Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I may have gone to the wrong Halloween party
Jen's party was fun, no question. It was full of friends with costumes way more clever than my pirate girl (best of the night: Kate and Carter as Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's), good drinks, and chances to catch up with people I really don't see often enough. The hosts were just chock full of good news - Carlos has made Detective, and the salary bump will come in handy, since Jen's expecting. Kate and I had total girly-squeal reactions to that, even if neither of us is terribly interested in starting a family any time soon. Jen is probably the coolest sane person we know, will make a great mom, and since they're happy about it - well, other than Jen feeling like fate is mocking her for getting her knocked up just a month after they invested in a bunch of microbrewing stuff - what's not to be happy about?
Well, aside from the whole "pumpkin beer" experiment.
I'll probably have more self-centered ruminations on the whole "one of my gal pals is pregnant so I've got to confront my own fertility" thing, along with the whole idea that kids are going to become a factor in when I see my circle of friends and what we do together. Sure, there is a Martin Junior a few weeks away from his first birthday, but Carter's just his biological father and not a real part of his life, and, besides, he's thousands of miles away. It probably won't sink in for me until Jen starts showing and Kate and I are doing baby showers that it's a big, irreversible transformation of their lives, which could someday be in the cards for me.
But, as I said, Saturday night it was just good news, fodder for a congratulatory toast and something to be filed away. I did try to moderate my drinking a little, considering what Telly'd told me about Michelle. He's too nice a brother to say that Shelley was a lush, but I could read between the lines and get the impression that booze has gotten her into trouble. And I do like to drink; I always used to attribute it to needing that sort of mental lubricant to be comfortable in this body or forget how I got here, but that hasn't been true in a while. It's something I've just got to watch.
So, I made an effort to not get too drunk, caught up with my friends, and danced with some of Carlos's fellow officers - it seems I'm the only on of Jen's friends not paired up right now, so that was what there was to choose from. Cops are generally good folks, though - most are pretty trustworthy, and though Carlos says some of them can get rowdy when it's just or mostly them, these guys are on their best behavior in mixed company (and I don't think Carlos would be friends with dirty or ego-tripping co-workers). They weren't any more touchy than I wanted them to be.
Which meant I wasn't too hung over to go to Telly's party, but I did stay up late enough to sleep in late and thus miss his phone call to see if I had changed my mind or not. Kind of planned, that - the old fill your time in so you don't have to tell someone no trick. Anyway, I did the classic horror with musical accompaniment at The Coolidge Halloween night, so we didn't get a chance to catch up until last night, when she was waiting on my steps when I got home.
The kid was white as a ghost, and looked like he hadn't slept since Sunday. He just stared at me, like he was seeing me for the first time. It was kind of weird, and I asked what was wrong. His answer was that I'd either been telling the truth, or was more messed up than he'd thought. I asked why, and he asked if I remembered Monica Gilbert.
No, I said, I told you, I didn't inherit your sister's brain with her memories intact. I take it she was a friend of Michelle's?
Yeah, he said, maybe her best friend, up until... well, that's not important. They mostly patched things up, he said, although they lost touch when Michelle left town for Worcester. Anyway, Monica got a job in Portsmouth, and hadn't even thought of Michelle for months before the first email.
The first WHAT????
Yeah, he said, it floored him too. Apparently, Monica and a few of Michelle's other friends have been getting occasional emails from her since August. When they told Telly, he said it wasn't possible because even though I hang out with him on occasion, "his sister" had changed her name, attitude, and almost everything about her and was claiming to be someone else. Why would she be like that with him but act like old pals with them?
Of course, they thought he was kidding, but Monica mentioned that "Shelley" was being kind of cagey about some things - she talked about what a great experience living abroad had been, even if it didn't start out so well, but that she couldn't send pictures because they'd raise awkward questions. Monica also had a hard time believing she hadn't been with a man for almost two years, but if the crazy story I'd told Telly was true, then maybe it would explain it. Maybe she'd somehow gotten as used to Mikail Korpin's body as I had to hers, but was more nervous about spilling everything.
Telly didn't want to believe it, but the dates on some of the emails on the laptop Monica fetched out of her trunk corresponded to times when I might have been with him, so the "Shelley is really, really schizophrenic" explanation doesn't look likely.
So, he wanted to know what to do; the idea that I might really be someone else in his sister's body was looking only ridiculous rather than impossible now, and he didn't know how to deal. First thing we did was call Agent Jones, see if maybe he could trace these emails somewhere. Then I basically repeated everything I'd ever told him about myself.
Then he left. I told him to call me if he heard from the Feds, but I imagine he's not totally comfortable talking to me anymore, now that he's not sure I'm his sister who needs help. Can't say I blame him.