Monday, June 13, 2016

Simon/Joy: Rendezvous in San Diego

All week I've been biting my fingernails waiting to hear from the "new" Simon. Who's he going to be? A tough businessman? An unintelligent blue collar worker? A little girl, old woman? Could be anybody. I'd like to be prepared for any eventuality, but... I don't have the faith in humanity to believe that it's automatically someone who has my best interests at heart. But that's no reason to screw him over from the get-go.

I took the bulk of my savings. No, you can't just close down your bank account and withdraw all the money at a moment's notice without even having the face and ID of the account holder, but you can make strategic online transfers. Besides, it's not like I had that much in the bank. Much of what I made still went to paying off my student loans. But I had a rainy day fund, and I consider this a rainy day.

Joy is starting from scratch, her accounts drained, her income and savings zilch... I would like the new me to start from a step or two above "scratch." Luckily, I had enough clout with Aldine that I could arrange an impromptu month-long vacation starting the day I was supposed to come back from Maine. Uncharacteristic, perhaps, since I'm known to be a bit of a workaholic (see: chasing Abe Fowler down on the convention floor during my first day as a femme) but I had it coming to me and had no problem cashing it in. I would like my "guest" to be able to take over that job for me since I've worked hard to build up a rapport with my managers and clients, but if they're just going to make a mess of it, maybe they should just quit and flip burgers or something.

For those interested, Abe still hasn't signed, but that doesn't mean he won't. I just wish there was more I could do...

From Cleveland, I took a flight out to SD, really   I really wanted to just lie back and relax on the flight, but I got seated next to this guy who... well, he obviously noticed he was sitting next to a very attractive girl, unaccompanied by a boyfriend.

I should have just minded my business, but I'm in sales. Staying quiet isn't really my instinct. He asked what I was going to San Diego for and I said I was going home... explaining that I had "just" moved there. He talked about how he was a frequent visitor, loved the zoo, the nightlife, etc. I let him do most of the talking and, as he educated me about my new adopted hometown, I watched his body language as he leaned forward and back, possibly trying to test me reactions. At first I felt a little on guard because obviously he was trying to put out a vibe, and while I patiently listened and engaged with him he never got to the part where he hit on me, asked for my number or made an offer to join the mile-high club... which is good, because I really wouldn't be sure how to diffuse that situation at this point!

So when I got off the plane, I felt like I was walking a little taller. It was a genuinely nice experience, and I felt quite warm from it. People never just strike up conversations with me regularly, whether they have intentions or not. I'm usually the one doing the striking. Yes, there was part of me that was unnerved and suspicious at first, but I ignored it and got a lovely chat out of it.

I'll say this, too... I did notice the gentleman's looks. Not necessarily in an "I'm attracted to men" kind of way, but in a sort of "This guy obviously has a lot of confidence derived from his looks and probably is quite discerning about women, and he decided he wanted to talk to me" way. Obviously I just happened to be in the seat next to him, but I felt like if I looked different he might have ignored me. So I was flattered.

I must have really been glowing when Treena picked me up in the Rent-A-Van as she gave me this raised eyebrow "You look like you had a good flight?" look. I decided to keep my little conversational encounter under my hat and chalked it up to flying being a more pleasurable experience when you fit into the seats better... which caused the somewhat zaftig Treena to roll her eyes. Oops, guess I just offended my new "roomie."

Our first stop was to the storage depot where Joy had left all of her unneeded stuff before setting off to live as "Brian" for a year. She and Treena had packed up their place together last fall and sublet their bungalow. She had already emptied her locker and now it was my turn.

Now, I found later that much of the furniture had stayed for the sub-letters to use - which means someone else had been sleeping on Joy's mattress for a year, using her desk and shelves... but the bulk of her possessions, mostly clothes and accessories, were in storage. I was bowled over by the sheer amount of it, packed away in Rubbermaid bins, clothes for every conceivable occasion... from business suits to pretty dresses to yoga gear and sweats for just lounging around the house... along with a veritable cornucopia of underwear styles, not to mention a fairly robust selection of make-up and beauty equipment. Not that I'm personally interested in fashion but you have to appreciate someone's sheer dedication and investment in her image. Not to mentioned, I was relieved to go from having only two distinct outfits to switch between to seemingly endless possibilities. I was clearly trying Treena's patience as I took a bit of time to dig through it just to see what I was dealing with. She tapped her foot, expecting me to just grab the bins and work it all out later, which would probably be best done in the privacy of our own home.

As the sun set over the (surprisingly chilly) San Diego beach, we drove back to "our place," I contemplated my bounty. Joy didn't leave me a lot to show for herself... I still hadn't found, for instance, her Birth Certificate, Driver's License or Social... things I'll have to replace.

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