...but sometimes it would be fun to be foolish.
I never meant to give Meg to impression that I expected her to get her body back and immediately fall in love with me. Let's face it... we didn't even know who I was going to wind up as, and as much as we like to think we're enlightened, there are limits to what you can put a person through. My becoming Alan definitely helped things along, but she was coming out of a very difficult year and I never wanted to make her think she owed me a chance to jump into a relationship asap. I could be patient.
When she decided she was ready, we made a date that we decided would be a good night for it - Gene would be at a late meeting, we'd have the place to ourselves (although if we were going to really work as a couple we can't keep tiptoeing around him... we just needed a bit of privacy to get the ball rolling.) As we laid in bed, still clothed, she paused a second and asked, "You're not going to turn around and tell the blog about this afterward, are you?"
"Of course not," I said. "Not right away, anyway."
She slugged me with the pillow. I probably deserved it, but I had a pretty solid case: I've been female, young and celibate for over a year. I was very interested - and I suspected that others would be too - in finding out how it felt after all that time. She was usually pretty coy about her sex life with Wade, so I wanted to be respectful, but... I mean, they know we're sleeping in the same bed.
"Okay," she relented, "Just don't give any embarrassing details... about what I'm like."
Trust me, even if I did, it would all be complimentary.
Honestly, I was the one who felt embarrassed. It was like starting from square one. Alan's body is differently-proportioned than mine, all gangly limbs and a long, thin torso. I got aches and cramps in places I didn't expect to. Not to mention, I was so overwhelmed by the sensation that, well, I couldn't quite handle it. When our first round was over, I buried my face in the pillow: "I'm so sorry I just put you through that."
She held me in her arms and smiled, "It was good, no, really."
"I'll work on it, I promise."
"You don't have anything to apologize for," she assured me. "Don't be so hard on yourself."
I couldn't help but sulk a bit. "I wanted it to be better. The best ever. Worth the wait. But I can't... it's like I don't even know my own body..."
"You don't. This isn't Tyler's body. It's new for you. It takes time. I'm here with you."
I looked at her beautiful face and smiled. "I know. I feel better already."
It would be nice to think that my time as a she lent me some insight into processing, verbalizing and dealing with my feelings, but the truth is, it may have just made me better at bottling it all up. Think about it: I only had Meg to rely on for support, and she was supportive, but I didn't want to mope to her all the time. I wanted to be the brave, stalwart man I didn't appear to be but felt I was. I didn't want to be a victim or weak. Whatever pain I had, I hid as best I could. So now I'm back to being a man and I still do that, still don't want to show any vulnerability. Still have the impulse to lash out when things go bad and I can't hide it.
But I have her understanding, her patience, her support. Holy shit, I am a lucky man.
Things have improved, slowly but surely, as we've found our rhythm. It just feels so incredible and... meaningful. And I guess, the fact that I know a bit about how it all works for her (oh, don't look at me like that, it was my body) makes me feel like this is just something... bigger and better. No matter how (ahem) long it lasts.