Thursday, December 30, 2010

Max: Dawning of a New Day

By the end of my first month as Max, I had a considerable chip on my shoulder. I was living with a lot of hostility, from Mrs. Kearn, who held a lot of Max's actions against me, and from Tanya, who saw me as the enemy in her quest to return to normalcy. Of course I wasn't actually antagonizing her, just trying to ease her into acceptance of her (yes, likely temporary) situation.

It was exhausting to try to take on all of their problems, avoid confrontation, prove that I wasn't the bad guy, and go on with my life, working five or six days a week on top of it. I was understandably frustrated.

Between us all was Melanie, the former man in Tanya's life, who had wound up as Tanya's sister. She stayed quiet ever since the change and I was worried she'd taken it badly, and that nobody was looking out for this possible mental trauma case. She seemed to fade into the background while Tanya did all the thinking for both of them, despite Tanya's insistence it had been Melanie's idea to come to New Brunswick.

I learned a fair bit more about this fellow in a young girl's body one morning in early September when I passed by her bedroom. She was still in her PJ's, sitting on her bed cross-legged with her eyes closed.

Curious, I poked my head in. "What's up? Am I interrupting?"

"Oh. Max. No, no, I'm just... meditating. It's a stress-management technique I learned while I was an air-traffic controller." She laughed slightly, "It really helps."

"I'll bet. How are you doing with all this?"

"You mean being a girl? Being far from home, stuck in this house, with my girlfriend transformed into an unrecognizable... well, bitch? As well as can be expected, I suppose."

"Not well?"

"Not perfect, but what choice have I got?"

"Melanie..." I said, still under the impression she needed me help, "Don't be afraid to let it out. If it's all too much, it's not going to do any good to bottle it up. If you need somebody to help you, I'm here. Don't avoid talking to me just because your gir-- sis-- Tanya doesn't like me."

"I appreciate the offer, but I'm more worried about her."

And I realized it was true. From what Melanie told me, Tanya was not typically a panicky or angry person, but the change had brought out her more erratic side. By now she had gone from trying to control the situation to resentfully going along with it. Neither of them was "in control" now. According to Melanie, Tanya had still not yet come to terms with that.

I told her Tanya had told me it was Melanie's idea to come to New Brunswick, even though they had apparently gotten permission from the new-them to stay in Washington.

She straightened her legs out over the edge of the bed and ran her fingers through her hair, sighing with resignation. "If you'd seen our place in Tacoma, you'd know. It was pretty small, a one-bedroom apartment. Where were the two of us supposed to sleep? What were we supposed to do with our time, enroll in school? Move around the block and get shit jobs to pay the rent? Take our older selves as our caregivers, watch them live our lives from a distance? Supervise them? That wasn't going to work, and she was in denial for thinking so. She thinks I just wanted to get away, but for crap's sake, you'd be crazy not to. You get it, don't you? You said this is where we belong right now, and you're completely right. It wuold be stupid to pretend not to be these girls. Right? Right?"

She was right, but it felt harsh to hear it laid out like that. I nodded along anyway. "Yes, of course."

She lay back on the bed and motioned for me to do the same. "I like looking at the ceiling," she said, "All these posters on the wall, Melanie's possessions, Melanie's furniture, Melanie's clothes son the floor... but there's nothing on the ceiling, so when I look up, I can forget my hair, forget my clothes, forget my boobs and just... be nobody. So lie back for a minute, will you?"

I did. We were shoulder to shoulder. We stayed quiet, all we could hear was each other's breath whistling through our noses, all we could see was the white plaster on the ceiling.

Suddenly, I couldn't resist the urge to look over at her. She looked so at peace. She looked back over at me and smiled. "It's nice, isn't it?"

I felt my heart get heavy, and a warm, stuff jolt from inside me down to me... crotch.

I sat up quickly and stammered, "I gotta, uh, get to work."

Oh, no. I hoped to God she hadn't realized what had gone through my mind.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tori C: Christmas toys and new resolutions

Instead of going ahead and just summarizing my holidays, I'll look at a comment that was left on my last post:

It doesn't seem like you're "all woman." It seems like your a little girl playing with a new toy.

My first reaction to this was, "Uh... what?" But the more I thought about it, the more I saw the reality. It's kinda true. And I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

I mean, all this here, once I've gotten past the angst and anger and frustration of my situation, it should be enjoyable. I mean, if I don't see myself going back to male, (or even if I do) I should at least be happy, and being happy shouldn't mean avoiding something I want just because it's something I didn't used to want. So while you see me as a little girl, all excited for a little playtime, I still see myself as a mature, rational adult, reaping the benefits of her situation.

But the "little girl" thing hit home, because of my situation I've avoided certain life decisions that would maybe put me in control of this life, which is the goal for 2011.

Stuff has been mounting... my discomfort with attempt to have sex under this roof, my increasing dissatisfaction with my menial, trivial job. So I have two objectives for the year. One is to get a new job, hopefully one closer to the computer work I was doing before I was girlified. The other is to move out. Frankly, I can see myself doing both of these in the month of January.

I've already talked to Raine about moving in with her. Sara and Thom are getting a place together, so that leaves us as natural roommate potentials. We're looking at places today. If this happens, I might be able to move forward with Buddy, provided he sticks around the area. And if not... well, let's not worry about it yet.

Oh, and then there was this comment:

Speaking of, are things still pretty straightforward for you in the bedroom, or have you been able to try new positions or new activities?

Which made me blush... I don't know what you're looking for, uh, we're not into anything that exciting. We still just doing it like regular people, although he ate me out for the first time last weekend, with the expectation I'd return the favour sooner or later.

Um.... we'll see. It was okay, though. I felt guilty for just taking my own half and not returning, though, and as much as I've grown accustomed to having someone be with me, it still felt odd to have him focusing his energy just on that. That's why I just like straight-up regular intercourse. I know he's happy to do that.

The last few weeks haven't been all that eventful beyond that. Stressful, perhaps, trying to make a plan for after this job's end, as well as getting all the usual holiday madness. We went back over to the Uncle and Aunts, back to the awkward family gathering. I'm trying to branch out a bit with the family, so I spent some time speaking to Grandma Pearce, and for my trouble I had my fashion sense criticized. That shut me up.

Most of my gifts were unspectacular... gift cards and some more personal stuff... but for whatever reason, Mae asked for some "fun, sexy underwear." It was a bit off-putting and I wanted to inquire. I'm guessing there's a new guy in her life, but she hasn't discussed this with me. Maybe it's not any of my business, but I'd like to know if she's dating some kind of hoodlum. Still, I found it amusing that she felt she could come to me with this request, and that I'd just fill it (and I did!) but it was definitely one of those weird moments of recognition, when I was standing in the lingerie store, eyeballing bras and panties, and trying to estimate my sister's size (I did cheat and look, but still, I had to imagine getting her something she'd like and look good in and... this is why, even as a girl, I don't give clothes as gifts.)

The holiday flew by, I still have yet to confirm that I will be leaving my job... and I'm not sure how much longer Buddy will be in New York after the new year, so I've got a lot on my mind!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Max: Missing days

I haven't had a parental figure in my life since I was a 14-year-old girl. After the first change, I was pretty well cut off from my first family, and I never really got close to Sam's. So sitting down to dinner with Mrs. Kearn was pretty brutal.

I had no idea how to read her. She was quiet, and I could tell she did not care for the fact that I had come back on my own without her daughters without any concrete explanation as to where they were and why. But I couldn't tell what she really thought about the situation, about Max, and what she wanted to do about it. She was still letting me live in her house, apparently rent-free. That alone was enough to make me want to make any concession she had in mind.

I had faith that Tanya and Melanie would arrive sooner than later. I just had to endure the awkward silence until then. I didn't expect either of them to be better-equipped than I was to handle their new mom, but them being there would make our adjustment easier anyway.

In the meantime, I was sneaking out of the house to go to Max's job. He's a dishwasher, so I wasn't exactly in over my head, and I was able to smooth over things with the kitchen manager so I was able to keep the gig, not that it was all that precious to me. I just needed something to do while I waited and figured out what, if anything, my next move was going to be.

They did show up about a week and a half after I did. Jet-lagged, or maybe body-lagged, they stumbled through the doors looking exhausted, dragging a their luggage with them.

Mrs. Kearn rushed to greet them while I stood coldly in the kitchen doorway, saying "I knew you'd show up" with my eyes. They pushed past me to find their new rooms. I didn't go to confer with them immediately, instead I retired to the basement, figuring Mrs. Kearn would want a night with her daughters to get their story on why they'd left me in Maine.

Apparently they weren't too forthcoming. I was making my bed the next morning, the girls still asleep, when Mrs. K came by to interrogate me again.

"They won't tell me why they left off from you," she said.

"Well," I sighed, "If they ever do, can you let me know? Because I'd like to."

"You're saying two teenage girls just went out on their own in a strange country and you couldn't do anything to stop them?"

"Pretty much."

"I don't believe me."

"Yeah, I don't believe it either, but that's what happened."

"I can't even believe I let you go on that trip!" She spent another half hour laying into me, but I faded out of focus and just let her go, not really trying to stand up for myself, until she said, "I swear, if I find out you laid a hand on those girls--"

"What?!" I stopped her immediately, "Lady, I don't know what kind of guy you think I--" I stopped myself. I really had no proof even to myself that the old Max wouldn't have hit a girlfriend, but knowing that wasn't the specific case here kept me from being able to take that one on the chin. "It's just... no, okay? I didn't. You can ask them."

She didn't respond, but just left the room the conversation unresolved.

That day, when Mrs. Kearn was out, I asked Tanya what had happened out west to change her mind.

"What does it matter?" she snapped, "We're here anyway, isn't this what you wanted?"

"It's not what I want, it's what has to happen," I explained, "If you think you can make a go of it out in Washington, be my guest, but I have my doubts they'll let your boyfriend resume his duties--"

"You don't say a word about my boyfriend, you don't even talk to him!" she shrieked.

"Woah, calm down, okay? I just want you to know why you're here."

"Uh huh. Why am I here?"

"Because this is what yuor life has become. For better or worse, your life isn't that anymore. Not for now. It belongs to someone else. You can get it back... if you're lucky. But not for a long while. So I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot."

She muttered, "Yeah," agreeing sarcastically.

It was a tense few days after that. I couldn't speak to anyone in the house. The official story was that "Tanya and Max" had broken up, but Mrs. Kearn was at least willing to let me keep sleeping in the basement, albeit with extreme reluctance. Tanya and Melanie weren't all that interested in sharing the details of the trip with their new mother, who still believed I had traumatized them somehow. Melanie still seemed shellshocked and led around by Tanya, who was on bad terms with everyone else.

It was a week or two later that I was walking by Tanya's room and I heard sobbing. I knocked softly. No answer. I opened the door a crack.

Tanya was lying on the bed with her face buried in a pillow, sobbing her eyes out. She looked up at me.


"Nothing! I just wanted to see if you were okay."

"Do I look okay?!"

"Not really."

"God, don't you ever say the right thing?"

"Apparently not. What's the matter?"

"What's the matter? Are you shitting me? All of this! God, every day that I wake up and I'm still here is just--"

Yeah, she was still taking it badly. I went to sit next to her, to try to break the tension.

She slid just a bit away to make room. She sat up on the edge and rested her elbows on her knees. She wiped some tears and snot from her face with a pink kleenex.

She sniffed, "You must think I'm an overemotional bitch."

"No..." I lied.

"Let me tell you what happened. We got to Washington, we got back to our apartment, and then a week later, we got a call from the new us." I had actually never received a call from the new person in my old body, at least not at that point.

She went on, "They were going to let us stay, Max. They were going to let us stay in our own home and try ti rebuild our own lives, and then for whatever reason [Melanie] changed his mind... and made me come here. I don't understand why."

"Did you ask her?"

"Yeah, but she-- he-- wasn't making any sense. Gave me some of that stuff you were talking about where we belong. I don't know. I was willing to go along with it, but... I can't take this, Max. It's not right."

I rubbed her back and she said, "I guess I've been unfair. None of this is your fault. You're not a bad guy."


"I just... I don't want to be here."

Nobody ever does.

But she did get a bit better after that. More soon as I can manage.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tori C: Bedpost Notches

There were a few occasions when I did sleep with Leo -- I mean spend the whole night. They were rare and I always felt like he didn't want me there, like he didn't want someone in his bed with him, which is why I didn't do it often. He never seemed comfortable, like he was just one twitch away from waking up, and he tossed and turned a lot, keeping me up. As a result, those few times we did sleep together didn't feel very... romantic.

The first time I slept with Buddy, it was different. He slept naturally, like we belonged in the bed together. I think when we woke up, we sensed the difference.

We went out to breakfast and he seemed utterly elated by the step forward we'd taken. "Can you believe how much time we wasted?" he said, "All this time we could have... we could have been together! Instead we just wasted more time being lonely and miserable. we should've just gotten over ourselves sooner." I still haven't told him about Leo. I don't sense that he needs to know. He might react badly, whereas if I don't tell him, it's just, well, another pointless thing I don't tell him about myself.

Cutting it off with Leo was one of the loose ends I needed to tie up last month after Buddy and I became more or less official. I had been putting him off for weeks hoping he's get the message, but every few days, I'd get a text, "Hey, you busy?"

Finally, the Thursday after Buddy and I hooked up in New York, he texted me again and I responded, "I think we're done."

The answer back? A few minutes later, a simple "Yeah, guess so. K."

That "K" really bothered me. What was it doing there? Shouldn't he be upset about this? Aren't I hot? Aren't I a decent enough partner? If he was just looking for something casual, was I not as casual as it gets? Maybe too casual since I barely was speaking to him by the end! Ugh, that's what's so frustrating. What a waste of time. Maybe I was telling myself I had to keep going with it because it would hurt both of us to break it off, but apparently not. I'm not hurt at all, but... I was annoyed as hell about it.

But of course I had something to take my mind off it, my next weekend excursion to NYC. Funds are tight, but I'm living a cheap lifestyle so I can afford frequent trips. There was just one thing I hadn't counted on... my parents.

As a 24-year-old girl, they're pretty understanding of my boundaries, and haven't really said anything about my frequent late night trips out to see Leo or to go drinking with Sara and Raine. They're more concerned with Mae, and only police my behavior so far as they want to make sure I don't give Mae the idea it's okay to stay out late, do drugs and have a ton of random sex.

So when they found out I was heading out to New York on the weekends to see my new boyfriend -- and boy does it still sound weird to write that -- their first request was that they meet him.

That wasn't so easily done. His current employer keeps him no retainer so he can't go jaunting out of the city on a whim. He had time off for Thanksgiving, but since we go see family, it'd be such a busy day that it wouldn't be easy to arrange some kind of dinner with the family that involved him. Dad suggested we invite him over for Thanksgiving Dinner at his brother's place, but it was just too damn much pressure for a relationship that's not a month old yet. Besides, I was sure he had plans of his own.

Nope, as it turned out... he has his sister in Philly, which is how he ended up there, but most of his family lives out west anyway, but he agreed to go along with my explanation. In the end we compromised and he agreed to come over to meet the family after dinner.

So after I got to New York, and right as I'm getting into Buddy's hotel room, I feel my purse buzz. I didn't want to answer it, but he insisted I did. I had a sinking feeling in my gut that it was Leo asking me to take him back.

It wasn't. It was Ken, saying "YO VIC! Heard you're in NYC. Why no call?"

Agh! My big brother, the only family member it feels like I can relate to. I hadn't even thought about the fact that he lives in the city with his wife. That wasn't exactly why I'd come all this way. so I discreetly responded, "Getting laid." That's the kind of relationship I have with him.

A moment later, the purse buzzed again. "K, when you're done, let's all go for coffee. Not taking no for an answer."

Buddy laughed, "Your brother's a special guy."

I blushed, "It's... not easy getting away from him. And I do owe him, since I tend to disappear from his life. Would you mind?"

"Nah, it'll be a nice preview for when I finally do meet your family."

So we ended up getting food and drinks with Jana and Ken. Jana was quiet as a mouse, looking like she'd been forcibly removed from her apartment, while Ken interrogated Buddy about how we'd met and how long we'd been together. Buddy looked a bit uncomfortable, but he and Ken eventually found some common ground.

We said goodbye around 11 and headed back to the hotel. After an hour or so of messing around, we were lying there relaxing and he noted, "Your brother calls you Vic."

"Uh, yeah. It's short for Victoria."

"Is that what you like to be called? I've been calling you Tori this whole time..."

"Dude," I assured him, "Don't worry about it. To my family, I'm Vic, but to friends I'm Tori." I don't know why this is, but I didn't say so. "It's just a name."

"Heh, I guess you're right. As long as your name's not really John or something, I think we're good."

Heh, yeah... about that...

Thanksgiving was the usual awkwardness of affair. While Jana joined my mom and aunts in the domestic circle, I stayed with "the kids." There are a couple younguns who like video games, and one who's hit puberty since last year and didn't want anything to do with us. Mae observed, "I remember when that was me."

"That's still you."

"Yeah, but now I at least pretend instead of hiding."

Bored, I picked up a Wii controller to join the game of New Super Mario Bros. Before I knew it, Ken had joined in as one of the Toads. I made some stupid out-of-character comment about how this brought me back to my childhood, and he replied by asking "Since when did you ever play Nintendo?"

I almost had to smash the controller into the TV. It seems stupid, but months of comfort have done a lot to make me forget I ever WASN'T Tori, so when I'm reminded of the difference between Cliff and Tori, it can be very, very frustrating. Add to this the fact that I still haven't gotten the hang of my extended family and the awkwardness expands tenfold.

After dinner, Ken asked me what was up. Suddenly I was playing video games and dating, in his words, "Kind of a geek." I asked what was wrong with any of that, and he said nothing, it was just unusual.

"I'm making changes, Ken," I said, pretending for once that any of this was my choice. "I'm trying to be different from what I was."

"Well don't change too much," he said with a hopeful smile, trying to indicate he didn't mean to accuse me of anything. "We like you plenty for who you are."

I smiled back, "It's too late, Ken. I'm already different. But it's okay. You like me no matter what, don't you?"

"Of course. And as long as you like this new guy... I'm glad you're with him."

Buddy did stop by later that night, but as predicted, the parents were tired and went off to bed after about a half hour of chitchat. That left the two of us alone, for all intents and purposes. Buddy was curious to see my room, and I was... reluctant to let him. But I couldn't say no.

So I brought him up to my supremely-unsexy room. After all this time it's still largely-unpacked boxes, a few personal items, and some piles of clothes here and there.

"This," he chuckled, "Is not a girl's room." There he goes again.

"Then what are all these bras doing around?"

"You're a ladies' man. You collect them," he said.

"Oh yeah," I smiled, playing along, trying to turn it into sexy-talk, "You're just another notch in my bedpost aren't you?" I pulled him close and stuck my hand down his pants. Rock hard. For all his "guy"-talk, he knows I'm all woman. We started to mess around.

He pushed me back on my bed and I undressed as we made out. We did it on my very cushy but very small bed, and spent the night cuddled closer than before. The heat's not great in my room, so I had to re-dress before bed.

It was considerably more awkward than doing it in his hotel room. Especially since he had to get out the next morning without dad seeing him. He didn't succeed but let the guy go without commentary.

Me, however... I got a box of condoms thrown at me. Thanks, pop, for being so supportive.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Alia: Wish You Were Here

This is going to be a quick one, as there's not a ton going up here in Toronto. Todd and I have been going through a hellish November for school, while he juggles his part-time work at the record store, and Brian has been working and hectoring Todd into this whole band thing.

Believe me, it has not been the easiest thing in the world for me and Todd to feel like a couple again. We barely manage to spend time together, and I feel so removed from the days when I was happy being someone's girlfriend. My time as Rob was refreshing... it'd been a long time since I'd dated Todd but for the first time I wasn't moping around heartbroken and single. Happy being single. Happy with myself. As a guy in Philadelphia. Never thought I'd say that.

Maybe I'm over-romanticizing it, because it definitely wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but that level of freedom and independence, I'd never had. I started being with Todd right when I left home, and he was my first love so I spent a lot of time -- probably too much to accurately call myself a feminist -- being sad it was over. Follow that with guilty rebound sex and isolation, and Rob Garcia: Philadelphian High School English teacher sounds like a decent trade.

So the whole dynamic has been different between me and Todd and for a long while I was wondering whether it was even meant to be anymore. I saw the way he was with Shelby, even though she's got a boyfriend, and wondered if he'd be happier with her. Or if I should find Crystal and give her my body back and just leave this place forever (I know a lot of you would love that!) But here's what happened: that stupid ass band.

It doesn't even have a name, they've just been calling it "The Todd and Bryan Epic Band." Funny in a kind of "we're so lame it's cool" way.

Then they coaxed Shelby into playing drums and it became... a thing. And that pissed me off. Whereas it was just them, whenever they got together, with their guitars, it was suddenly a requirement that they spend X number of hours each week at Shelby's place working on their material, because after all she's got the drums and it wouldn't do to transport them anywhere, let alone to their little apartment.

I spent a lot of November ready to say "screw it" to the whole relationship, these friendships I've had for so many years, when The Todd and Bryan Epic Band Featuring Shelby booked a gig in Mississauga (for the curious, that's a town that borders Toronto to the East and is largely suburban with a slight cultural center.) Irritated that it should be so convenient to go all the way down there, I debated even bothering. I hadn't spoken to Todd about my doubts about us but I think he was picking up on them. I went anyway, to show my support.

They went through a number of familiar covers. They're really impressive musicians, Bryan even did a Marty McFly version of Johnny B. Goode, complete with windmills and Jimi Hendrix affecations (although the imitation definitely isn't perfect.) The originals were uneven... the ballad Bryan had written (for Crystal, I think) seemed a bit cheesy, and the uptempo number was a bit clunky. I'm just being honest here.

THen for their finale, Todd stepped up to the microphone. He doesn't sing often, although he's better at it than he gives himself credit for. He looked out into the audience. I was sitting far enough back that he probably couldn't see me, but he dedicated it by saying "This last one goes out to the pretty girl in the back, with her hair in a ponytail." Me (he's often called me "the girl in the back" because of how shy I was when we met.)

Todd exchanged his bass for an acoustic guitar and began to strum. It was Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," a song he'd played for me on one of our first dates and had a special resonance now that we had been apart. Instead of fading out like the recording, it climaxed in a louder, louder, I'll say it -- epic riff to climax the show. The following act actually made a snarky remark that they couldn't follow that and were going home (they actually played a respectable set.)

And me... well I'm not made of ice. In that 5 minutes I felt the feeling welling up in me that I haven't had in a long while. That passion, that desire... Goddamnit if I'm not a sucker for a boy with a guitar. More than anything, it made me feel for the first time in years that I was being thought of, that I was wanted, that I was important to somebody.

Our relationship isn't fixed overnight, but that one song went a long way toward that goal, based on what happened between us later that night.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Max: Migration

I was so pissed off when I found out Tanya and Melanie had gone to Seattle instead of going to New Brunswick with me. It's not easy to step into a new life, it's best to have someone there as a "spotter," someone who can back you up when you don't know what you're supposed to be doing.

Fortunately, it didn't look like I had much to be doing. As Max, I'm 20 years old. He's the kind of guy who works 6 months in a BS job until he gets sick of it and quits or gets fired. Hell, he's still trying to get his GED. And not that attending adult education courses all day hasn't been thrilling, but I'm starting to sense there's more I could be doing with my time and experience, and maybe leaving my life as Sam was a mistake.

Unfortunately, the woman who has gotten my old life seems perfectly fine with it. Now, she hasn't said anything about wanting to stay, but it's not unlikely she would. Because for whatever reason, after I got to Maine, the "original Sam" backed out of our arrangement. And this all stunk to holy hell of manipulation, which is partly why I panicked and pulled the room switch on Roger. There's a lot of reasons why it felt beneficial at the time, as as rough as things are as Max, I'd rather be here than playing as Fletcher's little daughter. Mostly, anyway.

I stuck around because at least in Maine I had Alia to talk to. As awkward as her attempts to play the guru were, her heart was in the right place and she deserved support. Plus it was nice to get a sense of the good that had come out of it. Alia was elated to be female again, to be going home to her man and her life, and despite whatever uncertainties she's felt since then, I haven't seen someone that satisfied with life in a long, long time.

The other guests trickled out to their new lives, and while some contact info has been exchanged I get the sense most aren't the writing type. I didn't think I was either, but the tail end of my time in Maine was the beginning of a number of occasions when I thought to myself "this needs to be written down."

By the third day it started to dawn on me that I was now locked into form as male. I woke up that morning and found that the rough patch of hair on my chin, jaw and upper lip had grown in thicker and darker. I was growing a beard. I hadn't given much consideration to this eventuality. I was wearing a guy's clothes, I had a guy's shape and yet I didn't feel especially guyish. I initially reached into my bag for the razor, but stopped myself. I wanted to see where this was going.

Every day began by looking myself in the mirror. Mirrors play an important role for anyone who's been to the inn. In your first life you take your reflection for granted, but when it changes you can't study it enough.

Max was not an unattractive body to have... a bit on the skinny side, with gangly limbs and bad hair, but if I'd met him in my past life I would've given him a shot. Something in his eyes made him -- me -- look dangerous, but also sensitive, like a short-haired Johnny Depp.

There was just one little aspect I was trying to wrap my head around... the downstairs situation. I had been led to believe by certain jokes and stories, that guys are prone to unwanted reactions down there at any given moment, yet by that day I had yet to experience any measurable reaction... if you know what I mean. It was just hanging there in limbo, and I had no idea what, if anything, it was going to do.

It was a nice day and Alia asked me if I'd wanna hang out by the beach, since with all the worrying about pre- and post-transformational stuff we'd kinda forgotten to have a little fun. I said sure, and dug through Max's luggage for a pair of long, bulky swim shorts, which feature (as I guess all guys' swimwear does) ball-hugging mesh inside that made me feel a little awkward as soon as I put it on. Like everyone who looked at me could tell how tightly-bound my junk was just by the way I walked.

I made my way over to our agreed meeting place. I got there early, watching couples traipse up and down the beach, dudes on the lookout for girls and girls trying to fend of male advances. I didn't concentrate on anything in particular until I saw a shadow approach me. I turned and saw her standing there in a blue bikini. This was a different Alia than I'd seen before. The Alia I'd first met was ragged from trying to keep a lid on the madness. She wore white t-shirts and jeans, wasn't overly concerned with her appearance, but here, now, she was looking... different.

I don't want to say I was attracted by her or turned on by her, but I definitely found it hard to resist looking her over. Maybe it was because I wanted to stare, maybe it was because I wanted to see if something would happen if I did, to test myself. I realized what I was doing about the same time as she did and turned away, looking at the sand or the ocean while she awkwardly fumbled to recoup the conversation.

"The crowd's thinning out. I think it'll be time to head out soon," she said. I told her I was most nervous about that. Here, we were in limbo, between lives. Physically I was Max, but mentally I had some claim as Sam. Once I got "home," that would be it... "Sam" would be a figure of my past, and Max would be the future. I wasn't prepared for that, I guess. It isn't like I wasn't expecting it, I just forgot to brace myself, with all the plotting and scheming, I left the aftermath out.

The last time I did this, I was so far from in-control of my life that I can barely remember feeling anything except an all-consuming panic about what I was leaving behind. I was 14 years old in the body of a 21-year-old and completely oblivious to what that meant. Now I feel so much older than my years that all I can do is wonder about what comes next. Alia told me there was comfort in the fact that I didn't have to worry about the future anymore, if Max's note was honest. His life was mine to take or leave. In Inn, it seems, will always be there.

She offered to chauffeur me to New Brunswick and I graciously accepted. It was the long way back to Toronto for her, but I think she needed time to collect her thoughts on returning home. The next day we hit the road for Fredericton, a 7 hour drive. We bonded on the way, girl-talked, gossiped, shared more observations about girlhood and manhood.

"I'm not going to say it's easy... you're going to be on your own a lot, even when you're with people, even with fellow victims of the inn. There was this... isolation I felt, as Rob. Even though I had Tori to talk to, I never really felt like I had someone, because I didn't want to... well I just felt like I needed to keep strong. Wow, I guess I became more male than I thought. Maybe it won't happen for you," she said, "But my point is sometimes these experiences can have effects we never would have expected." I guess my first transformation I was so young that I wouldn't have known the difference between the Inn's effect and my own emotional developments. I probably do have a much different perspective than most because of it, but, I don't know if I know anything special. I might even know less because I took so much of it for granted.

Alia saw me off at around 8. It was early August by this point I guess, a warm summer night. She offered to help me get settled but I told her I needed to do this alone. It would be easier to attempt to explain myself without some strange woman at my side.

Max is a 20-year-old guy who isn't living at home, but with Tanya and Melanie, and their mother. I was not looking forward to explaining why her daughters were not with me, and we were much later than expected.

I got in the door and just stood there in the front of the house taking it in. Trying to imagine myself as if I'd walked into it a thousand times before, like it was my own house. But it was disorienting. I saw their mother, Mrs. Kearn, poke her head out of the kitchen: a short, thin, 50-something lady with short hair and good skin, dressed in a hoodie and sweatpants.

"Is that you? You didn't call! I was worried to death!"

"It's just me, Mrs. Kern," I said, slipping my shoes off. She asked where the girls were. "They took their own way home. They'll be along soon enough."

I didn't know this for sure. The last I'd heard of "Tanya" and "Melanie" was that they were headed for Seattle, but I knew this wouldn't last and felt certain they'd be in New Brunswick by the end of the week.

Mrs. Kearn sneered at me. It was clear she didn't care for my response, and she had some tension with Max that wasn't certain to me.

"Well, I didn't make any supper, so we can order something... pizza, I guess..." she said this all very passive-aggressively.

I didn't know any pizza numbers off the top of my head, but there was a yellow pages by the phone, so I called a place called Mario's and had them deliver. We ate in chilling silence sitting across the table from each other. I was becoming desperately afraid for my situation. Finally, she asked, "You guys have another fight?"

"Something like that."

"I never thought she'd take off from you like that. That's not like Melanie..."

"It was Tanya's idea."

"It's not really like Tanya either."

I wondered if maybe, if I told her what had happened at the Inn, she'd be willing to believe me, just based on this evidence alone. I decided against it: the last thing I needed was to be kicked out of my only shelter.

When she finished her pizza, she went back to the TV room to sit. I went walking through the house, first through the bedrooms -- finding the room Max and Melanie had shared, and Tanya's. It was clear Max wasn't such a permanent fixture that the room was part "his." It was very much a "girl's" room, with lots of posters of boys; Twilight and Justin Bieber among them. The bed was tasteful, and there was a dresser split between Men's and Women's clothes. I reached into Melanie's top drawer and pulled out a pair of her panties, just to hold them and remember what I'd lost. They just smelled like laundry.

It didn't feel right to me to spend the night in that room. When the two girls returned, I figured, they'd want their privacy. I opted to spend the night in the basement, a half-finished affair with an old couch and a TV, full of old books and boxes of old objects. There was a single throw pillow and light blanket. I slept in my clothes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tori C: Weekenders

So much has happened to me in the month of November, I've had to take a day off at the end of it all just to recuperate. One the one had it feels like just a neverending crush of status quo, day in and day out working and living, but on the other hand, a couple of big changes. I guess this is the sort of thing that I save up for when I finally decide to write here.

I've been uncomfortable with this arrangement between Leo and me for some time. A purely sexual relationship, without any passion or commitment was the most convenient arrangement for me but every time I leave his place, I learn a little more that this is not what I want. I don't want to be shoved out the door while I'm pulling my nylons up. I don't want to be alone on my girlfriends' "date nights" because Leo's playing Call of Duty and doesn't want me around. I want someone to play COD with!

So after writing my last post I had given myself a lot to think about. I can't keep up this purely sexual relationship. I wasn't that kind of guy and I'm really not that kind of girl. So I was kind of in a daze, not even really responding to Leo's texts for like the first week or so of November while I was writing it. My cell would buzz inside my purse so often certain other co-workers started joking I was bringing my vibrator to work (which is not fair since I've never even used one.) So I was dreading even checking my texts when I was on the ride home... and to my surprise, I got one from Buddy. "In New York thru New Yrs. Come visit!"

I can't even describe how I felt when I read that. Like... when I was a guy and a girl I liked would give me a little attention, this was 10x that. My heart fluttered and I got embarrassed for getting so worked up over a simple little text, but my mind kept turning over the implications. I know Buddy's wanted to be in a relationship with me and tried to convince me to try something long distance, but at the time I was so clouded up by this whole thing with Leo that, well, it just didn't seem worth it.

Now, I think I'm ready. So I went to visit him on the next weekend, arriving in NYC on the 13th. We went out for a walk and basically had a really great several-hour conversation, beginning with The Walking Dead and ending with him recommending that I get around to reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (maybe someday.) He showed me around "his neighbourhood," which basically consisted of the block around his hotel, dinner, and a movie.

We went to see Due Date. The movie was pretty funny, although every time I laughed at something guyish (example: the Zack Galafianakis character masturbating himself to sleep) I could see him out of the corner of my eye make a quizzical face. Like just because I have boobs, I'm not supposed to find that funny. On the subway ride back he was quiet about it, but when we got to the hotel, I edged toward the topic by pointing out how funny it was (in hindsight it wasn't that funny, but I did laugh at it.) He kinda averted his eyes and says, "Yeah, that was uh, a funny gag, I guess."

Egging him on a little, I nudged his shoulder and asked "You ever need to do that to get to sleep?"

He started to blush, like a kid caught by his parents. "Nnnn...ot really... that much..."

I smirked. "Hey, no need to be embarrassed. Everyone does it."

He twisted his mouth oddly, trying to figure out how to react, whether I was kidding him or we were really talking about that. "Probably not everyone..."

"Well, everyone in this room does."

"Heh, heh... yeah..."



"What am I doing here?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, I didn't come here to have dinner at the hotel restaurant and see a Bromance. What are we doing?"

"I guess I thought we could hang out, and..."


Still flustered, he admitted, "I don't know..."

"You don't know? Buddy, what do you see when you look at me?"

Again, he stammered a while -- cute, but eventually irritating -- before I coaxed him into saying, "Look. when we first met, I thought you were... different. I thought you were just a really hot girl who knew enough about stuff I liked that I could talk to you. And that first night, I thought I could get some and then you'd move on past me and it would just be a cool story. And then I got to know you and see how cool you were, and... I got nervous. It's like, why would you really want to be with me? And I started to think you were putting me off as a way of... like, politely turning me down, so... I don't know, Tori. What are we doing?"

"I'll tell you what we're doing. Buddy, when you texted me to come down here, I felt something I haven't felt in a long time. I wasn't putting you off, I was just... nervous. I have some issues, and it's stuff I'm working on, but having you nearby will definitely help. So look at me." I took his hands and put them on my shoulders. "I'm not wearing a push-up bra for my health. And I'm not wearing this top because I like it when a breeze blows down my cleavage and makes my nipples stand up. And I didn't shave so I could keep my skirt on all night."

I feel like the forward approach may have been a bit intimidating, but I'm glad I did it because one of us had to be the guy, and I've learned a thing or two about being assertive since being with Leo.

I took my top off. He buried his face in my breasts like he'd never been happier to be anywhere. I unclasped my bra and let him feel them while we laid down on the bed. Things started to happen pretty quickly after that...

It's hard to believe that only a few months ago I'd never been with a guy, and I'm already on my second one. I mean, It felt different, and I sort of had to lead Buddy through all this, but at least we know where we stand now.

It's not like with Leo. It's not all about the sexual fulfillment, it's about company, and even as far away as New York, I still feel closer to him than I have to any man I've known since becoming Tori.

I woke up the next morning next to him, feeling like things had really changed. It's been a long road in getting here, a lot of wondering what kind of transition I was going through, from Cliff to Tori, how far it would take me away from where I started and how it would feel. I'm still uncertain, but it's the kind of uncertainty you feel when you're going through anything... not a paralyzing, life-altering feeling like when you first wake up this way, but just the way it is when you're starting to see you're finally making the right decisions.

I looked over at him. His eyes were just fluttering awake. When he opened them and looked over at me, I smiled. He smiled back and kissed me. I told him we should go for breakfast. It was Sunday morning and I wanted to spend a little time with him before heading back to Philly.

A fair bit's happened since then, but mostly stuff you could figure out from the tone of this post. I've visited him every weekend since then, except Thanksgiving, which so far has been, well... a different matter. As for me and Leo, that's done, and I'll explain how in my next post.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Max: Where it began

You already know a lot about my trip to Maine this past July, and someday I'll work up to explaining what brought me there, because Alia there's a lot those posts don't say about me, both good and bad. But it's almost been a whole month since I promised I'd start writing in here and you haven't heard hardly a peep out of me. It's harder than I thought.

I'll start with the night of the 25th, when I became Max. As you can imagine, I didn't sleep well that whole week. I had switched rooms with Roger, a married man who had stayed behind because he was having problems with his wife and because, I think, he thought he had a shot with me. I want to make it perfectly clear that I never gave him the impression I was willing to let him cheat on his wife with me. After all, we weren't even in the same room that night. How I got him to trade rooms with me, well, that's maybe a different matter.

The point was, this body was meant for him, and who knows what he would have done with it.

Once he gave me his room, there was no turning back. I immediately sought the suitcase. I found a gym bag with a couple of changes of clothes haphazardly tossed in, and no letter or ID around. I dumped out the bad and found Men's jeans and well-worn black t-shirts. I wondered if it was too late. There was no way of knowing who Roger was going to turn into, and I wondered if I had made a mistake, now that I was certain what sort of person I was going to be.

The whole bag was laundered and neatly folded, so it seemed like someone must have taken care of this for Max. It still smelled faintly of detergent. Out of curiosity, I stripped down to my bra and panties and dressed myself in the man's clothes. The jeans came down past my feet and had no hope of staying up without a belt, being very roomy in the crotch. I've worn boyfriends' clothes before, so I could guage how big of a guy Max was from how loose his shirt was on me. My last boyfriend was 6'1 compared to my 5'4 self and modest chest. Max's shirt wasn't as billowy on me.

I spent the night turned on my side, as usual unable to sleep. Around 2:15, I felt my heart starting to beat faster. The hairs on my arms stood up. I can't even describe what it's like to feel hair pull itself into your head, it's like a tingling, like a super-thorough rinse but... inside your scalp.

I was wearing my pajama bottoms and a tank top. I thought the tank would be stretchy enough to survive my metamorphosis, as I only had a vague idea of what my new physique was like. Luckily, Max was a slender guy with slim shoulders. My breasts stiffened and flattened themselves against my torso. It was like losing a limb, to be perfectly honest. But that was nothing compared to the feeling of... being turned inside out.

I didn't see it happen. The whole time I had my eyes clenched shut, mentally chanting "Make it stop, make it stop, make it stop," my palms resting flat against my chest. It wasn't painful, it wasn't erotic, it just slowly, slowly, emerged from me, this alien device in my pants.

When it was over with, I curled back over on my side, flannel pants tight against my thighs and waist, now not reaching the bottom of my calves and tightened all around me. My feet were bare and my toenails were now protruding and scraping against the comforter. I didn't even know what my face looked like, but my first instinct was to rub it and see how recently-shaved it was; there was just a faint wisp of stubble. I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed. I was seized by a deep, sudden feeling of regret for leaving my life behind.

But in the morning, all I could think was "What's done is done." More pressing issues were about to come up.

I was examining my new face when Alia knocked on my door. As Max, I'm thin and taller than I was as Sam, but still under 6 feet. I have a strong jawline, good facial structure... really, he's quite a handsome guy, except he looked and felt at the time like a bit of a dirty lowlife. I was already sweaty and bristling with body hair on my arms, legs, armpits and chest. Not thick, not unappealingly so, just... it was different. It irritates when you're not used to it.

I tested out my expressions, moving the muscles of my face to see what I looked like surprised, angry, happy... how straight my teeth are (not overly) how my nose looked in profile. Whether my Adam's apple stuck out enough. I tried to angle myself in the bathroom mirror to check out my own ass, but I couldn't get a good look.

It's weird, though, it didn't feel like I'd grown, like my hands and feet had gotten bigger, but holding my flats up to my new foot, it was clear I'd gotten some serious bulk. I marveled at how tiny all the clothes I'd packed as Sam now appeared in my hands. How I stood taller in the mirror.

When Alia saw me, she told me I still stood and walked like a woman, but that I would probably re-learn that in time. By now it feels like I have. Looking down at her when she came to my door I was more impressed with how much taller than her I was (head and shoulders) than say, how attractive she is. She's really pretty, but at the time it didn't occur to me that I was a male looking at a female. At that time I still didn't know who I was or who, if anyone I was with.

This was the result of more room-switching before us. In the next room were the bodies of Tanya, Max's girlfriend, and Melanie, her sister. The room I was in had belonged to Melanie, but Max had taken it while Tanya looked after her in their room, because Melanie had over indulged in booze. They'd had the presence of mind to move Max's luggage over, but not his wallet, which was in with Tanya's stuff. So when a short dark-haired girl showed up at my door later that day holding a wallet, I was glad to meet her.

This was just after Alia's somewhat embarrassing attempt at a speech. They'd seen me when I made my brief cameo, and recognized me from the mysterious wallet left in their room. "Tanya" introduced herself and brought me over to her room next door to meet her "sister."

The sisters are just a year or so apart, with Tanya being the younger one. They look similar enough, but Tanya is a bit heavier. I followed her next door where the other girl was sitting on the bed looking shameful, miserable, pensive. Sulking. She was wearing a Men's white button up over a plain tee and cargo shorts, which all obscured her form. I could just barely discern the dark outlines of her nipples, they were poking through a bit. "Tanya" explained, she and Melanie were a couple (I don't really see the use in revealing their names) and it had dawned on them that they were now sisters. Not a pleasant development for them. They showed me their letters, and mine, which basically read, "Max McGill: Good luck." Most of the details of my new life were outlined in Tanya's letter. I asked if they were okay with hanging around here a while. They agreed.

Melanie was quiet the rest of the night while Tanya and I spoke in hushed tones. Not having been gender-changed, she was in a better frame of mind to take control of the situation while Mel sat on the bed with her legs curled up running her fingers through her hair.

"We're not going to Canada," Tanya told me, "[Melanie] has an important job in Washington and we can't let someone else take his life."

I joked, "What are you guys, the Obamas?"

Tanya didn't laugh, but grumbled "No. Not D.C., Washington State. He's an air traffic controller at Sea-Tac. You think the new person in his body is going to know how to do that?"

"No," I sighed, "But do you think they're just going to let that girl walk in and claim that's her job?"

"When he proves he can do it--"

"Look at her!" I said, "She's a wreck. The last thing she needs right now is the safety of thousands of passengers on her mind."

"Stop it!" she said, "Stop calling my boyfriend a she. It's still him in there, isn't it?" I nodded. "Don't you dare tell me what he needs. What we need is to get back to normal, and we can only do that back home."

"This is not a good idea," I told her. "It's not going to work, and you might risk your ability to get back to your own body."

She snapped, "Did you get your own body back? No? Then you don't know what you're talking about, so stay the hell out of our lives."

I wanted to hit her. Wanted to throttle her. I wasn't prone to violence as a woman but that didn't mean I couldn't get frustrated and lost me temper. I stood up and banged my fist on the desk. It hurt but I didn't let on.

"The two of you are making a huge mistake. For the time being, you belong in New Brunswick, and we can figure out a strategy from there. I'll be here for the rest of my reservation if you change your mind."

She looked at me coldly as I left the room. They were gone the next day.

Next time I get around to writing in this, I'll tell you about my trip up to Canada and where things went from there.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Tori C: What it's like

There's been some request for me to describe the sensation of having sex with Leo. I've put it off because I wasn't sure I was ready to get graphic about it. Since this whole thing has started, I've struggled to put it into words, and using phrases like "We did it," has helped me kind of get around that, but I think there comes a time when you need to stop dancing around it and get into it.

So I'm giving myself license to get explicit here... and if that makes you uncomfortable, just scroll down to where it says I'm done.

Before I get to Leo specifically, I want to go back to the first time I ever thought of a man as being attractive. I wasn't really sure what, if anything, it meant at the time, but now that I've had a year to think about it, I can sort of admit that it started in Buffalo when I went to visit my old body.

I was waiting for Willie at the bar when I ran into Justin, my best friend for years. Seeing him without him knowing it was me... it was weird. He was dating Randi at the time, but he was putting this vibe out there like he was still on the lookout. A little later I found out he knew ahead of time that I was Tori, that I was "with" Cliff, but the energy he was putting out got to me. He exuded confidence.

I spent much of the evening avoiding eye contact with Willie. My eyes darted back and forth between Justin and Randi. His arm around her, her head on his shoulders... she was wearing a light top and her nipples were just poking through ever so much. He stroked her hair. Suddenly I was noticing how handsome he was... the stubble he'd let grow, his strong jawline, his eyes... I tried to pack away these thoughts and focus on Randi, tried to remember what made her so good looking.

Make no mistake, she's attractive, but when I tried to let me mind play with that, put myself in HIS shoes, with my fingers running through her hair, it got really... complicated. It put me off. But it didn't TURN me off... I wanted to be both of them and I wanted to be with both of them.

Later on that trip, Willie and I almost... well, we messed around a bit. I had felt the need to test myself because of all this new information my brain was processing. The gates were already opening when I really started to look at him in my body. And I didn't mind what I saw.

Maybe he wears my face better than I did, but I didn't see anything wrong with the way he looked. In fact, between the rather masculine Justin and the cute, girlish Randi, "Cliff," clean shaved, a little baby-faced, was a nice middle option. I began to wonder why I had ever had problems with girls. A little later I decided it must've just been because I was myself... which set me down a bit of depression. But let's flash forward.

It's late in the summer. I can pretty much admit to being into guys, and whatever I think of girls I'm not as dedicated as I once was. I mean, I sure as hell wouldn't mind getting a look at Sara naked, but I wouldn't want to date her. And that's when Leo and I started hooking up. He was in the right place at the right time.

When it started to get good, here's what it's like:

To start, I'm sitting on his bed. I'm fully clothed, he's fully clothed. He stands in front of me, unbuttoning his shirt. I run my fingers over her stomach and chest. He's thin, with just a few patches of hair. I hold his belt-loops. He leans in and kisses me. I feel my back straighten. A tingle goes through my body. I love the thought of us breathing heavily into each other, just panting and moaning.

I take off my top. My brastraps fall over my shoulders. He unclasps it with a quick motion. When I bare myself, he takes a moment to look at them. I don't blame him, I do too. Then he looks me dead in the eyes, and all I want is for him to touch me. He lays me back on the bed. The longer we go at it, the more creative he gets. First he has his hand on my breast, gently massaging as he kisses me. Then he moves his fingers away and starts to stroke the side of my breast, running his tongue down my chest and circling my breast.

That's when I get wet. I can feel my knees shivering. I feel like I'm so close to something, I can't stand being teased.

I stave off my own feeling by turning my attention to him. I unzip his pants and reach down. Not surprisingly, he's hard. I don't really do anything with his dick once I have it in hand... I guess I've got a mental block against that, but it doesn't stop me from handling it just a little. Sometimes I think to myself, "How bad would it be just to try putting my mouth on it?" but I never cross that threshhold, even though I'm willing to go further.

Soon he has me on my back, and I'm letting myself moan uncontrollably for him. I remember when I was a guy, I'd jack off quietly... there always seemed to be something so unappealing about letting out a pleasure moan as a guy, something weak... but since I've taken on the female persona, I don't care anymore. I like what he's doing and I know to let him know.

He pulls my panties down and moves his mouth to the base of my crotch. I don't let him stay there too long, because as good as it can be, it just makes me want to go faster. Somewhere in all this we find the time to make sure he's got protection on -- I've been taking the pill since the summer, but it doesn't hurt to double these things, and when I give the signal, he pulls himself over me and I sprad my legs, trembling, moist, letting him in.

For a few minutes, we move in unison, slowly. I'm embarrassed, so I close my eyes or turn away, but it's so absorbing that I can't stop myself from screaming out, "ungh, ungh." I move with him and we go faster... the feeling of having another person inside me is so intense, because the parts in there are so sensitive, and I've never used an item (eg, a dildo) to reach, only getting what my fingers could find. With every thrust, a radiation of pleasure that leaves me weak flushes through me until finally I feel myself come.

I let him keep going, though, because there's nothing to stop him. I'm not shriveling away or going limp, I'm just... good. And it's not long before he is too. He rolls off me and we lie on top of the sheets for a moment, his arm wrapped around me. I can't stand up, my legs are trembling, so we just lie there and drift off, leaving the clean-up for later.

That's how it was. At the best of times. Here's what it's more often like:

I go over to his place. He hasn't cleaned up, there's usually dishes here and there, clothes on the floor. He's on the couch playing XBox. In a past life I might've been more interested in sitting on the couch with him and playing Call of Duty, but we both know why I'm there.

He wants to finish his game so I go to the bedroom, undressing as I go. I leave my clothes in a heap by the bed. Sometimes I wait a while, naked, in his bed, before he gets around to me. I don't like getting too much time to think about what I'm about to do. I prefer to get caught up in the moment. I'm far from turned on, but I'm still "willing," if that makes any sense. I get myself warmed up.

He comes in and disrobes. I remind him to put a rubber on as he disrobes, slipping out of his pants, lifting his shirt over the bed and pulling his socks off.

He's plenty hard -- part of me wonders if it's me or the video game -- so I just lie back and let him go to it. In this scenario, there's not a lot of kissing and touching, just a willing submission to his need. I try to get us into some kind of rhythm, but he just goes at his own pace, jutting up into me sharply, awkwardly humping. A few unsatisfactory minutes later, he's done. I wonder why I even bothered coming by. Sometimes I try to get him on the bottom so I can make it last a bit longer and do some work of my own, but he likes the dominant position and I'm more comfortable this way anyway.

He rolls off me. Sometimes I try to complete the mission myself, sometimes I just lie there.

Sometimes he falls asleep. Sometimes he gets up, gets dressed again and goes back to his Xbox.

I don't stay the night. He insists we don't sleep together because we're not a couple and he doesn't want to complicate things. We don't have one of those arrangements where I leave a toothbrush and a pack of tampons at his place. He's never even been to my place. I'm not sure I'd want him to.

So after maybe a half hour of activity and aftermath, I roll out of his bed. I reach down onto the floor and pick up my panties, unbunch them and pull them on. I re-clasp my bra and dress myself again.

I gather my things, grab my purse, say a polite "thank you," and leave, waiting for one of us to be in the mood to text again. This has gone on for the better part of 2 months. I slink off into the night, and go home to my own bed, alone.

When I put it that way, it's a wonder I haven't quit yet, but the truth is somewhere between these two extremes. It can be very good, but it can be very impersonal. It can be convenient, but it can also be un-fulfilling. In my more clear-headed moments, I feel it would be smartest to end this thing with Leo and take a chance with Buddy. But just as often, I'm thankful for something that, if not perfect, is easy to manage and that oftentimes does feel good.

I feel guilty sometimes for being too comfortable with what I've got. I also sometimes feel guilty for not liking it as much as I should. I don't know. I'm really mixed up.

Maybe it can't last much longer, but for now, that's what it's like.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Max: Ready to talk

This isn't easy for me. Opening up to people. Back in the day, I learned quickly to keep my mouth shut about my life because I knew nobody would believe me, and the people who knew about my condition weren't in much of a state to care.

My name is Max. It used to be Samantha, and before that... before that isn't important and I'd rather move past it. I've spent a lot of the last 5 years trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be. I still don't know.

What I do know is that this past July, I came back to Maine to give up being Sam. My time in her life was scary as hell and even after years of adjustment, I still wanted to get out. Maybe it wasn't smart, especially not knowing where I was going to end up.

I ended up as a guy. Max. It definitely wouldn't have been my first choice, but any woman should be able to recognize the advantages to being male. Alia told you all about this, or some variation on it. Here's some stuff she didn't tell you.

Max wasn't alone. And he wasn't really forthcoming with details about his life. He wrote half a page that amounted to "I dunno, do whatever." Not so succinctly, but basically gave me the distinct impression that he did not give a shit about what happened to his life. I guess wherever he is, he feels like he's better off, selfish jerk.

But he wasn't alone. He was traveling with his girlfriend Tanya and a third girl, Tanya's twin sister Melanie. They were in the same room that night because Melanie was sick from drinking. Yes, I know that about those two, but Max wouldn't even tell what his own mom's name is.

Anyway, I've decided to post this because... well, it's complicated. I felt like the time was right to get over my tensions about speaking about myself. Even when I was at the Inn, with people who had been transformed, I found it difficult to open up and I don't want to be like that anymore. It's helped that I've had to sort of guide the new Tanya and Melanie through this experience. I'll tell you more about them when I'm ready. For now it just helps that I've opened the lines of communication.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tori C: Wonder Woman

Sometimes I feel like a superhero without any powers. Unless you count a nice set of breasts as a power (as some do.) The way I came to be who I am seems like something out of an old comic, something Stan Lee might've come up with if he was feeling especially perverse. Mild-mannered John Clifford spends a night in a cursed inn and wakes up with the ability to menstruate! Sigh.

I was considering getting out my "Sexy Robin Hood" costume again, but since I'm feeling more like a girl this year than last, I thought I'd try something different. And by different, I mean "feminine without being slutty."

We settled on a trio of comic heroines, at my insistence. Well, I would've picked the Wonder Woman costume without either of them going along with the theme, but they did want to theme it up, since I was going to actually go with them this year. Raine went as Supergirl, and Sara as Robin. I guess at various points there have been female Robins, but it seems weird to market it in an official manner. Then again... Sexy Robin Hood last year.

Actually, due to the chill, I wore some black tights under my star-panties... appropriately enough, Wonder Woman herself recently got some pants, although actually explaining this to people was tricky, so I let them chalk it up to not wanting to freeze my ass off.

It was nice to go out with the girls and dance and have fun and escape my own private relationship drama. Even though Leo and I hook up twice a week or so, we're still not comfortable with the idea of being in a relationship with each other, so we just leave it at that. I have to admit, every time I leave his place, I do feel guilty about participating in this without any real emotional investment. I'd love so much to have sex with a guy I felt I could spend time with.

A little while after our last meeting, Buddy dropped me an e-mail. It was long and rambly, but the gist of it was how much he missed spending time with me, and he felt there was something between us, and maybe I might like to try a long distance relationship. At least until he got back to Philly.

I was reading it, feeling this odd sense of excitement and disappointment, not unlike the feelings I first felt after transforming (as miserable as it was to transform, I can admit at least a little part of me thought how cool it was that this was even happening. Those were fleeting moments, but they happened.) How awesome, this guy I actually kinda like really does want to spend time with me, even after I was so bipolar toward him in the Spring. But all this experience with Leo has made me really want a physical relationship. Settling for long distance is something Cliff (the guy, not the, uh, remainder of him in me) would have settled for. It's selfish as hell, I know, but I'm not willing, right now, to put myself through the strain of long distance. I don't even know if I'm mature enough to handle it, or if I might get drunk on my own self-confidence and take his absence as a license to flirt, to shop around, hurt him even more than I already have. I mean, am I making any sense? Is it wrong to want to protect him this way? Or am I just a bitch?

I'm a bitch. I feel like one, anyway. I know how hard it is to be a man with bad luck with women and I still play that part instead of doing what I wish a girl would've done for me. I've got him twisting in the wind right now, saying only that I'm not willing to jump into something long distance... not that I'm not interested in him, and most definitely did not tell him that I'm currently having my needs satisfied.

Oh, Leo. I never know where I stand with that guy. He's not rude or mean or anything, he just seems so indifferent. I think this has already carried on longer than either of us expected it to, and maybe he's getting bored, but neither of us seems to want to stop. It's like... I used to work in this computer store, and every Thursday I'd oversee a shipment of hardware, and I'd make chit chat with the delivery guy, but I didn't want to go drinking with him, just wait until the next week to say hey what's up. So routine.

Well, when I put it that way, it seems totally unhealthy. And now Sara and Thom are fighting and spending time apart, while Raine and her Guy are getting more serious, the whole dynamic of our group is shifting.

So last night, the Halloween party, was a bit of measured chaos, where two of us were looking for guys but not looking to hook up. We found them, we danced, it was all pretty innocent. Then Thom showed up as Batman and they got back to pawing at each other, and suddenly it was like the last year hadn't passed, and I was back to being lonely Cliff in Tori's body. I was so disappointed in the evening... like, it wasn't a bad night, but I was just so emotional, that instead of calling Leo, I called Buddy, and we talked for an hour. And the question of starting a relationship never came up, we just talked. I swear, if I had some balls-- I mean guts, that is-- I would've just told him I'd be willing to try. But right now I'm not willing to give up what I've got and try something new. I suck at this.

Sorry for ranting. I'm all over the place. I've been composing this post over a whole evening while taking care of trick or treaters.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bryan: Good Times, Bad Times

I haven't posted here since way before Todd and I got our bodies back. I used it as sort of an outlet when I was stressed out being Ellie and when I got my own body back the last thing I felt like I needed was a shoulder to whine on. No disrespect to Todd, because everything that happened with Alia, and the Erica LaFleur situation, he had a lot on his mind. So despite living under the same roof, he and I kind of drifted apart for a year.

Maybe it was the Crystal situation. I don't know how you guys feel about the way he told it... reading his old posts, I feel like I mainly got a fair shake. It's not like I always wanted to nail Alia, and having Crystal in her body enabled me to do that. I had literally never thought about it until Crystal showed up and we just sorta connected.

I'll spare you the details of how it happened. It started out as me just keeping an eye on her, and eventually it occurred to us that we might make a nice couple, and realistically I was probably the only person she could date without everyone going insane (her, Todd, and probably real Alia.)

It was probably the healthiest relationship of my life. She cooked and cleaned and I tried not to seem like a kid she was taking care of, but like, a partner. She made me want to be better. We both had steady jobs. It was a real damn adult relationship. But as Todd said, we both knew the detail: it was temporary.

I couldn't bloody well convince her to stay in Alia's body. I told her I wouldn't mind meeting the real her, but she was adamant that that not happen. I kept asking her why, but she wouldn't clarify for me. I pushed the issue a bit more, and we fought a bit toward the end, but I always made amends because the last thing I wanted to do was lose Alia's body along with Crystal. When she left, we were still on good terms, but the relationship was over.

It's been hard, though, being around Alia, especially when she's with Todd. A couple times, I've accidentally called her "Crys," and then felt like an asshole, even though she assures me it's an innocent mistake. The weird thing is, partway through my relationship with Crystal, she insisted I call her "Alia," just so that I didn't slip in public. I didn't want to go along with it, but Todd and I had the same understanding when he was Aunt Anne Marie.

My one salvation is the band. We don't have a name yet, but Todd and I have been rehearsing a lot lately. We don't have a drummer, since most of our drummer friends have scattered, some already in bands, some giving up music or moving away. That doesn't stop he and I from jamming on Zeppelin ("Good Times, Bad Times,") Metric ("Gimme Sympathy,") Third Eye Blind ("Semi-Charmed Life") and Hollerado ("Americanarama,") as well as a few originals we've been workshopping.

So anyway, here's what's happened. With Todd and Alia getting back together, the social circle has sort of firmed a rift, and on one side is the happy couple, and on the other is me and Shelby, Todd's co-worker, who was hanging out with us a lot before and after Alia got back. Eventually, she and I just started hanging out on our own, since getting the four of us together would probably just be too awkward. In fact it was a little awkward just to get a cup of coffee with this random 19-year-old so soon after my break-up with Crystal, but she's actually quite cool. We were out by Queen's Park the other day, having some coffee, when I started talking about Crystal in veiled terms. I actually used her real name, to differentiate her from the situation she thinks I'm going through with Alia and Todd.

See... I have her number. Well, a number. I have some contact info for Crystal, acquired when we were first looking into her background and I found out she was from Cleveland Heights, not Shaker Heights. She doesn't know I have it. She'd probably be pretty pissed if I used it. But I keep it on a card by my desk and I look at it often, wondering if I should call. I told Shelby this. Her advice:

"The past is the past, man. You've got to move forward. If it isn't meant to be, don't worry. There are plenty more women out there." I gave her a look, and she hastily added, "Not me, though. I have a boyfriend." Oh.

But the last thing I found out is... she drums. Oh, chick drummers.

Seriously, though, I asked if I could hear her sometime, and if maybe she'd consider joining up with me and Todd. She said she'd think about it, since she's been meaning to get a regular thing going with someone. Why not us, eh? Maybe if we have a drummer, we'll get gigs, and things will start being awesome. I have yet to tell Todd about this development.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tori C: Real life intervenes

Life is tough and unfair. You don't have to tell me that. For the last year, I'm the one it's been unfair to. But lately, things seem to have leveled out for me, or at least reached a tentative agreement.

I had been complaining about being stuck in my routine (and about losing Cyndi as a friend) until acquiring Leo as a non-committal sexual-relationship-partner-type-thing. It's added the level of thrill that my life's been missing since, well, way before I was a girl.

It wasn't long before the girls started noticing my more upbeat attitude and quickly called me on it. It had been hard keeping the whole affair secret from them. It isn't that I didn't want them to know. I didn't want it getting back to Cyndi, but it seemed pretty obvious that if I told them "If you ever see Cyndi, don't tell her I'm screwing her ex-boyfriend." I just didn't want to deal with any of the possible outcomes of this being public knowledge. Didn't want Leo hanging out with us, didn't want them judging me for having casual sex, didn't want them to question why after a year of lack of interest in the opposite sex, I was suddenly happy to jump into this... and in one particularly paranoid, unlikely scenario, them realizing somehow that I was really a guy having sex with another guy.

(I'd like to reaffirm once again that it's been many months since I've thought of myself as "really a guy." I may be a guy again someday but I'm really not anymore.)

When I admitted it to them, it was with a lot of explaining and doubling back on myself. "It's not serious, you guys, we're just fooling around, we don't want to date or anything." They pointed out, rightly, that "I" had tended to fall hard for guys, very quickly, and that "keeping it casual" was not really "my" MO. (Which begs the question of what, exactly, she and Rob were supposed to be.) Raine in particular was judgmental in that even though she knew Tori could be mercurial toward guys, the "old Tori" at least pretended like a fling could be a permanent relationship. Sara defended me by saying at least I was being realistic. They then proceeded to compare notes on Tori's past relationships, their own past relationships, their current relationships, and a lot of other stuff I'm not properly informed about. In the end they agreed, more or less, that I wasn't doing anything wrong, but that I should prepare myself in case this ends badly. I told them I already was.

Jana and Ken got married yesterday. I want to write down all the hectic stuff that went into it from my side, but really it's just typical wedding stuff. Dress-shopping was a pain since this was the first time I've had to look for something formal. I got a nice, peach dress that billowed nicely in the autumn breeze... I looked rather pretty in it, if I do say so. The family and I all went in on some kitchen essentials for the Bride and Groom.

I was unexpectedly emotional at the reception. Looking over at Jana in her white dress, and her bridesmaids, I began to wonder if this lays ahead in my future. If I'm stuck as Tori -- which sometimes I remember is not yet the case -- it would logically be possible somewhere down the line. If I met the right guy. But it wasn't that long ago, including post-transformation, that it all seemed utterly impossible that I'd ever find anyone. I was sort of resigned to loneliness. The idea of someday trying on a while dress was both comforting and terrifying.

The day brought with it all sorts of stresses, including inebriated groomsmen looking to score with their buddy's emotional, technically-alone. I found protection with one of the bridesmaids, the only single one. We shared stories of dating disasters, which I mainly drew from Tori's diaries.

I told her I was seeing someone, sorta, but that it wasn't serious enough to want to bring him to a wedding. She grinned and said she knew what I meant.

I had actually made plans to meet up with Leo after the wedding, and I probably could've used it, but something got in the way. See, what I didn't mention is that for a while now, I've been in contact with Buddy. He had kept putting off replying to me, apparently out of nervousness (how sweet... and typical of him) but he finally got his wits together (with a glass of Jack Daniels) to reply. His work had brought him to Baltimore, 2 hours south of here, and it was possible that some weekend he could come back for a visit.

"Some weekend," as you might guess, turned out to be last night.

I had intended to visit with Buddy for only a little while and then go off to hook up with Leo, but Buddy and I got back into our "first date" rhythm and I suddenly really liked being around him again. He told me funny stories about people he'd met as a "nomadic graphic designer," and ribbed me about staying at the call center when I "obviously had better things ahead of me."

I felt the need to keep my fling with Leo out of it.

We even caught a showing of The Social Network (very good!) and got coffee before he admitted he had to get back to his friend's place to crash. I offered him my couch.

There was just a hint of an implication in that.

He declined, either being a gentleman or oblivious, insisting he had to get his stuff together and head back to Maryland in the morning, and he "knew how much I liked sleep" (this was a conversation we had long ago.) I hugged him goodbye, pressed him against me... and every inch of me was urging my lips to kiss him, but it didn't happen. I felt like he probably wanted it too, but the Leo thing, the wedding, my hormones... I'm maybe a bit too mixed up right now to take that kind of risk.

But it's really already destroyed my comfortable balance.

I was so put off that I texted Leo saying I wasn't feeling up to meeting that night. He simply said "fine."

Fine indeed. But I think things won't be fine much longer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tori C: Wanting it

After my little adventure with Leo, I was self-conscious for a few days. I had, like, a hiccup of maleness: "Oh man, I wasn't supposed to like THAT," la la la. I didn't want anyone to look at me and think "Hey that girl just got some action" so I played it down... to the point where it looked a little like I'd been through a car wreck. Like just... in my own head. A lot like when I first got back from Maine.

I came home one night not long after and ran into mom. She looked at me and said "Are you okay? You look like you've been through something."

I stared off into space and thought about it. The grin that crossed my face must've been hard to suppress and I started to blush. Mom called me on it immediately. "What's his name?"

I sighed. No way I was getting out of this one. I figured no harm in admitting it to mom. She's always been real understanding and might even be glad to hear her daughter getting some of her interests back. "Leo," I told her.

She sat me down at the table and poured herself some tea (and some for me, at my request.) "Well, go on!"

"Not much to tell..." I shrugged, "I mean, it's not serious. We just... had a little fun."

The look on her face didn't say "disappointment" exactly... but it was probably a bit of a let-down because she seemed really excited to meet her daughter's new boy. I don't think she was judging me for "having fun," but I'm trying not think about that. She just asked, "Do you like him? Does he like you?"

I tensed up. "Yeah... I don't know. He's all right. We're not really in it for... anything serious. I mean, it's a bit complicated. He used to date Cyndi." She nodded in understanding. I had told her a bit about my falling-out with Cyndi, but was still guarded as to how deeply it affected me. I went on, "So we're kinda trying to keep it from our friends, you know, unless it does get serious." And while that's not out of the question I just don't see it as being likely.

At this point, I hadn't talked to him about it yet. I also hadn't gotten anything back from Buddy about when he'd be back. My mind was swimming.

I didn't think -- and I don't think -- I have feeling for Leo. He's a nice guy, and him being bitter about Cyndi is a good trait (it shows good judgment after all) but I don't see myself with him. Buddy and I get along great (apart from his slight inability to get a hint) have a ton in common... I even like Buddy's look better than Leo (who, if you need an image, has a shaved head, some innocent tattoos, and a bunch of Cosby sweaters.) But Buddy's at what you might call a "Geographical disadvantage." If I want something now, I need to go with what's here. Gah, these things were so much easier when I was a guy and nobody wanted me! (I know, world's smallest violin right?)

So in the meantime, while Buddy was ignoring me, I tried to put it out of my head. At one point, surprisingly enough, I got a call from my soon-to-be sister-in-law Jana. She's having a whole feud with her maid of honor about wedding arrangements and wanted me to mediate. Well, I don't honestly have an opinion on centerpieces or dress designs or anything. I mean, that stuff doesn't automatically get inserted into you when you get a girl's body! That's a lifetime of tastes developing, and if you saw the way I dress and style myself, you'd know that I have very basic tastes. I figure, if I don't try anything special, there's less of a chance of looking bad.

Anyway, during that call, once I convinced her that everything she wanted was right and she should hold her ground, she asked me whether I was bringing anyone to the wedding. It's on the 16th of October, and I'm not seeing anyone seriously right now, so it was a fairly obvious no. Then she made some remarks -- which intended to be funny but didn't really come off that way -- about the tendency of guys to try to pick up single girls at wedding, and how I might consider bringing a gay friend as a shield, if I have one. I told her that would be a great idea, if I wanted to spend the whole night getting a lecture on how unfair marriage laws are in this country. I mean, Danny is a great guy and everything, but he's easy to get fired up about political matters. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood. (And as a former straight guy living as a straight girl, I feel like I should relate to all that more than I do.)

Anyway, I spent some time after my little liaison with Leo wondering what I wanted. On the main level, I really wanted somebody to do that with on a regular basis. Some intimacy to go along with friendship. A relationship. Whether I wanted it to be Leo, I don't know, but he's the most convenient option right now. And I could see myself having fun with him until it wasn't fun anymore. So when he called me again the next weekend, I jumped a little.

Nothing special. Nothing fancy. Our first meetup hadn't been planned and he neither of us wanted to do anything elaborate. I'm still a little awkward on the whole dating thing, but then again I'm also awkward on the bedroom thing, so who the hell knows? But that feels like too much of a commitment for either of us.

So last Saturday night, we went out for a walk and got some coffee. My idea: Nothing too romantic or serious, but I wanted to see if he still had his appeal with me sober. I had made an effort, though. I did my hair up as nice as I could manage, and put together a rather sweet outfit with tights, a long top and an under-boob belt. Modest, but playful.

We made some chit-chat, and I think both of us just wanted to skip-ahead. In that night, I saw the entirety of this "relationship" play out in macro. Less talk, more skin.

We got back to his place. I couldn't get my clothes off fast enough, not out of passion, but out of duty, since by that point we had grudgingly admitted that this really wasn't anything but sex.

So then it really became sex. Hot, sweaty, panting, moaning sex.

I let him go all the way this time. It felt like such a big deal every other time I've come close, but this was the first time I could feel myself letting go, and it felt so good. I was naked in front of him, and the way he looked at me... and how wanted that made me feel.

What I remember best is the feeling of excitement as we came close to the last barrier between me and this complete experience. I had been naked in front of him before, and seen him. The feeling of relief, of it not being weird and being so sure of myself made me want to keep going. And then we started.

I knew pretty much what to expect. I mean, I've been over a lot of this stuff with myself for a while now, but I don't think I ever went far enough to truly simulate the feeling of intercourse. I know how good it can feel, but maybe not necessarily how to access all that feeling, or what happens when there's another person involved

I got a shock. It was so different than being by myself, because I wasn't in control. I was so at his mercy and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with me. He kept at a consistent pace... which isn't something that works for me as much as a girl as it would've when I was just a dude. I didn't want to critique him though, since it was only my first time (although I guess it didn't feel like your typical first time.)

I liked it a lot. I mean, it seems so obvious, but maybe there was a chance I'd do it and realize that it wasn't as brilliant an experience as everyone says it is. On some level, that's the case: I mean, now that I've done it, I don't feel like I need to go out and get more right away, but it definitely felt... fulfilling. Like I was ready for it, and it was worth it.

There's still problems. I'm still not sure I'm getting what I'm supposed to out of it at the end. Sometimes it got way too rough. But what more can I say? I like this.

I went home the next morning, cleaned myself up and went to work. It's so weird bouncing past Cyndi, probably with this "I got laid last night" smirk on my face, trying to hide my pride-shame over the fact that it's her ex that I was with. I may not be head-over-heels in love with the guy, but he was too good for her. I think I deserve this.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Todd: The High Road

I almost named this entry after a song by Matthew Good, "Us Remains Impossible." It doesn't literally describe the situation between me and Alia, but it's... it's not far off.

We've been sheepishly nudging our way back to coupledom for weeks, but between her trying to get her life back on track, me working, and the beginning of the school year, there's very little time for fun in Toddworld.

I'm back at University, trying to work off those last few credits to earn my bachelor's degree. There's no desperate need for this. I don't think it'll help me go further in my career, whatever it ends up being. If anything, it's just a way to stall for time while I figure out what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. I wish I had a more positive view on the situation, but some old negative feelings have been bubbling to the surface since I've re-enrolled. A lot of doubt.

Not to mention, Bry and I are still trying to work on musical pursuits. We've actually been working on a few new songs, and Bry in particular has had a burst of creativity apparently since getting back from the Inn, dating Crystal, and everything. Most tellingly is the refrain to his latest composition, "Temporary:"

You knew the deal
it wasn't real
it was onlyyyyyyyyyyyy

I'd give you more, but I wouldn't want to spill too much, since it's a work in progress. He howls those lines with a kind of bitterness that suggest he's trying to convince himself. I haven't discussed it yet with him, but I suspect those are his feelings about Crystal. He's even more commitment-shy than I was, and it seems to be him raking himself over the coals for pushing Crystal back to the Inn. The riff he came up with is pretty intense.

Anyway, we've been working on stuff, rehearsing covers and the like, but I guess we're not ready to start begging for gigs yet. Bry doesn't want to do any shows unless we have a drummer, but most of our usual drummer-friends are otherwise engaged or not interested in the drama that seems to follow us around. Can't say I blame them, and they don't even know the half of it.

I should probably quit the music store job. It would free up a lot of time for school, music and of course Alia. But as painful as it is to keep doing a job you hate... it's money (which of course equals freedom and potential) and when I'm at that noisy, busy, chaotic-ass store, I feel more centered than I do anywhere else.

So basically I've taken this time to tell you "In case your wondering, life's tough." Suck it up, Todd. At least you're not anybody's mom anymore.

Haha, yeah. In my weaker moments, I fantasize about running away to the inn again, getting dropped in someone's life who already has their shit figured out. Old, young, male, female, I feel like at this point I could handle anything. Fake my way through a career. Become one of those "traveler" people Alia was describing back in July. Part of me could do it. Part of me would want to.

But that's the easy way, and for once I don't feel like doing that. I'm here, I'm committed, let's do that.

Oh, and Tori-- congratulations. This song's for you, girl. Whatever you end up doing with yourself (or others) in your time as Tori, that's your call, and don't let yourself forget that. you're in control, and I'm glad to see you acting like it.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tori C: Third.

Every time I try to tell this story, I stop myself. Maybe out of embarrassment, or confusion or over-analytical-ness. There's so much going on in my head even now that I can't put into words, so for now I'm just going to give you the facts.

I ran into a familiar face at the bar Friday night. I was not at my usual bar, I was somewhere else, with Daniel. I was worrying about how I'd be getting home when I noticed this guy: Leo, Cyndi's boyfriend.

The amount of irritation I felt at this point was unbearable. If he was there, I reasoned she must be nearby. I wanted to find her and scream at her, call her out for being a two-faced bitch. We've just been giving each other the cold shoulder at work, but having a few drinks in me made me somewhat belligerent. So I went over to his table and asked where she was. Demanded to know.

He said, laconically, that he didn't know, and took a sip. I asked why not, and he said "Probably because she's not my girlfriend, she's my ex."

That took the wind out of me.

I didn't know Leo very well, but on the occasions that I'd talked to him, I thought he was a good dude. Quite polite, kinda funny, a bit of a sci-fi fan. Someone I probably would've liked, as Cliff. But it takes a minute for rage to dissipate, so I just stood there in my skirt feeling awkward for a minute before he asked if I'd like to have a drink. It was last call and I was out of money.

When you're a girl, being out of money doesn't necessarily mean you don't drink any more.

He went over the general details of his break-up with Cyndi, which pretty much conformed to my opinion that she's just a bitch who isn't good with people. He wondered why he had put up with her so long, and I told him it's okay, guys often make fools of themselves for a hot girl who isn't worth it. I said that a number of guys had done that for me, thinking of Buddy in particular.

He said he disagreed that I "wasn't worth it." This was the first of a number of not-so-subtle flirtations between him and me.

He offered to split a cab back home. As we live in opposite directions, I made an alternative proposal, and asked whether he'd be interested in having a drink at my place. He declined, saying he had to be up early to go golfing the next day.

So he suggested his place.

In the cab on the way over, I had a lot of time to try to gather my wits and figure out what my endgame was. What did I hope to achieve? I still hadn't figured it out when we got to the door, even though he had his arm around me.

The moment we got inside, without hesitation, I kissed him. Why dance around it? Why stall? That was what I'd come for. That was what I wanted. I don't know why I wanted it or what it means that I wanted it, but there we were, his lips on mine, my neck bent up at his 6' face. His arms wrapped low around my hips, fingers just at the edge of my bum. A little voice in my head going "Go, girl!"

It wasn't terribly romantic. Maybe even a bit rushed. We were on his couch soon, making out like a couple of over-eager tenth graders (not that I'd know, I was more into computer club back then.) The whole time, part of my mind keeps going "What now, what next??" while the other part is screaming "More!!"

He indicated his bedroom. I said okay, let's go. When we got in, I began to undress, very hurriedly. I was down to my bra and panties when he said "Hold on. You know this isn't serious right?"

"Not serious?"

"I mean, just a fling. Casual. Rebound stuff."

"Oh. Yeah. Sure." It felt odd to me -- I don't know what I was expecting, or why I was disappointed that he didn't want it to be "serious." But I pushed that thought aside and went over to him. He was in his boxers. The sight definitely has a different effect on me than it used to.

I made a grab for it. His thing. Felt so silly, holding it from this angle, trying to treat it delicately. It was intimidating, and weird and... not wrong but just so unreal-looking from this angle. It was a perspective I've tried to imagine many times, but was still unprepared for.

I took a look at it. As hot as I was, the rational, over-analytical part of my brain had to break the moment. "Nnn... not that. not yet. Third. Third base. Okay?"

He looked at me, at first a little put-off, but ultimately accepting. "Okay." He pulled my panties off and put his head between my legs and... oh lord... I've never felt like such a girl, squealing and moaning, not necessarily because he was doing such a good job, but because he was there, not me by myself.

After a while, I began to feel guilty for the whole thing being one-sided. When I felt like he'd reached a good stopping point, I told him "okay!" and he pulled his head up. Then I had to figure out how to hold up my end of the bargain. I'd already ruled out one way. The other ways scared me just as much. Maybe I'm just naive, since other girls seem perfectly fine with this, and considering what he'd just done for me, reciprocation seemed polite.

With it looking me right in the eye, I made a split decision, and I... I licked it. Like an ice cream cone. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be done, since I never even got one, but I stalled with that as long as I could, while I thought "Am I really just supposed to shove it in my mouth? Is that... do people like that?" Mostly, I just used my hand. And then after a minute, I began to think "Shit, he knows I'm doing it wrong, he totally knows!" and just as I was getting ready to bite the bullet (so to speak: I know you're not actually supposed to bite) he came. Just like that. A little bit got on me and I tried not to be too grossed out.

I just stared at it, as it went limp in my hand. How odd. It all felt so familiar, yet so far away. As he groaned quietly to himself my mind re-asserted itself and told me I had just made some kind of big step. There wasn't a whole lot of doubt that I'd enjoyed it, but it didn't stop me from wondering what it was all supposed to mean.

I ended up sleeping there, next to him, in my panties and undershirt. For half the night he kept his arm around me and I couldn't sleep. Then he slipped it out and rolled over to his other side and I was finally able to drift off. When I woke up, he had rolled back over and was poking me.

As he and I dressed, we discussed the terms of our, uh, actions. We decided it would be best if we didn't go talking about this, because neither of us wanted the drama that would follow, especially if it got back to Cyndi. Personally, even though Sara and Raine already think of me as a rather sexual being, I still felt like I'd be embarrassed if they knew what I'd done. It was one thing for them to have knowledge of the old Tori's deeds, but this new one is... well, I just didn't want to deal with it.

But it's done. Whether he and I will be doing it again, I don't know. He hasn't called. I'm kind of dreading it, if he does. It all happened so fast, I'm not sure what he thinks of me now, and if I regret anything, it's that this is the first time I've really fit the stereotype of what people think when they see me.

But I did enjoy the feeling of having someone physically... tending to me. I've resisted it so long because I'm so suspicious of what kinds of guys I've been attracting, but the game might be changed.

On Sunday, I sent an e-mail to Buddy. I had been thinking about him all weekend, about how close we came to being a thing, but because I was still almost-a-guy-again, I resisted. Now that that's not the case, I just... well, I wanted to check in on him.

He hasn't gotten back to me yet.