Sunday, May 16, 2004
Yesterday was nice enough to go sit by the river again, and I got out the bikini. Carter laughed when I came out of the bathroom and asked how I looked; he just kept going on and on about how there were polka dots and how no real girl actually owned a polka-dot bikini. Aside from that, he said, I looked hot, but he couldn't see sitting next to me if I was going to dress like that. I told him I'd get a new one if he let me buy one for him, too, and got told not to be mean. Well, it was worth a shot.
I called Mags, asked what she was doing, saying Carter and I were going to go down to Harvard Square and hang out, and we hadn't had much chance to spend time with her lately. She was free, so I told her we'd be going to the Million Year Picnic to pick out some reading material before hitting the river.
We met there, and I picked up some comics that had built up over the past couple weeks. She picked up "Orbiter" in paperback, asking me if it was any good. I said it was great, that I actually have the hardcover... "I had the hardcover. Before."
The three of us were quiet for a moment, and then Mags said she'd take that as a recommendation. We paid for our stuff, then headed down JFK Street to find a spot by the river. Once we'd laid our towels down, Maggie and I took off our T-shirts and skirts. She had a plain black bikini on, and giggled when she saw mine. "That really was you! Oh my god! Carter, did she tell you the story about trying to make me jealous?"
"Uh...yeah." He watched as we got down on our stomachs, probably feeling curiously overdressed. We split the comics, and about halfway through the first one he put it down and looked at us. "I don't get it. How can the two of you be so cool about it?" Maggie asked him about what, and Carter said this, this whole thing. "He was your boyfriend, and now he's like this, and you know about it, and you act like it's no big deal! How does it not drive you crazy?"
Maggie put her book down, turned over, and sat up. "Honey, you've got to understand, Martin and I loved each other. A lot. I thought for sure he and I would get married--"
"Quiet, I'm telling my story. You can get to your version later. Anyway, we broke up because my period was late and he freaked out when I told him. It was your standard 'it's the girl's responsibility and now my life will be ruined' scene."
"So you figure this is payback?"
"No, Carter. Well, maybe a little. But mostly, it's that not only did I love Martin, I really liked him, but when we broke up, there was just so much anger... And then, months later, I find out about Marti here, and I can just be friends with her. The part of our relationship that turned bad is just gone." Maggie watched while Carter digested it, then finished with "plus, in case you haven't noticed, I'm a total nerdette, and this whole body switching thing is pretty damn cool to see from one step away."
I looked at her. "And you were so close to not pissing him off."
"I'm not pissed!" He looked at me. "Is that how it is between you and me."
"A little. The guy in your body... he violated me, and sometimes, even though I know when it stopped being you and started being him, well, I like not having that baggage with you."
Carter digested that, and then stood up. "I think I'm going to go for a run."
It was mostly a chance to not continue the conversation, but no matter. He did some stretches and then took off down Memorial Drive. After he got a ways away, Maggie turned to me. "Did you see her stretching? Was she that limber as a guy?"
I smiled. "Oh, yeah."
"You lucky... Well, not anymore. But you won't have trouble finding someone else with that body."
I didn't mention Doug. "Hey, you're looking pretty good, too."
She'd evidently joined a gym, cut some carbs out of her diet, done a few other little things. There was a guy at work, but he got her all flustered. "And then I start babbling, and I realize I'm babbling, and I say I'm babbling, but then he doesn't do that thing that you always did, saying that you wouldn't be hanging out with me if you weren't interested in what I thought. I really loved that about you." She blushed. "God, no matter what I told Carter, saying stuff like that is awkward."
I told her we were entitled to feel awkward. And that I wanter her, if I ever said "I'm babbling" to a guy, to smack me upside the head.
By the time Carter got back, we were ready to get moving again. Maggie was meeting some other friends for dinner, but after she and I had covered back up she hugged Carter and me and said we'd have to do this some more.
Carter looked at his watch and asked what now, and I figured that as long as I had an extra pair of hands, we might as well go grocery shopping. After all, the cupboards are nearly bare and I'm buying twice as much as I used to, so he might as well help me lug it home.
Truth be told, I'm buying more than twice as much. Carter can eat. As we loaded up the cart at Star Market, I told him he didn't have to eat as much as before, and he said that that's what he thought, and he'd done the math comparing his old body weight to his new one, and trying to scale back still left him hungry. Part of it was probably that he'd been underfed for a couple months, but maybe it was just habit. I told him he'd better keep working out if he wanted to keep Sam's figure.
He said he knew that, then demolished half a pizza when we got back home.
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