Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kari: Worldviews

The decisions that I’ve made in the last year could only be made by someone who was 100% certain that they’d never return to the Trading Post Inn. I’ve said before my long layoffs from writing are due to the fact that I don’t like to focus on my old life and just want to plow forward into the future. And yet here I am again, having recently thought about the inn. Not seriously, but I did think about it. While my reasons for staying Kari are still there, the world in which we live has changed a lot in the last few months, I think.
Maybe the election of Donald Trump was a sign that the country has become more intolerant. Maybe it was that he just gave intolerant people a voice. Either way those attitudes are inescapable these days, especially now that I’m the target of that intolerance.
I haven’t been the victim of a hate crime, thank goodness, but I am now fully aware of just how differently Latina women are viewed by some in society than white men. How people automatically assume I speak Spanish, or that I have a husband and a giant family. If I get annoyed with someone they call me “fiery” and think I’m overreacting. It’s been almost two years since I woke up as Kari and I probably noticed sooner just didn’t realize it.
I was raised 45 minutes north of New York City and moved to the city after college. Everything about my life could be described as privileged. My hometown wasn’t the most diverse place in the world but my birth parents, bless them, raised me not to judge others who were different. I carried that mindset into adulthood and from my point of view America was well on its way to a “post racial” society.
I took that mindset with me when I became Kari, and was fairly oblivious to the minor prejudices around me. I guess I was too focused on the difference experiences of men and women that I never really took in the different experiences of whites and people of color in society. Because of that I didn’t really grasp the importance of the election while it was happening. Being from New York I was pretty familiar with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As Lane I my politics could be described as a fairly centrist, pro-business Republican. Like many Americans I felt we were moving towards a Clinton administration and was just casually laughing at the circus it had become.
Ashley was the opposite (and I’m really proud of her for it). She got into the election and participated as much as someone who can’t vote could participate. She joined the “Students for Hillary” and blogged, tweeted, snapchatted and did everything she could for her campaign. This included putting a “H” sticker on our car (which is still there) and pestering me at 7 in the morning to go vote so I wouldn’t have to stand in line after work.
On election night her enthusiasm slowly melted into worry and then finally despair when Pennsylvania was called. As she sobbed into her hands I reassured her that things were going to be OK, my obliviousness being mistaken for stoicism.
After that night…something changed. I work in a fairly diverse part of Detroit but I live “down river” in Trenton MI which is less diverse and less progressive. I don’t want to say redneck but it’s full of the working class types who flocked to Trump when he blamed their economic misfortunes on Mexico.
Most people are still too polite to say or do anything to my face, but when you see some of the things that Trump supporters write online and then realize that quite a few of his voters live in Michigan…you start to get a little paranoid. You start to vaguely worry if the guy in a red trucker hat at the grocery store staring at you might make an anonymous tip to ICE. Or if crossing the bridge into Canada one day could result in you not being able to go home without a giant hassle. That’s the worst part about this. The fear.
That fear made me wonder the other day, briefly, about the idea of going back to the inn to avoid the prejudice. I would never do it obviously, but the thought entered my head. And then the lightbulb came on. That’s how discrimination made people feel. To want to shed their skin and take on a new body that didn’t have stigma attached to it. Societally inflicted self-loathing.
I can’t help but wonder about pre-internet Inn victims. From a time when racism was even more of an issue than it is today. Of bigots turning into people of color and seeing some sort of karmic justice. Or the other way around. The sad reality of people so unhappy with their heritage that they leave it for the social advantages of another.
For the record I don’t think fate sent me to the Inn to teach me a lesson. Fate sent me to the Inn so that Ashley would have a better parenting situation. But I have learned so much about the way America is for different groups and that some days it would be so much easier if I was white again.
I don’t feel particularly attached to Kari’s Mexican heritage. In fact I sometimes feel awkward about it, like an imposter putting on a costume mimicking something that’s meaningful to other people. To me heritage always mean honoring and preserving the traditions of your family and people. My new parents are great people and I suppose I should be more proud and participatory not only for their sake, but also for Ashley’s so she doesn’t feel ashamed about who she is. Especially for the next 4 years.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Simon/Joy: March Madness!

Things are going well for me. I'm making tons of money, keeping busy, and having tons of sex. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, like I shouldn't like having a guy stick his prick in me, but I'm stuck in Joy's body wired to like having my pussy poked so why fight it? You gotta live your life, it's no different from playing with myself except at its best it's like 1000x hotter (at its worst it's a pretty big disappointment but I just don't call those guys again.)

So yeah, I get laid like two or three times a week, whenever I'm feeling it. It's nice just to be able to text a guy and be like "Hey come over" without having to specify what it's for, but he knows. It's all very casual, I make that clear up front.

Except things have gotten complicated lately.

I went out on a date with Stretch. I was putting vibes out at work just to see if I could add one of those guys to my regular rotation, and Stretch finally picked up on it. I know he's been nursing a crush on me since at least Christmas. Except I have a rule never to ask a guy out, that's beneath me. If they want me they have to come get me.

It took him a while to pick up on that, though. He gets really flustered when I'm around, which is... cute. And I remember when I first had that thought - "That guy's cute." That's different from knowing a man is attractive and feeling he'd be a suitable sex partner. That's when I knew things were getting a bit weird.

I got scared and almost called it off but that's not my style. I went along with pleasuring myself when I wanted to try that, and I went along with exploring with Joey and all those other guys, and that worked out great. So I figured why pussy out now? I look like a chick, obviously I have some of the tastes of a chick. If I'm gonna like guys, so be it. Life is too short to deny yourself anything.

So we went out and it was... nice. Different from having a quick drink as a preliminary for sex, with a muscle-bound dude who is going to be fun in bed. We had to make conversation, share stories, be a bit more open... and to be honest that is not my strong suit. I think I excel at hookups because it's a transaction, like sales. This is true when I'm a guy, too - I've dated and hooked up a lot but I'm not really a "meet the parents" kind of guy (I've already met his parents! How messed up!) And as a chick I've gravitated more toward guys who remind me of me, alphas, go-getters and takers, and Stretch is... even though we work in the same biz, he's more soft and sensitive (kind of like a woman??) We're very different, and it was awkward, but he appeals to me, sooo...

We've been out a few times this month, when schedules permit, but I haven't fucked him yet. It feels weird to broach the subject, like I shouldn't be giving it away with him even though I have no problem doing that with other guys. I'm still not sure if I like the idea of committing to just one guy and if I do if it should be him, but I'm, I dunno, open minded I guess about it. I still have all summer since I booked my return trip to the Inn for August.

It's weird. Suddenly I feel weird talking about it. This is different.

PS!! He does not know about my other hook-ups except I have told him we are not exclusive. The rest is my business and my business only. He seems okay with it, albeit reluctantly.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tyler/Judith: Our bodies and us

This morning I woke up to find Kit examining himself in the mirror, naked. He seemed embarrassed when he noticed I could see him but I told him to carry on by all means. Even after all these months we have every right to admire, or gawk as the mood strikes. He was also prone to this behaviour when he was Greta, since he had gone from being her old over-the-hill self to being young, slim and foxy.

He doesn't complain much... after all, he's gained a lot of privilege and opportunity, so his looks are maybe a fair compromise. But I've heard him bemoan them once or twice.

"Why do I have to be so fat?" he moped.

"You're not fat," I said. If anything, Kitty has decreased Adrian's beer gut by, well, not drinking much beer, and watching what he eats. Is he a bit doughy? Sure. Is his jaw a little soft, his hairline a bit far back? Yeah. He's no Ryan Gosling, okay? Might as well face it. But it's ok.

"How can you like what you're seeing here?" he fretted over that hairline, recently shaved down.

"I don't know," I sleepily laughed to myself, "But I do."

I have a weird perspective on it, because I still don't consider men to be "attractive." I mean, I guess there's some added appeal there compared to when I was one, and my attraction to women has definitely decreased in response. But I don't sit around thinking about guys who are attractive to me. I don't sleep with him because his looks are irresistible, or because his scent has an animal magnetism - although I'm a bit embarrassed to find that I do get a little warmer when he leans in close and I can take in the full scent of the body wash he uses. But it's more about the person inside and what the face means to me than the quality of the face or body itself. It feels comfortable and safe, and at this point in my life, that's sexy.

I crawled out of bed and stood next to him, wrapping my arms around that gut, resting the side of my face on his back shoulder. I was wearing flannel pj's. I freed one hand and unbuttoned my top, revealing my saggy, stretchmarked breasts and belly, my lovehandles. I don't care about any of that, honestly - it can be hidden and I don't feel "fat" except when I'm bloated with water weight a few times a month. I'm more concerned, personally, by my flimsy arms, neck and shoulders, which remind me that if I gain or lose weight, if I didn't have these breasts and hips and bum, I'd be a physically weak woman, and... I mean, being "strong" isn't the be-all end-all but I must have been brainwashed by my upbringing to value that, same as Kitty was brainwashed by hers to value cosmetics and a lean figure.

We reversed positions and he wrapped his big thick arms down my torso, then ran his hands up my front to cup my breasts - taking the open invitation to feel me up.

"Do you like what you see?" I asked him coyly.

"How could I not?" was his reply.

I held his arms close to my body. "Somehow, we work." I leaned up and planted a kiss on his lips. "Crazy, isn't it?"

He nodded and we kissed again, then he said "Sometimes I wish we could freeze things like this... but I know we can't."

He ran his fingers over his chest hair in demonstration, "And I am pretty happy about that, too."

Using my hands to press my boobs together playfully, I smiled teasingly at him: "Well, all we can do for now is make the best of it."

Ladies and gets, you'd best believe he took the hint and carried me back to the bed. And while I also have mixed feelings about taking the woman's role in sex - it hasn't yielded life-changing results for me, I'm sad to say - I don't mind having such an enthusiastic partner.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tyler/Judith: Handiwork

I've been bored.

I knew this was going to happen when I agreed to not keep pursuing work opportunities at the event planning company. I don't feel good about just sitting still and doing what Kitty says. I'm starting to feel like this relationship is strained. I needed and outlet.

I remember a few years ago when Lauren's stepdad wanted to finish their basement and I offered to help, but of course, I was just a "teenage girl" what could I know about hands-on work like that? Nevermind that, if I was really Lauren, it could be valuable knowledge or, you know, bonding experience or whatever. I was dismissed.

Judith and Adrian's basement looks like they had some plans to finish it some years ago but life got in the way, and it's been in a half-done state since we got here. Every time I go went there to do laundry I considered the possibilities, and as February crept on I thought "Shit, I should do something about this." It'd keep me from going insane.

Kitty, predictably, didn't want me to fuss over it - that's money and energy and attention that could be elsewhere. But it would be a favor to J & A, a thank-you for giving us a safe life to land in when our fates were tossed to the wind or whatever. I know how to keep it under budget and the labor wouldn't be hard - It's mostly just me doing the drywall, nothing too fancy about it. I even invited him to help out if he so desired, if he wanted to do something "manly" around the house. He accepted, begrudgingly, but I think he felt he was just getting in the way and excused himself after a short time. I was getting lots done during the day anyway.

Despite his protests, it's been good for us... puts me in a good mood, and he's been pretty impressed with my skill (it's really nothing, I spent a few months on a construction crew years ago and can remember this and that.) I think seeing me with a hammer in my hands is a bit of a turn-on for him.

Once the basement was ready, we invited Samantha over for a painting party. She was impressed too and very surprised when I said I'd done the work myself. She asked if I did bathrooms, because she needs some retiling done. I told her sure, which Kitty grumbled about since Judith isn't supposed to be super handywoman, and what if I give her a reputation she can't live up to? But whatever, Sam and I need to bury the hatchet after I thought she wanted to seduce Kitty. It ended up taking a few days, and in the process I got to know Samantha on a one-on-one basis. It was really nice.

I think something's bugging Kitty. Maybe it's because we're getting to the end of this, and neither of us really knows what's going to happen except that we won't be "Judith and Adrian" anymore. I think we both have mixed feelings about it, since we've just recently found the right balance for us... or we're starting to. Maybe she sees me doing this kind of stuff as trying to say I want to be male again, which... let's face it, would be nice, but is out of my control. Male or female, I like to work with my hands, whether that's cooking, driving or fixing stuff. Would I rather be a female drywaller or a male office drone? I don't know.

It should be enough for him that I'm on record as saying that I'm committed to this relationship and I'm past the point where I'm just here because it's easy or necessary. I want to make this work. For once, I'm actually not screwing something up.