Transplanted Life
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Ridiculous, overblown metaphor
The place I work at is one of those family-friendly, casual-dining restaurants. Because we as a people seem to be unable to function without some sort of TV screen running, there are a few in the restaurant, including one in the bar. This being Boston (well, actually, Cambridge, but you get the idea), it was tuned to the Red Sox game. Anyway, it's really difficult to be a fan, have this crazy stuff going on in the background, and have to just go about your work without seeming to pay attention to it.

The overblown metaphor part is Carter and I having to do the same thing living with Maureen. Carter got dragged to a movie last night while I was at work, and grumbled about it all day. Total chick flick, he said, and felt like he should be occasionally whispering comments to Maureen about how Ryan Gosling is just dreamy to maintain his "cover", but just couldn't bring himself to do it.

We're getting along, though. Again, it's tremendously helpful to make sure everyone works different shifts, so that you're not all hitting the bathroom and getting testy at the same time. I get a little nervous about Maureen, but she's neither asked weird questions or tried to slit mine and Carter's throats while we sleep. She thinks we should throw a housewarming party, though I'm still not sure just exactly how long we'll be hanging around.

Thursday, July 01, 2004
Getting settled in
After spending yesterday taking things apart, loading it and the rest of our stuff into Carlos's car, and making a couple of trips across the river to Maureen's place, putting everything back together, and then going to work, I was just ready to drop by the time I got home. Didn't even bother to convert the futon back into bed-mode; I just curled up on it like it was a couch.

Truth be told, I remember liking the couch as a guy. You could just worm your way into the right angle formed by the back and cushions and just get surrounded. It doesn't work quite so well for me now; the curves make it a less perfect fit, and I find myself tending to move around more in my sleep, not necessarily getting into a fetal position, but occasionally getting a little surprised if my legs went over the edge.

Still, it was nice to have a bed (or bed-like piece of furniture) to myself. At the same time, having Carter in the same room is kind of reassuring for both of us. He's been handling day-to-day stuff better lately, but he can still have pretty intense nightmares. We only came close to slipping up and calling each other Marti and Carter, as opposed to Michelle and Sam, once while Maureen was around; hopefully it won't be much of an issue.

This afternoon, we made a trip to Micro Center to get networking stuff to for when we upgrade from dial-up - dial-up! - to DSL or broadband. Maureen needed a little convincing, since she doesn't do much more than read email online, which caught me and Carter a little by surprise. A couple hours after Maureen went to bed, Carter just shook his head thinking about it. "Dial-up," he said with near-disgust, and rolled his eyes, adding "Women!" as if that explained it all. We both had a good laugh at the irony of that explanation.

On a side note: It is amusing to watch Christian girls like Maureen try not to swear in situations that just seem to cry out for profanity, which describes last night's Red Sox game (and the one before, honestly) to a tee. She was already watching it when I got home, and though she's not really a big fan. We've got it on again tonight, hoping for better.

(Pedro Martinez just said, in a cut-away segment, that we boo Jeter out of respect. That's not the case, at least for me. It's hate. I hate the little son of a bitch for reasons that aren't entirely rational. He's perhaps the most annoying Yankee ever - a good player but not nearly as good as his reputation (especially where defense is concerned), a celebrity despite having no discernable personality, and he always has this smug expression on his face. I hate him. But I digress)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Take what you can get
I was this close to calling Nat today. Maureen just rubbed me the wrong way the the first time I met her, and, even though I know she's grown somewhat since then, I have a hard time getting past it. But, even though Natalya has offered and can afford it, it doesn't seem right. Why should she pay for my rent? What makes it her responsibility? Not a thing.

So, at five-thirty, I was at a place off Western Avenue, waiting for Maureen to get home. She was punctual, and we had an awkward moment trying to figure out how to greet each other. "Just think," I said, "we could be this uncomfortable all the time."

This was, she agreed, a nutty idea. And she said she knew it had to be especially weird for me, since at first she was so snotty and judgmental, and for no good reason. And then, after "Carter" got killed, she just did this big one-eighty because, well, you know...

I didn't and she was like, oh, it was just a wake-up call, just that there's no good that comes of thinking you're better than someone, that Carter and Dmitri just thought they could do shit to me and Sam, and that if you think like that, well, you can justify anything, and that's not the way God wants us to treat each other.

Ah, the God stuff. She's not like the kids in Saved! (hey, I had some free time this afternoon), but religion is obviously a pretty important part of her life. Which is cool; most Christians I've met have been helpful, generous people, although the ones who are intolerant sometimes seem to cancel the majority out. I figure Maureen will be a big one on going to church on Sundays, and she's got a couple of "inspirational" posters hanging in the living room. Pretty low-key. She saw me looking at it and said, yeah, she's a Christian, but not one of the annoying ones, she hopes. If Mary was still there, it would be a little overwhelming, but of course if she was...

It's a nice place. She seems to keep it pretty neat, and the room is big enough for both Carter and I to sleep in, at least.

So I said we'd take it. She gave me keys, told me the rent, and said she could take a day off from work if we needed help. I didn't think that would be necessary.

Now... Who do Carter and I know with a truck?

Monday, June 28, 2004
Yeah, yeah, gift horses
So, there may be a solution to the housing problem if I swallow just a bit more of what little pride I've got left. I don't want to do it, but I'm rapidly running out of time to find other options.

Maybe if I'd been home to answer the phone, we'd have lost out. But I had an afternoon shift, so it was Carter who fielded the call. As he tells it, it was Maureen, sounding even more desperate than us, asking if we'd found a new place yet. Carter said no, but some friends of mine would let us use their couches for a couple of weeks. Maureen said that was good, well not really, but her roommate had just bailed on her this weekend.

Well, by the time I got home, Carter had been out to see the place and pronounced it nice. We'd still be sharing a bedroom, but there was already one twin bed in there. It would be a tight fit with that, the futon, and the dresser, but we could do it, since we don't have much other stuff. And it's on the other side of the river in Cambridge, so we'd be closer to our jobs. Not that proximity to these particular jobs is any great selling point, but we'd also be closer to my favorite movie theaters, comic shops, book stores, and Maggie.

I grumbled that it means living with Maureen, and just working with her was bad enough. Okay, maybe Carter had a point that she'd been a lot friendlier since his escape from Dmitri (though I remnided him to be suspicious of sudden large-scale changes of attitude/personality). But don't forget, I said, she's all girl. Get ready for wading through ridiculous amounts of personal care products, pink and cutesy decoration (we both know she loves the pink), her taking an eternity in the bathroom every morning. And, oh yeah, she doesn't know just what Dmitri and company did to us. She'll have nothing good to say about "Carter" because she doesn't know any better.

That dampened his enthusiasm. Still, he shrugged, said we needed a place to stay, and she's not asking us to sign a lease, so we can keep looking. I should at least go and give the place a once-over after she got back from work tomorrow.

And I'll do it, damn it. Because he's right; it's not as though we are exactly swimming in options right now.

Sunday, June 27, 2004
It's somewhat disheartening that Carter and I can pack up to move with so little aggravation. A year ago, I needed tons of boxes, one of those Door-To-Door storage units, and I had to sell furniture. Today, I went to the comic shop to buy a long box and was able to fit most of the comics, DVDs, CDs, and paperbacks I've bought since waking up in this body in there. I've still got the original packaging for the DVD player. I don't know what to do with the futon and the dresser; I suppose I could be like the college kids and just leave them by the street for scavengers to take, but that seems more than a bit wasteful. Carter and I got all of our clothes except for enough for the next three days into garbage bags. The fridge is mostly bare (the normal state with one of us working in a restaurant and the other in a supermarket; we just bring home enough for the next day), and we've got the dishes packed away.

Now we just need someplace to move our stuff to. I'm sorely tempted to call Natalya, but it doesn't seem right. And, damn it, it shouldn't be so difficult to find a place to live. I've paid my rent on time, I'll be getting the security deposit from this place back (because, frankly, I'm leaving it better than I found it), and even just looking at how we've lived as Michelle and Samantha, Carter and I have been hardworking and dependable. I almost wonder if Michelle doesn't have a broken lease somewhere in her past that's scaring landlords off.


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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