Friday, October 21, 2011

Zane in Clara's Body: Checking in

It's not easy to forget about being in a girl's body. It's a little easier to forget about writing about it, since the last thing I want to do after standing around all day looking like this is sit back and write about it. Then sometimes I think I should say something because it'll help, but then I get tired of trying.

I guess it doesn't totally suck. I mean it's just a body. Two legs, two eyes. Not big or strong. Can't pee standing up. Hard to get comfy lying around with tits flopping up. I don't hate them I guess. Mostly they just hang there looking nice but being useless. I'd like 'em a lot better on someone else.

I'm supposed to be a model. Clara's supposed to be starting a career. But that's not me, I don't know anything about being beautiful and I don't really want to try. But Anthony keeps telling me to work on it. Clara has a portfolio full of her photos of herself. Some of them are really arty, some of them are just hot. She looks like a totally different person from the girl I see in the mirror when I wake up. I can see a lot of work goes into making even a hot chick like Clara into one of those girls in the photos. It's an attitude, and I don't have it.

I've been to two photoshoots in the last month. One, they wanted me to wear a bikini, which I guess is whatever, okay, it's like sitting around in my underwear anyway, and what do I care if people see this body half-dressed? But they sent me away because my tan was uneven, since I've been in the sun a lot for my other job. I thought they had computers for that shit. Also, I forgot to shave my legs and stuff. Whatever.

The other one I actually got to stay fully dressed, and just lean on the hood of a car. The photographer kept getting mad at me and telling me to "loosen up" and "have more fun." I'm trying to look and act like those photos but I guess something's still missing. They didn't end up using my photos, so I got paid like fifty bucks and shoved out the door. Anthony is not happy with my work, but what can I say? I never learned how to model. Sue me.

The rest of the time I'm working at the stupid snack bar on the beach. God, what is that place. It's still blazing hot and it's almost Halloween. Hot chicks traipsing around in bikinis and yet still guys come over to talk to me. One thing I'm getting better at is showing them I'm not interested without having to yell at them to fuck off. Still it's hard not to attract them. The shirt they make me wear is low cut, and the shorts are so high they ride up my buttcrack. Real attractive. I don't know why real girls like dressing this way.

It's fucked up, though. I'm sleepy all the time. A couple weeks ago I yelled at a guy to stop staring at my tits and fuck off, and my manager said any more outbursts like that and I'd be fired, which sucks because I need this job. I had to borrow money from Anthony to make Clara's rent this month. Oh, man remind me to tell you about some of the people I'm living with sometime. Bunch of fucking characters they are. Whatever, I don't wanna talk about it right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alia: Here we stand

I think, based on what they've been through, Todd and Bryan will always be pals. Like brothers. They went through the whole Inn thing together. They have disagreements and misunderstandings but there will always be that bond between them. I think that's why their drive, their communication as a band is so much better now than it was in the past.

I saw Bryan pulling away from Shelby early on the tour. I don't know what happened, whether it goes back to the whole double-life thing, or if it's just the way people decide to break up. I probably don't need to. But of late, Todd and I have been responsible for keeping the two of them separate.

This was a bit of a problem because ever since I met her, Shelby has been suspicious of me. I guess it makes sense. She sees "me" as Bryan's ex, currently with Todd, whereas in reality I never have dated Bryan (and never would, sorry B) and have always been faithful to Todd, at least since getting my body back. But there's no way to explain this, so I'm Yoko. Except Yoko didn't fuck all the Beatles. So I don't know who that makes me.

It's awkward as hell being around them. They don't talk, they don't seem comfortable. So when it happened, I was the only girl around and she needed to vent. We went out for drinks, she opened up and I shared some too. She said that the fact that I could still be friends with him made her think she could keep going with the band, and I hope she does because she's a good fit. She's a good fit in every way but one, and that's the one thing that makes her different for all of us. It's why we all feel like we're putting on a front when we're around her, it's why Todd had to keep her entertained the day we hung out with Tori, and it's why she was with me after the show when we played Burlington.

I met Greg in passing. He even managed to get Malinda out to the show, and they both seemed to enjoy the bands. But I couldn't stay for the real meet-and-greet, I had to whist Shelby off to the hotel, where our nightly girl talk commenced. Shelby, trying in vain to speculate what had come between her and Bryan, and me trying to keep it all a secret (not that she'd believe me.)

The next morning when I met up with the guys, Todd gave me the lowdown. They hung around, sharing war stories and guy talk. Malinda was a bit quiet at first but loosened up after a few drinks. By Todd's account, Greg was a nice person, but it was the same way he thought of Darren/Jamie, when they met years ago: If they were both guys and never been to the Inn, they probably wouldn't have been buddies. Bryan had little to add to the situation.

Between Philly and Vermont was New York City. I love that place, four days was barely enough time spent there. The guys played a few sparsely-attended shows and spent a couple of days chasing down leads based on vague information from the real Ellie's letter. I can tell Bryan is really unnerved by that situation. I don't blame him, it bothers me too. How could anyone knowingly go to the Inn, and bring people along with them? Were they tricked? Coerced? Forced? It troubles me how little Ellie said about her current location. Either she wants to disappear, or someone wants to make her disappear. Troubling.

We pursued a few leads in our spare time, but to little effect. Luckily, we'll get our chance again. Apparently the venue managers in Manhattan liked their sound and asked them to come back for Halloween, and since we don't have any gigs booked past this weekend we could probably stretch some dollars and spend enough time down there to really get to the bottom of this.

Right now, we're in Massachusetts, playing Boston this Friday, and then spending some time in Todd and Bryan's old stomping grounds... Connecticut. (Shudder.) At least I'll get to check in on Sam. I mean Max. I mean Ellie. Oy, that girl.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tori: Hot and cold.

It's so strange that my life is continually working toward this phase where nothing about it is so strange to me that I need to blog about it. It's like when you're a teenager and you have all these new thoughts and feelings and you want to share them, but you grow out of it. I had to grow out of it twice. And now my life is headed on a track toward normal. Which is awesome.

I've been seeing Alex... which is weird to write since I've been reading about "Alex"-Greg... Alexis. Whatever he's calling himself lately. But of course my Alex is my Alex.

My relationship with him is the sort of thing I was hoping to have with Buddy. He's not as much of a geek as Buddy, but he has his moments and is very open. After some resistance, I got him to watch the sixth series of Doctor Who with me, and he loved it. Next we're gonna marathon Fringe. Also, while Buddy seemed uncomfortable with how tomboyish I can be, Alex says he really likes it, which is good because I'm still not the girliest girl in the world. He even laughed when he found out that on geek forums I tend to set my profile as "Male" just to avoid the usual suckiness of being a girl on the internet (getting accused of being an attention whore, which happens a lot.)

But a relationship can't just be lying together on a couch watching sci-fi, though. I have needs, guys. Womanly needs. Alex was taking it slow, though. I mean, I never had sex as a guy, but I know I always wanted to, especially when presented with a girl who looks like I do... or at least as good as I think I do. It started to bother me. The attraction was definitely there. I felt it. Through his pants, I mean.

But for whatever reason we were having trouble getting to that "rip your clothes off" level of attraction and I got worried. But how do you bring that up? "Why don't you wanna screw me?" I guess I could've made more of an initiative to start it, but I don't have any experience with that. Buddy was shy, but he was good to go. Alex was taking this "playing it cool" thing too far. We'd make out on the couch and I kept wanting to say "Let's take it to the bedroom" but the words never came out.

I started to worry that I really wasn't ready, even though it's been months since the break-up.

Then one day things got effed up at work. We have had some staff turnaround lately, and one of the new guys fucked up one of our databases and caused a lot of headaches for me, and by the end of the day all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and drink. So of course that was a night he was due to come over. I was already half in the bag when he came by, so when he came by I was really ready to deal with it... because I was naked in bed with half a bottle of wine. I was pretty much wearing a sign saying "JUST DO IT ALREADY!"

"Well?" I asked, after a few seconds of silence, "Are you ready or not?"

Quicker than you can say "SHAZAM!" he was naked and in bed with me and we started to fool around. It felt so good to finally let it happen. I remember my first time, I was so guarded and awkward and I just wanted it over with so I could say I did it... so I could say I did something. Since then I've really felt like it's an important part of my life. It's true that women think about sex differently than men, but it's not true they don't think of it at all.

So we're getting warmed up and I climb on top of him, ready to get the show on the road, when... stupid drunk me, I lose my balance and all off my own bed and injure my coccyx.

God, I swear this stuff only happens to me.

So, the idea of intimate activity was off the table for a few more weeks. And that was when Todd's band came to town. I'm not really a music lover and it was hard to drag Alex out on the premise that I knew these guys without giving the exact details how, but I don't know when or if any Inn people will be in Philadelphia soon.

I've only met them a few times before, except Alia, whom I barely know in her real body. Afterwards we went for a few drinks. Alex opted to leave early since he was going hiking with his dad the next day (which was news to me.) Apparently Bryan's broke up with the drummer a while earlier, so Todd went off with her since they're friends too. (That must get awkward.) That left me with Bryan and Alia, and Bryan wasn't in much of a mood to talk, so Alia and I caught up on girl talk. She's really proud of me for making strides in taking control in my life, and seemed to approve of Alex based on the brief moment they met. She wished she could have looked out for me more when we were both in Philly, but she did have her own "life" to worry about.

The next day, Alex and I had a bit of an argument, since he didn't like that I didn't go with him. I told him I never see these people and they're my friends (maybe exaggerating but I had to win the argument.) He's normally so easygoing, so this whole thing was weird... I think maybe he caught Bryan glancing at my chest a bit.

I told him he never gets jealous of anyone at work attempting to flirt with me. He said that's different since he knows those people and they know there's no chance. "But suddenly these dudes come out of nowhere, it's like there's this whole slice of your life I don't even know anything about and you won't tell me. I don't like the idea of some mystery from your past suddenly getting kicked up."

I take a breath and answer back, "Well, guess what. Guys look. I know it. I've dealt with that a long time. But 99% of the time they either don't try or they wouldn't get anywhere if they did. Hey, you silly bastard, don't forget you have first claim on these tits and everything else attached to them. You wanna look? I'll give you the tour." And I whipped off my shirt and unfastened my bra.

I basically argued myself into finally having sex with him. And oh, man was it hot.

So... this presents a problem. We've finally had sex after MONTHS of dating or kinda-dating, but it was after a fight without any real resolution. Am I gonna have to get angry at him every time I need some loving? Or are we going to be able to get over ourselves and just do it like normal people?

Man, I've never been a normal person, even before I was this person.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Greg/Alexis: Making progress.

I feel bad for kind of falling off the face of the earth on this blog but trust me I wasnt. Its just when something of the magnitude of what heppened to Max/Ellie occurs, it kind of puts the blog's purpose in perspective. Suddenly your posts about bike riding and playing tennis seem insignificant compared to that.

Anyway nothing major happened to me thank goodness. Life still sucks without a car but it's still warm enough to be bike weather, and things have gotten considerabley better around the house the last few days.

It all started around Saturday. The past few weeks I've been spending my Saturdays with playing Tennis and hanging out with afterwards. Just non stereotypical girl stuff. I think she senses theres a rift between me and Sharon and is being a good friend to allow me to let off steam when I got annoyed with my "wife". If only she knew the full story.

Anyway, Annabelle had to go into work on Saturday and I didnt get the text till I was halfway to the club on my bike. I turned around and figured I'd use that day for relaxing and watching football.

Malinda had gotten used to me being out all Saturdays because she was surprised to see me when I got home. I took one look at her and laughed.

Malinda had her hair braided into pigtails and had glitter makeup all over her face. She was wearing a pair of blue gym shorts rolled up so that they were boxer length. Knee length blue tube socks. A pair of white Keds and a white Tshirt with the sleeves rolled up and "Go Mustangs" painted on it. I busted out laughing.

"You look ridiculous"

"Why arent you plaing tennis" she asked defensively

"Annabelle had to work. I'm staying in and watching football, what's all this"

"I'm staying in and watching football" she said

This was confusing to me because Malinda is very much the girliest girl you can think of "You like football? I asked

"I'm from Texas, I have to" she said sticking her tongue out at me.

Turns out where she was originally from Friday Night Lights was more of a documentary, and she was even a cheerleader in High School before going to what used to be a major football school before heavy NCAA sanctions.

So we sat there, for something like 10 hours. Just watching football, teasing each other, drinking beer. A very male bonding moment, except you know, with female bodies.

The beer seemed to loosen up and we started talking in depth about how she was taking all of this. Her biggest complaint is not being her anymore. This is a woman who really liked where her life was and got thrown into something she would never think of. Compound that with the fact that she's cooped up in the house all day with her thoughts and she winds up getting bitchy.

"Every time I look in the mirror I'm reminded that I dont get to be me. That i've got to pretend, to lie." She said sadly

"But you are you," I said firmly "Just in a different shape. I mean look at me, I dont think I look anything like I thought I would 5 years ago, but what can I do. I'm still me on the inside, even though I'll never look like it again"

She smiled sweetly and gave me a look of pity "I'm sorry for what happened to you. At least I'll be able to get my life back"

She gave me a friendly hug and we went back to watching football. She's clearly adjusting better because the last few days shes treating me more like a friend and roommate than a captor. Which is good, because in a few days we're going to have company and I need her in a good mood.

Todd's band is playing a gig at one of the smaller clubs in town. I think they just picked all the college towns in the Norhteast and tried to get gigs there, because Burlington is pretty out of the way. Anyway, I always wanted to meet another blogger here and offered to let him and Bry and Alia crash here. Malinda seems receptive to the idea, despite the fact that she'll have to play Sharon for their bandmate who isnt from the Inn. She's also going to go to the concert, which is a big step forward for her.

Look forward to posting about that.


Monday, October 03, 2011

"Ellie": Hard to Explain

So like I said, I'm Ellie now. I'm a senior in high school, although if I get this body back to Ellie next summer she'll still have to make up a few credits, I've been told. Extra years in high school. Ugh. If this is what High School's always been like, I don't regret missing it.

I guess, though, before I get into any of that, I should explain more about how I got here, and who's with me. This is a long story. I'm in a creative writing class right now and we're encouraged to keep journals and do exercises. Since I can't be honest with them, I'll be honest with you.

I had made the deal with Fletcher/Beatrice at the beginning of the year, and I did always intend to honor it. I never gave a second thought about it. It felt like the right thing to do to ease my guilt about getting Roger into his predicament, spending a year as Beatrice's young daughter. I had promised to do everything in my power to leave him with my "Max" body.

Of course, that assumes Max's body was mine to give. A lot of people wind up in bodies they can't get out of; it's sad but it's true, and when I investigated I found this had happened to the original Max, Tanya and Melanie, in a way. Max and Tanya had wound up as parents to a newborn: Melanie. And there was no telling what effect bringing a newborn to the inn a second time might have. I told them there was a case in the blog where someone was turned into an infant and grew up comfortable but with memories of her past lives, and they seemed comfortable with that. I don't know if they ever reached out to the original parents, but in any case it always seems like there's a break in every chain somewhere.

I just have to throw up my hands at this point or else the guilt would come back. Roger's fate is the only one I'm responsible for, I can't fix everything now can I?

It was Fletcher who arranged my return to the Inn. He set me up with a reservation for three, assuming the girls -- the ones I was calling Melanie and Tanya -- would both want to come, and to complement her party of three.

Neither of the girls actually seemed that interested. If neither of them had to give up their new lives, why should they? And I didn't blame them. Melanie, formerly a guy, was really accepting of her new role, and Tanya was starting to soften too. I thought at least Melanie would appreciate the opportunity to get back to a form resembling her original, but they'd both given up contact with their original selves. To them, it was a matter of being "healthy and safe" here rather than risking it out there. This caused a rift between them and me. I even called Beatrice and told her I couldn't get them to come, and had to give up two of the reservations. She wouldn't allow it. My job was to fill two empty beds by any means I could. I said I wasn't intending to drag two innocent people to Maine when they had no idea what was going to happen to them. Beatrice told me it wasn't her problem. My case got more desperate.

The conflict between me and the girls got to the point where I had to move out of their house, as we were all living together with their "mom." It wasn't that there were hostilities or fights, I just harbored resentments and felt uncomfortable continuing to live there. By this point I had a few options.

See, after I made the deal, all I wanted was to keep my head down and my nose clean and get through to the end of Summer, when the reservation was set for. But life doesn't work that way and you meet people and make connections sometimes even when you don't.

There was a girl waitressing at the restaurant where I was washing dishes, and I guess she got really interested in me somehow. I had no conception of how I came across to her, but I guess because she's quite attractive, with blonde hair and a busty figure, she's used to guys being intimidated by her. I certainly couldn't help noticing her in the wake of my fling with Beatrice, when my sex drive really started to crank into overdrive. But I really, really didn't want to pursue. But somehow, the more I avoided her, the pushier she got until I finally just decided to let her into my life. We started dating not long after I posted about the deal, March.

So when I had to leave Tanya and Melanie's house, I had someone willing to put me up.

It was weird. I haven't written much about my past lives, but a lot of stuff that happened during my time as Sam made me very guarded about relationships. But I was determined at least to treat her with respect and kindness, and appreciate all she was doing for me. And I really, really cared about her. Hell, despite the fact that I had this secret hanging over my head, this deadline, I maybe even loved her.

Over the summer, things got worse for all of us. Eventually, my secrecy and sketchiness caused fight after fight, ending it after a few months. But during this time, something worse happened: Tanya was attacked.

I guess her "new life" wasn't as clean a slate as she thought. Some guys representing an old boyfriend with a drug problem and connections -- or maybe someone who was owed, I don't know -- found her behind a bar and cornered her. She escaped with a black eye and stitches, but the message was clear: this body, like any body, came with baggage. She needed out. I was happy to hear that, but obviously upset about the circumstances. We tried to convince Melanie, to no success.

Then one day, my girl came back home to me and said, "So, I ran into your friend Tanya today... I was wondering about this Maine trip you guys are planning."

I just about hard a freaking heart attack right there.

I mean, I don't know how I thought I could keep this whole thing a secret. I guess I figured we were bound to break up before the trip, and somehow the Inn power would work everything out without a third on our reservation. I'd break her heart, maybe leave her sad for a while (she's a good girl, she'd rebound fine I think) and never have to explain what really came between us. But before any of that happened, this did.

"Maine? Uh, I don't know what you're talking about."

I tried to play dumb but it was no use. She said she couldn't believe I was going about this all in secret, and I had to make like this was meant to be a surprise for the both of us, and I didn't tell her sooner because it wasn't confirmed. It was by sheer coincidence her birthday was in August. As to why Tanya was coming, well, "she's my friend and she's been through some trauma, you must understand, and she could use a vacation but she'll leave us alone."

Amazingly -- and much to my dismay -- that line of reasoning worked, and my girlfriend got her heart set on a vacation to Maine at the end of summer. I searched desperately for any way out but all the walls were closing in. I couldn't go back on my word, I couldn't let my girl down, I couldn't let Tanya stay in this dangerous lifestyle. I had to hope Fletcher and his friends were more able to handle it.

And that's how, on a humid August night, I found myself sprawled out in the darkness feeling my long, lean, lanky, rough-haired male body contract and curve and mold into a young, fresh-faced girl named Ellie McClay. And as interested as I was in my own strange transformation, I kept looking over to the figure in the darkness, the girl in my bed, who just rolled over and kept sleeping as her curvy, sexy self performed a change of its own.

And I wondered, what "magic" would the Inn perform tonight... would she be sister, brother, parent... lover? A man of age and distinction, a girl of twelve?

She became a teenage girl like me. Emily. A friend of Ellie's she'd dragged into this mess. The change must've been so subtle it didn't even wake her up, even as the muffled shock of others vibrated through the walls. There was a soft knock at the door. I opened it to find the face of a man. The girl I knew as Tanya was now my father, Mr. McClay.

It was a while before we learned that Ellie had been here before, that her body once belonged to Bryan, a friend of Alia's. That raised more questions: Why had she come back? And it couldn't just be a coincidence that we're in these bodies. Fletcher had only told us we'd be all right, but he claimed to have no knowledge of where we'd end up. I don't believe him, but I don't know what to think.

But none of this was on our mind at the time. I just kept running over the question I had had in mind ever since "Emily" decided we were definitely going to Maine together: what the hell was I going to tell her about me?