Transplanted Life
Monday, March 21, 2005
What's this? Is it almost spring?
Because, believe it or not, it was almost nice enough for Chet to get me ice cream last night. Not quite, mind you, but warm enough to walk around in a lighter jacket that does a better job showing off your figure than a big winter coat that goes down to your ankles.

And, yes, backing up a bit, we hung out a bit yesterday afternoon. He seems nice enough; he called yesterday morning and asked what I was up to. Since the answer to that was "trying not to breathe the same air as my sick roommate", we decided to meet up, do some window-shopping in Harvard Square, maybe catch a movie. I had to do my grocery shopping first, but we hung out for a while.

Something I didn't mention a couple weeks ago was that he's Japanese-American; his last name turns out to be Kitamura. It's not really important; as he points out, his family has been in the US long enough that his grandmother had stories about being interred during World War II. Besides, with his father often away on business, and his mother being sort of on the WASPy side, he'd never really learned the language.

It's kind of odd, though, because I found myself doing the thing where you're trying not to make a big deal of his ethnicity, but it seems like everything you do just draws attention to it. Like, we stopped in the Newbury Comics & CDs in the Garage Mall (it's very easy to miss that they sell comics in there; it's really like this big pop-culture shop), and one of the first things I always do when I go in there is check the used DVDs for [i]Dead or Alive: Final[/i]. I bought the boxed set about a year ago, but just sort of put it on my shelf to watch later. When I did, though, I found that the third disc was mising, and it was way past the return date. Since I already paid for the set, I don't want to spend more than $10 getting it complete. But, anyways, it's a Takashi Miike movie, and even though this is part of my routine, I feel like it must look like I'm trying to do something Japanese because I'm hanging out with a Japanese guy.

That the thing I actually bought in the store was the first volume of Doll, a manga about robots, probably made me look worse, but I saw it and since I already have volumes 2-4, I figured I might as well grab it - it doesn't seem to show up at the "real" comic shops very often. He spent most of his time looking at alternative rock CDs by bands I don't know. It puzzled him, since we look about the same age, but I just said I'm not really into music and my roommate listens to mostly Christian rock and "new country", so I'm always way behind the curve.

We wound up eating at Bartley's, which is a pretty keen burger joint in Harvard Square. It makes the entire area smell like really good grilled cow, which I imagine would sicken a vegetarian no end. The also make gerat Godzilla-sized (gah!) shakes. We both had bacon & Monterey Jack cheeseburgers and "Elvis" milkshakes (chocolate milkshakes with bits of peanut butter cups and banana). While we were waiting, he decided to ask me about "that mysterious comment you made when we met".

So I told him about me. I tried out a new way of saying it, that I had someone else's personality and memories, that it had overwritten all my "Michelle" ones, which is why I changed my name and things were weird with my brother.

He, naturally, said it was impossible, and I said it sure was, but here I am. I drew a little diagram of how the various personalities had bounced around the different brains on the back of my bag from Newbury, and told him there was any number of people he could ask.

"But, people would know about this! It would be on the news!"

"If it happened to a lot more people, or people who were more important than me, sure. If Hilary Clinton put herself in Bush's body, that would be a big deal. But there's just a half-dozen of us, none of whom are terribly important. And none of us really want the attention. Sure, I'd like to be able to put the degrees I remember earning on my resumé, but I worry about my safety...."

The standard spiel. I kind of glossed over that I had a man's memories. Guys get weird about that.

I don't think he quite believes me, yet. Doesn't matter to me if he does or doesn't, I guess, so long as he's interested in me as I am now.

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