Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shaun/Doug - First fight

I don't know what to think. A month ago, I was in Massachusetts, recently dumped -- left at the altar -- and now I'm in California playing house.

Doug lives with his wife Nia in a decent house in the Valley. I really like the California weather. It'll be interesting to see what a winter's like without snow. There are plenty of upsides to this life. I thought the store Doug manages was a hardware store, but it's more of a general supermarket/pharmacy/everything store, kind of a local Wal-Mart knockoff we don't have out east. Doug outlined his basic duties and adapting hasn't been all that hard. The day-to-day stuff isn't that bad. Mostly people know their jobs and I can walk around figuring out where everything goes and who does what. Luckily, the staff all wears nametags to keep track of that sort of thing.

That's not what worries me about being Doug. He left his life in decent shape and I'll be happy keeping it as stable as I can until we can change back. There are just bigger issues to deal with.

That would be the wife. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I literally just got out of a long term relationship with the woman I thought I was going to marry. I'm not really "up" for being someone's husband.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be good at it. I've cohabitated for years. I loved not only my ex, but the whole feeling of having someone at home, someone around to talk to, to share interests, to be with. But that's only when you're ready for it. When you know and trust the person. This lady... I don't know. Although I can't say I blame her for acting standoffish toward me.

She's a nurse. Whereas I'm keeping business hours, she's out all the time. The first week, I hardly saw her. But she didn't make a great first impression.

I don't blame her for it. Her husband disappeared to the other side of the country for what, three weeks, a month, with no word why, and I wasn't exactly armed with the greatest excuses. Anthony cooked us up a cover story that Zane -- my "sister" Clara -- had gotten sick, but that just irritated Nia.

The thing is, she's totally right. Relationships need trust, and it looks like Doug broke that even though he didn't mean to. I just have to bear the brunt of her wrath, and that sucks, because I'm really not in the mood to take the heat for something so far beyond my control or even understanding. I can't tell her I'm not her husband, I can't explain why "I" was so late in coming home. All I can do is promise it won't happen again, even though I can't promise anything of the sort.

I sat there, listening sullenly as she ranted and raved at me -- having just gotten off a long shift, understandably overflowing with rage -- then she stopped and said "Well, are you going to say anything for yourself? Make some smartass comment?"

I just held my tongue and said "No. You're completely right."

This led her to chewing me out for not holding my ground. I tell you, I'll never understand women. When I didn't fight back even then, she stopped. "I guess you must mean it, if you're not going to try to defend yourself."

I didn't say anything more except, "Do you want me to sleep on the couch?"

She twisted her mouth. "After the past few weeks? I'm not spending another night in bed alone. Come on."

She led me up to bed. I was worried she was going to want me to be intimate, which I'm really not in the mood for. I don't know what Doug would think, but I don't know if it's my place to avoid it forever either.

Instead, all we did was crawl into bed in our pajamas, which is definitely something I could handle. After all the craziness of my life the past few weeks, I was glad to be in bed with another human. To feel her body close to me, to hear her breath as she sleeps. It was like sharing a bed platonically with Lisa back in Maine.

I barely slept that night. By the time I did wake up, she was already gone.

Between you and me, she's pretty easy on the eyes. She keeps in shape and has a beautiful dark complexion that I later learned was from being mixed African-American and Caucasian. If I saw her in public I'd definitely give a second look.

I feel a little sleazy for saying that, though. That's another man's wife.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Greg/Alexis: Finding Things

When you become someone else via the Trading Post Inn, you dont just get their body. Theres an expectation that you get their life too. That you get plopped into the same situation that they were in and have to start making your own way of it. This includes usually a new location, a new job, and new friends. It also means you get to use all of their stuff. I dont just have Alex Barco's eyes, hair, and tits, Ive also got her house, awesome computer, and SUV.

This leads to a sense of novelty that takes a bit of time to wear out. Where you live becomes a really furnished hotel, with a whole life's worth of stuff. This can make finding something you need a difficult task. Like when I went to go play tennis with Annabelle over the weekend and couldnt find the racket. I didnt want to call the real Alexis over something so silly because its embarrassing. Also she has a husband and kids now that she doesnt want to get suspicious of the tons of phone calls from her never before mentioned friend in Vermont, so I try not to call her unless its late at night.

The need to find a tennis racket caused me to do some serious rooting around my new place. I looked in the closets, basement, crawl space and garage. Found all sorts of old clothes and stuff, A few diaries that the girls kept from a long time ago A bunch of awesome retro videogame systems, and in a small box in the back of the bedroom closet was a box full of *ahem* "toys". All the rummaging attracted the curiosities of Malinda.

"What are you looking for?"

"A tennis racket, and probably some balls and stuff"

"Why?"

"To play tennis, duh"

"With who?"

"A friend"

"One of her friends"

"Yeah, I ran into her in the supermarket"

"And now youre playing tennis with her?"

"Yeah, I dont plan on staying inside all year like SOME people"

She stuck her tongue out at me but there was a hint of sadness in her face. I think the whole isolation thing is starting to wear on her. After I left her I finally found the tennis stuff in the garage crawl space. There were two bags, I figured correctly that the pink one belonged to Sharon and took the black one.

Sharon actually owns functional exercise wear, unlike any woman I'd ever been. I actually managed to go out exercising without showing off every curve I had. Bike shorts, sports bra, gym shorts and tank top and I was all set to play tennis at the health club with my new friend Annabelle.

I beat Annabelle there so I decided to do some stretching. I was even more flexible than I was as Priya, and that's from doing yoga for years. I've got a nice muscle tone to me, even after almost 2 months of not exercising regularly. I think that stems from natural metabolism and not eating like a pig. When Annabelle finally showed up I was warmed up I felt like I was about to test drive a new sports car.

I neglected to remember however that I knew very little about tennis technique. I was limited to mostly pickup games with friends but apparently Annabelle was hardcore about it and Alexis was on her level. I found myself to physically have no problem chasing down and getting to balls but when it came time to hit it my accuracy was terrible and I hit most of her serves out of bounds. To keep with the sports car analogy, it was like being handed the keys to a Lambourghini and not knowing how to drive a stick.

After getting destroyed 6-0, 6-0 Annabelle gave me some good natured bragging and asked if anything was wrong.

"Nothing, I think vacation threw my timing off" I said, vowing to myself to practice harder.

Then came the interesting part of the day. The locker room. A couple years ago I described going to a girls locker room when I was Priya as anticlimactic. Yes I could see everything but my body wasnt wired to appreciate it. Now here I was with the proper wiring and It was like a switch was flipped. Suddenly I remembered every thing I loved about the female body and was in aesthetic heaven. I just had to figure out how not to come off as the creepy lesbian leering at all the straight girls and making them nervous.

Showering was easy enough. There are little dividers between the showerheads and I was able to stare straight ahead and get myself washed up, but the changing room was a different story.

Annabelle was going off about something but I wasnt paying much attention. I was alternating between getting dressed and sneaking peeks at the people changing around me. Nobody noticed but i still felt a little guilty. Finally I decided to look at Annabelle when she was talking to me, but when I did she was standing there completely naked, as if it were the most natural thing. I tried to maintain eye contact but I did let my eyes wander to her chest and hips. She noticed this but didnt say anything. She smiled a bit and turned around, almost as if to say "check out the view from this angle". I dont know if thats what she meant, probably not. She's Sharon's friend too. I think my mind was just in the gutter. That whole hour or so was like the beginning of a porno movie.

When I got back Malinda was watching TV so I filled up the bathtub and proceeded to act out the middle of some porno movies. It was my first time as Alexis but I seemed to figure it out pretty quickly. After my bath I was so worn out from the tennis and the diddling I took the best nap ever.

So yeah. Thats what I did this weekend.

-Greg

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zane (Clara): Going to California

The transformation made me sick. I barely even remember getting my wits together to write that last post. I was on bedrest, throwing up, being tended to by my friends. I didn't understand what had happened to me, exhausted and dizzy.

Anthony later said he thought it was because of the shock of going from being Zane to being "Clara." I had been drinking heavily, and Clara's body is small and used to a vegan diet, and maybe the stuff I had put into my own body needed to be filtered out by whatever magical process transformed us. I don't know, it sounds as good of a theory as anything.

Anthony's a good guy, and when I could face him I told him flat out I didn't want to be "Clara." He reminded me I didn't have much of a choice. If he knew how to go back to his own body right away, he would. But we're stuck in these ones for now. I asked him what he was going to do, and he said "I'm going to be the best girl I can, because that's all I can do." I'm jealous of his confidence. I don't feel like I can pull this off, and I really don't want to have to.

Shaun and Lisa have it easy, they're still the same type of person they started out as. Shaun's taller than he used to be, a young, mid-20's decent-looking guy who looks like he has his life together: "Doug," my "brother." Lisa is a pretty young girl, like 18 or so, with long dark hair and a pretty nice body and Greek-looking features. "Eve."

Anthony ended up as "Eve's" sister, "Charlotte." She's about ten years older. The two of them are short, but Charlotte is curvier. I wouldn't say "fat" but she's got a huge bum, hips and big round boobs. I wonder what it would be like to be a girl like that, instead of a twig like Clara. She's pretty, too, I really like her face. Anthony has to wear glasses as her, though.

It's just so strange looking at these strangers and trying to see the people I know inside them. Lisa and Shaun have been quiet, but Anthony as always is a flurry of activity, arranging all of our ways home, keeping our shit together, reminding us who we are supposed to be. Then the fateful day came: "Okay, guys. We're flying to California."

I had put the finishing touches on my "My Life" letter, wondering if I'd ever be myself again... Anthony's read this blog and says it's possible, so I shouldn't give up hope. I didn't have a lot to say about myself, so I'm worried someone will just walk into my life and make it better and not want to leave. At the same time I can't just tell them "Keep collecting unemployment checks and applying for crappy jobs I didn't really want." Sorry, for a second there I felt like a loser.

I was a wreck for the flight out to California. Then I saw where I'll be living. It's like one of those reality TV houses, a big one not far from the beach, which Clara shares with 5 others. Anthony drove me home in Charlotte's car and led me up to my new room... clever guy, he asked one of Clara's housemates, "Hey, she's really a mess which room is hers?" so I wouldn't look totally clueless.

Before I knew it, a day had passed. I woke up the next morning and it still felt like someone was playing a joke on me... that I was only imagining I had this body, that I'm still a guy, I just can't feel my dick for some reason. I slipped my hand into my underpants, and... nothing but smooth flesh and a pair of soft lips.

Suddenly, I sat upright. Everything was real. This whole thing was happening whether I liked it or not. And I wish that meant this revelation meant I suddenly felt capable of living as Clara, but all it really meant was that I was finally capable of facing her in the mirror. I hadn't showered or cleaned myself in anyway since I was a guy and I felt rotten.

I peeked my head out the door and timidly tried every door until I found the washroom. I locked myself inside. I was in a white tee shirt and shorts. I've been nude in this body, but I hadn't really noticed it. I began to pace, hesitating at what I was about to do.

I stripped off the top and looked down. There they were, pointing outwards, a couple of firm, perky breasts blocking my view. I felt up under them with the palms of my hands, ran my fingers over their nipples. A shiver went up inside me. It's like... the most sensitive touch I've ever felt. Nothing in my old body would have sensed a feeling like that.

My eyes turned upward and faced the mirror, to the girl standing across from me cupping her breasts. I stepped closer and leaned over the sink to get a better look, feeling the flesh of my breasts hang low off me. I opened and closed my mouth, to remind myself I was in control of the girl in the mirror... mouthing, "Wow..." not at my looks, but just at... at the feeling of looking at someone else's body through their own eyes. Of being someone else. Of being in control of this.

I moved my one hand up to brush my hair behind my ear. I'm tanned, fairly evenly, with a few freckles, with sun-streaked sandy blonde hair over my ears. My eyes are deep blue, with a petite little nose beneath them, and rounded little lips. It was my biggest fear... Clara really is hot.

My mind flew back to the letter she left with her luggage, the novella she wrote about her life... she's a model, only part time but hoping to make it big. She's a goddamned model and even if she's not, like, 7 feet tall and stacked, she's still prettier than the average girl and seems to make a living being hot.

I turned the shower on full blast of cold, whipped my shorts down and climbed in, letting the water wash over my back. I just wanted to get numb again.

I got good and wet, ran my fingers through my hair, then shut the water off. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it under my arms, bundling my tits up and tiptoeing back to my room to hide from the world.

More later.
-Zane

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tori: Dive in

It feels a little insensitive to be posting about my relationship while there are people now posting on the blog who are -- essentially -- me, two years ago.

But I'm not that person anymore, and I can't promise any of you will be in two years, and I certainly can't promise any of you will be where I am in two years. Truthfully, I hope you all get your bodies back, and that if you can't, well, you would be very lucky to enjoy your lives as much as I do mine.

What I'm saying is, if you're new to this... maybe skip this entry. I'm supportive, but I do live my own life.

And that life has taken me into the awkward early phases of my nice new relationship.

We fumbled a bit on the follow-up. I'm used to being the girl now so I just expected he would call me, and I kept having to remind myself "Okay, he's just waiting a few days," like all guys do. But I was hoping he would skip over that because we're friends already, we're close, we should be past that.

I mean hell, right? This isn't some blind date, this isn't meeting and flirting and playing a game of who can seem cooler and make the other one want you. Right? We should both know the deal. We're us. We should be solid. But somehow, we can't get around the communication difficulties.

So Raine, still house sitting for her parents, hosted the annual pool party. I invited Mae along, but she pointed out that Raine's younger brother was her ex, and that might not be a great scene. Fair enough. I let her have the apartment for the day. In the end it was a smart idea, because Ed was there with a girl and I didn't want to see Mae's reaction to that.

I had asked Alex along too of course, and he gave me a strange wishy-washy answer. It's always hard to get him to come out to events involving Raine, Danny and others. I don't know why. I try to incorporate him into the whole group of friends, but he's resisting. So just as I'm ready to get mad at him, he says he promises to show up, later.

This was an irritating compromise, but I went with it, muttering angrily to myself. It feels like there's still a lot I don't know about his life or what he's doing when I'm not around. I try to push that out of my mind, not to be a clingy girlfriend or anything but I have a right to know, don't I?

So I got there around 1 in the afternoon and spent much of the day snacking and lying poolside in my bikini, wishing I had a man to lavish attention on me while I fine tune my tanlines and people horse around in the pool, including much of our social circle, Sara and Thom, and a few people I should know better by now but haven't made an effort, people left over from the original Tori's life.

We drank, we ate, I avoided going in the pool because I wasn't having much fun and just wanted to relax. Eventually I got pretty drunk and fell asleep. By the time I woke up, it was sundown, everyone had moved inside to dry off and eat more.

Alone in the backyard, I decided to dip my toe in the pool. It was nice. I walked over to the diving board and leaped in feet first. Very refreshing.

I pulled myself out and did a few more dives. It was in the course of this that my bikini top came... untied. Maybe my dives were just too intense.

I decided, hell, I'm alone out here, why not? I fished my top out and slung it onto the pool side and began doing topless laps.

Just then, I heard the gate open, and who should appear but the man himself, Alex.

I immediately pushed myself up against the edge of the pool to coyly guard my bare chest. "Well look who finally decided to show up?"

"Just like I said I would," he said with a smirk.

"Why not dive in? Water's nice."

"Oh I don't know..." he said, "I just ate a few hours ago, and they say you're supposed to wait 12 hours after eating to prevent cramps."

I laughed, "I think you got that turned around."

"Maybe. Why are you alone?"

"I keep asking myself the same question, especially when I'm supposed to have a boyfriend."

"Ooh, good one."

"If you see him, let him know I'm waiting."

"Maybe he just doesn't like swimming."

"Does he likes these?" I asked and backed away from the wall to give him a peek.

"He does..."

"Then maybe he should come in and get a better look."

"Or maybe he could wait for her to come out..." and with that, he picked my bikini top up by the strings and flung it further away from the pool.

I screamed out, "You jerk! Now I'm never coming out."

"Well then you're gonna get all pruney."

Slowly, I pulled myself up onto the ledge and let him get a good look at me. "Happy now?"

"Much happier..."

"I can tell," I said, looking down at the bulge in his shorts.

I was shivering, so I pressed myself against him. As he went to kiss me, I held my hands against his chest...

And pushed him right into the pool. Shoes, jeans and all.

He stayed under for a moment, then when he finally surfaced, started splashing, crying out, "I can't swim, I can't swim!"

A moment of panic seized me and I jumped back in the pool. "Don't struggle!" I said, pulling him back over to the shallow end. "You can stand now. Is that better? Oh, God I'm so sorry."

"Yeah, yeah," he gasped. "I mean, don't worry... I was a lifeguard." He said with an evil grin.

"You asshole!" I dunked him down under the water. He struggled a moment, then started tugging at my bottoms. That was when I let go and raced over to the deep end.

He followed, unbuckling his wet pants and tossing them and his shirt over to the poolside area. When he came over to me, I was ready to stop playing. We started to kiss, floating in the water. With the water, he gave my boobs a really authentic motorboat. Things were going even further when I heard the back door slide open.

Raine appeared before us. "Sorry to interrupt... but there's big news. Thom and Sara just got engaged!"

I stopped what I was doing and pulled myself out of the pool. "Oh my God I'm so embarrassed, Raine would you hand me my towel?"

Without averting her eyes from me, she chucked a towel my way. "Jeez, Tori, such a show off."

I dried off and went in to congratulate it. It was such a weird moment, because I've known them and loved them since I became Tori, I've seen the entire span of their relationship... in fact, it was at Raine's house that I walked in on them having sex before they even had a relationship!

But for the rest of the night I was quiet. As much as I enjoy my life, I wonder what's going to happen down the road. Suddenly all the stability I thought I had was shaken up because I realize I can't go on like this forever. Tori's only 24, but I'm nearly 30 and I just... well I need to go back to enjoying what my life is like today instead of worrying about the future.

I was a bit quiet. I let Alex drive me home and asked if he wanted to come up. He declined, but I reminded him that having a girlfriend means you should want to spend more time with her. He said sorry for being awkward about it, and agreed to come up, but we didn't do anything by watch a movie on the couch and make out some. Mae was already asleep. He went home around 1.

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Greg/Alexis: Name Calling

Something I've learned from being now 4 different people in my lifetime is that somethings take longer to get used to than others. I think the central theme of this blog was originally how difficult it is to get used to living life as the other sex, and I'll admit, that was probably the biggest and most obvious thing to get used to. Things just feel different and it takes awhile for it to be 2nd nature. It definitly is for me now. I've been female for a long time now and I think if I woke up tomorrow in my old body I'd find it weird as hell.

Body shape is a big difference too. I've been all shapes and sizes. From Priya (Tiny), to Deb (Flabby) To Alex (Fit) and each time you have to react to your body parts being different sizes even though their functionally the same as the ones you had before. Butt size is a big thing. Sitting down is something we all take for granted and we all have this expectation of when our behind is going to hit the chair. If its higher or lower we're slightly surprised. When you all of a sudden lose or gain a few inches/padding to that area, the whole thing changes.

The physical stuff is easy compared to the mental stuff. Youre brain eventually gets used to the neural patterns and you start to adapt to the new shape. But the mind itself doesnt change, or at least not critically. Sure it's flooded with a new batch and level of hormones to deal with but it's still you inside.

What got me thinking and musing was something that happened today. I failed to turn and answer when "my" name was called by someone who knows me. A name is a pretty personal thing. Its drilled into your head you whole life. For 20+ years people called me Greg and I still turn and look when people call it out in public. You cant imagine how hard it is to subconsciously answer to another name out of the blue. This was especially hard when I was a teacher and one of the kids would keep saying "Ms. Patel" 2 or 3 times before I remembered "Oh wait, that's me".

I was reminded of this phenomenon when I was out shopping today, buying groceries even though I have a full time job (*coughs* lazy wife *coughs). When someone practically screams in my ear "ALEX"

I turn and see a woman about my age and height wearing a low cut tank top, blue jeans, designer glasses and a very short haircut reaching over to give me a hug. Clearly this was some friend but I had not idea who. I know its mean to stereotype but she looked like a lesbian, was she an ex? Was she a friend, I know that a lot of times gay people form a tight community. I went into my now familiar "youre-supposed-to-know-this-person-so-fake-like-you-do" mode.

"I havent seen you or Sharon since you went on Vacation, I thought maybe you two liked the coast so much that you moved there"

I chuckled awkwardly "Yeah, but I couldnt leave the excitement of Vermont behind"

We chatted for about 15 minutes while I finished my shopping (she followed me). I managed to BS my way through it. Basically told her that me and Sharon were both really busy with work and regrettably weren't socializing lately. She gave me a few facts about things and people I had no idea about before we parted with her saying that we should totally play tennis sometime.

I called the real Alex later that night after she had put her new kids to bed and she had me go through her facebook friends and link her to the profile of the woman I met, which is brilliant.

Apparently the woman is named Annabelle Maclean and she's a college friend of Sharon and Alexis. Gay, yes but totally platonic with the both of them. Turns out she and Alex are occasional tennis partners. Alex recommended that I hang out with her because she's fun as well as the fact that being social hermits for a year would be pretty damaging to their lives.

I think I'm gonna take her up on that advice because I'm starting to get cabin fever. Malinda may still be getting used to the whole new body new life I'm scared to impersonate someone but this isnt my first rodeo. I'm ready to meet new people. When I decided to become a "Traveler" and take on a new life and body every year I did it so I could have new experiences and meet new people, something I'm not doing a lot of living with a wet blanket like Malinda.

So this weekend I'm going to play tennis, poorly. But I'm going to enjoy myself. Ive actually been dying to test the athletic potential of this body so this will be good for me.

Also on a blog note, I held off on posting the last couple of weeks because Alia told me that there were new writers sending her emails. I wanted to give the readers time to get used to their stories as well as for the writers to be able to post their stuff without it being buried once they got their acccounts.

To our four new "victims" I say welcome and hopefully this is only a one year adventure for you all.

-Greg

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lisa: Eve

I didn't ask for this did I?

Okay, I feel shitty, like I don't have a right to complain because, look at what just happened to two of my best friends. To be honest, I'm kinda jealous of them, because if you had to be someone else, wouldn't it at least be interest to turn into the opposite sex? They get to learn so much. What do I get? A big reset on my life. They're at least in control. If I have to be "Eve Christopoulos" I have to go to school, live in a dorm with other people and basically give up control.

Okay, my real life isn't anything to be jealous of, but I'm worried I'm just gonna tread over the same path as I did before. Maybe I'll make the most of this opportunity. Maybe I'll waste it. I don't feel good. I don't want to get this girl stuck in a rut but I have no idea how to do things differently.

But we're all sort of forming a support system for each other. Shaun stands on his own... regular guy as regular guy, a shoulder for me to lean on. Zane leans on Anthony: Anthony seems to have the "girl" thing in hand, or at least is hiding his own panic well. He's such a "together" guy that losing his body barely flapped him. Anthony has me to look to as a role model, if he needs it. We sat down and he asked me some very forthright questions about what to expect. I gave him my best answers on how to treat his body. We're sisters now. "Charlotte's" Blackberry was already exploding. We need to get to California pronto, it seems.

To say nothing of the rest of the people here, meeting new "spouses" or saying goodbye to their own loved ones. We're one party that became another party. That's... something to be grateful for I guess.

Then I look back over at Zane and I think how dumb it is for me to complain. Sorry, buddy. I'm here for ya.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zane: I guess this is what it's like

No choice but to get used to it now... ladies, I'm one of you.

That's a freaky thought. I've had a week to get used to it, but it still doesn't make sense to me. I wake up and I think I'm still me for a split second, then my hand reaches over and pats my breast and... woop. There it is.

I was the last one to open up a suitcase. Anthony was first, showing what a good sport he is. Also he needed to find a pair of glasses because I guess his girl-body has vision problems. Shaun and Lisa followed suit because even though they're in strangers' bodies, they're not all that different. I just laid in bed all day overheating in my sleepwear trying to pretend it was all some sick dream.

Before I even read the letter I was not a fan of this chick. She did not pack any jeans or slacks or what I would call "sensible" underwear. I guess it's too much to ask that a girl wear boxers, but all I'm left with are these little triangles of fabric. I looked at these things thinking "these things are gonna choke me to death down there" but no, they slipped on nice and snug. There was nothing really "guyish" to wear, it was all summer dresses, light, billowy, flauncy things with girly patterns on them. Anthony convinced me to put one one just to see how it felt. I felt like a guy in a dress. He said I looked fine but I felt ridiculous. I'm not used to showing a lot of skin, so these wee thin straps over my shoulders, and the way it just barely comes up over my chest... I look down and I can see right down between my... my thingies.

Boobs.

I don't want to have them.

I love them, I do, on women. They're great to look at and I can't deny the longer I have a set of my own the more I cup them and rub them and smoosh them, but then a feeling goes through my body and I remember these are ATTACHED to me and that's not right. They feel inconvenient to jam into these stupid bras and dresses, even though they're not that big. They're just these little bobbles of flesh that bounce a bit when I move too quickly.

So let's talk about this woman. Clara, 24... a model from California. And I would think "Hey if I have to live someone's life, it seems really easy to be someone who's just hot for a living." But it sounds like a lot of stress, because half her letter to me was intricately describing her lifestyle, workout routines, diet, beauty regiments, blah, blah... as my eyes scrolled down this lengthy list of directions on hos to be this girl, I just felt sick. Like I wasn't in charge of anything anymore. Claustrophobic. She's in control of me. There's nothing I can do.

We're going to California tomorrow and I'm taking a break from writing out my own letter to let you know about me.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anthony: Straightening out the chaos

None of us can seem to put this situation into words. Having pored over this blog for the past couple of days, I sense you all have as good of an understanding as you can as to what has just happened to us. I wish we had had any sort of warning, but how can you? Especially since, so they say, anyone told about the curse will be in disbelief.

I was running in control mode all day Sunday. Realizing my body had changed, I suppose, sent me into a headspace of solving problems and making sure everything was OK with my friends. I knew I was a female now, but I didn't let that register with me until it was okay to indulge a little personal panic. I had to keep calm for everyone else. The first thing I did was check on Zane. He was understandably freaks. He had been changed, like me, into a girl. At first I thought all of us had been changed into opposite-gendered bodies, but when I visited Shaun and Lisa, I found that was not the case. And so the mystery of the Trading Post Inn began to unravel. Before long it was something we could wrap our heads around.

That doesn't mean I like it, but I can't deal with that right now. Before I can worry about myself, I need assurance that everyone is healthy and safe and... I don't know, adjusting, if need be.

After I confirmed what had happened with Shaun and Lisa, we went about figuring out the missing pieces of our "new lives." Lisa and I have wound up in the bodies of a pair of sisters, albeit ones separated by ten years. Lisa is a girl named Eve, who is going into her first year at college. "Doug" you already know about, and Zane is his "sister," a woman named Clara.

I've been keeping an eye on him. For the first day he didn't move much, probably as much due to hangover as to shock and not wanting to "deal with it." Finally, when he drifted back asleep I sneaked back to my own room.

I was reluctant to go rooting through this woman's luggage, but I knew nothing I had was going to fit me. Her figure is very... womanly and I was embarrassed to stay in my own clothes as long as I did because it must have looked pathetic. Even so, I had a hard time imagining myself picking out an outfit.

Her name is Charlotte Christopoulos, "Ceecee," a junior modelling agent. Clearly not a model herself. When I finally got a look at myself naked, I was not thrilled.

I don't want to use the word "fat." I'm a sensitive guy and I know that women come in all shapes. "Fat" implies there's a giant gut bulging out, just rolls everywhere. "Curvy" is the correct term... she's got a bit of a belly curving over the waistband of the underpants, and a very wide set of hips... a big bum to sit on... but that's what they say "real women" are supposed to look like, isn't it? It comes with a very large set of boobs hanging down, blocking my view of my feet. When I found a bra to wear, the cups were 34-F's. And I think it may be too small. I wedged my tits in and they really felt like they were on display... I really understand why they call it a "rack."

I tried to squeeze myself into a set of jean-shorts, but that wasn't comfortable... they rode up in the front which is not only tight, but unnatural feeling for me as I'm used to that area featuring very different geography, of course.

With a sigh, I switched out for a skirt and tanktop, walking and sitting awkwardly the rest of the day. Zane took a look at me and asked how I could be wearing these clothes, and I said there wasn't much option and he was going to have to deal with it sooner than later. Weakly, he looked up at me and asked, his voice taking a girlish tone, "Is it gonna be okay?"

I nodded, "Yeah, I think so," not sure whether I believed it.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shaun: Tell me what to do

The others are too freaked out to talk. Once we found out this e-mail was connected with this blog I asked "Alia" to refrain from posting any of our correspondence until we had our own accounts set up and were ready to talk.

I think I'm probably the only one who's in a place to say anything, so here's what happened.

Lisa and I were in bed Saturday night. I was already asleep, she stumbled in drunk. I offered to take the floor, but she was pretty belligerent, saying "Head to toe, we're going head-to-toe. Go back to sleep." Right.

We wake up at the crack of dawn when she falls out of bed. I hear the thump and when I look over, I see her on the floor... I mean I don't see her, but I see her hand waving, "It's all right!"

She pulls her up and suddenly I get a glimpse of her and something's not right. "Lisa," I say, "Are you all right?"

"Yeah," she says. We come face to face, and she gives me this look like she doesn't know who I am.

Neither of us had any idea what the other person was looking at. So there was this initial reaction of "Who are you, I'm me, what are you talking about, what's going on..." I guess it hit us differently than the others, because even though the faces in the mirror were different, they weren't drastic changes.

The girl I was looking at was now a much younger form, thinner and perkier, with long dark hair rather than Lisa's shoulder-length blonde do. My own face had changed pretty noticeably, too. Somehow, my beard had shaved itself off overnight, like her I lost a few years off my skin and face... my hairline moved forward some, my hair lightened from its chestnut brown tone to a lighter, more gingery tone. At the time, the changes were strange enough, but we didn't sense the full depth of the weirdness going on until we heard a knock at the door. We stopped in our tracks, silently wondering if we would open it to find answers. Instead, more questions.

What I saw was a short, round-figured woman with rosy cheeks, with similar long dark hair and features to Lisa's. She looked back and forth between us. She turned to me and asked, "Lisa?"

I pointed at the girl by the bed. The woman in the doorway seemed struck. Seeing them side by side, they were clearly sisters. The older woman looked up at me gravely. "Shaun."

"Yeah. Do we... know you?"

She hesitated a moment before identifying herself as Anthony. I didn't want to believe it. Whatever had happened to us had affected everyone else at the inn similarly... even more strangely at that. My best friend for a decade, a former collegiate athlete, standing before me as a woman half-dressed in ill-fitting men's sleep clothes. I was too stunned to ask him anything about what had happened. I didn't know if he could answer, I didn't want him to.

He sat on the bed and swept his long locks out of his face. "It doesn't make sense." He had clearly already been thinking a while. "Between me and Zane, we both changed into... we're both like this, I thought you guys would... I mean, the pattern doesn't add up. I thought everyone was being changed... like this."

"You're a girl." Lisa finally said. Anthony nodded without glancing over.

"How did this happen?" I blurted out, trying to be constructive.

"I don't know," Anthony said, "I'm not sure it matters. I thought we were being changed randomly, but looking at Lisa... there's a similarity there, right?"

"Right," I answered back.

Anthony began to deduce there were specific people we had become, and that was when Lisa remembered the bags. I can't believe she hadn't mentioned them earlier, the mysterious discarded luggage in our room's closet. There was only one set, though. We opened it up to find it was a man's... mine. In it were, of course, better-fitting clothes, and a number of personal papers, and a letter attempting to explain the situation.

Now that I know this e-mail is connected to this blog, I don't need to explain to you how the wheels in our heads started turning. It quickly occurred to me that I was being told about my new life.

The man in question is Doug Green, a manager for Home Supply Depot from Santa Monica, California. There weren't too many extra details beyond that, aside form the fact that his wife is back there waiting for him.

That made me have to sit down. On first reading it, it just seems like somebody's life is being described to me. It isn't until you get to a detail like that that you pause and realize you're being told about the life you are going to lead. Just a few weeks ago, my fiancee broke my heart. Now I'm suddenly a married man? Heavy.

I'm trying not to show my emotion in front of the others, though. As soon as we became aware of the situation it was clear, even before we found out about their letters, that Anthony, Zane and even Lisa had more on their plate. But I can't help but admit to you that it's a lot to digest.

So I'm keeping my mouth shut a little, out of respect. We're just waiting to figure out what our next move is.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

ZANE - WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK

OKAY OKAY OKAY I'm sobered up a bit now. It's nearly 5 AM and I'm afraid to leave this room so I thought I would send you another e-mail kindly asking WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON???

I was feeling weird until I passed out. I was asleep for maybe an hour when I heard a knock at the door. I stand up to answer it and my legs give out from under me. My clothes feel baggy, but I hold my waistband and slowly walk across the room. When I open the door I'm looking down at this chick dressed a guy's t-shirt and boxers. I can barely see her in the darkness and for a second I think it's Lisa, but Lisa's blonde.

"Hello?" I say in a whisper, my throat scratchy from all the drinking I did last night.

"Zane?" she asks.

"Uh, yeah?"

"So it happened to you too."

"What happened?" I'm totally confused what this chick is going on about.

"This happened." She pokes me in the chest and walks past me into my room. And where she poked me, it feels soft, kinda spongy, kinda like... well, like a breast. Like a girl's breast.

I look down and I can kinda see them and I can kinda feel them hanging off my chest but they're not... I mean, I can't tell if I feel anything different. She walks through to my washroom and turns on the light and I just keep asking myself "Do I know this lady? What's she going on about?" rather than, you know, noticing what's going on with me. That happened a second later when she said "Come look, you idiot."

I follow her because I think something sexy is going on, or I'm having a really lucid, really freaky dream. She's staring at herself in the mirror. I turn and face the reflection and

THAT'S NOT ME.

I gasp. "What the FUCK." Suddenly I notice how squeaky my voice has gotten. Way too high.

In the mirror, I see us clearly. She's short, her head only comes up to my neck. Long dark hair, squinting at herself. I don't have time to really look at her face because I'm too busy looking at mine or at least where mine is supposed to be. But I don't see me.

I see a chick.

She's tall and thin and... pretty, I guess, but she's ME. I moved my hand in front of my face and it was like... like I was watching somebody else.

She was a girl though. Me. I'm the girl. I cup my hands over my breasts and I feel them... they can move and everything. They just barely fit in my hands but it's like I have my own tits growing off me! I scream out "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS WHO ARE YOU??"

And she looks up at me, totally calm and everything and goes "Zane. I'm Anthony."

Bullshit.

She doesn't look like Anthony. She doesn't sound like Anthony. She's dressed in his clothes but...

but...

shit. I look at myself again. I don't look or sound like me. Something happened.

I back away. I don't want to look. I don't want to see anything.

She starts pacing back and forth like Anthony does. Talking very confidently.

"Okay, let's get a handle on this. Overnight, we, our bodies, have been transformed."

"We've been transformed??" I repeat, not believing this shit.

"It's the only... explanation. It sounds crazy, but we're in our own rooms. I was in bed when it happened. Something startled me and I just woke up like this. In my own room, still in my own clothes. Zane, we've turned into girls."

I stare at her. "This is what I'd look like as a girl?"

"That's what you DO look like. Zane. This must have happened to everyone here."

"Well what about the girls? Did they turn into guys?"

"Potentially," he says. Or she says?

"Well do you think there's a way to undo this?"

"I don't know. How would I know?"

"I don't know! You seem to know what's going on!"

"Just because I'm calm, don't misunderstand, Zane, I'm just as confused as anyone. But freaking out isn't going to do us any good. Something happened to us that's beyond explanation. We might be stuck, or we might just need to stay like this for a little while."

So I'm asking YOU, TRADING POST EMAIL to please EXPLAIN THIS SHIT TO ME.

Ugh I can't even look at my dainty little hands while I'm typing this. Fuuuuck.

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Zane - Werid stuff

Okay so I'm a bit drunk so if i can't type my bad. Im usaully way better even when im drunk but my fingers feel weird. this whole place feels wierd. um. where Do i begin?

this E-Mail, like I never heard of a n independant cutsromer sevrice e-mail. I couldn't finf any reference to this email on the trading post site, so I dunno who you work for but let me tell yuo about my weekend.

Maine makes people do weird thigns. Take Lisa who's NEVER shown any intesret in me before. Weve known each other for years, years and if anthing, she's gotte nless intersted in me over time! She doesn't believe me but I told her she still looks like when we were in college. Last night we got to drinking and while Shaun and Anthony were off playing darts, me and her were going beer for beer pounding local brews and after about six she was looking really good, so I lean over and I dothe thing where I sweep some hair out of her eyes. Classic.

So she leans in and kisses me and we walk back up the beach to my room because shes sharing a room with Shaun. I thought that meant she was ghooking up with him!

But we get back to my room and start getting busy, but the second I get my hand up he shirt she backs off. "Sorry" she says, "but I need to stop before we do something I regret." Bleh. That sucked. Its been way too long since I touched breasts.

Anyway, Maine does weird things to people. Maybe it's the ocean air making people horny. Maybe that's just the alcohol. When I started this I could barely type (I'm writing in on an iPhone) but now my fingers feel less clumsy. Must be sobering up.

The people next door won't stop murmuring. That's another tyhing. These people, I hear their voiced all night I can barely sleep.

I think something made me sick. Maybe it was that local beer, or there was bedbugs in the sheets. I feel like I've got a rash -- can't stop scratching my arms and my scalp... but I don't feel any bumps.

I feel like I've got the most epic case of BSTL (Balls Stuck To Leg) ever. The rain is making it humid and my hair is getting all frizzy, I feel like I've got a cough stuck in my throat. Take a deep breath hold on. I cant get comfortable in this bed its wreckerd my back my muscles are all tense.

hold on I don't know how to end this email

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Friday, August 05, 2011

Lisa- Regrets

Dear Trading Post E-Mail,

Is it weird that I suspect you're not actually affiliated with the Inn? I hope not, because I feel kind of bold tonight (although that may just be the Crown and Coke I have sitting on the nightstand) and I wanna spill my guts a little.

My friend Shaun tells me he said a bit about what brought us here. About how his fiancee broke up with him before the wedding. When he couldn't get rid of the reservation, I came along because I needed to get out of my rut, but truth is, it's just reminding me about some mistakes I've made.

My time to get married came about five years ago. I was in my 20's and had been seeing him for only a year, so I thought it was too soon even though I really liked him. He took my rejection pretty hard, but I tried to keep the relationship going... he apparently never got over it. Over-emotional, which was his main failing, but otherwise he was a solid guy. Good job, nice hair, great car... guh, I'm driving myself crazy just remembering him.

It was dumb of me to turn him down, but I thought he'd propose again in time, when we were more certain. Our relationship lasted a few months more, then he decided his heart wasn't in it and off he went.

Now, of course, I realize my mistake. I haven't dated anyone seriously since him, and he's married with a kid. That could be me by now!

Well, that's my spilled milk to cry over.

I came along because I was hoping to meet someone. You never know. But it's hard to find guys to chat up when you're constantly surrounded by your male college friends.

It's getting brutal, but even Zane is starting to look decent to me. Shh, don't tell the others. Even Shaun, if I didn't know he would read too much into it, might deserve a pity fuck. But I've never been that girl to any of them, and that's a good thing.

Except now that I need something easy and fun.

Even if I end up regretting it later... which I almost certainly would! Oooof, I have said too much. Blame it on the drinks!

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Shaun -- Trip of Fools

Dear Trading Post Inn: Screw You.

This has got to be the worst trip ever.

A little background. Last Christmas, I proposed to my longtime girlfriend. We set the date for September. Unfortunately, our work schedules basically made honeymooning impossible, so we booked this non-refundable vacation in Maine as sort of a pre-honeymoon. It was going to be us and her brother Anthony and his girlfriend Rebbecca. Anthony and I are very close, he was going to be my best man. He's a really together guy, a VP for a Travel Agency. Very organized, and once you get to know him, pretty funny. We went to college together, and he introduced me to his sister.

Then in July -- as in two weeks ago -- she calls it off. Five years together gone because she's got cold feet. No matter how much I beg and plead, she won't hear me out or take me back. I guess you can't force someone to marry you if they don't want to.

So after all this grief and heartache and trying to figure out when I can get my stuff, I'm stuck with these tickets and reservations I can't seem to get rid of. Logic dictates they would just hand the reservations off to anyone else or, you know, just have some vacant slots in their stupid hotel, but no, apparently logic doesn't apply in Maine and I am honor bound to keep the reservation. Even if I don't show up, I'll be billed. That's bullshit, I'm sorry.

But here I am anyway on my lonely little non-honeymoon. Since the reservation was for two, I decided to invite my old college friend Lisa. She's cute and everything but I never really thought of her that way. Still, I know she's had a few negative experiences, so she keeps elbowing me and reminding me she's not a rebound. Yeah, Lisa, I know.

To top that all off? Anthony's girlfriend got food poisoning and her last-minute replacement, keeping with the "college reunion" theme, we brought our other buddy Zane along. He's had a rough time of his own, being unemployed for the last three years, aside from piecework and shit jobs. It's nice to get "the gang" back together, but under these circumstances, it's depressing as hell.

But I guess it could be worse. The weather's mild. We still all get along well. The beds seem comfy enough. The place has a certain rustic charm. I just need a lot of beer from now until we go home.

At least someone slipped this e-mail address under my door. Sorry for ranting, but you did say to "open up" about my Inn experience!

Yours,
Shaun Moran

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Todd: Hit the Road

Wow, long time no see!

It isn't that my life has been exceptionally interesting, quite the opposite. All spring I was finishing up at University, chasing after that pesky BA that's eluded me for nearly a decade.

And now that I have it... I don't really know what to do with my life. I still work at the store, I still play the occasional gig with Bry and Shelby, but all that... that's not a long-term plan. We can try to make the music thing work, believe me nothing would please me more, but all we can do is keep plugging along.

Sometimes Bry and I joke about going back to the Inn -- when Alia and Shel aren't around (since Shel wouldn't get it, and Alia woudn't hear of it,) -- and waking up in the as people who already have their lives laid out. That's the fantasy, that someone would tell us how to live and who to be. Isn't that pathetic? Well, the grass is always greener, because we already lived those lives, and we hated them.

But just when things were getting rough, and Bry was attempting to re-open contact with Ellie, this opportunity came up, not unlike the one that brought us to Maine to begin with. Our band -- the one that barely rehearses and didn't have a proper name -- was asked to fill in as an opening act for this local pop punk band that's touring the Northeast.

It seems like a pretty good deal, and it's been a lot of fun, but to make it worth our while we've had to book a few gigs of our own. We called up contacts, did exhaustive searches, and barely scrounged up enough gigs that we will have a reason to keep being out there until September.

The problem is, when people want to book you, they want a name to go along with it. This has been a point of contention between the three of us. Until last month, when Bry had a burst of inspiration. He chose something that meant a lot to both of us, as well as carrying meaning for people like Shelby who don't, and never will, know our true story.

Our new band name? Somebody Else.

I'm checking in quickly, because we hit the road for the border tomorrow morning. The tour's already passed through Southern Ontario, Mississauga, London, we just finished the Windsor show... we'll be swinging through Michigan, Ohio... obviously, there's a "zone" that extends westward from Maine and we'll be in Inn country most of the time, including stops in Philly and New York later this month. We'll be heading deep into New England, so any of you fine Inn folks that want tickets to a show, don't hesitate to ask.

I'll try to keep you updated, but it's hard enough getting time to sit down and think about any of this, let alone write about it. Still, I figure I owe it to myself and you guys to chronicle this new adventurous phase of my life.

Rock n' roll
-Todd

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Greg/Alexis: Killing it with Kindness

Once upon a time I was engaged to be married to my soulmate and if I had never had my life stolen by a cursed Inn, I would today be just past my 1st Anniversary. I dont know what married life is supposed to be like, but Amber and I had been living together for a long time and I knew how to successfully cohabitate with someone that you love.

My current situation, while legally a marriage, is not at all one. I dont expect it to be. It's what I like to call a "marriage by magic". We're to strangers thrown together and told to play like we love each other. Thats a difficult thing to do and I dont blame Malinda for hating it. A commenter told me that I should try being nice to Malinda. Which is what I was going to do anyway because I've dealt with a situation like this before.

My freshman year at the University of Chicago I was assigned a roommate blindly. Turns out mine was a Japanese student named Tashiro, who spoke broken English when he spoke at all and was very cold to me for the first two months.

After a long cold war of silently hating each other, Me and Tosh bonded when I bought a new video game system. Turns out he was really into video games and we were both really competitive. After countless all nighters full of mountain dew and vodka we finally had something to unite us. Tash and I stayed friends throughout college and even emailed after he went back to Japan to work for Nintendo. Now all I need to do is find that common ground with Malinda.

Tash's animosity stemmed mostly from the culture shock of going from Japan to the American Midwest. I think Malinda is going through similar shock going from Bitchy Texan to Gay Artist. Finding common ground with Malinda is difficult thought because she treats me with uneasy precaution. Ever since she found out that I was born male, she thinks I'm on some mission to live out a male fantasy of having lesbian sex with her, so every nice thing I do to her she immediately thinks I'm hitting on her. So any gesture of bonding and kindness has to be done innocuously and totally platonic.

This means the obvious flowers, candy, clothes and makeup are out of the question, which sucks because all girls, even me, like those things. On Last Sunday I decided to to a barbecue, which is a Texas tradition I think. I was grilling the meat but whenever I asked for her help or suggestions she kinda blew me off. Didnt seem to impressed with the meat either.

On Wednesday I tried to do "movie night" where I would bring home some free ice cream and we'd sit in front of the tv in our pajamas and watch a crappy chick flick, something that worked quite well for female bonding when I was Priya. Turns out I underestimated Malinda and she apparently hates chick flicks.

On Friday I made a little progress, I convinced her to leave the house. I think she got tired of being cooped up inside the house was getting to her so we went to see a movie. Captain America isnt as terrible as it looks or sounds and apparently she likes the superhero genre. We talked about movies on the way there and even had a normal convo during the movie. Altough at some point I think she thought it was too much like a date and closed up again. We rode home in silence. Still, baby steps.

Im still exiled to the couch but I'm working on moving a cot or something to her studio that she isnt using. Hopefully I'll find some common ground for us

-Greg.