific inquiry to care. "What was in that bottle?"

"That's what I wanted you to find out!"

She said the preliminary analysis was fascinating - that the solute was unusually heavy for a cologne, and that it was organic in nature. But it didn't look like anything she'd ever seen. That's when she remembered me saying it only seemed to affect me, so she thought maybe if tested its interactions with my cells, she'd get a better picture.

She propped her handbag on the sink and started pulling sealed bags out of it, specimen collection containers she'd smuggled out of the lab. I told her I wish she'd told me she was going to do this before I peed out my large Diet Pepsi, but she just laughed and said that would introduce too many impurities for her purposes. Instead, she used little scraper things to collect "squamous cells" from the inside of my cheeks (in the mouth, you perverts). She must have taken seven or eight samples, giggling like a teenager. As cool as it was to see her happy, I can't help but think that whatever mad scientist came up with the whole mind-transfer thing must have felt the same way.

Then we went back to our seats, watched the second movie (which was better, and not just because it had a killer whale interjecting itself into a martial arts fight scene), and went back home. And now I've got something new to lose sleep over.

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