When I parted ways with Tyler (or is it Judith now?) and Kitty/Adrian in Maine, the former made me promise to at least keep them up to date on my life as I return to it, strongly hinting they would want to still see me on the blog. I don't know why... if I didn't feel like talking about my life when I was a black man, why would I have much to say when I'm back to being regular old Rosie Montand?
But maybe it will be easier. Now that it's all behind me, I can see it wasn't all bad. Whatever my race, I found it easier to talk to women as a man than I ever have found it talking to men as a woman, and it helped my confidence. I just didn't meet enough of them, once Saraya left my life. Wherever she is now, I hope she's happy.
Now I'm back to being big old Rosie. I was not awake for the process, but I woke up and felt immediately the difference between the two bodies. All my weight was concentrated on my breasts and butt, and a bit on my thighs, instead of evenly throughout my torso on Ahmir's. I must have looked like a moose taking its first steps as I stumbled out of bed.
After a year as a flat-chested man (well, more or less) the feeling of having gigantic pillowy bosoms hanging down my ribs was actually kind of frightful. But on further inspection there was a big difference. Though those parts of my body had remained close to the same, my big flabby gut was... well, not gone altogether, but a lot less. Instead of being a beachball, I was, as Tyler politely put it, "hourglass-shaped." I probably dropped about 100 lbs off my 300+-lb starting weight.
I felt strange accepting this "gift," especially once I found out how it was achieved. The woman who had found herself in my body opted into a gastric bypass surgery... something I have thought about several times over the years but never felt comfortable doing. I didn't love my body, but it was mine and the level of acceptance I had for it was so strong that I never felt motivated to take action. The fact that that she felt she had to go ahead and do it for me feels a little insulting and definitely presumptuous. She paid for it mostly out of pocket, my money.
I try to look on the bright side: it has huge health benefits, I'm going to live longer and feel better than I used to. But I see this mutant body in the mirror, with saggy excess skin, reminders of what I used to be, and I feel only slightly more at home in this body than I did in Ahmir's. I can't eat much, I need to take supplement pills, and I'm somehow worried that the surgery is going to be undone by the Inn's magic and I'm going to balloon up again.
So that day by the beach - where I put on a bikini and decided to try flaunting it - that was my little burst of self-appreciation. Trying to get into character as the woman who owns this body. It's not easy. I still don't think I'm turning any heads, except for people to say, "Why does a girl that big think she can get away wearing a two-piece?"
And then there's the other thing.
She met a guy.
I was not much of a dater in my normal life. Nobody really wanted me, and I was convinced it was never going to happen. Partly, it was because - and I'd rather not get into it - I can't have kids. When I learned that, it depressed me so much that it started my cycle of weight gain. There's no surgery for that.
M., in her seeming quest to show me how I was living my life wrong, decided to go out and meet a man, a Mr. Russell Gilray, who works for the City of Portland. A widower with kids of his own. She moved me into his house and basically made me stepmother to his 16-year-old son (he has a daughter in college - I assume she won't be calling me mom.)
It just all feels like cheating. Like someone skipped me ahead to the finish line of life, without even asking my permission. Am I happy with this body? It doesn't matter. Am I interested in Mr. Gilray? I don't even know. But I have to figure it out for myself.