Originally I was going to entitle this post "Women are crazy," but that seemed sexist given that just about everyone else writing here has been a woman at one point or another. I'm just trying to stay sane, surrounded by mixed-up people. And those people, to some degree or other, all seem to be women. I don't want to say one has to do with the other, but...
To refresh your memory, going back to the letter I had Tori post several months ago, my name is Glenn Stevenson. I visited the Inn this summer with my son, Mason, and a friend of mine named Leon. When I left, I was Peter Malinowski, Leon was Peter's wife Meredith, and a woman named Cathy became their son Trevor, while my own son became a girl named Brooke, who had been reported as missing after she snuck out to have a tryst with Trevor and never returned.
It has been hard to maintain contact with Mason since then, as Brooke's parents have kept a close watch on "her." It didn't help matters that she was native to Maine, and the Malinowskis were based out of Delaware. I was obligated to take my makeshift family, leave my own son behind, and go live Peter's life... for a while anyway.
Leon, understandably, handled the change less than gracefully, complaining about becoming "my bitch" (his words, not mine!!) because Meredith was a housewife and Peter made enough money to support them both. I told him things could be worse, and if he wouldn't mind just taking care of the house, he could have as much of Peter's money as he wanted. He decided to hire a maid while he slept until 11, hung around the house in a bathrobe, and drank constantly.
I was dismayed at the cost, but I didn't give him too much of a hard time about it. He's not exactly a Domestic, I've seen the place where he really lives. The arrangement was going fine, with us more or less just continuing as some kind of roommates until mid-November, when one night Leon called me into his room (the master bedroom - I'm sleeping in the guest room.) I came to see what the fuss was. And he was just lying there on top of the covers in some sexy underwear, propped up on his arm in a seductive posture. I was confused until I noticed the empty bottle of wine next to the bed.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said, "I just thought we could have some fun tonight. We've waited long enough."
"Waited for what?" I said.
"Come on..." he said, crossing the room to stand in front of me, "I've seen the way you look at me. How long's it been, Glenn? A year? Two? I know you want it. You know you think about it."
"So what?" he scoffed, "I'm about to let myself get violated, I needed to loosen up."
"I didn't ask for this," I calmly replied.
"You didn't have to!" he said. "I'm giving it to you! I've been an asshole to you and it's the least I can do."
"I don't know what to say..." I said.
"I'm not hearing a no..." Leon said, unbuckling my belt.
I took a step back. "Wait a minute, let me think." I was very flustered. "We've never talked about this."
"Come on Glenn," he said, "I don't have all night."
"What brought this on?" I asked.
"Don't ask," he said impatiently, "Don't ask any more questions, just fuck me, or get out."
I looked him up and down. It was a sad mess. He had even tried some makeup, and really botched it bad. I didn't feel like I could possibly perform in that condition. I told him good night, and he responded with a lengthy stream of epithets, mostly questioning my manhood and sexuality.
I couldn't sleep, so I went downstairs to have a snack. It as around midnight when I heard the car pull up - it was Cathy. When he passed by the kitchen, I asked where he'd been.
"Where've you been?" I asked.
"None of your business," he snapped back.
"Woah, woah," I said, following after, "Sorry, I didn't mean to sound judgmental or anything. Sometimes I forget you're not my real son and I get protective. Let's try this, one adult to another. How was your evening, what did you get up to?"
He lightened up a little. He explained he was on a "group meetup" with some of Trevor's friends.
"Can I ask you something?" I asked, "Do you feel like you're fitting in?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know," I groaned, "Do you like it? Being a kid again? Being a boy? Do you feel weird about it or does it seem natural?"
"It feels all right," he said, "I feel more confident in myself than the first time around, obviously. The kids seem to be accepting me. The more I act like I belong, the more I do. It's classic high school."
"Uh huh," I said, taking a bite of my baloney sandwich, "Do you have a girlfriend?"
He paused. I know he does have one, but he may have thought I didn't notice. I wanted to hear him say it.
"There's a girl," he finally admitted. "We... do stuff."
"Have you two... you know? Been together?"
"No, she's not ready."
"But you're ready?" I asked, "If she wanted to, would you?"
"Keep in mind, you're not really my dad," Cathy said, "But yeah. If she wanted to, I would. I like her."
"What do you mean you like her? You're a 42-year-old woman, for God's sakes."
"Nobody knows that but you and me and Drunky up there," he said. "I won't take advantage of her, but I wouldn't reject her either. She could do a lot worse than me."
"What makes you want to do this?" I asked.
"Because I'm a guy now, and I'm loaded with testosterone, and it would feel good. Physically and emotionally." He paused, "Why are you asking about all this? If you're trying to talk me out of it..."
"No, no," I said, "This is about me, and, well... Leon, I guess."
Cathy smiled. "Oh, did he come onto you?"
"You knew he was going to do that?"
"I thought he might," he snickered, "He bent my ear all night last Thursday about the way you look at Lila, and how gross it was and how if you wanted some action he was right there and you never even asked. I think he's feeling really gross about his body, and honestly, I think if you were into him, that would really reassure him."
"I see..." I said. (Lila is the housekeeper, and while she is a rather attractive young woman I didn't see myself as "looking" at her any particular way.)
"Would you? Get with Leon?"
I thought for a minute. I honestly didn't know.
It never occurred to me. You read about the kind of rewiring the transformation does to people, but Leon was such a "guy" to me that I didn't think he would see me as a potential partner.
I went back up to the bedroom, unsure what I'd find. Leon was there, naked and sobbing. When he noticed me standing in the doorway, he yelled "Get away, creep!" Except instead of "creep" he used a homophobic slur.
"Leon," I said, "I had no idea what you were going through."
"Shut the fuck up, I'm not going through anything."
I considered wrapping my arms around him, He didn't push me away. Eventually, through his sobs, he said, "I don't know what the fuck's wrong with me. This body sucks so much."
"Look, man," I said, "I never thought about... doing that with you. I'm... I guess I'm not against it, if it's something you want. I'm just not ready yet."
"You expect me to just sit here and wait?" he said bitterly.
"You can do whatever you want," I said, "You're your own person. We're not married. Not really. But I could be ready... sometime soon, if this is seriously what you want. It was just really surprising tonight, that's all."
"Whatever... I wasn't really feeling like it anyway," he said, leaning his head on my shoulder. "You smell good, though. That's so weird." I didn't know what to say, so I pecked him on top of the head and let him fall asleep.
And that's the strange story of how Leon and I became a sort of a real couple.
It's not like this was something I initiated from the start and actively worked toward. It took several weeks of consideration before I could properly revisit the issue in December, and even now we're still trying to figure out what this all means... we've both got a long history of failed relationships, and so I'm trying to be reasonable and manage expectations and maybe, I don't know, negotiate to get a "deal" that both of us will enjoy. And yes, that actually does involve some physical intimacy, but I'm a bit uncomfortable talking too much about that because I know my son is likely going to read this.
I guess, when you think about it... after all this, and despite our burgeoning relationship, I still call Leon a "him" but I also call Cathy, who has equally assimilated the role of a teenage boy, "him" as well. So maybe it's inaccurate to say women are the crazy ones. Maybe it's men. And hey, maybe it's me.