Saturday, September 02, 2006

Arthur - Connecting the Dots

Thursday was absolutely chaotic. Drew had the right idea trying to get us together, figure out what was going on, but we were all to panicked and in shock to talk rationally. He's a lawyer, a partner in a firm, and he's used to organizing, trying to get all the facts on the table, but there just weren't many facts. Initially, we were trying to accuse each other, but who knows how to do this? I mean, the closest I've ever been to anything like this is interviewing fake psychics about why they became fake psychics.

It was so chaotic at first that we thought everybody was accounted for just because we got the right headcount; I think only Mark realized that the girl with him wasn't Jeff, but some girl who had blown in the night before, and they were both in the "not saying anything" mode. Probably wise, on her part - if she had started going on in Spanish, a couple of us would have been panicked enough to think she caused it. But since Jeff had run out, we just assumed she was him, and it wasn't until Jeff came back that we realized there was someone else in the inn.

She ran out as we were comparing notes, and it took me most of yesterday to find her. I probably wouldn't have, except she was having an argument with someone at the train station in Spanish, and as I said before, Old Orchard seems more used to accomodating francophones than Spanish-speaking people. She was a little freaked when I said who I was, but she was grateful to have someone who spoke her language, even if what I learned in the California public educational system wasn't quite what she spoke in Peru. She wasn't terribly anxious to come back to the inn, but I think I convinced her by saying that if we were going to find out what had happened to us, the answers were probably there.

The funny thing is, she solved it for us almost without meaning to - she said that Mark had turned into Ginessa, the woman she was looking for. I don't think it had occurred to any of us that we hadn't just changed into women, but into specific women. She said she'd recognized some outfit of Ginessa's in Mark's closet, and when she said that, I ran back to my room, with her asking what she'd said.

I didn't answer her, but just pulled the bags out of the closet, tearing through them until I found a purse. I emptied it out onto the bed, and pulled the wallet out. Right there, on the Massachusetts driver's license, was a somewhat younger version of the face I'd been seeing in the mirror for the past day. The name on that license - and everything else with a name - is "Elizabeth Lee". I held the clothes up, and they were all my new size.

This stuff - it wasn't forgotten - it was left for us, because the old owners didn't need it any more. At least, that's the gist of what was in the letter. I almost missed it, because it fell on the floor while I was tearing through everything else. The envelope said "to the new me", and it gave me a short run-down on Miss Lee's life - her address in Cambridge, an explanation of who the people in the pictures were, a rundown of what her responsibilities at the movie theater (she's a manager), and how she knew Ashlyn - apparently Elizabeth and the girl Jake turned into were roommates for a few months a couple years ago, sharing a summer sublet, before Elizabeth moved in with her boyfriend Ray.

Oh. My. God.

We went back to Mark's room, and found her letter - I guess she's lucky, in that she only turned into a different girl rather than changing sexes - which I did my best to translate for her. I won't give the details; these things are about as personal as you can get, and just because I'm okay sharing what I found out about who I appear to be now doesn't mean I've got the right to do that for someone else. Respect your sources, right?

A couple more things about the letter - the handwriting was very precise and female-looking, although that doesn't mean anything - if the woman with the unlisted number who had been calling Elizabeth's phone is, in fact, Elizabeth herself, then she'd just become another woman. Still, I pulled out a pad and did some quick brown foxes - the handwriting still looks like mine. It's a little smaller, because my hand is smaller, but otherwise it's still the same scrawl. I don't think anything in my mind has changed, just my body (I don't know what the deal with Vinny's accent is; maybe his vocal chords have drastically changed shape or soemthing). But that's enough.

Oh, and the last thing - in the letter, Elizabeth says she's writing it because she got a letter like that from the previous occupant of the room when she changed, and so on back a ways. Which means, this is like a curse or something.

-Art

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