At this very moment, Lane Van Hoekstra does not exist. If he were suspected of a crime, there would be a manhunt and they wouldn't find any physical trace of him. For the second time in a year, my body doesn't exist on this planet thanks to the magic of the Trading Post Inn. Sometime last week Jennifer changed back into her rightful self and sent me an email and a selfie.
In a few days, I'll travel to Maine and hopefully change back into the person I was born to be. I told Ashley I was going on a work trip, but she didn't believe me and actually asked to come along. Her eyes got a little hurt when I gave her my gut reaction of a forceful "NO", so I tried to soften the blow.
"It's actually my boss that's going on a vacation" I lied "But if he brings me along to answer his phone he can somehow call it a business trip and write it off on his taxes. So I get to go to Maine again. Really, it was boring the first time. Nothing remarkable ever happens there."
That seemed to placate her, and she smiled and said "You deserve it anyway, you've worked your ass off all year."
I looked over my shoulder and down "Nope, still there. Maybe even a little bigger" I joked.
We both got a laugh about that. It's amazing that in a year I've gone from being terrified over having a woman's body to being able to crack jokes about my ass with another girl like it's locker room talk. I go back to my first posts in this blog about how weird it is to be so small and curvy and how bras are tricky and Rosita had to do my makeup. All of those things have now been second nature to me for months. It really isn't that surprising when you think about it. Half the population gets used to those things when they're emotional teenagers. There really isn't anything about being a woman that I can truly say I can't stand.
I wonder what that means about me. I always considered myself 100% male and never thought about crossdressing or even transitioning. Yet when I found myself in the body of the wrong gender, I felt discomfort but not crippling dysphoria. Someone from the Inn needs to become a psychologist to help process all of this.
The lie about this being a work vacation is something I toyed around with in my head. I didn't want Ashley to get the wrong idea about me and Latherman despite the fact that it would be true. I'm fairly certain she has no idea that her mother sleeps with her boss for the purpose of keeping a roof over their heads, but knowing Ashley she would feel wrongfully guilty about that so I've shielded her from that knowledge. Hopefully whoever becomes Kari has the good sense to continue that.
Speaking of my successor, I've actually started drafting my letter to them. It's full of details about memories and Ashley's friends. Part of it reads like high school gossip. I'm actually doing more to prepare that person for this life than I did to prepare Jennifer for my real life.
I've been thinking about that person. The impending Kari. Who they might be. It's possible that if I hang around Old Orchard after I change back, I might be able to watch people checking into the Inn...but I wouldn't be able to know anything about their personalities from that. Ideally the New Kari will be a responsible adult with experience in at least parenting, if not motherhood. She would be patient, understanding, and willing to put up with a boring job with unspeakable conditions attached to it for the sake of someone else.
My flight leaves Sunday. Hopefully the change happens soon after that and I won't be twisting in the wind.