Transplanted Life
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Well, the smell was gone yesterday
Assuming the smell was ever there. Nobody else noticed anything different, so the Marti/Michelle-is-nuts theory gained some credence. Maybe it was just some new form of physiological weirdness or breakdown of mind-body interface. Maybe that sort of weirdness is what happened to Michelle/Sam; could it be some sort of warning that one's memory is about to erase itself? I'll have to find and ask her about that, whether she wants to talk to me or not.

As queasy as I felt Thursday, though, I felt good yesterday. Maybe it was just relief, but even Maureen didn't bug me yesterday, and I was practically giggling when Carter would stop by my little reception desk. Of course, it was also payday. The real surprise was when Carter pulled a suit and tie out of the closet and said we were going out, and not to some kung fu movie. And, boy, was it a little more upscale. He must have made the reservations weeks earlier and dropped a c-note at this place in the North End. I'm not usually big on pasta, but this was really good. It was also really excellent seafood. I'm usually more a swordfish person, but it doesn't really go with pasta, so I went with salmon tonight. I really absolutely stuffed myself; we were there for a couple hours, with all the appetizers, soups, salads, main course, dessert... They really made a production out of having dinner. I felt vaguely guilty about Carter paying for it all.

Did my dates ever feel that way when I took them out? And did I ever get laid because they felt they owed me? That's not really how I felt, though - I was more impressed with him, that he's willing to spend this money and time to impress me. I think the wine got to me somewhat, too. I tried to keep it in moderation, but I don't think Carter alone got us to the bottom of that bottle. Maybe it was a combination of all of it, but by the time the check was settled, I was pretty horny.

Nearly two weeks isn't exactly the longest I've gone without sex since winding up in this body, but it seemed like longer. We took a cab to his place and dove right into bed. It felt really good; really, it made me wonder what we'd been sniping about lately. I practically forgot to remind him to use a condom; that actually made him grin. "You are a practical girl, aren't you?" What can I say, I told him, pregnancy is something I am most decidedly not ready for. He made some comment about how you're not ready for sex if you're not ready for pregnancy. I hope like hell that I never said that.

Still, I have to wonder what that restaurant puts in their food. We went at it until we were both worn out, and I was more than ready to go again when I woke up in the morning. That's just... I mean, I've liked Carter since I met him in most ways, but this raw sexual magnetism was a little much for me, and apparently for him. "Not that I can think of many better ways to spend the day, but it's noon already, and if we keep this up, we're going to break something."

True enough, though I did spend some time looking at sexy underwear online for next time. Weird thing to do, for me.

Anyway, I called Kate and Jen to see what they were up to tonight. Jen and Carlos have tickets to something, but Kate's free. I'm supposed to meet her at the Coolidge in about an hour to see The Company before it leaves town. The kicker is, she said she might stick around with me for Haunted Cop Shop 2 afterward. Normally, she wouldn't consider it, but when I showed her that it was co-written by Wong Kar-Wai, an acclaimed (and generally artsy) Chinese writer-director, she got curious.

Should be fun, though.

Friday, February 06, 2004
I hate insomnia
It's just one of those I can't get to sleep nights/early mornings. And, man, I should be able to - as part of Kate's Oscar kick, she and Jen and I went to see Cold Mountain tonight. Anthony Minghella has a knack for making a 2.5 hour movie seem to last seven, but by the time I got on the train, got home, and brushed my teeth, I'd gotten some kind of second wind. So I've been tossing and turning; I tried watching some TV but that's not doing it. I finished my book, but my choice of reading material was bad. Not that The Salmon Of Doubt is a bad book in any way, shape, or form, but it's Douglas Adams's last writings, including the start of what is in its present form the start of the third Dirk Gently novel but apparently would have become the sixth Hitch-Hiker novel. And Adams is one of those writers whose every word and phrase demand attention, so it winds up actually making you more alert. And, of course, afterward comes the horribly feeling that there's no more. Barring the sudden location of a copy of The Meaning Of Liff (did it ever reach this side of the Atlantic), I've read all Douglas Adams's books.

The only reason I can think of that I'm still awake is that my stomach is still somewhat upset. It's been better since I left work, but before then, I felt queasy all day. There was this awful smell causing it which made me want to gag, I was apparently the only one who could smell it. Which is not a good thing for someone whose mind and body are of questionable unity. Six months ago, I would have thought there was something wrong with my brain, and I still figure that might be a possibility, but it seems less likely. It does make me wonder if I might be imagining things, or if some sort of paranoia might be justified (could everyone at BioSoft know what's going on and be trying to drive the girl with the mind-transfer crazy?). But, man, as soon as five o'clock came, I was out the door.

That helped immensely; I just hope the smell's gone tomorrow. If it isn't, I stop complaining to the people at work and take it up with the building manager, no matter if no-one else can smell it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Now, a real girl...
It's days like today that I wish I had the same upbringing and been hit with all the girly developmental stuff. It's not like I want another personality, but the fact of the matter is, Carter and I haven't actually been fighting, but we're closer to that than to making goo-goo eyes at each other all the time, and I would like it if the flowers he got me this morning had any effect on me whatsoever. Okay, they had some effect, but not the same sort of visceral, oh, that's just so sweet effect I've observed from the other side of the equation.

I mean, I shudder to think what will happen if he or anyone else ever buys me jewelry. Sure, everyone has probably noticed that I don't wear it buy now, but at some point he's going to think, hey, it's an anniversery of some kind, I'll get her earrings.

But, on the other hand, I'm probably easier to apologize to. In my experience, most guys will accept "I'm an idiot" as a perfectly reasonable explanation most of the time, until after it's used too often and we start to think, yeah, he is an idiot, and there's no good reason for me to put up with his shit. But that's the mindset I'm still in, so while the flowers don't mean much, Carter saying he's an idiot and should realize how lucky he is to have me is good enough.

So, we went out tonight, had a good time, all that. I was going to spend the night at his place, but he backed out when he heard the word "period". Just a couple of spots on my panties tonight, but I tell him I have to pick up tampons first and he suddenly looks practically traumatized, like he's the one with the internal bleeding. I tell him it's good news for him, start to whistle "She's On Time", but he doesn't get it. Not that I should expect him to; it's a bonus track on a Barenaked Ladies album that wasn't ever actually listed in the liner notes (but is, in fact, one of their funnier songs).

Ah, well. It let me get home and watch Angel, so now I can go argue on messageboards.

(By the way, have I mentioned that I miss my ReplayTV? Having to wait for Law & Order to finish recording so I could watch Angel is so twentieth-century. Maybe I should get the word out that whenever someone is thinking of getting me jewelry, home electronics would be much more appreciated)

Monday, February 02, 2004
The big 3-0
Today's my thirtieth birthday. Sort of, kind of, I guess. I mean, when is my birthday now? February 2nd is the day I remember celebrating it, but in terms of wear and tear, and whether I'm considered old enough to drink, run for President, or receive retirement benefits, then this body had its 25th birthday back in November. Or, you could argue that since I sort of consider myself a new person made up of pieces of the original Martin Hartle and Michelle Garber, my proper birthday would by July 19th, the day that happened (if it happened after midnight, otherwise, it'd be July 18th).

So, which is it? Did I turn 30 today, or did I turn 25 in November, or will I have my first birthday in July? I don't feel like an infant, and I've got thirty years of life experience, but if I were to go into a doctor's office, then the important information would be that I'm a twenty-five-year-old female. And, jeez, sometimes I feel like I'm acting even younger, like somehow the mismatch of hormones and personality makes me act like a teenager. Maybe the people who say age is a state of mind really have a point, and all that matters is how old I feel. Again, good luck nailing that down.

If the technology to switch people ever becomes mainstream - or, rather, when it does; even if the people with it now keep it secret, someone else will figure it out and let the genie out of the bottle - I suppose society will have to seriously rethink the whole idea of measuring someone's age. If a 70-year-old switches body with a 20-year-old, can either of them drink? Will we meet apparent teenagers on the street and have to adjust our treatment of them because there may be someone older and more experienced who commands more respect "inside". And if you go along with the idea that it's not a swap, but creating two new people from two existing people, do you consider the date of the swap their date of birth, only somehow acknowledging that they should be treated as functioning adults.

Of course, it could also smash gender roles to pieces - I can't help but remember what the guy at the biotech company Mr. K and I visited back in October said, about how male and female brain readings were opposite. In and of itself, not such a big deal, but then I think of the guy who has my original body out in Seattle, and how he made a comment about not being able to stand it in this body for very long. This is kind of a silly wild-ass guess, but what if this process - mind-switching or recombination or whatever you want to call it - only works with a male and a female? It could lead some interesting places.

Or not; maybe the very nature of it will prevent the technology from ever going mainstream, and it'll remain something for wealthy weirdos, and they'll be shunned and ridiculed even more than "conventionally" transgendered people are now. Just the existence of the technology - or, rather, the knowledge of its existence - will mean the end of verifiable identity except by extraordinarily draconian methods.

But, that's the future. Today, I just feel kind of depressed. It's my birthday and I can't celebrate it openly without explaining. Carter noticed I was sort of down despite how the whole city seems pretty psyched over the Pats winning the Super Bowl yesterday, and I just say I'm PMSing. It's even true, but doesn't explain everything.

The funny thing is how it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning - I don't think I quite realized what day it was until I ripped the last page of my page-a-day calendar. Then, huh. I've managed to be surprised by my own birthday twice in four months, which is a pretty neat trick. Then all the questions hit.

So, it passes unmarked except for this diary entry and a frosted cupcake and candle I bought at the supermarket on the way home.

Sunday, February 01, 2004
Super Sunday
Just time for a few words before heading out to Jen & Carlos's Super Bowl... uh, "Big Game" party. (Apparently, the NFL and their lawyers have been cracking down on anyone who uses the term "Super Bowl" without permission. Just more reason to hate the league even if you like the game) Left to myself, I'd take advantage of all those empty movie theaters, but Carter wants to go and so I figure I probably should - we've been sniping at each other for the past week and backing out would just make things worse. Of course, factor in that this body seems to start PMSing right at the beginning of the month and it could be a recipe for disaster.

Could be worse; Kate accepted the invitation back a couple weeks ago, because George is big into football, but since he appears to be out of the picture... We talked about it this afternoon, after the morning show at the Brattle. I assured her that Jen and Carlos wouldn't take it as a slight, since they know that sports really aren't Kate's thing (though, by the end of this summer, she will like baseball; I can't have a best friend who doesn't like baseball). She's not sure, though.

So I gave her a "someone needs to do some shopping", but instead of heading into a shoe store, hit the Tokyo Kid store in The Garage. It's just filled with toys and manga and movies from Japan and Korea; I joked to her that it's how you ease someone into being a comic book person. After all, a good chunk of this stuff is fairly girly and not necessarily associated with comics and the like to people who see it displayed on your shelves. Of course, then I heard someone mention that New England Comics was having a half-off sale that ended today, and dragged her along. I wound up scoring 4 of the 5 "You're An All-Star, Charlie Brown" figures (which are just about the cutest things ever). I even managed to drag her along to the NEC in Allston so that I could find Sally.

Anyway, they're set up on my kitchen table now. Not sure where I'm going to eat.


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Note: This blog is a work of fantasy; all characters are either ficticious or used ficticiously. The author may be contacted at