Saturday, December 18, 2004
As much as I'm sure some of the Feds would have liked to keep Sam under observation indefinitely, there are limits to what they can do, and since her EEGs have shown no sign of abnormality for days and she said she felt fine, the doctors said they had no reason to keep her there, even if it was a research hospital. They just told her to make sure that if she felt anything strange, to let them know, although they didn't anticipate it - neither I, nor Carter, etc., seemed to have any indication of dangerous side-effects, despite not having any post-process care.
Of course, as she soon realized when she got out of the building, leaving the hospital isn't the same as going home. I told her she was welcome to crash at our place - after all, her name is on the lease - but to strongly consider going home. After all, she hadn't seen her folks for a year, and they'd come running back in spring. She sort of grunted at that.
The name on the lease thing weirded her out, though - that someone else had committed her to do something, just like her parents always had. She was tempted to just grab her things and start hitching, but didn't like the idea of being away from the hospital should something else wacky happen to her brain. I told her that was nothing, that the guy in my original body had knocked a woman up and gotten engaged. Well, not the guy in my original body now, but before. But imagine what I'd have been in for had I taken Nat up on her offer and swapped back.
Don't remind me, she says. Because if I had, then she probably would have woken up in this body, with the boobs and the butt and the innie. She'd just be a scrunchie away from being every oversexed girl in her high school she hated, except older. And, besides, maybe it's better to lose a year and still know who you are then to wonder.
So, I asked, you want to stop by the pharmacy on the way home for some black hair dye and nail polish and stuff? I'm joking but she gives it some thought. Yeah, she says, but I don't know if I'll use it right away. After all, hearing where she's been for the past couple of years, that the guy who was in her body was now in my old one and used to be a black guy while I used to be a man - it's freaky, and she doesn't like it, and just talking with me is creeping her out a little. But since she'd had nothing but time to think the past week, she was wondering about the whole idea of being yourself by making yourself look different. She wasn't sure about it. On the one hand, it seems like saying you don't want to be yourself, and maybe she'd felt that way before, but not now. Still, it was taking control, too, not just looking or being some way because someone else told you to.
I shrugged, said you can't control the raw materials but what you do with it is up to you, although if she wanted my opinion I thought the way Carter had left her body worked for her. She said the idea that this is how someone else liked it sort of made it unappealing for her. I told her not to take it the wrong way, but Carter never liked her body, but just found short undyed hair, no piercings, and no cosmetics least inconvenient. But you've got to like the results of his workout regimine.
She said not to be so sure; it's only ten extra pounds, she knows, but she feels sort of bulky, and her reflection weirdly androgynous to her now. She doesn't want to be, well, me, and she knows that she doesn't really look boyish, but she doesn't look like she did before, and it's weird getting used to that in the mirror (and then laughs nervously, saying look who she's talking to). The extra strength and energy is nice, though - she feels like she's carrying things instead of lugging them. Maybe she'd at least exercise more than she did before, and maybe in a week she won't feel so thick.
The she switches tracks, asking if Carter had had a job in her body. I said, yes but probably not anymore - bailing a few weeks ago without any notice had probably banned Sam from the supermarket for life. Well, no great loss, she said. But she'd have to find one soon in order to pull her own weight with the rent.
So I guess the "going home" plan isn't being given much serious consideration yet.
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