Transplanted Life
Monday, January 02, 2006
It kind of seems like cheating to set fireworks off at seven o'clock. Oh, I know that it's mostly done because a lot of kids won't be up at midnight for the real New Year's celebration, but I guess the other rationale is that it's when the clock strikes midnight Greenwich Mean Time. At any rate, it gives those of us with other plans for the rest of the night a chance to watch some stuff blow up and then head off to do our things.

(Of course, it also means that it's freaking dark at seven p.m.! The days can start getting longer any time now!)

Besides, it gave me a chance to meet up with the Garbers before the party. Telly went to the party last year, but needed some reassurance that everyone there wouldn't be laughing at him for dismissing what we'd all known about me. I told him of course not, no-one laughs at someone for not believing something ridiculous. It's one thing to believe wacky things happened to a relative stranger, but one's sister?

So, bang. Bang bang bang. Bangbangbangbang, bang bang ka-blam. Then onto the T.

Jen and Carlos's apartment was already starting to fill up. Unless they have one for Valentine's day, I gather this is the last party at this place. Jen hasn't started to show yet, but she's due in July, and a one-bedroom apartment is not the best way to stay sane with a baby. Time for them to start looking for a house, she said, because that's what old married grown-up people with kids on the way do.

She asks if she can take my coat, I say sure, and let people get a look at my new dress, which is blue and has a neckline that goes past the sternum, and built in underwiring for the maximum cleavage possible without nipples popping out, and is asymmetrical so it bares my left knee but not my right. Folks turn and look, and I hear someone go "whoa". Shelley giggles and says "I miss being able to do that." One of Jen's friends passing by says she's pretty sure he still can, giving him a long look up and down. He smiles, but what he says clicks in Jen's mind, and she does the "oh my god" thing, and starts yelling for Carlos, Kate, and Carter, who run over like there's some kind of emergency. "This is... well, Marti, I guess you should do the introductions."

Okay, I say, this is... Well, this used to be... Well, Shelley here remembers being in this body for the first 25 years of her life. Shelley Garber, Jen, Carlos, Kate, and Carter; everyone, Shelley.

Kate looks at him, then at me, then back again, and basically says, good lord, that is even harder to believe than her (pointing at me) starting out life inside of him (pointing at Carter). I mean, wow, you are like a two-time winner of the genetic lottery. We kind of look at Carter, what with all this praise Kate's giving Shelley, and he says, hey, if we can't appreciate someone's physical appearance without acting like it's the most important thing, who can? Kate kisses him on the cheek and says, darn right.

Although, she says, that can only go so far. Calling you Michelle is right out, and pretending your name is Sheldon so that Shelley works is only a bit less silly. He laughs, and says that actually, the past week of being called "Shelley" has been kind of weird for him, too, since he hasn't used it since his first few weeks in this body. "I was trying to talk with people who spoke Russian, and pointing to myself and saying 'Michelle' got heard as 'Misha', which is a Russian nickname for Mikail, and since I guess I'm still Mikail Korpin in a legal sense..."

We agreed that, yeah, until our situation gets out of quasi-secret status and leads to legislation, we are legally who our fingerprints say we are, and we're totally OK with Misha.

He's got a crowd all night, telling stories about learning Russian from a local girl ("alas, she sold herself to some Australian fellow she'd never met, and I haven't seen her in over a year"), working for very little money on local farms, being excited when an internet café opened up in town so he could get back in contact with old friends and work his way up to finding out if they'd shun him if he came back in this new body ("not if they're women, they won't"), and finally saving enough money to bribe his way onto a cargo ship bound for Canada, then smuggling himself across the border. I have to say, his adventures in his new body sounded way more exciting than mine, although he said it was the opposite - his was mostly a lot of hard, manual labor, while I found clues and was involved in intrigue. He had nothing like when what turned out to be the original Mikail Korpin was killed in Carter's old body. You don't want it, I said. Yeah, says Carter, you're better off without certain kinds of adventures.

Mostly, though, it's a party, and most of Jen's and Carlos's friends aren't really interested in this stuff except as amusing tall tales. I'm pretty popular, as is Misha; Kate makes a joke that someone is making a resolution to get back out there, with the flirting and half a dress and dancing. I say, hey, I haven't been with someone since I broke up with Chet, and stuff is building up. Misha overhears and says, hey, don't worry; when he was me, he almost never went two months without a boyfriend, and he actually found it liberating to not be with someone for a while after the change. That, and, not even wanting to touch that thing between his legs at first.

We have a toast at midnight, say our resolutions, and mingle some more, but these things peter out pretty quickly. Telly, bless his heart, has already snuck out with Jen's intern (yay Jen for having a job where you get an intern!), having asked me to make sure that Misha gets back home OK, since he probably doesn't know his way around town that well. I say no problem.

This, of course, inevitably leads to him getting to my home OK.

I suppose, when you think of it, it's kind of gross. Especially for Telly, where it's basically his brother and his sister going at it. And I tell him I feel like a total hypocrite, because when Carter came on to me after landing in my body, I totally pushed him away. Yeah, he said, but this is different - he hadn't even officially broken up with Maureen yet, he had taken that body rather than being pushed into it, and he was still adjusting. We're both past that initial awkwardness, and we both want this bad.

God, yes.

I just wish I hadn't drank so much, because it wasn't the sort of sex you want to remember through gauze. It was energetic and enthusiastic and he knew by body, and the sun was rising before we were finally spent. I don't know if this is the start of a thing or just something great in and of itself, but I don't expect there will be any confrontations about switching back if we ever find a new batch of nanomachines: We are clearly both pretty content with what we've got.

Okay, hurdle #1 is overcome, the (nonexistent) 'Ick' factor.
Hurdle #2 is legal status: see the local FBI office about exchanging a memory dump for legal residency.
Hurdle #3... Any marketable skills? Boston has unskilled-temp agencies like Manpower and Labor Pool, but that hard-work-for-low-pay scene gets old fast and poverty wears out relationships faster.
At least Shelley doesn't have a "love 'em and leave 'em" history.
Well, if 'he' gets a low paying job, and you make decent pay at yours... well, I'm not sure if I would see that as Marty or Marti being the bread-winner, so-to-say... :-)
This sounds like the set up for the end game of this Blog. Happily Ever After is, well, happily ever after. What would be interesting is if Marti continues, because NOBODY ever tells the story about what exactly happens after Happily Ever After.
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