Transplanted Life
Saturday, January 01, 2005
What the new year holds
You'd think that going to a couple of New Year's Eve parties with all sorts of people who know who I am would sway Telly a little, but nope, he just thinks it's some huge joke I've arranged with my friends. Nope, he just points out that I'm wearing stockings, heels, and a top that shows an inch and a half of cleavage, saying that no real man would dress like that even with his sister's body. And you're saying that while putting on lipstick! That story would me silly if I was just claiming to be some other girl, but a guy? Come on, it's like I don't really want him to believe me.

Maureen, of course, finds the whole thing hilarious.

Mo and I went our seperate ways at first; she was going to stop in on some of her college girlfriends ("just girlfriends in that we're all, you know, female and were pretty close... I mean, while I was going to school, I didn't even realize...") before stopping by Jen's party later. After all, she says, this is the last chance she'll have to see them before that resolution about being open, honest, and unashamed about her sexual orientation kicks in. I'm not quite sure that the point of making resolutions is so that you can binge on the behavior you want to correct the night before, but, hey, if that's how she wants to play it, why not?

Telly, meanwhile tagged along with me to Wei & Jim's place. They just got finished moving in, and it's nice, although I was kind of taken aback when Wei told us to throw our coats in "the nursery". She's not, in fact, expecting, but her parents had seen the spare bedroom and decided that that was its obvious purpose, and that Wei and Jim moving to a place that had an extra bedroom could only mean that they would be trying to start a family soon. It's become a running joke with them and that I didn't get it obviously meant I didn't see them enough. Which is probably true.

Kurt was there, and I pulled him aside, asking him to explain what was going on to Telly. Of course, what Telly got out of it was that Kurt slept with his sister at the same time he was going out with another girl, and later mucked up the most promising relationship she'd had in, like, ever. No, I said, focus on how we knew each other "before", and he can tell you all sort of things about how I'm more like Marty than his sister. Nice try, the kid says, but I didn't know Martin, so how do I know things aren't all pre-arranged?

I have to admit, the kid is annoyingly smart.

Anyway, Telly went to investigate the punch bowl, so Kurt and I stood there awkwardly, eventually commenting on how awkward it was. Then someone called Kurt's name, and he smiled ruefully, saying it was about to become really awkward. And it was, for a second, as Denise cut her was through the room to stand next to Kurt. "Oh," she says, "it's you."

So, the two of you are back together? Yeah, he says, after that whole thing with me and you and Doug, I did some thinking about what I really wanted, realized I'd broken up with Denise because I resented her for making me choose between her and you, and while at first I thought that meant I really wanted you, it really meant that if not for you, we would have...

I told them that was great, and I meant it. What was the point of hating Denise, and if he had chosen her despite all I brought to the table (everything you like about your best friend poured into this body), hey, she must be pretty cool. Not that I put it that way with Denise standing right there, but, hey, it's ture. Kurt said it was great that we weren't going to hold a grudge, and said he'd let us girls get to know one another while he found the bathroom.

So, hi. Hi. Is all that stuff Kurt said true? Pretty much. And you and he...? Yeah. That's kind of gross. No argument there. So, it's been nice meeting you. You too.

I'd heard Maggie was going to come, so I went looking for her. I bumped into someone else, and as we were apologizing, he asked if I was Wei's friend Martina. Yes, I said, why, is she trying to fix me up? No, no, it's just... He cleared his throat and introduced himself as Stephen Park, a neurologistwho works at the same hospital as Wei and Jim. Back in July, he said, after my coming-out party, Wei had asked him if what I had said was even vaguely possible. He'd said no, of course, not, and that's what Wei had thought, except that she knew and trusted Maggie, who swore up and down that it was true. He'd talked to a colleague who worked for one of the companies Dmitri stole from, and he'd wanted to know how in the hell Pau knew about that. He's been fascinated by my "case" ever since then, and it was an honor to finally meet me in person.

"So, you're just interested in my brain?" Guess what, he'd heard that one before. Not that the rest of me isn't interesting, of course. I blushed a little, saying it was too bad I didn't quite see eye-to-eye with my roommate on the relationship between New Year's Eve and New Year's Resolutions. What do I mean? Well, one of my Resolutions was going to be no dating until I felt confident that I could just be the girl. Ah, he says, but since it's not New Year's yet? Exactly. Well, he says, he's my card. Strictly for professional reasons, of course, if I had headaches that I thought might be that I thought might come from the nanomachines. Or if I was ready to break any resolutions.

There was a lot of stuff in between, of course - it wasn't just him being a kinky guy who found my unique case history a turn-on. A lot of conventional flirting, talking about baseball (he actually thinks Derek Lowe is a bigger loss to the Red Sox than Pedro Martinez!), sharing funny Wei stories. He's cool. Maybe when I'm ready.

As soon as we went our seperate ways, Telly found me again. "A doctor, huh? I see you can still charm the guys, but you're moving up in the world. Is that what this whole brain-switching thing is, a way to get successful, intelligent men fascinated by you?"

You got me. I came up with this whole ridiculous story to entrap rich men. Gads, Telly, is that what you really think of your sister? And more to the point, is that really something she'd do?

Hey, you always talked about finding some way out of our one-horse town. I don't think you have to trick anyone.

That's sweet, I say, and if we ever find your sister, I'll tell her. He says he thinks I just did, and I'm so glad we finally find Maggie. I introduce him and tell her to please, please, please bring the science so that he'll understand and believe me.

She tries valiantly, but, again, what makes an impression on him is that my story obviously can't be true because what guy like I said Martin was would break up with a girl who was that cool, smart, and hawwwwt?

It was getting on past ten, so we said our goodbyes and headed to Jen's. I tripped once on the way to the subway station, thinking, great, and I'm not even close to tipsy yet. Whose idea was it to connect this kind of footwear to events where you imbibe balance-impairing liquids? Evidently that's a complaint Shelley made, too, although she didn't use the word "imbibe". But, he had gotten her a "word-a-day" calendar a couple years ago.

So, we went to Jen's. I noticed Kate was there alone; she said, yeah, apparently Dennis is a huge mama's boy. Didn't seem like a big deal until she met his parents, but they thought she was just too forward and abrasive for their little boy, and that was it. Well, that sucks. Eh, it'd been almost a year, which was dangerously close to when you kind of have to start talking marriage, so it's kind of a lucky escape. I guess that's a healthy attitude.

And who's my new guy? Hey, I say, I just met Stephen Park tonight and we're not doing anything and how'd you know anyway...? Oh, you mean Telly? Eww. He's Michelle's little brother.

Suffice it to say, Kate thinks that's nearly as funny as Maureen does. Speaking of Maureen, she arrives around eleven, already a little tipsy, saying she's going to miss her old friends when they desert her after learning the truth. Hey, I say, they won't all do that, but she's not convinced.

At around quarter of eleven, Carlos starts banging on his champagne flute, and says its time for us to announce our resolutions. This year, he says, he's going to pass the detective's exam, because Jen's wedding plans are going to require a bump in pay. And, speaking of which, mark your calendars, because they've finally settled on a date - the 21st of May. There's much clapping and cheering and girly squealing (and, for the record, I'm a clapper).

Jen says she's going to find a full-time job and stop contracting; Kate is going to start doing volunteer work. Maureen, nervously, says she's staying out of the closet no matter how mcuh it scares her; she's visibly relieved when people clap.

I say I'm going to make a concerted effort to find the real Michelle. A lot of you, I say, know me and my situation, and of all the questions and loose ends, Michelle is the one I've given the least attention to over the past year, because it scares me - what if I find her and she hates me, or wants her life back? Which would be worse, if that was or wasn't possible? But she's something I haven't paid enough attention to in far too long, and she's probably the biggest victim in the whole situation. And, hey, this young man deserves his sister back.

You could tell who knew what I was talking about and who didn't. Fortunately, the clock chose then to strike twelve, so we all cheered, those with partners kissed, and we downed our champagne, moving on to other subjects.

Except Telly. "That was awesome," he said. "Very metaphorical."

He's a nice guy, and the sibling thing could be neat. But I'm going to be very glad when we start moving him into his new place in a couple hours.

-Martina, wishing everyone a happy new year
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