Early January, as I guess readers of this blog know, means the Inn starts taking reservations.
There was something so pulse-pounding about calling in and confirming my dates. Following Todd's advice, Alia and I have been in contact with Crystal and Willy, respectively. Willy has been so good and reassuring. Alia, as you can guess from Todd's last post, has some issues with Crystal, but they are cordial to one another. As the one of the group who works evenings rather than days, I was elected to make the call and book the block -- three sessions in the same two rooms. Greg was right about the chain links being so hard to organize, but somehow, it looks like we are going to make it.
I asked Tori about the original Costases. Apparently they have not been as good about keeping contact though, and I guess the Costases will not be able to take advantage of this situation, which is unfortunate. About Willy and Crystal's original bodies, I also have no idea. It's all I can do to focus on the people on either side of me.
As much as my credit card was reamed by the booking fees -- some paid in advance, others owe me (or Tori) some considerable cash -- when I hung up after confirming the dates (late July for yours truly) I wanted to scream with delight. I haven't imagined myself in my own body in weeks, but suddenly it's all I could think about. And suddenly all the unbearable stuff about Tori's life, Tori's body, Tori's identity, it's just something I have to wait out. I'm getting out. It's really happening. I hope.
Which kind of makes me feel a bit insecure about how I behaved over the holidays.
On New Year's Eve I was deep in Tori mode. I go through these phases where I allow my body, my current identity, to completely overrule my male instincts and thought patterns. It's been that way practically since I started being this way, but it's really been driving me nuts since Thanksgiving. It's not like I'm pretending to be something I'm not. I'm a girl, and I'm being more and more aware of what that means, trying to understand and accept the needs that go along with that.
When she was 15, Tori described, in her diaries, this intense desire to be with her friend Danny. Hell, the passion, the detail she ascribes to it comes so close to the brink of pornographic as she imagines herself messing around with him. I've behaved myself so far. I'm a responsible person, I think.
It's not fair that I don't feel as attracted to women as I used to. How did that happen? Is it because they're not acting like I should be? They act so different around me; their boobs and faces and bodies are all like I remember, but there is zero sexual tension there. I remember being pushed down against my bed in Buffalo, Willy in my body running my hands up my legs, my hands coming so close to that piece of my body I've known so well. There's nothing wrong with being a girl who wants to have a piece of a guy, right? Todd, help me out here, if you're reading.
Since I had no date, and have been outspoken about my "celibacy," I was the designated driver for Raine, Sara and Thom. We met up with Cyndi and her boyfriend Leo at a pub, a big bash there. Raine immediately goes off to work her feminine wiles. Sara and Thom split a pitcher and are all over each other by the time they order a second. Cyndi and Leo are more civil.
I was left to my own devices, saved from wallflower status only by the fact that I am a pretty girl who appears unattached in a bar. If only there was something about me as Cliff that was attractive to women as Tori's breasts are to men. That was a complicated sentence, but I think you know what I mean.
That may be the problem with boobs (I mean, now that I am used to having them and the way my clothes stretch over them and wearing a bra.) They may not be the biggest, but they're so well shaped and my cleavage was looking so good. Guys love them; I do too. I've gotten used to the eerie feeling of not being looked in the eye when men talk to me. But they don't come with a sign that says "No Jerks Allowed."
Worse yet, I haven't learned, the way some girls do, how to judge the jerks from the non-jerks right off. Some guy comes up to me and offers me a drink and I'm just like "Hey, he can't be that bad," even though I'm not drinking. And I waste the better part of an hour while this guy tells me about his car. and I know that I'm really a guy, but I'm not a car guy, and do any girls want to hear about a guy's car? And he's really glommed onto me and I don't know how to get away. I don't have the skills for this, and he smells like body spray. After a while of this, he floats the idea of sharing a midnight kiss, (with obvious implications beyond that) and Ican feel my stomach turn.
By the time he starts trying to get handsy, I'm about ready to punch him out, except I can't, I'm just cowering. Luckily, Raine somehow spotted my predicament and pulled me away to the ladies room.
"Dude, what the hell is going on with that guy?" she asked me.
"I don't know, I couldn't get away from him."
"Since when have you had a problem ditching losers? God, it's like you've totally lost your shit."
"I did lose my shit, Raine."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
I facepalm. I wanted to admit all my fakeness at this point, "I'm just... horny, and it's messing with my head."
"Well, you should've warned me. It's not safe to go out there without a game plan."
It's sad. All this scheming and conniving to get away from guys is exactly the kind of thing I hated when I was on the other side. I was the loser, I was the guy women needed to get away from. I never felt like I was getting a fair shake. But this only occurred to me afterward. At the time I was really gung ho to kick the loser to the curb.
We started dancing together to put on a show for all the horny males in the room, to intimidate them. It wasn't that long ago that when I danced I looked like a total spastic, limbs flailing in all directions. I think I've gotten a little better, or at least I don't care so much now... I know a bit more about how to work it. If you know I'm still an awkward white guy, you could still see it, but it's an improvement, and when a girl's got a little jiggle, they'll forgive it.
Then after a while of sweaty grinding, the sound cut out and the countdown began. The loser was nowhere in sight, and then somehow, maybe because she was drunk and uninhibited, Raine pulled me in and gave me a kiss (grabbing my boob for good measure.)
Well what could I do? I was all hot from the dancing and the atmosphere of the room, and generally confused anyway, so I went with it. It lasted a bit longer than it probably should have. It was a real Katy Perry moment.
And then the music starts off and she resumes her flirting with guys, ignoring me for the rest of the night, like none of it ever happened.
For the rest of the night, I was hanging out with Leo and Cyndi, who have the courtesy to refrain from pawing each other the way Sara and Thom do in public.
I didn't have the energy to go back to the dancefloor much after that, collecting up my friends around 1:30 for a relatively early ride home. Raine had found herself a guy, as per usual, so we left her. The whole way, drunk-Cyndi was verbally abusing me and Leo, which he apologized profusely for. "She gets like this." No wonder they weren't so hot and heavy at the party.
When I got home, I flopped down on the bed. I was on the brink of tears once again. I could feel my eyes watering. What a way to end 2009. There are times when I think how amazing this experience is, but as often as not it's a pain in the ass. What was I thinking? I'm not a hook-up kind of person, even in this body.
"Get ahold of yourself, Tori," I told myself... don't ask why but I find it far too awkward to refer to myself as "Cliff" even in my private moments. Cliff doesn't have long hair, doesn't have beautiful eyes, doesn't have nice tits.
I slowly peeled my shirts off. Let my jeans fall to the floor. Reaching back with one hand, I unclasped my bra, letting it fall away. I lay on my bed, letting my breasts flop upward. I rested my right hand on my left breast and began to massage and slid my left hand into my panties. I've been thinking about this for a while and it's only out of fear and awkwardness (I live in a house full of strangers who are relatives) and had to figure out on the spot where to touch, where to put my fingers, how deep to go. How fast I wanted to do it. A feeling of warmth, of excitement flushed through my body with my two hands working in rhythm... God, it was like nothing else. I wanted to scream out, but all that I could manage was a quiet, high-pitched squeal, and then... then I stopped.
I just sat up and started laughing. My sheets were damp; I needed to set them aside for laundry and get fresh ones set after cleaning off. But like I said, at that moment, I was just laughing at myself. So caught up, so carefree. Oh, God. What a moment.
Laughter gave way to embarrassment and a whole host of other mixed emotions because I couldn't help but feel like somewhere, somebody knew what I was up to. And now you all do.
It's good, though. Real good. I've got a whole seven months of it left, if I want.