Friday, December 24, 2004
The others are sleeping in
It seems sort of unseemly to write about other people when they can look over your shoulder while doing it. On the one hand, it's just hard to write when someone is watching you do it - part of why this blog hasn't been updated as often as it was when I was living alone - and on the other, the impulse to censor oneself is always there. Silly, sure, since anything I write about them will still be here tomorrow and the next day, but it feels less rude.
But, since my roommates are sleeping in this morning while my body is still running on "must leave house by 8:00AM" time despite having today off and being up until one, what the heck. Nothing really bad about Sam and Mo in this, anyway.
The three of us went to see It's a Wonderful Life at the Brattle last night (Maureen's idea), found it not playing, and couldn't agree on what to see instead so headed home. That's when it started raining, anyway, and none of us had an umbrella with us. So, on home we went.
Carter was waiting outside, having evidently been released by the Feds. Maureen didn't say anything, but just kept going inside; I would have, too, but he put his hand on my arm. Sam saw that, and asked if there were going to be trouble, but I said I could handle it. Not sure what Sam would have done, tiny as she is, although I get the impression that she would fight dirty if it came down to that.
After the girls went in, I sort of positioned myself under and overhang so that he'd be out in the rain to talk to me, even if he had been smart enough to bring an umbrella. So, I asked, "comfortable?"
Don't you get all proprietary about this body to me, he says. You could have had it back, but we both know you weren't going to. Believe me, there were days when I wished I could be as open-minded and flexible as you, but I couldn't. This way, everybody wins.
Except Alexei, I start, and he interrupts.
Fuck Alexei, he says. He could have done the right thing, and said I'm not going to be walking around at Michelle's expense, but he didn't. And even if he couldn't stand the idea of going back into a coma, which I get, he could have decided not to screw with your life, or he could have stopped Dmitri before I got involved, or he could have accepted the consequences of his actions and not been a total shit to Natalie. If we could have set things right without taking him out of circulation, that would have been better, sure, but are you going to begrudge Sam her walking around, or me my not going nuts? I am okay with this.
Well, of course you are, I said. You get to pee standing up again, and there's nothing in life more important than that. You're not really "you" again, but you've got the crucial factor.
I won't deny I wasn't cut out to be a girl, he says, but it's not just that. I went down to Kinko's today and started hitting Monster; hopefully next week I'll actually be able to start interviewing for non-retail jobs.
Great, I say, glad I can help you build a career on my work experience. You going to be flying to Florida to spend the holidays with my mother, too? Or out West with Nat and Alexei's son? I'm afraid you missed my ten year high-school reunion, though.
First off, he says, my old resumé could kick your resumé's ass, and second, it's not like you balked at working a job Michelle had interviewed for. Third, Nat and I haven't decided what we're going to do - to be quite frank, I think she really wanted you in this body, and just took me because it would punish Alexei. She won't say it, but someone who would take someone else's body probably isn't the father figure she wants little Marty to have.
And your moms? Girl, I've seen how hard you've worked to try and get cool with her, and I won't screw that up. Telling you that is the second reason I came here tonight.
And the first, I asked?
Carter doesn't say anything, just takes a step forward, puts an arm around my body, and kisses me. I probably should just push him away, but it's been a couple months since anyone's done that, and it feels good. My eyes close for a second, and I can concentrate on how much it feels like the old Carter, and my mind slips back about a year, and I think that's the time when I was most happy since waking up a girl.
Then there's a loud noise as the sky opens up and it starts to rain HARD, and I open my eyes and I see my old face, and I back off. He just smiles, and says he's been waiting almost a year to do that again. And part of me, as big as the part that says it would be incestuous, wants him to do it again right away. But...
You've been waiting a year, huh, I say. So where's Maureen figure into this?
Hey, I was sleeping in the same room, sometimes the same bed as you, and you just weren't interested. I had to have some sort of release, and I thank god she was up for it.
Release? I practically shot the word, and give him a shove that pushes him out from under cover and into the downpour. Is that what you're going to say to her? You son of a bitch. What, you think just because she's gay, she just cares about the sex? There is no "just sex" with a girl like Maureen, Carter. She came out of the closet for you. Her family practically disowned her, and the night you left was like the worst of her life. And she means so little that you can't even be bothered to find out if it's just girls she likes or if maybe, just maybe, she loves you.
I've got a good mad worked up at this point - it's good to have a bona fide reason to push him away and not be called on the hypocricy of saying I don't want to be with him because it would be like some bizarre form of masturbation even though I say I'm a new person all the time - so I lay it out: There can't be anything between us until he makes things right with Maureen... And that's never going to happen.
I go in, and slam the door behind me. Mo and Sam ask if I'm okay, and I say, yeah, he just had some idea of picking up where we left off before, like none of the other stuff mattered. Maureen heads toward the door to kill him, but he's already gone. Sam says she's a really good friend to me to be that upset on my behalf, and I agree, even though that's not all of it.
We spend the rest of the night sharing evil bastard boyfriend stories (though I throw a few girlfriends in, which makes for weird discussion). But we all have trouble sleeping, afterward - the idea that we might meet up with Carter on the street is too disquieting.
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