Everybody lies, you know. I've thought this for a long time, and I definitely thought about it when I was Anne-Marie. So I probably had a bit of a screwy facial expression when I read Cliff's post about Thanksgiving where he said he tries not to lie to you people. It amused me a bit. Maybe he doesn't think he''s lying, maybe he's trying not to.
Maybe I'm just a suspicious person. Maybe I'm just exhausted from the last few months of mental self-abuse. I haven't been on here in a long while, definitely my longest absence since I started on here last October. At a certain point you gt tired of thinking about the Inn. Plus, I have Alia (don't I?) and we talk about her experience. We talk about it a lot. In a perverse way, it's become sort of a bonding thing. Penises and vaginas for both of us. We have little disagreements about whose situation is better or worse. It's cute in a gender-fucked sort of way.
By and large I have tried to leave Connecticut in Connecticut. I work a stupid job that I had in University and am well-overqualified for (stooging for a CD/DVD store in Toronto) and when I do so I turn off my brain, much the same way as I found myself doing when I had to be Wife/Mother Anne-Marie. I try to offer my advice to my compatriots when I can, but I usually find myself at a loss. A lot of the time I appear offline on MSN so that nobody asks me about it. Alia knows this and accepts it, or she's lying and thinks I'm being a jerk.
Bry takes this to an even greater degree than I have. Even though it's hardly his dream-job, he's thrown himself into his photography gig. He keeps an eye on Crystal, [NOTE: in the first draft of this entry I referred to her as "Alia." Freaky.] we don't hang out with her too much and Bry's been scarce too. For the most part, Inn-related matters are off the table with him. I wondered for a while whether that means he's dealing with it better than me, or worse. Shellshock. Ever read any Hemingway? Check out "Soldier's Home" from In Our Time. Sometimes it's like that. Maybe not so dramatic.
I still have a life and on the odd night when I'm not exhausted I go out. But I'm limited because I don't really wanna talk to girls and I'm not usually with Bry or Crystal. It freaks me out when I am with her because even though I knew from the start she's not really Alia, she has become so at-ease in Alia's skin that it makes me uncomfortable. She doesn't seem to doubt her identity much, confidently does things I told her Alia wouldn't. Drinks things she wouldn't dances like she wouldn't. Sings like she wouldn't. Very nice voice, even though Alia couldn't carry a tune to save her life. I remember playing Rock Band with the kids on Christmas...
After rescheduling plans repeatedly, Bry and I decided to hang out on Saturday night. We went to a strip club. A nice one, of the variety we wouldn't have been able to afford a few years ago. He's being well-paid and took me, I guess, as a treat to his neglected pal. I didn't know why, I never liked those places even before I had been a woman. Talk about lying. The simulation of sex without any intention or feeling of sex. i have fucked many a girl in my day without being in love with her, but to instill those feelings in a dude just to get his money... seemed so wrong to me. Now I think of myself handling Hal Adkisson's penis. "Wake up buddy, let's go for a ride."
That said, I think I get strippers. They've got to get paid like anyone else, they provide a service, a fantasy. There's definitely a market for it, but I was never a part of it. With or without Alia, I usually had someone who was willing to get naked for me, and go a lot further than a lapdance.
I wanted to ask Bryan how, after being who we'd been, seeing and living what we had, he could bring me to a place like that, but that's just Bryan. The one thing you can say about him is that he's got a very healthy love of the female body, not the least was demonstrated during his lesbian phase. We sat at a table away from the stage. Topless waitresses mingled with customers. A blonde took our drink orders. I thought of my fingers running over Anne-Marie's nipples during a private moment.
I've been living like a monk since July, since the incident with Donna. This is my second-longest period of inactivity, right behind the span between July 2008 and January 2009 when I was far from enthusiastic about getting fucked. By the end of this one, I expect it to be far longer than that one. Onstage, women writhe half-nakedly and the thought of having sex with one of them is both appealing and gravely disturbing to me. Didn't stop me from getting hard, though. I'm still a man, thank God.
"I didn't bring you here to gawk, man," Bry laughs, "I brought you here to talk. nobody's going to be able to overhear us." I can barely hear him, the music is so loud, and anyone tempted to eavesdrop would be distracted by the naked girls. This is not an intimate atmosphere.
"What do you think the odds are that Crystal is lying to us?"
The thought had crossed my mind.
He explained, "I've noticed some inconsistencies in her story. She changes her age every so often. She's never shown a picture of her original self, no Facebook or anything." Not unusual for a woman of her supposed age. "No listing for her surname in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she told us she was from. When I ask, she dodges."
I don't know what it might mean. Maybe she's just trying to build herself up (Apparently Shaker Heights is a rather wealthy area) or maybe she's hiding something. I tell him to look into it, but I'm worried what he might find. I need to know exactly what sort of person is in my girlfriend's body. She knows about the blog but as far as I can tell does not read it.
We talk some more about it and go home. I resist the urge to ask him how he's feeling because I sense that's a dead end. Instead, he asks me about Erica, my baby-mama. I tell him all my attempts to build bridges between me and them have been shot down, mainly by Sean. I suspect he is still bitter about what happened between his girlfriend and my body. It's a shame, too, because he was a pretty nice guy before we fucked each other's girlfriends. And I didn't even get to do any of the fucking.
Then he gets this faraway look in his eyes, matched with a goofy grin, and he says something I can tell he's been refining in his mind for months. "Maybe it would've been a lot less trouble if we never came back."
I nearly choked on my objection. "Guh! What??"
He laughed. "I mean, dude, if you think about it, we came back to a life that was nothing but problems for everyone. Look at you. If Deb-Todd never went back to Connecticut, Alia would still be herself."
"And I'd still be Anne-Marie! And you'd still be Ellie! And as I recall, you weren't dealing with that too well!"
He handwaved that, "I was just being a teenage girl. It happens. I would've gotten over it."
"Sure, uh huh, I believe that. You really would've stayed a girl the rest of your life?"
"Sure. I got used to it real quick--"
"--I had a pussy, and I was getting pussy."
I tell him, "It wasn't that simple. You're lucky you managed to keep it hidden from Ellie's mom. She would've flipped out."
"Totally, but she was a bitch anyway. I mean, I always felt, as long as you and I had each other to hang out with, we'd be okay. but now? Dude, you never hang out, you're not yourself."
"We didn't exactly go to strip clubs when I was your aunt."
"No, but we had something, man. Now I don't even know who you are. Who are you gonna be if Alia can't come back?"
"Don't say that."
"Well, what if, huh? What if she has to stay as Rob in Philly for the rest of her life! I can't take any more of this shit. You were more yourself when you had tits than you are now. It doesn't matter if my life is awesome now - it's not, but it's okay thanks for asking - I would've stuck around Connecticut and let you be happy to be a mom instead of fucking all this shit up by messing with the natural order of things."
Well, I didn't know what to say to that. I never thought "we turn into girls" was the natural order of things, but Bry did for whatever reason.
Then he went to bed, and we haven't spoken since.
More later, though.