I'm packing for Houston. The company I'm interviewing with wants to meet me in person, which I guess is a good sign. It certainly says a lot about where I am in my life that this is a decision I have to make.
The further I go from the East coast, the further I go from the Trading Post Inn, the life I used to live in Buffalo, and the one I've come to like as Tori, and the closer I get to having a future with Buddy, having a career and living in a new phase of my life.
Is two years long enough to forget who I was? Is six months of a relationship long enough to make this kind of choice? Is there any reason to do it other than that? Do I want this job? Do I want this life? Like I've said before, I wish someone would make the decision for me. I certainly never made the decision to become Tori, nor to keep being her after the first year, but it's worked out for the best. If you knew my track record as Cliff, you'd know it's not impressive. If I uproot myself for Buddy, and it doesn't work out... it could destroy me, emotionally at least. But I can't let this fear stop me from taking a chance on something good, at least that's what Alex is telling me. He's so supportive.
I look over at my suitcase at the end of my bed, at the clothes I've folded up into it, all the cleavage-baring tops and low-rise jeans and clean panties... when I first inherited Tori's wardrobe, I didn't know what to make of any of it. Now I spend my days surrounded by it, helping other women size themselves up and accessorize, and I don't feel the slightest bit self-conscious pulling on a cute pair of frilly undies. Buddy still makes fun of me, despite this, because he sees me as boyish because I cut my hair and read Sci-Fi.
If I don't get this job, I've been thinking about breaking up with him. I'm not sure there would be any point. I'll have to see how I feel about him when I get there. Lately, the distance thing has made him so paranoid and difficult to deal with, but we still have our good times. He's been asking about another video of me "going to town" on myself, but I've been reluctant. I tease him, saying he can wait for the real thing, but there's a darker reality.
Mae started dating this guy. She introduced him to neither me nor our parents, which I guess is fine, I could've seen myself wanting that level of privacy if I'd dated in high school. The problem is, she took some pics of herself for him -- not nudes, thank God, but very revealing -- and I guess they hit a rough patch since they ended up as attachments in a mass e-mail. Even I got them.
She has a pretty cavalier attitude about it... she's hurt, but not as pissed as she ought to be. Mom and dad were ticked, though, and Mae has asked about staying with me, and I haven't explained the likelihood that I won't be in Philly much longer. She knows something's up, but I haven't talked it out with the family the way I probably should have. It's a remnant of my upbringing, where we didn't talk about anything in the family unless it was an absolute necessity.
Anyway. I don't want that to be me. I felt personally betrayed when those pictures of Mae came out, and I don't even know the guy. I like to think I can trust Buddy, but can I trust him to delete that video of me if we break up? Am I going to let myself be held hostage because of a stupid mistake I made when I was drunk/lonely/horny?
If I'm having these thoughts, is it really smart to be considering moving forward with this relationship? Or can I go on selling skirts and shoes the rest of my life?