Back when Benjamin was living the life of my former roommate Ravi, he lost a bunch of sleep about the idea of outing himself (would it be "herself" because he still thought of himself as female at the time despite being biologically male? the Inn creates such fucking pronoun issues). It was, he figured, not his place even though maintaining the premise that Ravi was straight sucked for everybody. I went along because I was just trying to keep my head down and get through being Deirdre, but I suspect that govern other circumstances, like I'm still a guy and I just happen to find out that my roommate is gay, I'm not keeping quiet. Maybe I'm not looking for places to announce it, but I'm not pretending and maybe, if I get drunk or he pisses me off, it comes out.
Most of the time, it's not like that with the Inn; you can't tell people and have them believe you - although, now that I think about it, I can't remember the last one of us who really tried; it's just something we take for granted because it makes sense. If you could, more people would, and this cursed piece of Maine real estate would have been taken over by the government or people who didn't go to church would believe in magic and shit. I mean, it makes sense, but I'm sure the real Yuan-wei and Bingbing probably thought that whole "you'll melt if you try to change twice" thing made a lot of sense too, and look where it got them.
That situation got me thinking about outing, sort of. Like, I've got a good thing with Jackie right now, but there's a good chance that he'd flip the fuck out if he found out that I used to be a guy who grew up in Queens. So would some of the other guys I've fucked. I don't think Jackie would get violent or anything, but let's not kid ourselves; I've enjoyed being with guys who can pick me up and manhandle me a bit, and it would be stupid to assume that all of them would just be like "oh, hey, you've got a pussy now, so it's cool, there's no actual threat to my heterosexuality at all and I'm sure everyone will understand". That people reflexively disbelieve is probably a life-saver in some cases.
And, hell, I'm not sure how those of us have been to the Inn find each other beyond this blog and friends of friends. Should I start asking people if they've ever been to the Trading Post Inn as soon as a relationship looks like it might start getting serious, or at least sexy? Or should I just let people be who they choose to present themselves as? Most of us who aren't actively looking to get our old lives back are just trying to be the person we are now.
But then you get to folks like the current Bingbing and Sandra, who have been actively deceiving people for their own benefit. One of them is fucking my kid brother, and the other one fucked my friend over. Hell, given that I had another friendly session with Inspector Yee when I went back to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks after the film festival - turning 21 gives "Yuan-wei" monitored access to a trust fund, though the full amount coming from her father's will won't be available until I'm legally 25, so this guy has decided to sniff around me a little more - it's possible she fucked me over and I won't know it until Yee can prove that whoever was Yuan-wei at the time was responsible for her father's death. Even if you accept they've got a right to privacy on this, something stinks.
I talked to Ronan first, making sure it was a voice call and asking if "Sandra" was there. She wasn't, so I told him about meeting the original Yuan-wei and Bingbing in Montreal, how they had been made to think that there was no going back, and how the woman he was telling the whole world was his wife was keeping a couple of big fucking secrets from him. He went through the rationalizations you'd expect - that her life before being Yuan-wei didn't really matter, that it just made things more romantic that she'd decided to stay with him after realizing that they were going to the Inn, all that stuff. Could be true, I guess, but, on the other hand, as much as Ronan is a nice enough guy beyond the whole cheating on his wife thing, is he really so nice that is worth becoming fifteen years closer to death and not nearly as hot and rich to be with him? I mean, true love, she could manage to get back with him without giving up all this, right?
Not what he wanted to hear, as you might imagine, even without mentioning that she might be running from something.
As for Bingbing, I was a little less sure what to do. I mean, whoever she may have been, she seems to be genuine enough. She and Max are still together, posting a lot of photos on their respective Facebook pages, and they seem to really like each other. She and Kareena get along when Max and "Jordan" go on a double date, and even if I know there's something not right about her, it's not like I can tell Max without looking like I'm trying to steal my bestie's boyfriend, and how gross would I feel if he actually took it that way?
I can talk to Benny, at least, and ask him to keep an eye on them, and maybe if he wants to act like he doesn't like her... Being Benny, he's not exactly cool with that idea. However much our brains change from the curse, it's not enough for his first reaction to be anything but "chill", especially since he does think she's pretty cool, and have I considered that it might be good for Max to have a girlfriend who is probably more mature and experienced than she looks? I guess I could kind of see that, and when Benny pointed out that the one who had been Yuan-wei was the one who had decided she needed to bail on her second life and leave her friend behind, maybe Bingbing was basically okay, especially since, while she was comfortable, she wasn't rich like Yuan-wei and thus motivated to make the originals think there was no going back. Benny thinks she's making the best of a tough situation, and I've got no evidence to the contrary.
Aside from that, though, I get the impression that he was taking it personally, like I was implying that he and Kareena shouldn't be together because they're inherently doing so under false pretenses. I said it wasn't like that at all, that I've got a boyfriend and that would be way more deceptive than the two of them getting together after he basically made my life his own, and I try not to be a complete fucking hypocrite, but that didn't make it better.
As to just outright talking to Bingbing or "Sandra"... Well, I'm kind of being a pussy there. I get nervous about leaving either of them messages on Facebook or other social media that someone else might see (heck, I still pretty much lurk on Sandra's rather than send an actual request to connect), and I get the feeling Bingbing is screening my calls. Maybe she's trying to figure out what to say because it's weird and I'm just being paranoid.
Maybe I'm just being an asshole here, enjoying being a junior in college with good looks and money, learning how to make movies without worrying about all that acting crap I don't enjoy but acting like everyone else should hold back because they used to be someone else. People tell me I've spent a lot of time being an asshole, after all. I'm trying not to be a bitch as Yuan-wei, so maybe I should just let it drop.
I have to admit, I've kind of lost the thread of who's who here. Maybe I need a cheat sheet!
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