Transplanted Life
Friday, February 25, 2005
This place needs to get more organized
As in, the payroll hasn't come yet. I'm strongly opposed to not being paid on time; unfortunately, direct deposit isn't an option, which is making me all sorts of antsy; I really don't want to have to wait until Monday, what with rent coming up, and neither does anyone else.

What with it being a small business, I also have to be the entire IT department, and we got hit with a virus just after I left last night, so I had a great time trying to clean machines up while also trying to do my primary job of answering phones and greeting people who come in the door. My machine is pretty clean because I make sure to download patches and virus definitions on a regular basis, but one of our sales guys never bothered to even register his anti-virus software. That's just outright irresponsible. I had to do a FORMAT C:\ on his machine, and made him activate the virus scanner while I watched.

Still, some good came out of it. Situations like this are an excellent time to point out that I should be paid more than most receptionists. Not necessarily, like, multiples more, but you guys do have that new inventory system that has made life a lot easier for the past month, and if I wasn't here, how would you have recovered from this? So I can be looking forward to ten percent more in my next paycheck. As my boss decided to spin it, I was coming up on my six month review anyway.

Also, the guy who uses his laptop as his primary home computer? That sucker was just loaded with porn, and it was hilarious to watch him squirm while this girl sifts through everything. I managed to "accidentally" open up a file or two because, hey, that sort of thing happens when you're using that little touchpad thing rather than a real mouse. I managed to keep an "is that all you think a woman is good for" look on my face while quietly thinking, okay, my boobs aren't quite so unwieldy after all.

I must say, that guy has said "please" and "thank you" and paid me non-ass-related compliments more today than during the previous six months.

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Ugh, more snow
The walking to and from the train station every day finally seems to be catching up with me. I'm not sneezing or coughing or anything that makes people run away because, ew, she's sick, but I haven't felt so hot the last couple of days. Trouble sleeping, feeling dried out when I wake up, and it feels like there's something in my throat that I have to get past every time I swallow. And the news was talking about eight inches being dumped on us tonight. And we were just starting to get a good look at the sidewalks earlier this week! I know, it's New England and February, but enough's enough.

Still, nothing you can do but try and get through the day. On the guy/girl watch, Maureen tells me that women are less squeamish about dealing with illness, but I don't know how much that's true in general or about me in particular. I remember always hating taking sick days and avoiding it, but I may not have just sucked it up and gone about my business as much as I do now. The strange and scary fact is that I'm having a little trouble remembering what I/Martin was like two years ago; it's too far back for any feelings to be truly immediate and yet also too recent for me to have any kind of perspective on it.

Not much else going on. I haven't spoken to Kate since the 'thon, although I've left a couple of messages. We're supposed to do some wedding-related thing with Jen this weekend, so I guess I'll see her then.

I have heard from Carter, or Alan, or whatever and whoever he is now. He wants to talk, and apologize, and all that. I probably should say no, but I sort of get the feeling that he's not a problem that will go away by ignoring it. There was something confused and hurt in his voice, and that's a killer for me - it is, after all a voice I still think of as mine, and the mind behind it... Well, I've still got feelings for that. Always will, I suppose. And I know this past year or so has been a killer for him - being ripped from your body, imprisoned, probably raped, watching the body you were born in die... It's gotta mess you up.

Of course, that messed-up-ness is why I'm not exactly comfortable spending time alone with him. I'll probably ask a guy to come along to keep an eye on him, which totally stinks because I should't need to. But better safe than sorry, right?

Monday, February 21, 2005
For crying out friggin loud...
Why must things I enjoy be corrupted? Huh? Why can't I do something that I've enjoyed in both my lives just continue to be fun and not tainted with some bit of soap-opera insanity? Is that so much to ask? Can't I just talk about how I'm not equipped to deal with long hair after being up for thirty-plus hours? That my scrunchie skills suck, that I haven't managed to get the hang of the folding it up and over so that it's this bun-thing? Can't that be what made this thing difficult?

But, no. It's not that simple. Telly and I get there, and hang around in the lobby waiting for Kate and Alan, and we almost wait until the start of "Duck Dodgers" before Kate arrives, with her new boyfriend in tow, only he's... Well, me.

I feel so stupid. That Carter's middle name was Alan wasn't something I gave a lot of thought to; it's a common enough name, after all. Heck, I don't think I ever even mentioned it in this journal. And Kate had not actually mentioned that Alan's last name was Carter. And even if she had, I don't know that I would have given it a thought as anything more than a ridiculous coincidence. Of course, in my life, nothing's a coincidence, it's a [i]connection[/i].

So, anyway, I see them come in, and I'm shocked, but I'm also mad. I don't believe this, I say. I mean, everything else you've done, I've gotten. I may have disagreed with it, but I've been able to understand why you've done it and still been able to look at yourself in the mirror. But this... And he, of course, has the snappy comeback that looking at himself in the mirror hasn't been a problem for the last year or so.

Kate's like, hold on, you two know each other? And I say, damn right we know each other. Kate, I say, I'm not sure how to put this delicately, but that's the father of Natalie's child. Her eyes get wide, and she looks at him, and just says what, you're Carter? He says yes, I am, I sort of took Marti's lead in changing my name to represent--

Shut up, she says. You know me. All that time we were flirting in the last couple of months, you knew me from when we worked together and when you were dating one of my best friends and you held that back, and if this ever became a relationship, what were you going to do, try and keep this from me forever? How did you think that was going to work?

He says, no, he wasn't going to, and in fact part of why he'd come was that he was sure I'd be here, so that this could be out in the open and we wouldn't have to worry about who knew what secrets and we could hash it out. I'm like, are you crazy? That's the dumbest plan I've ever heard. You're right, he says, it was a bad idea. I'm sorry, he says, and leaves.

Leaving us just standing there, the wind thoroughly sucked out of our sails. We walk up to the balcony, mumbling something about how all the good seats are probably taken in the main part of the auditorium. It's all reflex; I see a movie theater and want to sit as close to the centerline as possible. We just want to get to another piece of physical space.

We don't have time to say much before the first movie starts. Kate's apologizing, saying if she had known, well, you know. And I say not to be sorry, because she didn't know, and there's no sense in apologizing for things outside your control.

Telly's off getting popcorn during that break, but later asks what it was about, was this Alan guy one of my exes? And I say, yes, but that's a woefully inadequate description of the situation. That was the body I was originally born in, and the mind inside it was, well, maybe the first guy I really loved. I don't know if I ever said it, but I think I felt it, even if I didn't realize it until later, and isn't that what's important?

Telly's face gets kind of strained when I say that, and I know what he's thinking, and I say, look, kid, I know you think that I'm your sister body and soul, but I'm not. You can ask anyone who knows me when I'm not around and they don't have any reason to cover for me; you can ask Special Agent Khalil Jones or any other members of his team at the FBI. But that stuff I just said? It's literally true, not metaphorical.

He doesn't really respond to that, at least not then. It's not until later, when Kate's gone downstairs to the "quiet room" to get some sleep, that he says he's kind of worried, that I may actually believe what I'm saying. I start to respond but he says, don't worry, I'm not going to call mom, or tell me to see a shrink, or call someone to have me taken away, because it seems to be working for me. That the "old me" wouldn't have told Alan off, that she would have just taken the humiliation, like she deserved it or something.

I say that's awful, and he says he always thought so, too. And at that moment, I think I start to see what having a sibling means. It's closer than having a friend, I think, and the difference is just not that there's no sexual tension if he or she is the opposite sex. I get the feeling that this change he sees in his sister is a great relief to him. Maybe it's because you know you're made from the same stuff, both in terms of DNA and experience, and seeing your sister change for the better gives you some hope for yourself, or maybe it's got nothing to do with that at all; maybe it's just some sort of hard-wired instinct. It's weird, but it's also sweet and speaks to our better nature as human beings.

I don't see Kate again. She left her stuff with me and Telly; Maureen's left a note saying she'd be by to pick it up sometime this week, but she said she couldn't face me. Which is silly, because she didn't do anything wrong, but I think 75% of the guilt people feel is unnecessary and this is just another example.

I wound up staying at the marathon mostly out of stubbornness. I was going to enjoy it, damn it, and I wasn't going to let someone chase me away. This attitude, of course, isn't the one most conducive to actually enjoying anything, so even during the movies I liked, it was a hollow feeling. Heck, The Apple was the most hilariously gay thing I've ever seen, and I barely broke a smile.

And that's on top of my hair being a mess by the time I left.


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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