Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jane/Wes: I'm new here

Hello blogosphere. I guess you already know a bit about me, but I suppose I should fill you in on the details.

My name is Jane Li. I'm 24 years old, a second-generation Chinese-American, but I don't speak the language fluently (and love messing with jerks who don't think I speak English, although that's happening less as I get older.) I have a BA in Fine Arts (pottery is my passion.) I'm 5'4 (with a petite build,) and a native of Cherry Hill, NJ. I love the Pixies and Taylor Swift equally (don't judge me.) I spent the summer backpacking around Europe partly as a way to get over a bad breakup, and when I got back to the States, I decided to stay at the Trading Post Inn.

Since then, I resemble a 29-year-old office drone from Chicago named Wes Baker. He's 6' tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed, with broad shoulders, a movie star's jaw, and perfect teeth.

I sussed out what had happened pretty quickly. I mean, when you wake up and there's male anatomy in your tattered underwear, you can't help but draw conclusions. I stepped of of bed, nearly tipped over due to the higher center of gravity, and then caught my "junk" on the inseam of my panties, hobbling me. Such sensitive little things.

I stripped off my clothes and laid on the floor, staring down at my flat(ter) chest, rock-hard abs, and this hairy, veiny... appendage between my legs. I nearly hyperventilated. I laid back and closed my eyes, trying to wish it away, but I could feel it... shifting. "Oh, God, oh God," I whimpered in my newly baritone voice. If this was a dream, it was one I was embarrassed to be having.

I mean, sometimes we think it would be nice to have one of those things, but... actually getting one? Gag.

Once I was well, I tore the room apart looking for clues, and happened upon Wes' luggage. I probably should have put his clothes on then and there, but I couldn't imagine doing so, so I wrapped a towel around my waist and decided to go see what, if anything, had happened to anyone else, and if anyone needed serious help. I didn't even realize I was still wearing the remains of my top.

You don't realize your hands have changed size until you hold something familiar... like a doorknob. It felt like a little rubber ball did in my old hand - I clasped all the way around it. Walking down the hall, I felt like an ungainly, hairy monster.

I was clearly not the only one freaked, so I did as much traffic-direction as I could before I finally found "Bianca," in the room belonging to the girl I had known as "Sophie." She and "Angie" were the only other visitors I had gotten to know, besides the revolting Don Lazar. She seemed very collected, if spooked, and it help put me at ease. The person who had been a sweet-looking, sexily curvy girl about my own age had aged a decade. Her punkish side-swipe hair had become a more conventionally long cut, frizzed out by the heat and lack of care. She looked like she had been having a rough morning. I wanted to go over and comfort her, but I didn't want to make any sudden movements, so I stayed by the door as we talked about the details.

Once the chaos died down, I went back to the bathroom to examine the face that everyone had seen but me.

Like I said, Wes is a good-looking fella. I turned the corner, faced my reflection, and saw this model-like steely blue gaze. I felt my lip quiver when I saw "him." I removed what remained of my top, and found a pair of clean-shaven, well-defined pecs. I held my arms out to the side and flexed a little.

"Holy crap," I thought, "I'm hot."

In fact, all that posing was starting to make me feel a little... uncomfortable, if you catch my drift, and I had to step away from the mirror and take a walk around to get my head on straight. It brought up a lot of really complicated feelings... not to mention physiological responses... to see this really attractive man, someone I would feel fairly intimidated to talk to in person, but he was standing in the mirror.

Here I was, far from home, transformed into a man, expected to live his life. It was heavy, but I could see it would not be without perks.

Then the sadness set in as I realized it was my turn to hand off my life to someone else. As I thought about what I wrote in my version of the letter, about my lack of a steady job, lack of a relationship, lack of any direction, I felt almost ashamed. And I wonder if maybe I didn't argue as emphatically as I should have that they should be careful not to do anything to screw it up for me... that I didn't come across as wanting to go back.

It's not like I'm excited to be this person, but... I mean, it's something to do, right?

It was a little later that I found out it wasn't Bianca and James' first go-around. I don't think they meant to hide it from me... obviously they weren't going to explain it to me the first time we met, and even though I would have appreciated them laying it out for me right away after it happened (especially knowing they wrote me into this blog!) I understand why they didn't. It was a chaotic day, and from what I understand they had a lot of reason to be secretive. But it still felt weird... like, I instantly took a liking to these girls, and I didn't sense anything off about them, except for the fact that they were, well, seemingly Canadian.

But then, as we were preparing to depart for Chicago, I mentioned that if they ever needed help getting through this, I would be there for them. They kind of shared this look of embarrassment, and James nudged Bianca into saying something, and she kind of looked away and admitted "We've kind of done this before."

My jaw dropped. I thought they were just adapting well! It turns out they're a year ahead of me on the curve. My world was rocked, even though it shouldn't have been. This changed everything. I asked them to tell me everything, and they did... a lot of it is covered on this blog, and some of it they swore me to secrecy about, and some of it they just don't know, for instance about this organization they've hooked up with, which set them (and me, I suppose) up with jobs at this company... to what, move numbers around a spreadsheet? I wonder what they're really up to.

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