Sunday, September 29, 2013

Roy / Christine: Women's work

I hate to sound like a stereotype, but I don't have a lot of monogamous experience. I've co-habitated before, sure, but the guys I was living with always felt more like roommates-with-benefits than true partners. I'm a pretty independent person, and when I get tired of something, I have no problem leaving it. This isn't a luxury I have as Christine. Terry is here whether I like him or not, and lately it's more "not."

I don't have a lot of privacy, something that I feel I desperately need in this state. I wake up and he's there. I go to work, and I'm "in character" as the assistant manager of the bookstore, and when I come home he's still there. And pardon me for not subscribing to traditional gender roles, but I don't think I should be expected to do all the cooking and cleaning just because I happen to have the vagina. After all, he's the one who works from home, he should be expected to do his part.

But I don't have a lot of experience confronting issues like these. I'm more accustomed to parting with my problems than with resolving them. It's why I haven't spoken to my parents in a decade, moved out of the south for New England, and had more partners than I care to reveal.

There's something to be said for consistency... routine, familiarity, comfort. I get it. I like it, to a degree. Having someone's arms wrapped around me at night does not suck, even if that closeness is a lie. It's a lie that isn't my fault, I just happen to be the beneficiary.

I started taking the pill so that I could have sex with him. It's a bit of an expense, although less so than if we were still in America thank god. Christine and Terry's attitude toward pregnancy was to just let it happen if it was going to be the case - hey, they're married, and they're not trying but they're not avoiding it. I, however, am decidedly not trying. I couldn't ask him to wear a condom, and I didn't think it was fair to not have sex with him.

I haven't gone through with it yet. I've come close several times, but I can't decide whether it's my conscience or nerves that stop me. I do other things for him - just a guy helping another guy out, as one of my first playmates used to say - and he hardly seems to mind. What can I say, I'm good at what I do. But I haven't felt up to it because I look at him and I think "God, you are ALWAYS here."

It's nice to know he finds Christine sexy, even if I don't. There's a prettiness to her, I think, but I can't help but fixate on the way I feel bloated and tired most of the time. I've been trying to launch a workout regimen, but I'm feeling the lack of a reserve of energy that I had in my real body. Christine's body is clearly not used to pushing itself, and though she's by no means obese, it's very hard to train it to go the speed that I'm used to. I end up over-exerting myself and quitting, and that's a feeling I do not like. It took years of discipline to get myself into shape the first time, and that was starting from being a wiry young man, not a chubby woman in her late twenties.

I used to like running at night, as a way to clear my head at the end of the night, but Terry has expressed discomfort with me staying out late when it's dark. I think that's immature of him, but this is still an unfamiliar neighborhood to me so I don't really know if there might be Canadian gangs out there. All the same, in the mornings I just really don't feel like running. So the cycle perpetuates itself.

Then I get to work and I have to deal with both micromanaging head offices who are impatient with me for not knowing how to do "my" job, and immature teenage employees who treat that place as a hangout, not the least of whom is James, who clearly doesn't care if she gets fired. I've stopped trying to protect her, and I told her that she's on her own. I say "her" because, although I know she was a man, I didn't know her that way. To my eyes she's just a bratty 22-year-old girl named Keisha.

Still, she's the closest thing I have to a friend right now, as this situation has found us all clinging to whatever stability we have. I'm not that tight with the other Lowell kids, and Keisha just happens to work a lot of the same shifts as me, so we confer and share notes. She can be quite charming when she wants, but that doesn't stop her from getting on my nerves. Basically, I'd like it a lot better if she treated me like the authority figure I'm supposed to be. It can only help both of us.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cal / Angie: Bored and angry

I need some hobbies.

Since we've gotten here, I've just been so "in the moment." I'm working, or I'm cleaning the apartment or I'm fighting with Derek, or I'm, like, asleep. Sometimes I went for walks around the city, which was nice, but I'm getting bored of that. Today, I'm home from work, and Derek is out at his job, so I've got the apartment to myself. All I've done was clean a little, do some laundry, and walk around the place. I tried watching TV, but there's nothing on. I tried going on the internet and reading articles, but nothing holds my attention.

Suddenly I'm starting to realize what James and Roy and all them are talking about when they say we've changed.

I used to be more interested in things. I used to live for the next issue of Spider-Man or the X-Men. Now it all feels stupid. Right now, Spidey isn't even Spidey... Doc Ock has taken over his body. And you know what? I know what that's like, and if I can just say, the way they're writing it is very unrealistic. You don't just become someone else, roll up your sleeves and get on with it. It sucks. But I guess Doc Ock got to be a cool superhero guy, and I'm just a girl. Our experiences are different. He also chose it.

I was talking to James last week, about a lot of different stuff. How he seems to enjoy parts of this, the dressing up, the girly act. He pointed out that Tori, who's been on this blog a lot longer than we have, said being a girl was like having a superpower. Well it's not something I want to deal with. A lot of the girls on this site have called it a curse and that's exactly what it is. It's ruined my life. I want to be me again.

James laughed at me. He said I was miserable when I was a guy. Kept to myself, never went out, never got laid. That's not true. I had a girlfriend a year ago. We did it twice, and then she broke up with me. I wasn't good at being a boyfriend, and now I'm not good at being a girl. James thinks I could enjoy it if I try to. I shouldn't have to try, and I don't want to enjoy it. I just want it to be over.

I looked up where there's a comic shop in Van City (that's what they call this place.) I stood outside and tried to build up my courage, but I know how they treat girls in those places. I know the kind of guys that are in there. I was that kind of guy and I don't want to be gawked at just for having tits. I can't play video games either, although that's partly because we don't have an XBox here. Maybe GTA V would ease my mind, but something tells me I wouldn't enjoy it either.

Shit, shit, shit, I just went down to check on my laundry. How come I didn't know you couldn't put bras in the dryer??? FUCK! Because I'm NOT a girl! Even after three months of this crap. Ugh.

I'm gonna spend the rest of the day looking up recipes. Maybe I'll start learning to cook more. I've been on my own for a few months with only Derek to help out, so I'm sick of making the same pasta dishes over and over. I'll Google some vegetarian recipes, maybe try to start weaning this body onto meat, put on some weight. Hopefully, by the end of the day one of my friends will answer my text and decide to come hang out. Looking at this screen is giving me a headache. I'm PMSing.


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Trish / Robbie: Beach day

Our lives are utterly insane. A few months ago we were just normal teenagers. Most of us were going to college in the fall. Now it's September and I have this anxiety in my chest because I feel like I should be going to school. All that preparation I was expecting to do, registering for classes, buying textbooks, moving out of my parents house I do not have to do. I don't have to do anything, except find a new job.

Robbie's job painting houses officially ended last week. It was bittersweet. I was okay at the work but I didn't love it. I didn't find it stimulating or anything. Some of the crew were the exact sorts of obnoxious jerks that used to hit on me regularly at parties, except now they were trying to drag me to parties to hit on girls.

I did go out a few times with them, against my better judgment, sitting quietly at the bar while they struck out time and again at the club. I'll admit, it would've been nice to get "into" the spirit of things and join the dancefloor, but I feel so gangly and awkward as a man. I'm not sure how men are supposed to dance, even though I've never believe them when they told me "guys don't dance." I've seen them do it. I just don't like how they do.

The girls are another thing. It's amazing to watch these girls just cut loose. I wish I could be like that, or if I could have when I was a girl. Right now, I've decided, I'm nothing.

Which is to say, please don't read too deeply into it when I say the one member of the crew I'll miss is the only girl I worked with, Lauren. She is blonde and short and quite cute, and she probably has a better sense of humor than I do, to be able to put up with the guys ogling her.

She asked me, on our last day working together, what I was planning on doing for the fall. I said I had no plans. I'm not going back to school. I don't have a new job lined up yet. I can scrape by for a little bit on savings.

She said it would be a shame if we never saw each other again, and said to keep in touch if I ever wanted to hang out at her University campus. (It's weird the way Canadians say "University" the way we say "College." They say "College" when they talk about community college.) I thought it might be nice to have a female friend who isn't secretly a boy.

Speaking of the boy-girls, we had one little meetup to celebrate the end of summer. Vancouver has a few really great beaches and I managed to get them all to come along, basically daring them to wear swimsuits. It took a lot of convincing.

James was the easiest to convince, of course. Out of the three, he is the least skittish about "flaunting" it. Which I'm a bit uncomfortable with, because with Keisha being "my" sister, I kind of feel that level of brotherly familiarity with her.

Cal and Derek came too, wearing their swimsuits under shorts and tees in case they felt too embarrassed. However, I think being in a crowd of hot (and not) girls and guys in swimwear gave them a bit of confidence. Cal wore a red bikini that fell loosely over his slim little body. Derek wore a black one-piece, which seemed modest, but actually highlighted his curves. Compared to those other two, he's a goddess. Now, it's obvious that he's let Mona's body "go" a little bit through inactivity and overeating, but the girl is still hot.

However, the real surprise was Grant, who none of us has had much contact with since we got here. He's been kind of a recluse and we were all starting to worry (although when texted, he does reply quickly.) Grant's "host" body, Sophie, is a bit of a bombshell in her own way... short, but curvacious in just the right way (big hips and butt) and quite bosomy. He was spilling out of his strapless bikini top like it was no big deal.

For my part, I wore baggy shorts - guys' swimwear is so boring and functional, like everything about them.

This weekend was the most fun I've had with these guys. They let their guards down just a little bit. I kept my eye on them to see which beachgoers turned their heads, and while they definitely paid attention to the other girls, I saw some glances cast at guys, too... quickly and embarrassedly. Okay, I don't want to make them feel too awkward about it.

But really, is it such a crime? If what Roy has said is true, that's basically how these bodies are wired. It's just physical. It's just attraction. It's scary to let your body do the driving when it's taking you in an unfamiliar direction, but if that's what's going to happen, can we fight it? Are we just making ourselves miserable by not admitting that if, for example, if Robbie liked girls, then I might too now? The evidence is... pretty convincing.

But why does it have to be about who I like? It's not like I plan on doing anything, and I don't think the others are either. The only one I'm having "fun" with is myself, and I guarantee you three out of those four boys have done the same.

Well, the equivalent.