Monday, April 30, 2007

Arthur: Things are in motion

Jeremy called on Friday, saying he was in the airport, about to board his plane for Portland. I asked if he was going to have some time in Boston to meet up, maybe brief me face-to-face, but he said that wouldn't work - his connection is through Providence, and it's tight. I'm kind of okay with that - it's an uncomfortable feeling seeing someone walk around with one's real face, so I can skip the experience. It's just good to know that step one of the plan is in motion.

Now I've got to work on my own trip up there. The Downeaster only stops at Old Orchard Beach during tourist season, but according to the Amtrak website, tourist season starts today. So I purchased a ticket for 11:05am on Friday the 11th, which will get me into Old Orchard at around 1:20pm. I used the credit card that goes to my P.O. box, so Ray should have no idea where to find "Liz" when she disappears in a week and a half. I can't think of any scenario involving Ray following me up to Maine that ends well.

That also leaves the issue of what to do about Liz's job. My current working theory is that we'll change some night when there are thirteen of us on the premises, but since at least some of the people there are likely to be there for a simple vacation, it's not like we're going to be in total control of it. Even if we assume that a group of guests have to change while they're up there, Liz might have to be away from work for almost a month if she doesn't change until the last day she's there. Considering that "she" overstayed her vacation last year, I don't know how much slack the home office is willing to cut her. It's probably a good idea just to give her two weeks' notice.

And, really, best all around, right? It keeps her from coming back into an uncomfortable situation with Stewart (of all the things I won't miss about being her...), and even if she's not up front selling tickets unless things get really busy, it is sort of a dead-end job. She's got some decent management experience from it, so it might be time for her to polish up the résumé and find something better. Sure, that might conflict with the whole vibe of it being a bad time to quit thing I've been giving Ray, but Liz is going to have to explain a bunch of little things to him when she gets back anyway ("why haven't I spoken Korean in months? I, uh, just didn't feel like it."). After all she's put me through, she owes me a few loose ends.

'Lyn was kind of surprised to know that Liz and "Jean-Michel" having slept together isn't something I feel terribly bitter over. She's unfortunately got a lot of free time on her hands right now, so we met up this afternoon. I guess she's already feeling a little bit of a pinch in her finances, since she was not looking to get her extra-foofy usual at Starbucks. Which was fine with me - while she's enamored of her half-caf chai whatever, I have to admit to having really grown fond of Dunkin Donuts. They're omnipresent here in the Boston area - I swear you can generally see the next one from the one you're in - and they make the best "industrial", no-screwing around cup of joe on earth. No fooling; I'm packing a bunch of the stuff they sell by the bag to bring home with me.

We got our coffee and muffins (as folks who generally work evenings, it's perfectly acceptable for us to have a one p.m. breakfast) and took them down by the river, where we could watch rowers do their thing while getting a little sun. I'd read her blog entry, of course, and she'd IM'ed me about it a week ago, and she was ready for me to let loose.

I thought I was going to, though, but then I looked at her... And maybe I'm jumping the gun a little, but I looked at her like a man would. She was wearing running shorts and had kicked off her heels to stretch her legs out; her breasts were packed pretty tight into her brand new green Red Sox t-shirt. She looked damn good, even if she wasn't smiling.

"Let me ask you," I said, "what if Liz hadn't gone to the Inn with Ashlyn? What if she'd given Ash both reservations, and Ashlyn took that roommate with the crush on her?"

"Logan does not--"

"Beside the point. I'm just saying, what if I'd become him, and not Liz? And we were not only the only person the other had in the world who knew what the other was going through, but there was suddenly hormones to consider? Are you sure that nothing would have happened?"

"You wouldn't do that to me."

"I don't know that it would be one person doing something to the other. A year ago, we were just casual on-line acquaintances who'd never met face to face. This situation made us a whole heck of a lot more than that, didn't it?"

"I suppose." She dug a toe into the wet dirt a little before sipping her latte. "Still..."

"Still what?"

"When you get your penis back, don't make me your first stop. My sex life's weird enough as it is."



Scott said...

I just have to say, as a faithful Canadian caffeine-addict, Dunkin Donuts has nothing on Tim Hortons.

Anyway, it's good to hear that everything's moving along. Hopefully things don't get weird between you and Ashlyn after this craziness is behind you.

Anonymous said...

That would be weird... I'm not sure that the old Jake would let the new Ashlyn come out of an encounter like that completely mentally intact.

Wow, that relationship between the two of will be really interesting once you get back to your own body. No wonder Ashlyn seems a bit somber - it'd be like losing a friend.

You better be extra nice to her, and understand her caution after you change - your relationship is going to be WAY different after you return to that crazy inn.

Anonymous said...

This return trip is sounding more and more like a B-movie moment, with the audience seeing what's lurking behind the shrubbery and shouting warnings at the screen. All I'll say is, you're still a youthful adult and you're still human -- do you REALLY want the DM to shake those dice again?

Anonymous said...

It's not just about me, though, is it? It's about Liz getting her life back, and Jeremy getting his.

Sure, we're taking a risk, but I think it's a calculated one. There's a pattern to have the changes work, and from what the lady taking bookings told me, we're not the first to take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, but have you heard from anybody specific who successfully returned to their original life? That other people have tried the same thing you are doing doesn't mean that they succeeded. It's certainly worth a try, but I think you should prepare yourself for the possibility that it won't work.

Anonymous said...

The way to challenge Lady Fortune is to look her straight in the face and give her your best shot. She could crush you underfoot as soon as look at you, but at least you'd be true to yourself. And who knows, she might instead respect you enough to give you a break.