Saturday, October 06, 2012

Burt (Lisa): Boundaries

Nobody's overly happy with the situation we've found ourselves in. Out of all the people I've heard about from this blog, very few of them have had to live with someone who knew your body's original owner... had to deal with that on a daily basis. Shaun and I are still sharing an apartment, and while logistically it's a bit of a drag, it's an arrangement both of us are comfortable to maintain, I think. To be honest, no matter who I am, Shaun needs a friend right now. We've talked a good deal, and he's taken me into his confidence. As you on the blog know, he was recently dumped by his fiancee when he became Doug, and from then on he had to pretend to be married. And while that sounds like a relief, it's incredibly stressful to assume that role in someone's life without any prior knowledge, and going from one situation to the other like that may make it hard to access the emotions the other person expects. For the first few weeks of our arrangement, Shaun tiptoed around me and kept checking up on me to make sure I was okay, obviously being sensitive to my transformation. Once I assured him I was okay, he started to open up a bit. It's not that he couldn't talk to Zane or Lisa about it, but I'm always there in the apartment - I don't go out much, I stay in and read or watch TV. We have dinner together often, we talk, and I know feel like I know him well, and he knows me. I've told him things about myself - things I am not yet comfortable sharing here - that explain why I don't think this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me.

Because of the way the previous renters of the Lisa and Shaun bodies behaved, we found ourselves in this situation where everyone in the world thinks we're in a relationship together. It was awkward in the beginning, because I was new to this, obviously, and the last thing I wanted to be was a "girlfriend." Luckily, I didn't have to very much, aside from the occasional meeting with his family or mine. I look back at those early days of awkwardness and laugh, what they must have thought of my body language, reclining away from him on the couch, seeming distant during conversations... if it weren't for the Inn magic, the idea that we were a couple would have seemed impossible.

But it's easier to pretend now that we have rhythm. I can kid him about things, I have stories to tell when people ask, we get along great. I still don't think I'd hold his hand in public, but that's not required. I just don't lean away from him when we're sitting side by side.

What we have is an understanding, in the place of a conventional relationship. As far as the world knows, we're "together," but he knows we are definitely not in reality, and if he wanted, he could date any woman in the world. I know it wouldn't though. From our talks, he seems determined to take time for himself before getting into a relationship again. I hope he does.

And I suppose, I could date anyone I wanted. But I haven't felt attracted to even one man (or woman) in my time here. I've been "asked out" once or twice, and my reaction is more like polite embarrassment for the person asking, and I'm thankful I have my fake "relationship" as an excuse. It's a fragile balance we have to strike. I just hope he doesn't let me impact his life too much. I don't plan on being here forever.

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