Transplanted Life
Saturday, November 13, 2004
So, I was going to write about the snow we got yesterday and today, but guess what, I can't keep my mind focused on it.

Anyway, I met up with the gals Wednesday night. We wound up seeing a thoroughly awful movie (Birth), but that was after we stopped for drinks and I got some uncomfortable looks from Kate. I said "later", and that seemed to be good enough for her - or, at least, there wasn't enough free time for blurting between Jen's new job and Maggie's vacation plans. I guess Wei hadn't talked to Mags yet.

But we didn't talk right away; we rode to the Harvard Square stop, bought some pizza and then started. So, she says, you and Kurt. Pause. What the fuck is wrong with you? Doug's kind of a catch, you know.

It didn't exactly work out great with the two of you, I didn't say. For all I know, Kate and Doug had broken up after an honest heart-to-heart without even short-term hard feelings. What I did say was that it wasn't about Doug, and that what she's got to understand is that while she just knows Kurt as the guy who was two-timing me, but he's also one of Martin's oldest friends. I may not be Martin, not 100%, but I own his experiences. My history with Kurt can literally be said to predate my own existance as, you know, this. And I fucked up his mind, his life, his everything. After I did my little coming-out thing in July, he couldn't take it; it destroyed his relationship, screwed with his sexual self-image, and tarnished practically every memory he had about Martin AND "Michelle". The sex thing was particularly bad for a man--

Oh, she says, since I've never been a man I can't understand. And no, I said, you can't. I don't say that the quasi-homophbia that hangs around most straight guys' minds is healthy, or nice, but it's there, it's stronger than it is for women, and you probably don't just "get it". But, I, unfortunately, do, and I'd done a real number on someone who was always there for me/Martin, and I wanted to make it right. I wanted to re-inforce that I was a woman, and he didn't do anything wrong or gay. I chose a really stupid way to go about it, but what should I have done? Nothing? I owed him more than that, didn't I?

Not that much, Kate muttered. But, then again, she'd never screwed someone up that bad; usually she was on the receiving end of the mindfucks. Still, that's just about the worst way to handle the situation, isn't it? Yeah, I said, and I knew it was, right away. I wasn't proud of what I'd done - I told Kurt to keep quiet, I didn't tell Doug, or anybody else. If we could have just buried the incident...

She asks if it's why I said no when Doug proposed, and I say, no, all the reasons I gave him were true. I guessed I was a little more taken aback by the proposal than I might otherwise have been - I'd been willing to step outside the relationship just a couple weeks ago, and he's thinking matrimony. Truth be told, the whole "I'd slept with Kurt" thing was probably just the exclamation point on a relationship that had been dying for a month.

So what do I do now, I asked. Should I try to explain it to him? I owe him something, but now that I think of it, I don't really want to get back together. How do I apologize half-way? Kate says just to do it, be clear, and stick to my guns. He'll probably be pissed about all the free advice he gave me, but that's life.

I asked if we were still good. She sighed and said she didn't know what to think about what goes through my mind half the time, and that this was stupid, and yes, she does think less of me. But she's also a little relieved - that her ex wasn't with her friend any more, a friend who was able to please him in bed despite having only been a woman for a year when she couldn't.

She laughed. Too much soap opera in our lives - stranger than fiction. But it was a nervous laugh.

It was a couple days later - yesterday - Mags called me, with the "why'd I have to read about this" complaint, and she demanded we talk after work. Well, didn't look like I'd have anything else to do with my Friday night.

I said I guessed I could screw up a relationship as both a man and a woman. Yeah, she said, you sure can. You were due, though, she said. Someone's got to be at fault when it ends, and I was off the hook for both Kurt and Carter. Doesn't make me feel any better, I said.

Well, it shouldn't, she replied. But maybe some good will come from it. For the past year and a half, ever since you wound up in that body, shit's happened to you, and there's been someone else to blame. Alexei put you in that body, Kurt chose another girl, Mikhail displaced your boyfriend and used friggin' mind control, you got laid off. Well, here comes the wake-up call - you can screw up too. You can be the asshole to someone who doesn't deserve it, and it can't be put on someone else. You've been brave, she said, but at a certain point, you've got to stop letting yourself be a victim.

And she's right. She's absolutely right. Maybe I had good intentions, maybe I was just being self-righteous and figuring that even if Doug found out, he'd forgive me because the world owes me forgiveness because of my situation, but this situation's on me, and if it's going to be made right, I'll have to do it.

Of course, that'll be tricky with Doug not answering my calls, but I'll find a way. My actions to the contrary, I'm not completely stupid.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Not talking about it
There's a lot of Not Talking About It going around the apartment. I haven't told Maureen and Carter why I'm mopey, because I don't see what good it'll do. They'd just disapprove, though for different reasons - Carter because I had sex with a man, Maureen because of the circumstances of it.

Meanwhile, it's perfectly clear that they don't have Maureen's parents' blessing, and that really bothers her. Carter doesn't really get it; she doesn't have much affection for any of her (well, "the original Carter's") foster parents, and has steadfastly rebuffed any attempts to get to know Sam's, so she doesn't really understand the self-doubt Maureen is going through. Even once you're grown, there's always something in the back of your head that makes you expect your parents to be right, even if you disagree.

Thankfully, Maureen's not giving up; she's going to try for strength in numbers. She's got two brothers and a sister, and she's already making plans to get them down here next weekend, so that they can meet "Sam" and hopefully be a little more tolerant so that they can present a united front to the parents on Thanksgiving (and, man, I really don't envy Carter walking into that potential minefield).

So, I've got a week to figure out whether I meet the rest of Maureen's family single or as part of a couple. I haven't talked to Doug since Saturday... well, early Sunday morning... and I don't know whether he's just mad at me, or wants no more to do with me, or maybe has reconsidered the whole situation and decided I did nothing wrong but is too embarrassed to apologize (I'm a funny, funny girl).

And oh, gads, I had plans to hang out with Kate, Jen, and Maggie tonight. I suppose I could keep quiet, but that's sort of a guy thing that guys do with their guy friends, isn't it? If I don't tell them everything, they'll probably consider it a bigger betrayal than what I did to Doug, and then talk about it. In detail, more than the "Jane's a great girl, dumbass - would it be too weird if I asked her out" I as Martin could have expected from male friends in a similar situation.

And they'll know. I mean, it's been three whole days - Wei will have talked to Maggie or Doug will have spoken to Kate by now. And if Kate knows, she'll mention it, there's just no escape.

::sigh:: Yes, sometimes I miss the social aspects of being a man (or the lack thereof) a whole lot more than the physical aspects.

Sunday, November 07, 2004
My own damn fault
Why couldn't Kurt just keep quiet, damn it!? God, I try to do something to help even though I'm sure it's a bad idea at the time, bad enough that you don't tell anybody or even put it in your journal because you don't want someone else to happen on it...

Gah. It sort of started last night. Doug came to pick me up before Mo and Carter got back home, we go out and have dinner, dance a little before heading out to Brookline for the midnight movie. Just having fun until we get to Coolidge Corner, where we barely make the start time, and even though we see Wei and Jim and Kurt in line, we don't exactly have time to talk even though we sit down in the same section of the theater.

The movie itself - Mismatched Couples - is this weird thing from the eighties that involves Donnie Yen breakdancing in the same way his later movies involve him doing martial arts, while apparently trying to date a snobby girl and thus being totally blind to how much his cousin loves him. Some weird shit comes out of Hong Kong.

So, the movie ends, and we're walking to the cars in the parking lot when Doug makes some comment about Kurt coming alone. Kurt's answer is something like once you've been with a girl who knows first-hand what a guy wants, everything else seems lacking, and I blush a little, but then Doug, instead of just moving on, feels compelled to point out that Kurt dumped me and had at least two other girlfriends after that. Well, yeah, Kurt says, but I didn't know about Martina then. And still Doug doesn't just drop it. It's like he goes into some sort of cross-examining mode, or he's got to rub it in Kurt's face that he made a mistake in choosing Denise over me a year ago, and doesn't realize that the very best result that can come out of this conversation continuing is everyone feeling uncomfortable so why not just drop it? But he doesn't, he goes and says that when I decided to come out, Kurt's reaction wasn't exactly what you would call supportive.

So Kurt says, no, we just had a good talk at Wei's wedding and now we're on better terms. And Doug chuckles, saying that from the way Kurt had been talking, he'd thought Kurt was trying to imply that we'd hooked up or something. Then it was Kurt's term not to just stop before making it worse.

"That came after the talking."

Okay, it's two in the morning and Kurt's been putting him on edge and we're all tired, but why'd he have to go and do that? Because Doug doesn't just laugh it off; he turns around and just says "what?" in a quiet, but deadly-serious voice.

I just kind of laugh nervously, ha-ha, Kurt's just joking, only it's really not funny at all, but instead of following my lead, Kurt tries to explain. I'd been going on about how I couldn't get it up since Martina told us who she used to be, he says, and she was just trying to remind me that, you know, she was a woman and that I shouldn't feel like some sort of homo or something. That I wasn't really cheating on him because I wasn't doing it for myself.

Yeah, that goes over real well. He turns to me, asking if this is true, and I can't think of a good lie, so I say, yeah, it is, but Kurt's right, I was just trying to help out, since I had been the one who really messed with his head and I felt like I owed him a little peace of mind or something like that. Wei and Jim are looking aghast, and Doug says goddamnit, that's the weekend he decided to ask me to marry him and now he feels like a complete jackass because while he was making that decision, I was fucking another man.

And that's when he drops the s-word, which just pisses me off. Hey, I say, if one of your male friends got a little ex sex at a wedding to which his girlfriend didn't accompany him, you'd be all "way to go" and saluting his virility or something, but a woman does the same thing, ONCE, and you're calling her a slut. Well, pardon me for not registering the rule change.

I know that's weak as I say it, but now everybody's angry (except for Wei and Jim, who probably just want to leave but can't step back). He decides to call me on that being weak, asking how long I intend to hide behind "I'm still thinking like a guy" as an excuse, and I say, you know what, I don't know. Maybe I'll never be all girl in how I think, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean, and if you think that someday I'm going to be Suzy homemaker with pink bows in my hair who barely even remembers being a man for almost thirty years, well, you're with the wrong girl.

Well, maybe I am, he yells, then stomps off to his car and drives off, putting an abrupt end to the whole incident. And probably the relationship, too.

Kurt tries to apologize, but I'm not having it. If he'd just kept his big mouth shut, if he didn't have to let Doug bait him... I don't want to deal with it then, so I just say as much and call a cab.

I get home, toss and turn for a couple of hours, and finally fall asleep around four. I haven't seen my roommates yet, so I don't know how their night went, but it can't have been as complete a disaster as mine.


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