I did wind up giving Liz's two weeks notice last week; it just made sense and given how uncomfortable things had become there, I probably should have done it a month ago. In terms of timing, it actually works out well - since the theater operates on a Friday to Thursday work week, my last day is this Thursday, the tenth. Zoe says she's taking me out for drinks after work that day; Ray is happy that I/Liz won't be around Stewart any more; Liz's family on the one hand thinks it's irresponsible but on the other hand thinks that this job was holding her back. For all I know Liz will just apply for another job very much like it when she returns, but it won't be my problem.
I'm not giving notice here, though - I probably won't have a lot of "wow, breasts are weird" posts in the future, but I imagine that having a penis again will be a novel sensation after going so long without. Even beyond the physical, Jeremy can't help but have changed my life some in the six and a half months he's been living it, even beyond the new job. He hasn't mentioned anything about a girlfriend, so I don't think I'll be finding that particular surprise when I arrive in San Francisco, but he's probably made new friends that I've never met, and fallen out of touch with old ones. I'll probably have to either find a new agent or convince my old one to take me back.
And there's still a lot about the Inn itself I want to discover. I'm pretty sure that those of us who are returning have figured out a way to reclaim our old lives, but just because we've found a pattern there doesn't mean that we understand the place. How does the magic - for lack of a better term - work? How long has it been going on - is it "just" eighty years, or even longer? Why don't people believe us when we tell them about it? Who is Lyn's "secret admirer"/stalker? For all I know, he might actually own the place - I've had very little luck tracking down much information on who, precisely, the Inn belongs to.
With any luck, I'll be able to get some publisher to pay me to find out - there's got to be a book in this, although I may have to present it as fiction, since the curse keeps people from believing the truth about the place and those who have stayed there. But there's a lot of research to do before I get there.
As always, anybody with stories to share from their own stay at the Trading Post Inn to share is encouraged to write us at TradingPostStories@yahoo.com - I'll probably be trying to recruit new people at the Inn next week, too.
I'm going to miss 'Lyn a lot when I'm myself again. We've been spending a lot of the past week together, because we know that no matter what, things aren't going to be the same between us soon. Yesterday, we went to the Fenway movie theater to see Spider-Man 3. I remembered how enthused she was to see it, and I was looking forward to it, too. We met up in time for the noon showing, but I checked and saw that that was on one of the smaller screens, so I got tickets for the twelve-thirty showing instead. Then we went outside to grab something at Coldstone's and sit down.
"I see you're already breaking out Ashlyn's summer clothes." Her top had a scoop neck that actually showed a little bra at the corners and she was wearing a pleated skirt that made leg-crossing a necessity.
"From what I hear of New England, days in the seventies are to be savored. Besides, you aren't exactly hiding your legs." I was wearing shorts that did, admittedly, hug my bottom a little, though they went down to mid-thigh. "You can't tell me you're not going to miss seeing those in the mirror every morning just a little."
I slurped up the last of my shake, which was like sucking cake through a straw. Probably pretty fattening, too, but I wasn't going to have to lose those particular ounces. "I'm just looking to get back to my life." We tossed our containers in the trash and started walking back to the theater, which reminded me that as nice as these legs are, they're kind of short, especially when your friend's shoes are adding a couple inches to her height.
The movie was a bit disappointing - I couldn't help but notice places where it could have been cut - but not bad by any means. Of course, I'm used to seeing boutique-y movies and for free, so maybe I was being a little harsh. 'Lyn enjoyed it, and thanked me for coming. "I know it's a funny thing to say, dressed up like this, but it's nice to do something guy-ish every now and then. I am so going to miss having you around to do this with."
"Well, you know, you don't have to just do it with me. It is okay for girls to like sports and comic books and movies where things go boom, you know."
"Ashlyn's not exactly that kind of girl."
"So? You get why I've been calling you 'Lyn' for the past couple months, right?"
"Yeah, I know - everyone else who calls me 'Ashlyn' or 'Ash' is really thinking of Jean-Michel, I guess. I like it, actually - means I know you're talking about me."
"Right. So don't worry about being Ashlyn. Just be yourself."
"It's tough. Every time I do something that Ashlyn wouldn't do, I get this look, and I feel like I've screwed up."
"Maybe you just need a new start. Why don't you move out to California with me?"
She stopped walking and looked at me, then smirked a little. "You're just looking to have a hot girlfriend once you're a man again."
"Not just that. No, I'll just miss having you around, is all."
"I appreciate the offer, but... I mean, it'd just be too weird, and besides, I've got a lease, and I've kind of got a boyfriend... I want to make this work."
"Fair enough. Can I ask for one favor, though? Can I get you do draw a picture of me, like this? Just to keep as a reminder? I know you said you were having trouble with it before..."
"Oh, sure. That just takes time, which I've got plenty of right now." She only sounded a little bitter.
"Hey, it'll turn around, okay? You're too smart and too good at too many things for something not to come up."
And she is, even if she doesn't feel that way sometimes. That's another reason I'd like to see her come out. We haven't had to go through this alone, and there are moments when I wonder how she'll hold up.