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.