Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Todd: There's no road that ain't a hard road to travel alone...

Rock and roll is tough.

It turns out it's not very easy to book a rock and roll tour. Especially when you're the support and the headlining band gets sick and has to postpone when you're already out on the road. We spent a lot of August just waiting around in Toronto for stuff to happen.

Then, well, stuff happened.

We finished our Ohio swing in Mid-September. Now, Bryan's been my friend for years and years, but there's a difference between friend-Bryan and band-Bryan. When we're just jamming, gigging around our local haunts, there isn't really. Bry's a fun guy, doesn't worry to much when things go wrong, enjoys the fun things about being in a band, no worries. Tour Bryan? That's tough shit. I'm used to it, I've seen that side of him before. It's funny: He was so laid back and relaxed about becoming a teenage girl back in the day (we'll get to that in a bit) but stick him in a van and put him on the road fora month? Shit gets crazy.

Sometime after Ohio -- Cleveland in particular -- he and Shelby broke up. I was always a bit leery about having his girlfriend in the band, but at the time I thought they could handle it. They couldn't. Objectively, I think they're both to blame, with Shelby not being able to separate bandmate-Bryan from boyfriend-Bryan, and Bryan not recognizing how to keep things from getting to heavy.

I suspect, however, something happened in Cleveland, which was right before the big fallout. Cleveland is roughly in the neighbourhood of Bry's former girlfriend, Crystal, but if that had anything to do with it, he didn't tell me. It's too much of a coincidence to ignore, but there would be plenty fuel to that break-up without thinking about Crystal. But I can't shake the feeling there's more to this than meets the eye.

Then at some point we got the word from Max -- who had some contact with Alia (who is along for this Magical Misery Tour as our road manager, bless her.) -- about her new body. The very same body Bryan occupied only a couple of years ago. Again, we come back to not ignoring coincidences. I mean, it's strange, isn't it? If it was Fletcher's doing, how did he get Ellie to Maine? If not, what does that mean? I'm not detective, I wasn't even that much of a journalist, but I intend to do a little poking around while I'm down here.

This coming weekend, we'll be finishing up in Pennsylvania and NJ, stopping in on Tori and seeing how she's doing, and then all next week we'll be doing some gigs in New York City. We'll be spending a lot of time down there and as luck has it, the only contact info we could find for Ellie puts her new body there.

After that, it's New England: Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts before we circle back over the border and head for home. That should take us through October. It's kind of exciting to live this double life as a rock star and sort of a wannabe private eye.

So that's what I've been up to.

-Todd

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Not Max: It never ends

I have no life.

I disappeared from this blog for a long time. I wanted to make blogging my thing, but I felt really good just plugging into my life as Max it would be weeks between times where I'd think "I could blog about this" or update you on my life... It was so great just to feel like a normal guy. I didn't want it to end.

I'm a person who lives by his/her word. I promised Fletcher... Beatrice... I'd give Roger Max's body. It was my fault he was trapped in a little girl's body, and I didn't want that little girl to have to grow up like I did, and I definitely didn't want Roger to think his only future was as Fletcher's daughter. I wanted forgiveness.

I followed through with my promise, though. I went back to Maine. Fletcher brought Roger to Maine after that. By now they should be settled in in New Brunswick, and I'm here, crying my eyes out. Once a girl, always a girl. I used to be tougher, I swear, even when I was Sam.

So you want to know... where is here? Who am I? I mean, maybe none of you will ever know who I really am... maybe even I don't know by now... but as for who I look like, who I have to be...

I wish I could tell you I couldn't sleep a wink in Maine. I wish I could tell you that knowing what was about to happen to me made me restless and anxious but the truth is, unlike last time, I slept like a lamb, even though I shouldn't have. After a day of activities, I would crawl into bed nice and early and just drift off. And I'd wake up in the morning disappointed I was still Max, and happy I was still Max, and wondering if I had it all wrong, if I was delusional and no change was going to happen this time.

It did. It was a stormy night, although it was before Irene hit. There are telltale signs, which night it's going to happen. You do an informal headcount of occupied room. Your skin feels irritated in a way that could be sunburn but isn't. I was asleep and then I felt something pushing against me. It was happening. I sat up and looked at my hands. I made it across the room to turn the lights on, then felt my legs buckle beneath me... I had gone from young to mature, from female to male, and now... I was going back.

Everything rippled through me. I wasn't a huge guy, but all the mass rearranging itself, thinning out, congregating in new places... forming little folds of flesh on my chest that grew slowly into breasts... it was unpleasant, but if I'm being totally honest, the feeling of becoming a man was much worse and left me a lot sorer.

In the darkness, I pulled myself back up onto the bed. I slipped back under the covers and curled up until it finally stopped.

The next day I crawled back out of bed and examined my new self. She's pretty and thin, but I was suddenly crushed by the weight of how wrong this all felt. To be a girl again. To be young again. She's only 17, she's in school, she lives at home... I've seen and done and been so much, I didn't feel like I could be this person.

I combed over her clothes, mostly modest and mostly feminine. I grimaced at the thought of squeezing myself into a bra or a pair of panties again, after a year of boxer shorts, but you take what you're given. There are upsides. At least I'm not unfamiliar with any of it. I just feel so weak and helpless in all the trappings of girliness.

Naked, I felt like a dirty old man looking at a nubile young girl. I felt terror. I felt a burden. I wanted to go home and never do this again, but I'm on this ride and it's never going to stop. But why does it have to be this body?

I have no life because I never had my teenage years, I'm not used to living like this, so on a Friday night I'm holding up in my room finally writing on this blog and putting off studying geometry. Because I don't want to live the life I've inherited.

Her name is Elyssa McClay. Ellie. She's 17 years old and she lives in Connecticut. It wasn't long before I found out this was not her first trip to the Inn.

I couldn't understand why someone would go back after finally getting their body back. I don't know how it happened. But that's not the worst part.

I'm feeling so stupid. I feel like such an awful person.

I made a huge mistake.

I didn't come here alone.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Greg/Alexis: The Wheels Come Off

So the blog's been a bit dead for awhile, and I dont know what everyone else's excuse is but I've been a little bit preoccupied.

About 5 days after my last post the Northeast part of the US was hit by Hurricane Irene. Dont worry , I'm safe. Its not anything like Hurricane Katrina which was a category 5 storm when it hit land. Irene was barely a tropical storm when she got to Vermont, that doesnt mean it wasnt rainy and windy as hell though.

Of Course, being from Chicago I'd never seen a hurricane (Oxford didnt get any last year) and I was freaking the fuck out. I was boarding up windows and putting what I thought were valuables in safe places.

Malinda is from Texas and had seen quite a few hurricanes and wasnt at all worried about Irene. She would look at me watching the weather channel and tell me to calm down. It was a weird contrast to what our lives had been up to that point, with me helping her adjust.

When the storm finally hit Burlington it was still very windy and rainy. The condo doesnt have a basement so I went to an interior room and started playing on Alex's 3DS.

And then, the power went out and I screamed like the girl that I was. A minute later Malinda came in with a candle to check on me. She distracted me by telling me stories of her childhood and other trivial stuff about her. I think my paranoia was getting on her. It was maybe the first time she treated me with something other than disdain or mistrust, not a major breakthrough but one nonetheless.

The storm was bad and there were a lots of crashing and howling as trees and debris flew all over town. I fell asleep on the Laundry room floor and woke up when the power came back on the next morning.

The house was still intact, in fact most of Burlington was fine. Most of Vermont got flooded as hell but we were still above water. It was mostly debris and downed powerlines, except in our front yard.

One of the trees had fallen down, missing the condo and keeping us safe, but landing smack dab in the middle of the Range Rover. Crushed it right down the middle like a hotdog bun. Keep in mind this was a big tree, and it hit it right in the sweet spot.

It didnt entirely flatten the cabin, which makes me wonder if I wouldve been OK if I'd been driving it. Its weird to think about but that shows just how much I'd grown to love that car. I was always a bit of a car nut and when My Mustang got left with my old life I had to drive Priya's BMW, which was pretty good but after a year with Dee's boring car I had an awesome Luxury SUV to enjoy and I was getting used to taking the scenic routes.

The thing was fully covered and we'll eventually get a new one, but that requires a lot of insurance paperwork. Since the tree wasnt on our property, it was on the condo associations's property, the car insurance company needs to talk to their insurance company as well as a ton of forms from me.

Anyone who's ever filled out an insurance claim will tell you what a nightmare it is. Its even harder when youre filling it out for someone else because at first I filled it out incorrectly. Certain details about the car loan and where and how it was bought got screwed up and the claim was denied. This of course meant I had to start over and was not able to get a rental car.

There are a lot of little details that dont get included in a "Trading Post Inn this is my life" letter that you dont need unless youre doing something like this. So the form filling out was contingent on getting the Real Alex enough time from the family she lived with to have a lengthy phone conversation about someone elses vehicle details.

During this ordeal I found myself relying on Annabelle for rides because Burlington's public transport isnt nearly as sophisticated as what I grew up with. She was actually really cool about it, although it did lead to her coming over to the house, being nice to Malinda, and getting the cold shoulder. I apologized for my fake wife and blamed it on artist's block.

Then about a week and a half ago I was bitching to Annabelle about the insurance companies and she asked me why I didnt start riding my bike places again. Apparently Alex is an avid cyclist and hardly ever drove until about a year ago. She's got like a 2000 dollar bicycle as well as a much more fancy and expensive one that she takes out in the woods on trails and stuff.

This solves my transportation dependence but its not without it's problems. For starters I can only do it during the day time. I dont care how athletic I am, ever since I became a girl I'm scared to be out riding my bike at night in an unfamiliar town. Second, it takes FOREVER. Like 3 times as long as with cars. Which means I have to leave earlier for things, get up earlier in the morning, and basically budget my time a lot closer. One of the reason's I havent updated, its hard to blog when youre pedaling.

Compounding those problems is the fact that in the last couple of weeks Burlington's gotten a lot more crowded. Home to the University of Vermont, The Queen City get's about 25% bigger once school starts. Navigating certain parts of town on a bike gets difficult with a bunch of doe eyed little freshmen Catamounts in your way.

Hopefully the car thing gets settled soon so we can get a new one. Malinda wants a Camaro but we're getting one exactly like the old one. Leave the life like you found it and all that. Plus a Camaro is gonna suck when it gets snowy soon. Better than a bike though.

-Greg.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Zane (Clara): Food for thought

Aside from being a model, Clara left me a job working at a snack bar on the pier. Since that doesn't involve posing for photos or looking like a girl (more than I already do) I've chosen to spend pretty much all my time here doing that. The hours aren't much and the pay is crap, but I think annoying flirty customers are still better than what I imagine modeling is like. Standing around looking pretty isn't really my thing.

Meanwhile, when I'm not working (which is usually) I'm cooped up in my room sitting on this laptop lurking my old self on Facebook. Whoever he is he hasn't got back to me yet which is weird and annoying and a little scary.

I try to avoid my housemates. I don't know any of them, I don't have anything to say to them, and I'm embarrassed enough walking around like this. I don't want too many people seeing me and thinking I'm Clara, that I like looking this way, that it's who I am. I hole up in my room and I try to eat, but I don't know anything about vegan diets, so I end up eating, like, crackers and fruit and salads. I'm really nervous that eating anything else will make me sick (not that this diet is making me feel like a million bucks.) I'm starting to feel claustrophobic anytime I'm in this room. I'm locked up in here with myself. Or really, with this girl I look like. I sleep a lot. I'm going crazy.

Then one weekend I hear a knock on the door and in barges this woman. It took me a minute before I remember it's Anthony, in Charlotte's body. She asks what the hell exactly was going on with me, ignoring phone calls and e-mails. I've been pretty much off communication with anyone. I forgot this blog even existed. Otherwise I mightve said something.

She basically drags me out of the house and says we're going for a drive. She asks how I am and I mutter "fine" and try to get off the topic. Anth's not really interested in "fine" though because he goes deeper. "I know you're not taking this well. I need you to know where I'm at." Okay, I said, lay it on me.

"I got my dick taken away, same as you," she says. "I wake up in the morning sore as fuck because I'm lugging around a set of tits twice the size of yours and sitting on my ass at an office doing bitch work because guess what... my job? It's to take care of you. Charlotte is a glorified executive assistant. Her one client as an agent was Clara Green, who suddenly decided she wasn't interested in following up on any of the offers she's gotten."

"Offers?"

"Yeah, one or two trickle in here and there. They let Charlotte have a chance to handle Clara as a test case, to transition from assistant to full agent. Guess what. It's not going well."

"I'm sorry to hear that, but it's not my problem."

"No, it's not," she admits, "You didn't ask to be Clara, and I didn't ask to be Charlotte. But we're sort of past that right now. There's someone out there, I don't even know who, doing my job, and I don't want him to fuck it up. Have you read this blog? There's half a chance we can go back, and if it works out, I don't want to leave CeeCee in the lurch any more than my real life would."

"So what?" I say, "I doubt the new me could do a worse job than I did, being me."

"That's kind of my point, Zane," she says. "No offense Zane, but there's a good chance that whoever's out there living your life is doing a better job than you. What if they get confident and lock you out? That happens too. You can't fall back into your old habits. Remember when you got fired from driving a delivery truck because you were always getting high on the job? For fuck's sake, dude, don't waste two lives."

I sit there, steaming. I know I have it coming, but I was not up to facing this yes. Maybe ever. I want to say I was happy scraping by living the bare minimum as Clara, but I wasn't. My first paycheck as her was about a hundred and fifty bucks. Suddenly I see the appeal of being paid to look pretty.

We wound up at a coffee place and the mood lightened a bit. "Promise me you'll think about it," she reasoned. "I know you have a hard time accepting charity, so just consider this an opportunity to help yourself and help others."

We get off the topic of my fucked-up life and start comparing notes on girliness. I look like a slop, in a t-shirt and shorts and flip flops. Anthony has taken the time to learn how to dress as a woman, has his hair looking nice, walks really confidently in heels. I have a hard time looking her in the eyes and seeing my old buddy.

"It's amazing what you learn to do when you have to actually leave the house every day," she says with a grin. "You find yourself in the water, you learn to swim quickly."

It wasn't until she dropped me back off at home that I sat down and realized how fucked up our situation really is. He was really in love with his girlfriend, had a great job, stands to lose a lot if the "new" him either fucks u, or decides to steal it all away from him.

I started drafting an e-mail to Clara, asking what exactly I had to do to "be a model."

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