Anne-Marie and Ellie stopped by on Friday.
They're back to normal. At least, she certainly seemed normal, although perhaps if something went awry she may have been covering up, and part of me is concerned that is the case, but from all appearances her transformation went on without a hitch. I never met Deb, so seeing Anne-Marie in that body was as close as I've gotten to an "out-of-body experience" in this entire ordeal. Meeting the woman whose body I'd occupied for nearly a year. I mean, obviously I'd met her, but meeting her in her own skin feels like something new.
While Bry and I are squatting at Julia and Kalli's quarters, Anne-Marie and Ellie are going back to their proper homes. So they came by and confirmed for us that everything was okay. Anne-Marie was set to deliver some kind of heartfelt speech about how much she appreciated what I had done for her, and I told her it wasn't necessary. Any ethical person would've done the same (or better) and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get anything out of the experience. A nice house, a good life, a look at family life from a different perspective. There were times, after I became comfortable with womanhood, when I wondered whether Donna was right and I was meant to stay. But I knew I wasn't. And as much as I enjoyed my time, I was glad to leave.
Ellie said nothing. She had this very cold look on her face, like she was being punished. I can understand why she might have some bitter feelings about the entire situation. She had a taste of independence and now will have to wait a few more years before she can get back to where Kalli was. I hope she appreciates what a good life she has, though.
She might also still be annoyed with Bry for the lesbian thing, but, well, he's only human.
When I spoke to Alia about Donna, she was very understanding. I think I was hoping, a little bit, for her to be furious with me. I felt like I needed someone to tell me what an asshole I was. But she left me off the hook, maybe understanding that it had been so long since I'd had a penis to use, the urge was ... too much to ignore. Maybe because she believed I was punishing her for Sean Flaherty, but that's nobody's fault, it was a no-win situation. Now we all know what the score is.
(I just realized I've called her "she" in this blog repeatedly. Inaccurate as that may be, I don't really feel comfortable saying "he" for her.)
I don't know if she's going to be doing anything, you know, with her new set of privates this year. I'm sure she doesn't plan on it, but neither did I, and sometimes you get caught up in another person's life, that becomes part of the role you play. I told her she'd be crazy not to try it at least once. She said "Haha Todd. Just because you only ever thought with your penis doesn't mean I'm gonna think with mine." I told her, "We'll see." So long as she doesn't go falling in love, staying as Rob, I give her free reign. She's not really my girlfriend right now, is she? Well, I plan on abstaining this year, but like I said, I think she'd be crazy to.
But again, as she said, she's got more important matters to think of than who she's buggering. Right now, I guess I don't. When I get back to Toronto, I've got to start rebuilding my life, trying to account for the year I lost and finding a new direction. I guess some of that might be of interest to the readers of this blog, but if you don't hear much from me, it's because my life will have, finally, thankfully, gotten boring to talk about.
Then again, I anticipate meeting the new Alia will be... well, interesting, and horrifying, on certain levels. So I'll check in on that. I don't know whether she's spoken to my Alia yet, but if so she hasn't told me.
Bry and I haven't decided whether or not to stick around and meet the new Julia and Kalli. It could be useful to make more connections with other victims, but we're both starting to feel that wanderlust. We're thinking of hitting a few other cities before we head for home - Philadelphia, of course, and probably NYC on the way.
Personally, I can't wait to get on the road again.
It seems to me that part of helping Alia during her period of "exile" from her own life, would be to help keep the "new Alia" from inadvertently screwing up Alia's life too badly. Also, the new Alia would probably appreciate having someone around who isn't affected by the disbelief aspect of the inn's curse, who knows and understands the situation. After all, how well would you have managed the year as Anne-Marie if you hadn't had several other inn victims around for mutual support (Donna being the obvious exception)? So, meeting the new Alia might be unsettling, but you're probably going to have to get used to it.
(BTW, I like the Three Dog Night reference in the title to this post. Very appropriate! If the past year wasn't enough to freak you out to the point of driving you over the edge into insanity, the coming year just might do the trick!)
Oh I definitely wasn't going to be shying away from New-Alia. It's my job to make sure she goes back to the Inn next year!
As to the Three Dog Night, heh... what's the use in being a musical encyclopedia if you can't haul out the oldies every now and again, hm? And who doesn't love a double entendre? Glad you caught that.
A word of advice... don't to fall in love with the new Alia. However unlikely that may be I bet it could happen. I'm sure it will be confusing having someone around who appears to be your girlfriend.
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