So when I said goodbye to the Inn i took the train from Old Orchard Beach to the Portland Maine airport. After connecting at Boston Logan, Atlanta, and Tupelo Mississippi I was finally able to fly into tiny and new Oxford airport.
When I was deciding on becoming Dee, one of the biggest logistical concerns was living in Mississippi. I, like many Americans, look down on that state with a certain level of derision and superiority because of the reputation and stereotypes that have become attached to it (some of which were earned, btw). But Oxford is different. Its a college town, home to the University of Mississippi, or as the locals call it "Ole Miss" because 10 syllables is a lot of work. For that reason, Oxford is a lot more progressive than the rest of the state. Its not unlike Evanston, IL in terms of its layout and design. And the people here tend to be working hard to shake the stereotypes of hick Mississippians and move the state forward. Its kinda like Austin in Texas. If a Chicago yankee like me had to pick one city in Mississippi to live in, Oxford would be it.
Dee had told me that my new car was in spot number 583 in the airport parking lot, and thats where if found a silver 2002ish Toyota Camry. I dont know if I ever went into detail about it, but Im kind of car buff. I didnt drive much when I was living in Chicago but when I did I had a 1967 Mustang that my father and I restored. Between the sentimental memories and the fact that it hauled ass, I loved that car and really miss it. I dont know if the real Dee took it with her when she and Heather ran away or if its just sitting in its parking garage but I dont have a key nor a way to transfer title, so its on the long list of things that are lost to me. Driving Priya's BMW for past year was a nice consolation prize, but a Toyota Camry is just bleh. Its not like its a bad car, its just not really an exciting car. The slogan for the damn thing should be "Camry: Just a car".
Anyway, the thing did have a GPS in it, so I was able to just input the address I had for Dee's house. The place is actually pretty big. Not mansion big, 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, but thats a lot bigger than the artists loft I had been living in. The reason for this, is because about 8 months before her trip to the inn, Dee had gotten divorced, and apparently she got the house in the settlement.
My first reaction upon entering the house was how empty it was. Dee had a kid but it was grown up and out of the house, leaving her all by her lonesome here. My 2nd reaction was how messy it was. I dont think Susan cleaned AT ALL for like 2 weeks before leaving for Maine. I wouldnt either, of course. Its not like shed have to clean up the mess. I kept Priya's place tidy as a courtesy to her, but Susan reads the blog and knew what a bitch Dee was, and apparently wasnt too concerned about keeping the house tidy. Add to that the fact that the place had been sitting vacant for about a month, which led to a pretty unpleasant smell. I spent my first weekend down here cleaning it from top to bottom, which also gave me a pretty good idea of the layout of things.
The following Monday, I put on one of her many drab women's suits and headed into work. When I first talked to Dee she mentioned she was in insurance, which led me to believe she worked for an insurance company (a fact that made a lot of sense when she turned into a hell spawned bitch). Turns out she actually processes and prepares insurance claims made by and against the University, so "work" is actually a small office in the administrative building of campus. And being summer, there are very few of those to do, meaning Ive been able to adapt pretty well to the job by taking it slow. Like most office work its kind of repetitive and once you get the hang of it youre golden. Not like teaching where you had to be on every day.
Other than working Ive spent the last month or so learning the layout of Dee's life. Meeting her friends, which outside of a few acquaintances and neighbors and co-workers, there arent very many. Learning where everything is in the city. Catching up on bills, which wasnt hard because Susan was nice enough not to drain the account so paychecks and alimony checks were in there waiting to be used. I was ready just to zone out and live life as Dee when I got bored and started reading the blog again.
Reading about Alia's recent posts gave me an idea. Hope even. I know from the way she describes him, Fletcher is kind of a creep, but he's got a pretty good idea. I had never thought of being a "traveler". The idea of going to the inn every year and trying out a new body never crossed my mind or appealed to me. But given my current situation it actually seems enticing. Its not like I could never be happy living in Mississippi, but the face in the mirror still brings back memories of what ive lost and Im not sure that would ever stop.
Having been in 3 different bodies the past 3 years has already kind of gotten me used to it. And Im less afraid of the consequences of the Inn than I was before, not to mention the fact that if I dont like the body of the luggage in the room, I can always bolt.
Its weird thinking this way, but its become pretty clear to me that my destiny is to become a traveler like Fletcher, or that other couple that was mentioned before. It gives me a lot more control over things than just being forced by default into Dee's body.
So thats what Im gonna do for the next year. Go through the motions, enjoy myself as much as I can, and see where the wind takes me next time. Im less mad at the blog than I was before, since the blog is what tipped me off to the concept of "traveling". I'm gonna see if I can get in contact with Alia for more information, but until then, Ill keep on posting about the events of my current life
PS: Didi is what ive decided to call myself in this body. Dee reminds me too much of its original occupant and Dolores literally means "pains". So I looked up nicknames and among the human sounding ones were Dolly, Didi, Lola, and Lolita. Dolly sounds TOO southern, I dont look like a Lola and Im DEFINITELY not a Lolita, so Didi it is, at least until fate changes it.