"Lisa/Zane." Oh, my God, even after all the stuff we've been through with this Inn, I never expected I would be typing a phrase like that.
I couldn't spend too much time taking inventory, when Shaun called me over to show me what had become of Anthony's "substitute." I don't know why both of us sort of assumed Zane was in my body, since Anth's was between us, and if I took Zane's, then the person next to Shaun would have to be "me."
But going back even further, to the conversation Zane and I had that, I guess, lasted long enough into the night that our transformations kickstarted without us knowing it... I was so pissed off at Anthony. Even moreso now, but even then. Look, none of us have great lives. I'm struggling, Zane's chronically unemployed, and Doug left his life as something of a mess. A year away wasn't likely to make things better for any of us, but Anthony opting out, and leaving us with a new person to explain this whole shitty situation... that was a dick move. And I had to rant to somebody, and Zane and I had been getting on so well all week that s/he was my go-to. If I had been in Shaun's room, maybe I'd be in my own body.
Maybe I'd be in his body, and he'd be in mine. Still a crappy situation, but one we could explain easier.
So we're all faced with this complication, with Burt in my body. Zane, by process of elimination, is now Anthony. When I came to his door, and I said who I was, he got this perverse grin, this shit-eating grin Anthony sometimes gets that makes me want to punch him. It's all very "no time to explain."
So we gathered in Burt's room, where I have the very surreal visual, like watching myself on video doing something I don't remember... it's "me" sitting on the bed, draped in a much larger man's clothes, hair looking stringy, face puffy from lack of sleep. Ugh, I could hardly look.
But Shaun took the leadership role, being the one who wasn't in the wrong body.
He stammered a while. "You're um... you used to be... uh... you're not..."
"Who are you people?" Burt finally asks.
"My name is Shaun," he says, "And this is Zane, and, and, uh, Lisa." I had to hide my eyes.
"What happened to me?"
"It happened to all of us," Shaun answered, "Um, what we know, uh, we don't know everything about this, but, see, the Inn has some kind of curse on it... it's been going on for years. It takes your body... and it gives it to someone else."
I'll spare you the rest of the details. I don't know if I could have explained it any better, but there was so much backtracking and elaborating and contradicting in his explanation it probably made things a lot worse.
Like I said, the thing I hated the most is that we had to explain it.
But basically, we rambled through the whole story of how we found out about the inn last year, spent a year living in these other bodies, and made it back year later.
"But... I'm a woman."
"Yeah... um, see, it's not exact." He gestured to me, "Lisa was supposed to get her body back, but somehow it didn't go... as planned."
Burt was doing weird things, like running his fingers through my hair, trying to piece it all together in his head.
"I have to be a woman for a year... and you people... all went through this already?"
"Look, take your time with it," Shaun said, "This happens a lot, apparently, so... like, just try not to freak out too hard. It's gonna be okay."
I couldn't have done better. It was terrible, but I couldn't have done better.
We had a similar, slightly more well thought out version of the same discussion several times later that day. No one looks to be facing any tragedy in this case. I think a lot of the visitors in the previous block were at a bachelor party - mostly men - whereas half the inn this week was a singles mixer, so... there were a few other women who became guys.
I guess there's a lot to cover here, but I get really weird when I try to write too much of it, which is sorta why I never wrote here too much. I'm trying to get over it, though, because obviously this whole transformation game isn't over for me!