Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anthony/Ceecee: Drive

I'm a driven individual. I take my work very seriously, it's the same now as it was when I was a man. I don't linger long on this blog because for the time being my only objective has been to keep my head down, keep busy, be the best Ceecee I can be and prepare for my return to my own body.

People notice. I'm not content to do the grunt work while the higher-ups take the credit. There was a learning curve to working in the industry, but I picked it up as quickly as I could. It's all networking anyhow. There have been three things motivating me. One is the desire to keep from thinking too hard about my predicament.

The second is money. I always had a good supply of cash as Anthony. I wasn't "1%" rich, but I was working my way up. Ceecee left me with a modest budget and less job security, so I had to work extra hard. It was an adjustment, but it was a challenge I was willing to meet.

Third was concern for my friend. Even before I knew Zane was suffering from Clara's depression, I felt it was my responsibility to look after him. For months, between September and December, much of my time was spent guiding Clara's career, when I could have been acquiring new clients to hedge my bets, or at least working closer with existing ones who weren't as reluctant to do their jobs. It isn't that I wanted Zane to accept his new role, it was that I wanted to give him something to focus on, like I had found, so that when he went home at night he didn't pass out in bed drunk and wake up the next morning feeling like a wreck. The idea that it could be biological never even occurred to me.

Over the course of a few months, I negotiated several modeling gigs for Clara. It's not glamorous runway stuff, most of it was just advertising, stock photos, trade conventions... junk gigs that none of the girls really want to do, but they pay.

It wasn't working. I was getting fed up with Zane's inability to get with the program. This culminated in a fight, shortly before the diagnosis. We were supposed to have a business meeting, and he was late. He showed up looking shabby, his commitment to the job of being Clara once again dubious. I yelled... I barely recognized the sounds coming out of my mouth, the way my voice got so high and shrill, but there it was. We didn't talk for a while after that. My offer to help with the prescription was my way of apologizing, but Ceecee's financial situation means I'm hardly equipped to shower money on him, so I once again expressed my desire to see him take things a bit more seriously, at least as a way of making money. Since December, he's taken on a few modeling gigs and acted very professionally, and our friendship has been mending ever since.

I definitely saw a change in his demeanor since he started on the pills. He was worried they'd brainwash him, but as far as I can tell, they're just helping him cope. It's not blocking out all the stuff he hates about being a woman -- I share many of the same complaints -- but it's certainly dulling the intensity he feels them. He can go out in the world, even talk to men without feeling ashamed. What's more, we've rebuilt a certain level of trust, which is good, because I had a favor to ask him.

We went out for coffee. I've been a little worried about running out of things to talk about. He's not interested in hearing about work, and there's never anything going on with him that I don't really know about. He's also really dodgy when I try to talk about our predicament, because he thinks just because I've been to a hairdresser and always wear a bra that I've "given in" to being a girl. I tried to ease into the conversation by talking about that weekend's Pats game, but he was just pissed about not being able to see it.

During one lull, he asked if I ever wondered what he looked like naked. I rolled my eyes. "I've seen naked girls, Zane."

"I'd show you, y'know. If you wanted to see. Unless you're into dudes now."

He was clearly messing with me. I tried to suppress my irritation. He went on, "There's this one chick I live with, Leslie? She's really into this other dude in our house, Marc. She's pretty hot, too. I wouldn't mind hitting that."

I grumbled, "I doubt she's into girls." That shut him up. I told him we actually had business. At the end of the month, we're doing this event for the agency. It's a bit of a mixer, really. There's going to be a lot of clients there, a lot of casting people, photographers, industry types and other bigwigs. I've been trying not to tank Clara's career, and it would be a step in the right direction to get Zane out to it.

"Will there be booze?"

"Yeah, sure... but you're gonna have to go easy. We don't know how that stuff reacts with your medicine."

"I'll be fine," he said like it was no big thing.

I sense trouble. It's not that I need anything from him other than his presence, and hopefully staying out of trouble, but it would be nice not to have to worry about that second part.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Greg/Alexis: The Silent Treatment

I think sometimes the reason I have long layoffs from writing in this blog is because I like not having to think about what's happened to me. If youll notice I'll almost always blog frequently after getting a new body, and just slow down towards the holidays, picking up again when its time to go back to the inn. Thats probably because sometimes I like to just live my life and not have to think about my past ones or any future ones directly.

Things were going great for me the last month and a half. I had a nice house, a great job, a new car thanks to the insurance finally coming through on the Range Rover that got crushed by Hurricane Irene, friends, even Malinda was pleasant.

She had finally gotten out of her post transformation funk in December and it made life a lot easier around here. She actually started doing her share of the cleaning and even cooked on weeknights when I had to work. Whats even more amazing is that she began leaving the house. At first it was during the day to run errands but soon she began going out to see movies and try restaurants in town and even with me and some friends to bars on the weekends. It was like she had gotten over her intense fear of being seen as Sharon Barco. I think going to meet Todd and Bryan helped immensely, because it allowed her to be herself and I think she made the connection that she could still be herself in someways even if people thought she wasnt.

Of course, with things going so well for me, it was only a matter of time before they blew up...

The holiday season actually wasnt stressful at all for us, because we basically stayed in together. Neither of us had any desire to meet Sharon or Alexis' parents or have to act as wife and wife in front of family so we told her body's parents were were going to my body's parents and vice versa. There were phone calls on the 25th but other than that nobody seemed to be the wiser.

The trouble started on new years eve. A couple we were friends with, Alan and Tia, were having a party at their house and really wanted us to come because they hadnt seen us in awhile. I broached the subject carefully with Malinda, because while she had come out of her shell, this would mean being Sharon around people that knew her as such and she'd have to play the part a little more.

To my surprise, she agreed instantly. Apparently New Years Eve is one of her favorite holidays and she went and bough a whole new outfit just for the occasion. Just a pair of black leggings and a red turtleneck. It was tight fitting, which was Malinda's way of looking sexy in the cold. Short skirts and cleavage werent exact a good idea when it was 29 degrees out. I swear that girl seriously underestimated how cold it gets in the North.

Anyway we were indoors most of the night because of the snow, but we managed to fake it. We stuck together mostly because there were a lot of people we didnt recognize that we were supposed to. Fortunately when people drink a lot of conversations dont go beyond "How are you I havent seen you in forever" and of course being girls we also had to pose for pictures with people who hadnt seen us in awhile. There must be at least 100 pictures up on facebook of that night.

Anyway, the trouble began at the stroke of midnight. The champagne had been poured and people were counting down. Once 2012 got here we all shouted happy new year and everyone around us who was in a couple was kissing. Something in the moment caught us up because I looked at Malinda for a couple seconds, and she looked at me in the same way, and we kissed.

It wasnt just a peck on the cheek, it lasted a good ten seconds. It was the first time I'd kissed anyone since I was Deb, and I imagine Malinda was on a similar drought. It felt good and we pulled away and looked at each other unknowingly.

All of a sudden her face changed. I glint of anger shone in her eye. I thought she was going to slap me. "Im sorry" i whispered. "Take me home. Now." She said through gritted teeth.

The ride home started out in silence, which I foolishly attempted to break by saying. "I'm sorry, I just got caught up in the moment." This of course unleashed her fury. "You KNOW I didnt want to do that. You KNOW I think its wrong. How long have you been waiting to do that? Is this just some sort of sick fantasy of yours." and and all sorts of other angry questions and statements about how I'm such a jerk for doing that to her.

What's followed has been two weeks of silence. No football bonding. No going out together. She still goes out on her own, with some friends I'm not really close to, which is good in a way because she hasnt reverted back to being a hermit. And she still cleans the house, I think to avoid having to argue with me over that. Truth be told I'm not too eager to start a fight with her. I've put in 4 good months trying to get her acclimated and she kissed me just as much as I kissed her, as much as she'll never admit that.

I'm just hoping she doesnt stab me in my sleep.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Todd: Home for the Holidays

Home, in this case, being both Toronto and this blog.

Some stuff has happened since I last checked in, although not all of it is really all that noteworthy. Somebody Else is, if not totally dead, then at least on hiatus. Truth is, we were really stretching it by running as long as we did after Bry and Shel's breakup, but the touring band experience was too good an opportunity for any of us to pass up, with or without the opportunity to meet up with some of our Inn people. And Bry and I genuinely do enjoy playing together, but the time on the road was tense enough that I'll be happy to just put the dream away for a while.

Shelby, obviously, is not into it, and without a drummer we're just two guys with guitars, not a band. She was fitting in well, but the relationship drama was impossible to navigate. She and I both went back to work at the store, and she's picking back up at school this semester. Now, they ended their relationship on good enough terms that finishing (and repeatedly extending) the tour wasn't a problem, but they were not keen on seeing each other after we got back. So on the one hand I live with Bryan and he's my best friend. On the other, I work with Shelby and she's been a good friend since before they dated.

Alia and I ended up going to a party at a house near the University campus where some of Shelby's friends live. We weren't going to go along, since Bry wasn't able to go, but he got sick and we all figured, no sense in hanging around the house if we don't need to. The night ended up being lame, we weren't in the mood to put up with college kid shenanigans. We're starting to get a bit old, I guess. Shelby was hanging out with her friend Reggie, who was giving us the hairy eyeball for some reason, I guess he knew we were friends with Shelby's ex. We ended up leaving at 11:30 after Shelby and Reggie turned the night into a long drunken make-out session. Alia and I spent midnight on the subway, crawling into bed together at 1.

She nuzzled into my arms, and I muttered, "Hey... you should move in."

She looked me in the eye to determine whether I was just drunkenly rambling, or if I meant it. I did, of course. This is the most serious we've ever been. Neither of us know if we believe in marriage, but it feels right to start a new direction. We've been talking about it ever since.

Shelby, meanwhile, was completely embarrassed by the makeout session we witnessed. She doesn't know if it's too soon after Bryan, if she's just vulnerable, what he feels, etc, etc. Kids stuff. The kind of stuff that just amuses me to hear now.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

"Ellie": Living With Secrets

There are things about being Ellie that are easy, and there are parts of being her that aren't.

First off, high school just isn't fun. I never went in my old lives, I had to grow up quick and learn on my own. Being a 14-year-old girl in a more mature body meant that I had a moment when I realized I could either take control and educate myself, or coast on my looks and become a "dumb girl." As a result I missed out on a lot of learning that people are supposed to at least try to learn... I still can't do math worth a damn and don't know anything about science. But I was a real bookworm and loved things like history and geography.

So even though I feel like I'm past all this, and mentally way more mature than anyone in my class, I keep coming up against my limitations to the point where I've considered getting a tutor. I'm tired of being frustrated by my classes, because right now that's pretty much my entire life. That and getting home, watching TV, and ignoring everyone but the internet.

I'm kind of a loner. I didn't used to be, and when I was Sam I had a really tough time being on my own (to he point where it probably seriously damaged me) but somewhere along the way I realized I was probably meant to be more alone than not. I obviously don't fit in with others. I don't want to. I wish I was different, I wish I could just slip into it like Emily, but it's not going to happen.

Emily. I still really care about her. I hope she knows. I see her all the time at school but we hardly talk because she's made friends with people I don't really like, and I'm not going to pretend to be nice to them just so I can be with my girlfriend. Yeah, I said it, deep down, I'm still the person she dated and she's still the girl I liked. Those feelings won't go away, which is so strange. I remember how Tanya and Melanie used to be a couple before they became sisters, and it just tore them apart... they didn't "break up" because they were pretending to be sisters. They broke up because one of them completely lost interest in the idea of a relationship with a woman. The fact that I haven't scares me. I know Bryan, when he was Ellie, had the same sort of interests, but I just didn't expect it to come over me like this. It's not that I stare at all the girls, it's just when I see her, it's like I'm still a guy.

Life at home is... lame. Like I said, I don't do much, I don't even have to work. My "dad," formerly Tanya, has really grown into his role... I don't ask exactly how into it he is, but he keeps the role up even when we're alone. I call him "Dad" and he tries to parent me, which I... don't like. I mean, how can I take him seriously? This time last year he was a 20-year-old girl having constant emotional breakdowns. "Mom" seems to like him fine. She's none the wiser.

Which brings me to my last point, which is this Donna lady, and the true nature of my life as Ellie. Supposedly, last year, a guy named Ernie was living Ellie's life, meaning the real Ellie is still out there somewhere. And living as her "dad" was a woman named Donna, a lady from the neighborhood. I've met her a few times, when the parents have her family over, and I've read about her on the blog from Todd's times as Anne-Marie, but she's never said anything. She acts like nothing ever happened, so I don't know what any of it means.

I guess it doesn't make a difference, but I'm dying to know how this lady ended up taking the trip, if she's in her own body, what it all means. Sometimes I feel like my life is made up of secrets I can't tell and questions I can't ask.