Transplanted Life
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Finally, some alone time
Don't get me wrong, I love Carter, and I consider my being able to feel this way about him perhaps the most amazing circumstance of my crazy life, but even women b=who don't have former lives to research, former bodies to keep tabs on, or bizarre science-fictiony technologies to investigate like a little room to breathe.

Not that I really was thinking that the last couple of days - I was just glad that my cold seemed to be pretty much gone and we were having a pretty good time - rented movies Thursday night, hit a couple clubs last night, went to the Bruins game this afternoon - but now that I can plop down on my own couch in my apartment, I'm feeling wiped out.

And now Carter's even making noises about me moving in with him! I'm not sure how to respond to that. When he raised the subject as we were lying in bed this morning, it felt right at a gut level, and even though I'm willing to sort of go with those female guts on a lot of things, I'm nowhere near ready for that kind of lack of privacy, or, alternately, the amount of honesty required to keep trying to learn about how I, as a sort of combined person, came to be without hiding it from him. I mean, if he found out that all my memories prior to last July are those of a man and that I more-than-occasionally still think of myself that way, he'd freak. I put him off with how my lease runs through the end of June and how we've only been going out a few months, but that's just for now. Come June, we'll be looking at a six month anniversery and all that, so it'll be something I have to consider. Of course, by June I may know everything I feel I need to know.

We met Dmitri and Julia at the game. Yeah, Julia. I kind of freaked when I saw that Dmitri wasn't going out with Sam/Michelle any more, and I was almost very rude about it. I mean, it's not exactly good form to ask a guy the whereabouts of his ex in front of his current girlfriend, but, geez, I feel like I've got to know this. Julia's nice, and while not quite as pretty as me, she's a pretty good catch for Dmitri. Still...

"Not quite as pretty as me". Gads, that sounds egotistical. Maybe it is egotistical now; I mean, there was a time when I could sort of look at this body dispassionately as really belonging to someone else and make comparisons that way, but now I read that and think I sound like such a bitch. I don't know what that says about me or The Situation or anything. Just an observation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Guy things
Stayed over at Carter's last night; by the time I was done hooking up his new DVD player and surround system and watching a movie, it was getting late. It had stopped snowing hard, but, hey, I have a cold. Why be out in it any more than necessary?

It's funny what people feel threatened by. I mean, Carter has known me for months, but still got all whiny and defensive when I helped him with the hookups. Heck, when I was telling him that the optical connection made a world of difference in the store, he freaked, like it's not something a girl should understand. I mean, come on! I'll admit that I don't know a lot of girls who would exactly be experts on the subject, but, geez, how long have we been going out? Hasn't he learned anything about me by now?

What drove me completely batty was how, while we're watching Terminator 3, he won't let me adjust the TV for, like, half an hour. "No, it's supposed to be that way, the DVD says the black bars are normal." I know that, goober, but they should be bigger, since this is a scope movie. You've got your DVD Player set to 16:9 mode with a 4:3 TV, just like absolutely everyone does when they first buy a DVD player. I did, you did, Kurt did, Kate did, everybody did. I finally wait until he goes to the kitchen to get some soda and do it anyway. I have, I guess, learned enough about being a girl to not rub his face in it when he comes back ("See? Doesn't everyone look less short and fat?"). No-one goes to bed happy if that happens.

Had a hard time sleeping, though. I'm still kind of stuffed up; I wound up waking up at three in the morning having to just spit, there was so much mucous in my throat (which is, thankfully, the final stage of a cold, at least in this body). I couldn't find much of anything in Carter's medicine cabinet, though, just a bottle of DayQuil. I did get kind of nosy looking through his stuff, though. It kind of amused me to see that he's got a bottle of the same cologne that I had as Martin, though from the level of liquid in there, he seems to get more use out of it. Which is odd, since I can't remember ever smelling it on him. Maybe this body just doesn't respond to scent that well. I mean, I can't smell anything right now; I'm so stuffed up that things actually taste different.

Then again, it may not be the same kind. The bottle I had contained an amber-colored liquid, while the stuff in Carter's cabinet is clear. Of course, maybe there's some new, more stringent regulation against artificial coloring or something.

Monday, March 15, 2004
I have the urge to apologize
I feel like I should apologize to every girl I've ever dated. Now, I've had that urge a lot over the past few months, but tonight was a case where I just felt mad about it, and in fact I just paced back and forth across this tiny apartment all night, trying to walk it off.

I don't remember ever taking the explanation "I feel gross" seriously as a guy. I think I've written before about how men become complete babies when they get sick, but women are expected to soldier on. I think we get that impression because Mom took care of us as kids when we were sick, whereas the only times we associate illness with Dad was when he was so sick that he stayed home from work. There's probably a disturbing Freudian subtext to it somewhere, but I don't know what it is. And, of course, if guys can't see that a girl's sick with bloodshot eyes or stringy hair or something, they just assume that it has something to do with the scary girls-only internal organs and either dismiss it or ignore it because their brains aren't equipped to handle it.

So, today at work I'm sort of getting an object lesson on how possible it is to feel like absolute shit while still looking like a knockout. Makeup, for instance. Hides pallor or redness, or draws attention away from your eyes, all that stuff. And maybe it's just this body, but soreness seems to be much more of a common symptom than it ever was before. I'm not running a fever, but I just hurt, and that's not something you can demonstrate - people have to take your word that there's pain going on; it doesn't make your skin change color or temperature or anything. And there just seems to be more different kinds of stuff inside that can be off in different ways (you'd think I'd have the terminology better having worked at a biotech support company for this long). End result - you look okay, but you feel gross.

The point I'm getting to is that I just did not feel up to going out with Carter tonight, and I couldn't adequately explain why. And he was getting all pissed off, asking what had gotten into me like it was something more sinister than the common friggin cold. I mean, jeez, a good part of my job is answering the phone, so even I could tell that my voice sounded kind of flat what with all the gunk in my sinuses - it must have been obvious to him. I've never been so glad to have Mr. K ask him why he wasn't at his desk before.

I'll try and make it up to him later this week, and I felt bad about the way I pushed him off tonight - it's the sort of thing I remember driving me up the wall, and since I can remember what it's like to be a guy, I naturally want to be better than that. But sometimes you can't, and I feel bad now about the times when I might not exactly have been understanding... On top of just feeling ill.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Things you don't notice
My hands don't make a lot of noise when I clap them. This can't be new, but I guess I haven't really been paying attention for the past few months. Carter and I went to a hockey game yesterday, and when I tried to clap for the players coming onto the ice, it just got lost in the din. I remember whenever I would go to baseball games or concerts as Martin, I could always pick my own clapping out. I don't guess it's a big deal or anything; just something I noticed.

I'm kind of staying in today, since my cold is just not responding to orange juice, TheraFlu, and anything else I throw at it. It's more than a bit annoying, since I'm not sneezing or anything, but I'm just really stuffed up. I might wind up having to take a sick day tomorrow, since my job is to answer phones and I must sound pretty goofy.

Hanging around Harvard Square didn't help the cold much; Kate and I had made plans to do some shopping after the Eye-Opener at the Brattle, but Carter let me sleep in. Which just ticked me off so badly; I'd told him that Kate and I had plans today, and to wake me up so that I could get to Cambridge in time for the 11am movie. But did he? Nope, he just let me wake up on my own at 11:30. I was angry, really, because I don't think I've ever said I'd do something with Kate and then not been able to follow through, and she's never cancelled on me, and I told Carter that this was why I generally didn't sleep over at his place on Saturday night. He actually grins, this cocky little half-smiling thing, saying he didn't realize that there was anything that was more important than "our making sweet love". That half-set me off, but something not self-destructive inside me held me back. I told him that following through on your word was important to me, so I got dressed and didn't even shower before heading out. Which was silly, really, since I know the movie itself wouldn't be over until one, let alone the discussion, and that meant I had plenty of time to kill before meeting Kate outside the theater and apologizing, but, hey, I guess women are allowed to be emotional. I don't mean throwing tantrums or anything, but I think we can get away with only counting to five rather than to ten when we're upset.

Kate was okay with it, though it just means I'll be paying $7.50 to see On The Run when it comes to the Brattle next month. I asked her how the whole thing with Dennis went, and this led to a whole bunch of details the likes of which I would never have told Kurt or any of my other friends "before". Just the holding a couple fingers none-of-your-business inches apart is too much information as far as I'm concerned. She asked how much of a hit my new undies were, and I have to admit that Carter really did seem to enjoy the show Friday night, after we got back from the club. I told her that it could get expensive, though, because he seemed a little disappointed when I was back to my regular stuff Saturday. But, hey, we were going shopping then, anyway, right?


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