Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cliff/Tori: At home

I'm aware of how sad it is that I'm here on a Saturday night writing this. Hell, if I'd wanted to spend my Saturday night (the night before Valentine's) sitting in front of a TV screen or a computer monitor, I could've kept my penis.

I mean, sure I could get out (Snowmageddon notwithstanding) but where would that get me? there's no such thing as an innocent night out when you look like this. I even went bowling a couple weeks ago with Sara, Raine and Cyndi -- girls night out -- and we still got male attention. And hell, part of me likes it. A lot of these guys are the guys I would feel like I was in competition with a year ago, guys who under normal circumstances would have an easy time with a girl like Tori but have no idea what to with me. And in a weird, perverse way, I get some satisfaction out of that. It's horrible, it's manipulative, I know, but if they could see it from my side, if they knew who they were talking to, I think they'd understand. But there's nothing I can say to them.

But it's about keeping a balance. I would be miserable in my past life (I wanted to say my "real" life, but let's face it, for now, this really is my real life) spending a night like this, but I'm comfortable here. The bra is off, the comfy hoodie is on, so are the fuzzy socks and the pj bottoms. I am in for the night. Which makes me the only Pearce to do so, as the parents are out on date night, and Mae is off with her boyfriend. Seems like an ideal moment to go on a date with myself, but I'm saving that for later.

The mind boggles. From a guy, you wouldn't wanna hear about that stuff. Alia knows what I mean. Nothing fancy about a guy jerking off, but a girl, it's very romantic. It feels romantic.

Sad but true: I'm only a few drinks and one bad decision away from being one of those girls who guys pay to see fondle themselves on webcams. Except I think those girls talk dirty to the guys too, and I wouldn't know what to say. If I could pretend like nobody was watching, I might be able to go through with it, but in reality I am way too self-conscious.

Tori writes about doing it. She started seeing this boy in 11th grade, and started doing it on a whim because something about him made her want to (to put it vaguely.) And about two months into their relationship she gave him her virginity, and then it took a long while for him to live up to the expectation she had created for herself.

The thing that really struck me about Tori's writing occurs sometime after that, when it was over between her and this boy. before the end of that school year, her friend Danny, the boy she'd carried a torch for pretty much the whole time, even when she was dating other people, came out to her as gay. And she pours her heart out to the diary about how brave he was for doing that and how proud she was, but also surprised, and she admits with a significant amount of shame that this doesn't change her feelings toward him.

And then he flat-out disappears from the diary.

She doesn't write anything new about him, not to the point I've read. He just drops out of her life. No references. Then she starts hanging out more with Sara and Raine (Sara, practically a stranger, Raine, a somewhat annoying acquaintance until then.) More talk about fashion and style than before, less introspection.

It's like she cut herself off from her feelings. Maybe she couldn't live with her feelings for Danny knowing they could never be together. Maybe she just toughened her shell, became more of a well, a cliche.

Well, I can only speculate. I am curious enough to want to ask but I know it must be a sensitive subject. We all are entitled to our secrets and if this is something she kept from her diary maybe it's not meant for me to know anyway. I feel like, at this point, I've gotten to know this girl whose body I've been living in all these months.

My God, how long it's been.

It will always be etched into my memory, the sudden realization one morning that everything about me had changed, as my t-shirt was loose against my suddenly flabby, swollen chest and my slim shoulders... the feeling of my long hair against my face... the curious lack of testicles hanging off my groin. I'm not that person anymore, none of that is shocking to me anymore, but for so long, I couldn't pull up a pair of panties or zip up a pair of tight jeans without feeling somewhere in the back of my head that I was going to snag something, that I was bundling myself up too tight down there, even though I knew perfectly well there was nothing to worry about bundling.

Oh, I remember it all, and I wish I'd had the presence of mind to write it all down on this blog (I did make a few notes privately by hand, but looking over them they are largely under-detailed.) I remember when I first looked at myself in the mirror naked I utterly wanted to cry. No, this can't be happening, the mirror is wrong. but look down, look through your own cleavage and you will get an unobstructed view of the floor between your feet. Now that's just then daily view for me. I'm totally bemused by the entire setup. "Oh, yeah, looking good today, boobs. Might give the pubes a trim later."

Comfort. At first I felt utterly oppressed by the bra. How could I not? Panties are one thing. You barely notice there's anything different between a standard-cut panty and a men's brief, since there's nothing to really gauge the difference by. But the bra, that was just so... I mean, I resented having these two bags of flesh hanging off my body to start with, the last thing I wanted was to make them look all perky and appealing, and strain my shoulders with straps. And then one day I got out of the shower, and I thought to myself, "God, these things are just hanging there." So life has a funny way of making you change your viewpoint, especially after your body's changed.

All these things I remember from the first few weeks like they were a whole other lifetime. It's been a growing process, but it's like I changed twice, once in my body, once in my mind.

I had to get really comfortable with my body before I could do what I did on January 1st. It goes beyond dressing nice and doing one's hair. I had actually tried to start it during one of those hectic "Oh God what is going on" days back in summer. It was a typically male "Might as well try this" moment, since it had been such a huge part of my life as a guy, but it was almost too good, it freaked me out after just a little touch because I really did not want to enjoy myself. So even as I grew more and more comfortable with my body, it wasn't until Thanksgiving that the idea even re-occurred to me as something I would actually want to try, and then over six weeks later before I actually tried it because, well, sometimes you just need to wait for the right time. You need to feel at home.

And now I do feel at home. Because as weird as all that body stuff was, that was private: the really tough part was feeling safe and secure in this house. For so long, I felt like the stranger in the house, the liar, the fake. Like they were looking at me, sizing me up, compiling mental evidence that I was their fake daughter. I wanted to get out and stay out as much as I could, hence my drinking nights with the girls (and their boys.) But now that time has passed and I know when I'm getting my body back (knock on wood) I feel comfortable just relaxing and being... myself. I like Mr. and Mrs. Pearce a lot, and Mae and I have really grown close. She's the little sister I never had.

What bothers me is the obvious fact that it's not me they care for, it's the person they think I am. At the end of the day, I don't see myself as that girl. I'm just a girl who looks like her. I'm both at home, and not at home. But I'm trying to make the best of it.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if life can keep going like this until July, but I have my routine, and I like it. I'm comfortable here, which is so weird to say, but I think you know what I'm getting at. It's not like an earthquake destroyed my house: I have food and clothes and something to do with my time. My life could be a lot worse right now.

One last thing I want to say before I leave is that I think maybe Alia gave the wrong impression of the conversation we had about hypothetically having sex. It's not like I went over there with the intention of seducing him. But I'm a girl and he's a guy, and whether I have sex with a guy while I'm in this body is my decision, because I definitely know that if I wanted it, I could. I've entertained the notion of having sex with a male partner; I've also entertained the notion of having sex with a female partner, but I don't have much in the way of options there. I think Alia and I agreed that it would mess things up for Rob and Tori if we were to do it with each other, but that wouldn't stop it from messing things up for ourselves, which I kind of get. I feel like I could handle it, if it was him and me. Five months is a long time to be left to my own devices. I feel like that would just take the pressure off (as well as get everyone off my back about finding someone.) But he trusts that I am a strong enough person that I don't need that... and hopefully he's right.

And if he thinks I think about sex a lot... he should meet Raine. Or Sara. Or 18-year-old Tori for that matter.


Todd said...

Yes, but I think the crucial point here is... why does everyone want to have sex with my girlfriend all of a sudden?

(And yeah, I'm reading the blog at midnight on Saturday because hey, I'm watching over a pregnant lady here.)

Alia said...

You're welcome to come down here and have a go-round, hon, anytime you like.