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.