I guess you could say, after my last post, the point of my little list was to "Tori-fy" myself a little bit,
Phase one was to wear heels. Like most women (I imagine) Tori had a rather sizeable collection of footwear, but for the most part I have been sticking with running shoes. So I went over the shoe rack in her closet and came across a pair I felt I could handle. Not, like, giant spikes, or anything, but just adding a couple inches. Unfortunately, the twist of this was that I didn't particularly like the way these shoes went with my usual style of jeans. It seemed like a mismatch.
Committed to the idea of taking this step, I found myself crossing off another item from my list sooner than expected. I went through the pile of clothes I had dismissed months ago as too girly, and found the least objectionable skirt I could. A knee-length black denim one. It was not a bad day for it either, as these past few days have been unseasonably warm (compared to my hometown of Buffalo.) The bare legs were rather refreshing.
I could feel the difference. Everything about me seemed altered just standing still, I could feel myself perched on my toes, seeing the world from a height almost close to my original form. It caused me to become more aware of other things about my body. I straightened my posture, keeping my shoulders back (my dad often remarked on my slouching) which had the unintended effect of enhancing my breasts. I looked at the girl in the mirror with awe, tried to detach myself from my reflection.
I did a few practice laps around the house to perfect walking in the heels. The skirt significantly altered my stride and transformed my rather unfeminine gait into a strangely dainty walk. I was still wobbly when I left the house, but all of a sudden I could sense myself radiating womanliness and... oddly enough, I was okay with that.
At work, there is a girl. Cyndi. You don't have to be a fashion model to work in telemarketing, obviously -- more often than not, the opposite seems to be the case. Cyndi is a student who works here to pay her bills, and is considered to be "the hot one," which suits me because that was hardly what I set out to be.
She's blonde and thin and has terrific breasts. Not overly big, although I imagine they are bigger than mine. Perky and firm. Seeing her is an endless torture for me because I know I should want to stare, but I don't -- part of my brain expects to get an erection, but the other part of it is just numb to it, and, thanks to a few months of female conditioning, I just think of her as "another woman."
I'd love to spend an entire post trying to deconstruct the implications here, what does it mean if I can't feel attracted to a girl like Cyndi, who if anyone am I attracted to, but it's all beside the point. What I'm getting at here is that what I really admire about her is her poise and confidence. The way she strides about, knowing how hot she is and not hiding it at all. No, she isn't a tease, wiggling and jiggling all around the office. She just has this domineering presence, this self-assured understanding of the way people see her. I have often envied her that, but figured it must be inherent in people who grew up beautiful. Women and men alike. Despite Tori's objective good looks, I guess I don't really act like a good-looking person. Cyndi has never directly addressed me in any meaningful way.
Well today, I was stepping off the elevator and going to my workstation, and I guess I had that bounce in my step, my arms and hips swaying of their own accord, and as I passed her she smiled, said "Hey Tori," and gave a playful wink as we went our separate ways.
I've seen that wink. She gives it to everyone, it's her playful way of acknowledging your existence. She winks at Thom, Tori's friend who set me up with the job in the first place (you may remember him from this episode.)
My walk, and that wink, must have spurred me on, because I could sense myself engaging more with my calls, trading in my faux-masculine grumbling to a more feminine conversational tone. The improvements in my results were more than I would've thought. I've been a girl for months, but I guess this was the first time I acted like a girl. Sorta. I mean, I'm still me, right?
I mean, hell, there are some habits that don't die. I spent the weekend dodging requests from Sara and Raine to hang out. It's not that I'm avoiding them per se, it's just... I feel really anti-social by comparison, I can't keep up with their outgoing natures, no matter how much I fake it, and I end up feeling embarrassed, highlighting the difference between my body and my mind.
Last night, I was slightly regretting this. "Mom and dad" were out at the movies, and Mae was on a date with her boyfriend Ed. I was alone in the house, feeling like, after making a positive step earlier in the week, I was going in the wrong direction by hanging around the house watching TV. So I went on MSN and reached out to someone... familiar.
I wound up going to over to Alia/Rob's place around 10. When he opened the door, he gave me the same look people had been giving me all week, although he tried to hide it, it amused me that had even struck a former woman that way. Still, he shook it off and treated me more like myself for the rest of the night.
We sat at opposite ends of his couch and watched Iron Man on DVD, then when that was over, The Big Lebowski, which was one of his favourites, but I had never seen. The plot didn't make much sense to me, but I was pretty drowsy and fell asleep at parts. Some of the bits I did see were funny though.
I awoke in time for the credits of that movie. I thought about going home, but it was about 2 AM. He suggested I take his bed and he sleep on the couch. I was going to argue with him, but he had this serious "I insist" face on and bid him goodnight.
I shut myself up in his room. I thought about the first time I slept in Tori's room. It felt so scandalous then, being in someone else's body, undressing in their room, sleeping in their bed. I laid down at first in my clothes, but I wasn't comfortable, si I stripped off, layer by layer, until I was in my panties.
I looked over at the bra sitting on Alia's nightstand, and laughed to myself, wondering if Alia's neutral feelings about the opposite sex echoed my own, or if he was feeling the change. I wondered if somehow the essence of a naked girl would linger in the bed, if he might notice.
I drifted off to sleep and awakened the next morning to the smell of bacon in the pan. I dressed and stepped out of the bedroom, bed-headed, to find him there in his sweatpants presiding over bacon.
He looked at me and grinned. "My mom was Muslim," he said to me, "But she rebelled against her culture, especially after she married my dad. When she was a kid, she kept halal, but she always told me hell would be worthwhile for a pound of bacon. It's one of my favourite foods. There's also toast."
We had a nice little breakfast. I felt some kind of serious conversation was called for, so I asked how he was coping.
"Come see come saw," he said (I don't know how that's actually spelled.) I asked what that meant, and he said "It's French for so-so. I get the sense we're both struggling with some things and we're both having an easy time with other things."
I agreed. I wanted to go deeper, to probe into whether he could sense his personality changing in certain ways, but I still didn't know how to broach the subject.
He continued, "I'm just trying to take things one day at a time, you know? It's really hard to step back and look at the big picture, everything I do is geared toward not going insane. And whatever comes up in Tori's life, do whatever feels best for you."
I nodded. It was pretty good advice, but not always the most practical, because these days it's hard to tell what's best for me. Anyway, he gave me a lift home, and I crept back up to my room to nap and then shower, change clothes, and get on with the day. It was a really nice visit, all things considered.
I guess I really do need to get out more.