Thursday, June 10, 2004
Carter and I both had a day off today, which was actually pretty nice. Carter sometimes doesn't come off well in this narrative, and I blame myself for that. Sometimes it's even hard for me to remember that he was held prisoner for two months. It seems like Carter's been a continuous presence, but he hasn't - it was someone else for two months, and during that time... I mean, as much as most people can't imagine my life, I can't imagine what it was like for him. He deserves all the slack I can cut him. And, well, writing about fights is more dramatic, seems more newsworthy, than writing about making up. Also, I think I tend to focus on the ways his ordeal has changed him, or more specifically hurt him, than on what I love about him.
It's more a sisterly/best friend kind of love than anything romantic now, for me anyway. But when he's in a good mood he still makes me laugh, he still has confidence in me, and we still get into nerd arguments over exactly how awful Enterprise is or whether Riddick or Sky Captain is the movie we're most looking forward to this summer. He still thinks I'm pretty, too, which can be kind of uncomfortable. He gets a little jealous sometimes, even though he's got no reason to any more.
We spent a lot of the day scouting apartments, looking at rental agencies, getting our phone number taken a lot but not yet actually getting a chance to look at places. Anyway, after a few hours of that, we stopped back in at our place and turned on the AC. I asked if he were up for a movie, he asked if we could afford it, I said that if we couldn't afford a late-afternoon matinee then we were in more trouble than I thought. He, of course, insisted on walking, but got upset when I changed into a halter and skirt.
I told him, no whining about my wardrobe. On a day as warm as this one had gotten after the rain cleared out, this was practical. Sure, it showed some cleavage and there was a little gap at the waist (though not wide enough to show off my belly button), but exposed skin lets you vent heat. His jeans and t-shirt weren't doing it.
By the time we reached the Fenway theater, he had agreed to take the trolley back. I was kind of tired, too - a week of waitressing hasn't quite built up enough endurance to counteract nine months of sitting behind a desk. We wound up happily paying for large drinks, although quite honestly, I at least should know I don't have a large-drink sized bladder any more. After the movie, we had a whispered conversation about not having to wait to use public toilets nearly as much when we were men.
In a really wacky coincidence, we bumped into Maureen on the way out. I asked how many people were left at BioSoft; she said she was one of the final four, that Dmitri and Carter had really screwed us over good. She asked what I was up to, and I said I was waiting tables until something better came along, although I was focusing more on trying to find a new place to live, since a studio wasn't big enough for "Sam" and I.
Oh, are you too, like, you know... No, I say, we just sort of fell in together. Carter put in that I was dating a lawyer, and I said I didn't know if we were really dating. She actually looked kind of disappointed, but wished us good luck as she went to buy a ticket for her movie.
Afterward, Carter kind of snickered at her, pointing out how Maureen was trying too hard to be nice. I remembered all the vaguely "you skank"-ish attitude she'd thrown toward me, or how she'd pointed out that she went to a Christian college, but how after we'd nearly got shot, she was bending over backwards to point out how she bore us no ill will. But I figure that's a minor hypocricy.
The bit about "Carter really screwed us over good" bugged him, though. He doesn't delude himself about his original body being anything other than gone for good, but he also tends to avoid thinking about what people think of "him". He, of course, only remembers "Carter" up until he got switched out of that body, and the idea that his good name is as dead as the physical form bothers him.
I told him that he can do what I have mostly done, start over and be the best Samantha Haskins he can. He admitted it makes practical and pragmatic sense, but he just can't bring himself to commit to that. I tell him it's okay, I didn't really commit to being a good Michelle, as opposed to pretending to be a good Michelle, until I started seeing him; maybe he just needs to find the thing that makes being Sam feel worthwhile.
He doubts that such a thing exists. I say I felt the same way, until it happened. Yeah, he says, but since our relationship was gone, how do I stand it now. I tell him that just because gaining something changes your point of view, that doesn't mean losing it changes it back.
He's not completely buying it, but he's thinking about it, at least.
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