Tuesday, September 12, 2023

L.J. Porter/Leda Holbrook: Parents

So, I guess you've met Mom & Dad, or Juliana & Cora as I guess I've got to call them.  Things are going about as well as can be expected, I suppose, although that's not exactly great.

Don't take that the wrong way - for as much as this has got to be as weird for them as it is for me, they've put me first at every chance over the past couple of weeks, from making sure I knew what to do with a bra to where to wipe, and doing their level best to get me up to speed after skipping a grade.  "Juliana", especially, is always ready to jump in when I look like I may flounder talking to Leda's friends at the lunch table or something.  I appreciate it.

But, well, like Dad mentioned, things weren't great before all this, to the extent that maybe I should have known it was falling apart.  Sometimes, when I get back to our suite or they think they're alone in the bathroom or something, I'll hear them snapping at each other more, like Dad thinks Mom is trying to make him look foolish or only helping him half as much as me, and apparently the trip to Old Orchard or getting rooms at the Trading Post was the other person's idea.

And on top of that, Lena's got her own parents, and they apparently were worried sick about her being stuck in Maine, supposedly sick with Covid, and only texting rather than answering the phone.  The first time I picked up, they scolded me and asked a million questions, and it was really weird talking to these two people I really didn't know for like forty-five minutes, trying to remember what details would throw them off.  They've actually called every night this past week, and while I kind of appreciate that, too, it's also sort of intense?  Like, they're trying to be nice, and I'm scared that I'll say something that makes them even more worried.  Which maybe they should be, but according to everyone who's ever been at the Inn, they'll never believe why.  For instance, when Krystal/Mackenzie told me about how her own mother didn't believe her, even though it would explain a lot...?

Fortunately, the real Leda seems pretty cool; we text a lot, although she doesn't always respond right away and is kind of quiet about what sort of situation she's landed in.  She's doing her best to at least help be with running, to the extent that she can via text from wherever.  I need it - for all that cross-country looks like it's just running, and making sure you stretch beforehand, you've kind of got to know the road and have a plan for when you're going to give yourself a little more time for deep breaths and the like.  I did badly enough on my first practice day that the coach took me aside to tell me to let her know if there was any long-covid related shortness of breath or stuff like that, but also warning me that I could lose "my" scholarship if I can't run, so, no pressure.

The guy living my life seems okay.  He mentioned that he was going to have to break up with my girlfriend, which is a bummer, but he's like 40 and apparently not a creep, so what can you say?  We weren't actually doing anything, really, but it would still be gross.

Well, just thought I'd check in the way Mom & Dad have.  Now I've got homework - is it still homework at a boarding school? - and kind of glad to have stuff to fill me time.

-L.J./Leda

Monday, September 04, 2023

Lucas Porter/Cora Devers: Schoolgirl Stuff

So I see Marilyn is returning to her maiden name well before we can use our first names.  That's obviously the smallest change our family is undergoing, but it might be telling somehow.

I shouldn't be bitter, I suppose, but I can't help but notice the irony that we'd made the decision to separate just as I was going to need her help more than ever, because, as Marilyn mentioned, the whole family has become teenage girls, and though it's not a competition, I've maybe got the worst of it.  What Marilyn sort of skipped over is that she and I have clearly become the popular girls.  I had to turn Instagram notifications off because Cora's phone hasn't stopped buzzing since I started charging it a couple weeks ago, and she's asked me to try to keep it up because she envisions riding social media popularity to stardom or something like that once this is her life again.  Her account is actually milder than I feared - it's not bikinis and underwear or anything, but a lot of short-shorts and crop tops to emphasize that I've got a heck of a figure for someone turning seventeen just before Christmas.  And she clearly knew it; when I tried on one of her uniforms, I thought she must have had a growth spurt over the summer, but Marilyn says it doesn't really work that way for girls and showed me how much it had been hemmed up.  Cora, apparently, is that sort of girl.

And, yes, it's not just lots of social media photographs and short skirts - her phone is full of texts, that she's been busily fielding until I let her know that we were around, and it's a lot.  She keeps track of dozens of friends, is apparently a central part of the cheerleader group chat (eek!), and there are a lot from boys.  Some of them are safely in Malibu or that general area, but a disturbing number are in Burlington or that general area - some in high school, but more than a few at the University, and while real-Cora says I don't have to do anything I don't want and that honestly, me getting touchy with anyone sounded kind of gross to her, I'm not that big.

(Oh, and Marilyn didn't mention it, but Juliana is apparently also that sort of girl, and Marilyn has spent some time trying on her outfits and such, and apparently Cora and Juliana share clothes all the time because her new boobs are just as big and perky as mine, although she's got a bit more of a butt than I do.)

So, that's a lot, and obviously L.J. is going through it too.  He's not dealing with quite the exploding phone we are - Leda, apparently, is at this place on scholarship, which is going to be a lot of work for him - he's a year behind the girls and wasn't taking a lot of the top-level courses Leda was, and that's before you get to the cross-country team.  I suppose that there are worse sports for him to have to try and fake - imagine how exposed he'd be trying to play field hockey - but we're mostly concerned with trying to work our way through the summer reading list in a just a couple of days right now.

-Lucas/Cora

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Marilyn Vance/Juliana Nakamura: Family?

Where to begin?  I suppose with the obvious - a week and a half ago, I was your average white suburban mom, complete with all the tension behind the placid exterior; now I'm a teenager again, and from what I'm told and can see with my own eyes, a Japanese-American father and a Latina mother, crossing my fingers that my high school Spanish from almost twenty years ago will be enough for me to fake it.  My husband and son are in a similar boat, although I'm sure that they feel having a different gender is a bigger deal than a different ethnicity.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know the gist of it, although I suppose it's worth going back a bit to understand what I'm dealing with here, although I'll try to get right to the point:  My marriage to Lucas was basically over before all this, and it was kind of a relief.  The end was better than the long decay leading up to it; instead of worrying about not being enough or resenting how success for one of us always seemed to lead to sacrifice for the other, and then worrying about how all of this was affecting L.J., deciding to divorce let us be practical and start to plot a way forward.  We've even been closer to friendly since we started hashing things out.

There was a kid in the middle of this, one who is probably reading this as I've encouraged him to read the blog and maybe contact some of the other authors who have been through what he's dealing with now, and while we obviously couldn't have expected this, we knew that the split was going to throw his life for a loop.  So, maybe underestimating him a bit - L.J. is 15 and feels everything so strongly! - we planned one last family trip.  We used to visit the coast of Maine every summer along with cousins, but that changed when Lucas's job took us from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver six years ago, and we were looking to recapture that before telling him everything just before we flew home.  But the place we booked was the Trading Post Inn, there was leftover luggage in our closets, and...

Well, you probably know the drill.  I'd been doing a morning run for the previous week, so I had my phone's alarm set, and when it went off I sat up quickly, feeling surprisingly refreshed and alert.  At first, I presumed I was just having a good morning, and didn't notice anything particularly amiss as a silenced my alarm, looked over to verify that Lucas was still a stationary blob under his covers in the other bed, and walked to the bathroom.  My skin was a little darker, but I'd picked up some color over the past week, and I didn't notice that I had much longer hair, jet-black at that, until I pulled off the headband I sleep in.  By then, I had turned the light on and was taken aback by what I saw in the mirror.

I didn't scream - at first, I thought that this was a dream where I had to live out some sort of weird fantasy of Lucas's, but when I stomped over to his bed and ripped the covers off to show dream-Lucas that I wasn't putting up with this...  Well, I'll let him describe himself and how he reacted; same with L.J.  Our son figured out about the luggage in his closet first, and that's how I've learned about Juliana Nakamura.

She, Cora, and Leda are classmates at the Burlington Academy for Girls in Vermont, and had come to Old Orchard without their parents to attend a music festival before returning to school.  I won't "doxx" Juliana and her friends, but suffice it to say that they have seemed to handle their change as well as can be expected, faking a story about testing positive for Covid before flying home, editing the photos they hadn't uploaded to social media because they were just boring pictures of them in their hotel rooms and sharing them in support of this story, and somehow rigging things up so that they could text home from their computers until we arrived.  Their parents have obligingly changed their flights so that we would go straight from Portland to Burlington where they are apparently best friends and suite-mates, rather than returning "home".  We didn't do anything so advanced for the people taking over our lives, although we did send emails to our employers and school district about our own positive Covid tests.

We arrived yesterday, and we're still trying to sort out living arrangements - Cora apparently had the single room while Juliana and Leda shared the other, but we're kind of not sure whether I should let Lucas and L.J. bunk together, or if he'd be more comfortable in his own room rather than sharing with his parents, or if he'd rather have me with him in case he needs to handle female problems on short notice.  We haven't mixed a whole lot with the other students who have already arrived yet - I get the impression that this group can be a little clique-y - but I'm already worried about L.J. a bit.  The last week or so has been a lot for him to take in, from proper hygiene to just rolling up stockings like you've been doing it for years.  He doesn't want to put makeup on, but his bare face does not look like what Leda puts up on Instagram, and his idea that he wouldn't need it in an all-girls' school showed that he hadn't really absorbed how that sort of thing can be more important among girls than in terms of attracting guys.

The thing that is really making me question myself, though, is that while I know it's only been a week, it sort of feels like "Leda" takes advice from "Juliana" better than "L.J." does from "Mom".  I don't know if I can explain it, other than him addressing me by that name even when no-one else is around, to try and make it a habit, or asking "how would you try to blend in?" when I try to tell him what he should do.

That's my question to the other former Inn guests:  How do you stay someone's mother when you've got to be something else practically 24/7?

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Jonah/Krystle: Went and Made That Weird

Man, I wonder what the folks commenting on Andi's post think of me and all the times I've decided to stay Krystle even though the original really wanted her life back!  Think they'd say she should have been able to insist I have an abortion?

I kind of wish one of Andi or Andy had applied to and gotten accepted at Tulane or some other local school just so that I had a friend to talk to about stuff who wasn't in another time zone.  Sure, Ashlyn is only one hour off, but they run a bar/restaurant so they're on a schedule that's nearly as different as Jordan's sometimes.  And Jordan is literally on the other side of the planet; I send her a text and forget all about it until she responds the next day.

Of course, this latest situation is one I can probably ask regular girlfriends about, although they'll likely just say "shouldn't have done that".  Basically, I met a guy, Leroy Watkins, the day I moved in, he was obviously interested because I showed up in a sports bra and yoga shorts and was willing to flirt a little if it got guys I've never met to help me unload a truck, and he's been cool but obviously interested ever since.  On and off, of course - he's had a couple girlfriends in that time, I've never not been busy, and I sometimes feel like I bounce between "I want a man I can count on in my life" and "dating guys is never not going to be weird" depending on what hormones are going through my brain on a given week.  He pretty quickly took up residence in what Moira's namesake calls "boy-slash-friend" territory.

So it was kind of weird when he came to me last week, saying that his cousin was getting married and he'd figured he'd have a plus-one but his last girlfriend got back with her ex a couple weeks ago, and I'd really be doing him a favor.  It turned out that I had the day off and one of Moira's friends was having a birthday party/sleepover, so I could, and why not?

Like a lot of these things, it started out feeling weird; I've gotten good at dressing up but do it seldom enough that I still feel like I'm doing something I kind of shouldn't, and this is the first wedding I've been to since I was a little kid, when it didn't really register for me that you kind of dress for the reception but start out in a church.  I'm not unfamiliar with dressing to impress a bit for church - it's more a thing people did at the mostly-Black church that the Kamens attend than the mostly-Caucasian one my folks went to in New Hampshire, but I've been doing it for a while - but it was kind of weird sitting in the same pews where I normally have my head bowed on Sundays with my legs crossed because I'm in a minidress and wondering if maybe I should have worn a scarf or something to cover my cleavage.

It's a nice wedding, though - the bride is beautiful, their vows were sweet, and the flower girls and ringbearers were adorably serious about their jobs.  And then the reception was fun, although if I ever get married and am wearing a pristine white dress, I don't think I'll have the guts to have it catered with barbecue.  Leroy's friends and family are curious about me, naturally, but he's assured me that it's not going to be some goofy rom-com plot where we're pretending to be dating or anything.  We joke about it - whenever someone asks how long we've been seeing each other, it's "around the neighborhood? since she moved in a year ago", and if they ask how long we've been dating, it's "well, if things go well, then it will retroactively be around four hours".  He's funny.

And he's a good dancer!  We have a good time on the floor, although we're not glued to each other or anything.  I do keep drifting back his way because he's the guy I know and even if folks are hitting on me once they know we're not dating, nobody's really making me think I should get right on feeling that out.  Still, I've gotten a bit more willing to be kind of touchy as the evening goes on, until the DJ picks something kind a little bit slower and more sensual.  His arms come around me, and I step back a little bit so that I'm right up against him, grinding a little...

... and then I look up and see Leroy come up short as he's moving toward me on the floor, leading me to look up and see that it's his brother Larry putting his hands on my breasts and poking at my butt.

I'm kind of horrified, and thankfully he doesn't resist when I pull his hands off me and get out, but now Leroy is mad and runs off.  I follow him until we're outside the venue, actually telling to hold up because he's got the wrong idea.  He turns around and asks what kind of wrong idea he's got, that I know Larry is kind of a dog and that he's liked me since we first met.  I honestly blurt out that "I thought he was you", realizing just what a can of worms I've opened just as the words are out of my mouth.

"So you're saying you wanted to do that with me?"

"At that moment, yeah!"

"And now?"

"Now you're yelling at me and it's not sexy at all!"

"Well, I'm sorry I didn't recognize the exact right moment to grab your tits!"

Then he storms back in, and just sort of does this little "don't follow me" wave when I start trying to follow him.  Not having a lot of better options - I don't know anybody there but Larry and hell no - I call an Uber and go home.

So, obviously, I see him again on Monday, and we both just kind of shuffle past each other on the sidewalk, probably both hoping the other one is the one to apologize.  I kind of want to, but it kind of feels like I can't without acknowledging that he's got some sort of claim on me, and that will make him think that I owe him a date or something and I don't want to go out with someone who thinks I owe it to him.  But are we going to be friends again if I don't, or is that just going to make it worse.

Ugh.  I know regular girls go through this too, but I hate all this and sometimes I really wish my body didn't decide it liked guys when I changed.

-Jonah/Krystle

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Andi/Andy: Back Here for Probably the Last Time

Krys was waiting for me at the train station, looking annoyed that I was late, like I controlled Amtrak (although, yeah, it was a hot day to be that close to the beach and not on it). She gave me a hug and then asked if I would please call my folks so that they would stop texting her.

"No!  They want me to stay like this!"

"Andi, no.  They want you to not become a stranger and get into something you maybe can't handle.  They want to avoid having some series of randos that they have to introduce as their son in their house!"

I pulled away and started walking toward the Inn.  "I thought you'd be on my side!  Someone took your life, too!"

"I am on your side!  I'm fucking pissed for you!  I just--"  She groaned.  "Can we please go see Cary?  He's much better at this than I am!"

I kept stomping even though I knew Krys was right.  But I figured I was, too.  "Don't you get it?  If I change into someone, Andy will have to come and get his life back, and then i can get back to normal!"

Krys was running at this point.  "And what if it doesn't work out?  Look at us, we're both living proof that this shit does not go according to fucking plan!"  She caught up and got in front of me.  "Godfuckingdammit, Andi, will you tell me what is going on so that I can maybe help?  I'm not entirely a fucking kid, you know!"

There was a bench nearby and people were starting to stare, so I reluctantly sat down and put my head in my hands.  Krys exhaled and dropped down next to me. "Thank you!  So why is Andy doing this?  He didn't get knocked up too, did he?"

"No, and even if he did, I'm pretty sure he'd get it taken care of.  That's not illegal back home yet."  I looked over at Krys and reminded myself not to talk down to her, that she is really about 30 even if she feels like she's about my age.  "It's...  I mean, you remember Andy getting sick while we were out here last year, right?"

"Yeah..."

"Well, he never got better.  He and I and our parents all thought that all his lack of energy and not being able to focus and stuff was depression, just the grind of living someone else's life for a couple years and finding out your best friend is a real dick to women and stuff."

"Right.  Cary and me see a lot of folks like that passing through.  And you said he was doing better since graduation."

"He was, or so we thought, but then he collapsed during a hike, so they took X-rays and..."  I took a deep breath.  "It's long covid.  He's got, like, diminished lung capacity and mild brain fog and a couple other symptoms that don't explain everything, at least if you don't know everything else that's been going on in our lives."

"Oh."  Krys went from looking at my face to the ground. "Well, shit."

"Yeah, and once he realized, he said there was no way he could give me damaged lungs and make me take medicine for my heartbeat--"

"What?"  Apparently Krys hadn't heard the full list of what Covid could do before.

"It's mild, the doctors think it'll clear up within a year.  But, yeah, Andy wasn't sticking me with that, let alone the brain fog.  I said from all we could tell, the Inn would make your brain better but not worse, but he didn't want to bet on that for me."  I pounded my first on the bench's armrest.  "Just where does he get off deciding that for me?  And Mom and Dad are acting like he's doing such a good, unselfish thing.  Which he is, but...  Ugh!"

She grabbed my other hand.  "Hey, I get it.  I get it maybe more than anybody else.  It sucks so much!  It's been like ten years since I talked to Momma or my sister, but I have to hear about how proud they are of Jonah and Moira, and sometimes I just wanna scream.  And I didn't even get along with Karla!"

"I know, and I know I'm lucky, but...  I was really looking forward to being me again!"

"Yeah, I get it."  She leaned her head on my arm.  "You're cute like this, though."

"Thanks."  I kissed the top of her head.  "I guess I've still got a girlfriend, though."  I half-chuckled.  "God, I could wind up marrying Cindi, couldn't I?"

"You sure could.  Although, I may not be the ho I once was any more, but I still wouldn't recommend tying yourself down to the first person who sleeps with you.  Like I said, you're cute.  You could have options."

I sighed.  "I guess.  And we're just starting college so I can aim this life in a different direction."

She punched my shoulder.  "That's the spirit!"  Then she seemed to get an idea.  "Hey, I've got to ask Cary, but we've got a fold-out bed, so why don't you stay with us for a couple days?"

Cary, it turned out, was all right with that.  Mom and Dad weren't particularly happy when I said I wanted to stay here for a few days, promising that I wouldn't go near the Inn, but it's been nice hanging out with Krys's friends and going to the amusement park and stuff.

I overheard Cary talking on the phone to my folks last night, though, and he said that I just needed some time away from my family because I felt betrayed, and that word stung.  So I guess it's time to go back home, although Krys and I are going to spend a day in Boston first tomorrow.  She's joking about showing me all the places new students don't learn about, although we'll probably have more time for that once I'm actually enrolled in school there.

-Andi with an I (in my heart) 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Harmon Keller/Alicia Polawski: "Harmony" and other reinventions

I have received several notes via this blog asking if the "Harmony Kelton" credited in several recent short films is me, and, yes, she is.  Apparently a Polish name sounds too much like a Russian one in the current environment, so the person representing me to casting directors suggested a stage name.  I pointed out both that it could be said to sound Ukrainian by the same misplaced logic and that "______ with Alicia" had not particularly see its numbers drop over the past year, but once the opportunity to forge a new identity as an actress presented itself, it did intrigue me.  My first choice, "Alicia Harmon", may have been wiser since I could simply stop using the Eastern European surname on by videos, has apparently already been registered with various unions.  This, at least, had the benefit of amusing me.

I am moderately surprised that I am doing such without necessarily thinking about how it improves the "Alicia Polawski" identity as a commodity.  As mentioned in my last post, almost exactly two years ago, I did not plan to stay in this life very much longer, and had only done so because the Covid-19 pandemic had closed the Inn.  But, somehow, that extra year seemed to make more things my default state.  All those tedious things done to maintain this body's appearance to make it a more attractive product are now habit.  Planning and shooting new videos does not quite scratch the same itch as publishing a paper, but the broader base of people who appreciate it makes up for that some.

It's odd that I actually get some enjoyment out of all that, but then, perhaps not.  Every once in a while, I will search the name of a former colleague and see that, in their retirement, they have taken up woodworking or English soccer fandom or some other thing.  I, evidently, have chosen to be a stewardess and YouTuber in my retirement.  It's not so odd, perhaps - many of them have "downsized" to smaller homes, while I live in an apartment with the current Magda; others spend a great deal of time traveling, as do I; a fair number of them spend their free time pontificating on Facebook, while I make videos.

(It amuses me that my many colleagues who are likely more or less what they appear may not be so different from older men in their behavior.)

It is becoming somewhat more difficult to maintain this life in the carefree manner of a hobby, however.  Despite the disciplinary issues that the original Alicia had, my maintaining my position through the pandemic while many others found new work has made me the senior attendant on some flights with talk of being promoted to purser, which would make this a career rather than simply a job I stayed in out of convenience, and I do not believe I want that.  It is one thing to shoulder some responsibility as one travels, and reap the benefit of how one's scarf and miniskirt triggers a fetish in many, but I cannot see how being in this business for as long as I was in academia would be similarly rewarding.

Thus, I have begun pivoting toward being on camera as opposed to being on flights.  The parts I have gotten as of yet have not been much more challenging than the work I performed for Jordan - tight and scanty outfits worn in the background, breathy double entendres spoken to obvious stand-ins for the filmmakers - but that suits me well enough at the moment.  One's body is a depreciating resource, especially as a young woman, one may as well, especially if that brings experience that will be useful later.  As some have noticed, that has extended to a little bit of nudity, but what of it?  If I later find having those clips out on the web mortifying, the Inn is still out there, and I have begun anew before.  I can at least make a clear decision on that, while some of the ladies doing the same are removing their clothing far more impulsively.

-Harmon Keller, aka Alicia Polawski, aka Harmony Kelton

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Jonah/Krystle: The Lady in Charge

Personnel management isn't really a big part of my job at the gym.  I make schedules, which mostly means keeping track of availability, noting vacations, and trying to balance shifts so that people don't feel like I'm playing favorites.  I've hired a couple people to make up for departures over the past year - we've actually got two women working the walls in addition to Chloe at the front desk now, and yeah, it's a bit weird to me that this matters to me aside from it just seeming like a generally good idea, but I guess I've dealt with enough sexism that it does - and discovered I hate interviewing in a different way they when I was applying for jobs:  I just feel like there aren't very many useful questions and watching the way people answer is like trying to grab smoke.

Today was the first time I had to fire someone, and boy, does that make that "impostor syndrome" stuff kick in.

There wasn't a whole lot of question that the guy had to go - he was regularly late for his shifts, seemed to think he'd have my job in a matter of months, and I suspected he was much more literally hands-on than this job requires before I got actual complaints.  It's easy to come up with excuses - it's a gym, folks sometimes need assistance, and the stretchy workout gear means there's no padding - but there was a pattern, and there are policies in place to make sure that the parent company doesn't get sued.  I needed documentation, and that was tricky because, much as there are a lot of nasty people out there, there are also a lot who don't want to be the reason someone loses their job, even if a guy boosts you up the wall by pushing at your groin with his hand.  Folks don't even want to write that down.

And I'm kind of one of them - who am I to take away someone's livelihood?  I hated the idea.  I try to be a good manager, and I think most of the staff will say that I am, but a lot of that's being "nice" as opposed to being some sort of hard-ass, and this is a hard-ass things to have to do.

So at the end of his shift, I called him into the office, told him that he'd received warnings about his tardiness, and there had been several complaints, and that I had to let him go.  It was company policy and my hands were tied, which was true.

It was at this point I realized that this guy with a bad attitude was six-foot-four and muscular.

I don't really worry about that sort of thing a lot.  Part of it is that, despite having been Krystle for as long as I have, there's a part of me that still thinks of myself as a guy, and my parents raised me to be wary of white people in terms of who can mess up your life if they feel they're not being catered to enough, but not so much guys.  I've been one of the guys a lot as a woman, and when I haven't, I've been able to rely on being pretty, pregnant, or having a kid with me.  Plus, I may not be tall like I used to be, but I'm not short, either, and folks can see I've got some definition to my arms in most outfits.  There's a lot of reasons to think twice about starting something.

But this dude was big, and mad.  He stood up, leaned over my desk, and demanded to know just who the fuck I was to tell him anything, with an "you fucking bitch" at the end.  If I had more Angela Bassett in me, I might have yelled in his face that I was the fucking bitch who...  Well, I don't know how that sentence was going to end.  Instead, I stood and said there were rules, he hadn't followed them, and I wasn't putting him on the schedule again.

He raised a hand, as if ready to slap me, and I admit, I flinched.  He smirked at that, and instead of hitting me, swatted some papers from my desk and knocked something Moira had made in art class off a shelf on his way out, slamming the door behind him.

I just sat there for a few minutes, trembling.  I've been scared as a woman before, and as a Black person, but usually out in some place where there aren't lines drawn or anything.  Not in my office where I'm supposed to be in charge.

I don't know how long it took me to compose myself; not long enough for anybody to need me.  I picked everything up, was glad Moira's project wasn't damaged, and made sure everybody else was leaving as I closed up.  Just another day of being a woman in America, I guess.  Sometimes it catches me off guard, even now.

-Jonah/Krystle