Thursday, April 27, 2017

Simon/Joy: Well, that's over.

I guess it wasn't meant to be between me and Stretch.

He comes up to me the other day and says "We need to talk." I say okay, talk, and he shows me his phone, which shows my Facebook profile, and there's a post on my wall from one of my hookups saying sorry he wasn't going to make our date tonight and he would have to rain check me.

"What's this about?"

I told him it looked like I was free tonight. He didn't laugh.

"Are you seeing other guys?"

"Um, yeah," I said, "I told you I wasn't ready to be exclusive."

"I didn't think that meant you were actually out there seeing other guys."

I sneered, "God, read between the lines here, Stretch. I told you lots of times I was busy, what did you think?"

"I thought that meant work," he huffed.

"Sometimes it did..." I said, "Sometimes it started out that way and developed."

"How many guys are you sleeping with?"

I didn't like his tone but I decided to answer. "Right now?" I rolled my eyes up to do some mental math. "Two." I didn't tell him I had recently been narrowing it down from... well, it depends on how you count, but maybe five.

"And neither of them is me."

"I guess not," I shrugged, "You know, the timing was never right. I kept thinking you were gonna make a move but you seemed fine with what we were doing."

"This is bullshit," he huffed. "You shouldn't do that."

"If it helps, I didn't really go out with any of them," I said, "You're practically the only guy I go out to dinner with."

"But you won't fuck me."

"Woah, I didn't say I wouldn't fuck you, I was waiting to fuck you."

"Well, why should you fuck me, when you've got all these other guys going?"

"That's a good question," I hissed back. "Look, if you don't want to paly anymore, it's fine by me."

"I'm just confused," he said, now shouting loud enough for the office to hear, "What are we doing?"

Me: "Having a good time, I thought."

Him: "I didn't think I was gonna have to share you. I didn't think you were like that."

That pissed me off, I think I've got everyone fooled into thinking I'm real nice and virginal because I've got a petite body and pretty blonde hair and a nice smile. I don't look "nasty" but looks can be deceiving can't they?
Yadda yadda, we went back and forth a while but I could see where it was going. He wanted to be all judgmental with me because he was hurt, but that's his problem.

I told him I was gonna make the call for him, we were done. He was nice and all, but I can get better than him.

Don't look at me like I'm the bad guy. I am operating the same way I always did with chicks, I told them the deal upfront, including telling them I was gonna keep my other action discreet, so if there was a problem with that, there's the door. A lot of them took it.

The only difference I can see is that as a chick, I'm not being rejected... like, ever. If I want to have sex with someone I get to have sex with them when I want to. And they'll keep wanting to come back to me, because I've turned out to be a pretty good lay, so.. the guys add up, until I get bored of them.

And on the flip side, if I want to make them wait and impress me, something I never would have bothered doing as a guy (Like, "Are you hot? OK I'm impressed") I get to, like I did with Stretch. I get to make my own rules, because I'm a hot girl, so suck it.

I'm not here to fall in love so I don't owe anybody anything. I'm here for fun and to kill time until I get to be Simon again. Don't hate the player, hate the game. End of story.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jonah/Krystle: Moira Ashlyn Kamen

January 22, 2017, 20.5 inches, 8 pounds.  Beautiful.  That last part is still true even if the middle seems like it didn't last very long at all.

Contractions started during church, and while I've tried to move on from thinking that God is trying to make some sort of object lesson out of me, there are times when you can't help but think that.  The Reverend wasn't doing a sermon on premarital sex or deadbeat dads or anything today, but, still, when you cry out because suddenly your body has decided to loudly announce a new way to hurt in the middle of a crowd of people who don't think they would ever let things come to this, the embarrassment is almost just as painful.

Krystle, bless her, recognized what was going on practically before I did, and quickly got me out to the car and was almost on the way to the hospital before my parents caught up.  That was actually kind of surprising; she had been reluctant to be much of a part of getting ready, not really wanting "Jonah" to be seem as too feminine or tagged as the father.  It's a weird thing that none of us really figured out how to approach, because Krystle isn't, the whole "cousin" story is meant to keep me from having this in my background later, and the actual guy who knocked me up has basically said "try and prove it".  But, when the moment came, she was there, even for the actual birth.  I guess she decided she wanted to see it.

I kind of wish I could have skipped out on experiencing it.  As bizarre as the previous months of being pregnant were, being hyper-aware of this other person inside you, that eventually started moving on her own while your body does all these weird hormone things that make no sense, suddenly having her want OUT, but still needing you to push...?  It's all that plus really terrifying, like something out of a horror movie.  And that's regular-girl stuff - halfway to the hospital, I looked at Krystle and asked what would happen if I didn't know how.  Like, I still have a guy's brain, and what if it didn't come pre-wired to push a baby out?  She looked kind of horrified for a second, then said that couldn't be the case, because I was able to do what was necessary to get knocked up in the first place, but I said I mostly just lied there.  We were about two minutes from calling Penny to find out if she'd had to have a c-section when another contraction came and bearing down seemed like the thing to do.

I can't really describe the feeling of it - I don't know if regular women find the whole thing unreal their first (or ONLY) time, but it was like I wasn't in the real world for a while.  The bits of me that I just thought of as hurting when I had my menstrual cramps suddenly needed to be used, Krystle and my parents were frantic, and then I pushed someone out and there was just a while bunch of stuff I wasn't ready for:  The placenta, the sight of the umbilical cord coming out of me along with her, little bits of unexpected hair...  They don't show that stuff when someone has a baby on TV, and I guess I missed health class being a grown woman for the past couple years!

And then she started to cry and I snapped out of it, really looking at her when the doctor put her in my arms, and kind of feeling amazed that she was alive and beautiful, and that I hasn't screwed her up.

* * *

Names were kind of a hot potato for a while leading up to the big day.  It's kind of due to us not really knowing what was going to happen after the baby was born, just having strong opinions on what wasn't going to.  When I asked Krystle about names, she said she didn't want to have anything to do with that, although Mom said she should, because she was going to be the baby's mother.  On the other hand, she didn't want a name from her family tree, because that would taint it or something.  I bought a couple of baby-name books - one kind of generic, one more African-American - but nothing spoke to me.

So when the nurses asked, it was another quick decision, but I decided to go with the names of the two ladies who had looked out for me whether they knew the whole truth or not.  "Moira Ashlyn" seems like an absolutely ridiculous name for a girl who seems to have gotten all the genes for dark skin that Krystle and I have between us, but in that moment, I wanted to give her a name that really represented that sort of love, and none of the ones that did mean that seemed to mean it as much as that one.

* * *

It meant Moira and Ashlyn had to visit and see their namesake, of course.  Ashlyn had to come up for the baptism, since I'd asked her to be the Godmother, but it was not exactly a hardship from the way they cooed and tickled and asked if they could hold her.  We'd never really had a shower, so Ashlyn took the opportunity to bring Changeling onesies, teddy bears, and a big box of diapers from the other waitresses.

She admittedly wasn't sure about the whole Godmother thing.  I don't know what she believed before visiting the Inn, but she's not really a churchgoer these days - as much as the experience shows you that there's some sort of greater force out there, Ashlyn had met a lot of Inn visitors, including a creepy stalker, so it's hard for her to see it as part of God's Plan.  She's not quite a non-believer, I don't think, but she's not devoted.  Still, I can't think of anyone is trust to raise this little girl more if anything happened to me, Krystle, my folks, her folks...  Putting it that way seemed to take a load off her mind.

They were the easy visitors.  Momma Kamen and Karla also came up for the baptism, and it was uncomfortable.  Krystle's mom really was not keen on being presented as some sort of distant relative so that "Jonah" could have his reputation intact, and that disdain clearly hurt Krystle.  She also REALLY doesn't get along with Karla, no matter who she looks like.  The good news is that babies can magically smooth over a lot.  Moira's cousins were really excited to meet her, so Karla put a happier face on for them, and "Momma" may have been upset at my family, but she seemed to feel good when she got to hold Moira, and privately suggested that maybe being in this new place was good for me, keeping me from falling back into old habits.  

The funny thing is, she kind of doesn't know how right she is, in that Krystle is doing real well being me.

* * *

I've never been as popular with the girls in my class as I was a a pregnant woman and now as a new mother.

Part of "me" being popular is Krystle, of course.  She hooked up with a couple of the girls that went to the Inn, they spread the word that "Jonah" was a terrific lover who really knew how to please a girl, and things happened from there.  I didn't exactly like the reputation as a player he was building for me, but it's difficult to argue too much when you've got a baby on the way.

Still, all the girls who went to the Inn with me have gotten even nicer since Moira was born.  All the complicated stuff seems to have been replaced with "OMG BABY!!!!"  Maybe it wouldn't quite be the same with the other girls at school - if you were taking a trip with your church youth group, your probably a bit more traditional - but they seem to enjoy hanging around and helping out when they can.

One, in particular, has gotten real close.  She doesn't really like to talk about it, but I think she had a near miss on having to make the sort of choice I did.  At any rate, she's around a lot, speaks up to defend me when someone suggests that they think there must have been another way, that sort of thing.

It really feels like there could be something there when things get back to normal, and that's a wonderful feeling, since most of the time, even with Mom and Dad and Krystle and everyone helping, Little Moira takes up enough of my life that "back to normal" seems impossible to conceive.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tyler/Judith: Low Pressure

It's Sunday morning. The sun is beaming through the master bedroom. I'm sitting on the cushiony bench by the windowsill - the nook, I guess - reading a book that Meaghan recommended. I'm wearing only a bathrobe and a pair of beige underwear - "granny panties" with a lace trim.

I hear a voice clearing its throat from across the room. "Ahem," I look over at Kit. He's sitting up in bed, gesturing to look down at my chest. I've allowed my robe to fall open and have been idly running my fingers down the length of my hair and along the soft inner curve of my breast. This is a little habit I've picked up when I'm deep in thought - Kit finds it a bit embarrassing but is more amused by it than anything. I can't help that, after 30-odd years as mostly a man, I still carry a fixation on breasts, even if I face them in the mirror every day of my life. Believe me, they're not always easy to ignore.

"Steamy book?" he says with a raised eyebrow.

"Not particularly," I sigh, "It's about World War One."

He walks over and begins to rub my shoulders. "I think we won that one."

"Shh," I say, "No spoilers."

He places his lips to the top of my head and pecks a light kiss. It feels nice.

"You thinking about seeing a hairdresser soon?" he asks, indicating my frayed-looking locks.

At times, this kind of suggestion - that he knows best - rankles me. But it's not like the thought hadn't occurred. "I don't feel like it." I hate sitting still for the female equivalent of a barber, never like the result, and always feel overcharged.

"Your call," he shrugs, rubbing my narrow shoulders.

It's been a bit since the flap over the Kid's suspension. He apologized and admitted I wasn't to blame. I vented about the Chernobeks' parenting style and he talked me out of going over there with a carton of eggs for their windows (I had a pretty good arm in my youth.)

"What should we do today?" he asks.

"Hmm, I don't know," I tease, "Clean the bathroom? I've noticed some yellow specks around the rim of the toilet..."

"Pfft, and you had perfect aim when you were a guy? And besides, what about the clumps of hair in the bathtub sink?"

"Hey, I bought that little strainer thing," I defend myself, "Take it up with the manufacturer."

"How about we go for a walk this afternoon?" he asks. "Find a nice café or something."

There's not much else to do around town. But this is the first good weather we've had on a weekend all year. Being able to get out of the house at will seems like a godsend, really takes the pressure off our situation.

We often take the time on weekend mornings to have sex. Dylan is sleeping over with Meadow today so it's a perfect opportunity to let loose. I don't want to let him assume it's a sure-thing, though. I don't want to toy with him, but it's good to play a little hard-to-get. I like it being up to me. I like him having to win me over, again and again.

I give him the nod of approval. He scoops me up in his arms - I can hear him struggle a bit, because my bod is a little bottom-heavy these days and Adrian isn't exactly in top form. But he really likes being able to do this trick and I don't mind letting him.

He lays me down on the bed and slips my panties off. I don't have many specific instructions because I don't really care. I let my mind wander, leave my body while he uses it as his playground. I've found that if I think too much while we're in the moment I'll get self-conscious about what's being done to me and I can't enjoy it at all. I still don't know that I do, but I like everything around it. It feels weirdly normal and good and if letting "that" get done to me helps keep things stable, I'm cool with it. I swear.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Simon/Joy: Work with me here

So, here's my argument in favor of casual sex: the more you get to know someone, a lot of the time, the less you want to bone them.

At least when I was a guy, I could ignore a bland personality by staring at her tits and just counting the minutes until they were in my hands. If they wanted a drink or five first, I could wait.

But guys? Let me tell you... guys suck. They are boring as hell company. None of them matches my wits or intelligence, so I feel like I'm wasting my time. Everything they want to tell me, that I'm supposed to find so impressive, they want to think it's the first time I've heard it. Like I'm some precious empty-headed bimbo just waiting to be filled up. Mostly they want to talk about their boring job or their boring car or the lame places they've traveled or their season as a defensive lineman in the NFL. Who cares, he didn't even make the playoffs, and I'm Browns all the way anyway.

Because of this sudden repulsion to the male psyche, I've narrowed my roster down a lot, and this has given me a chance to explore things with Stretch. Stretch is cute, as I've admitted, and he can hold a conversation, but he does get a little mawkish when the topic strays from work. Every so often he'll openly flirt with me and it'll warm me up inside a bit, but then he goes back into his shell. Problem is, I feel like by even going out with him this much, it's opened up a Pandora's box... people at work are gonna talk, and if it ends badly that could screw up the dynamic.

I took him dancing on Friday, but he mainly hung out by the bar while I hit the dancefloor. His loss - I hope he wasn't too jealous watching me practice my twerking. That's right, I can shake it pretty hard when I want to - I just wish I had a little more to shake. Instead of joining, he leaves early and just gives me a quick goodbye.

Honestly, if that doesn't light a fire under him I don't know what will. I think it just made him feel bad, and if that's the case, I'm probably not the gal for him.

Look, I could be the guy here. I could take him by the hand and lead him through life and be the first to say "I want you, let's do this." But I don't want him until he shows he wants me. He has to cut the meek shit and man up if he wants this.

Maybe I'm a tease, maybe I'm leading him on, but I don't care. I'm leading the life I want and if he's a good boy I'll let him be a part of it for the remainder of my time here. He's lucky. There's other guys I could be pursuing. I mean, besides the other ones I actually am with.

Why am I doing this you ask? It feels good. To have power over men - as many or as few men as I choose, with as little effort as I want to expend. To pursue pleasure with no guilt. What a gift. I'm not worried about compromising my manhood at all. Someday I'll be me again, and this will all be some hot, sexy, mildly perverse dream I can look back on fondly on my lonely nights.

But for now... Joy doesn't chase.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Tyler/Judith: How to Parent

I feel like I've gotten the hang of parenting, although I've had it easy... my "child" is a 13-year-old boy in an 11-year-old girl's body, so his maturity outstrips his appearance and place in life, and a lot of the groundwork was already laid by his real parents. All I gotta do is keep him on the right track and encourage him when he has doubts. I don't even feel like him getting suspended is a failure on my part, it's just part of growing up. No, I don't want Dylan to go around thinking it's ok to pick fights, but telling someone "don't do that" isn't as effective in my book as showing them the consequences of fighting.

Apparently, the kids at school are already calling Olivia "Psycho Girl" which... I mean, Dylan seems to be wearing it as a badge of honor, and to be honest I can't blame him... that's a killer nickname. But anyway, fighting is wrong, two wrongs don't make a right, and all that.

Kitty is pushing hard for a stronger punishment. Can't say I blame him... suspension is basically a weeklong vacation. But what can you do? Not what my daddy used to do to me, that's for damned sure. So the kid is spending some time with me at work, and some time with Kit at the office, and some time with her grandma - the old Portuguese one who will make her work in the garden.

The ladies at the office all love "Livie" of course, she's such a little angel. So again this is not much of a punishment since we're not exactly making her answer phones or do filing or anything. But she does have to sit quietly for long expanses, which is prison for a kid, so I guess we won this one. Maybe the other gals shouldn't be slipping her M&Ms from the vending machine but hey, in prison you get access to a library.

This whole situation has inspired too many long late-night conversations between me and Kitty, exhausting ones where we go round and round about what the best course of action is... about how we should get on the same page and all that. At least he's got the decency not to refer to my upbringing anymore.

I also got some unsolicited advice from an outside source... Mrs. Chernobek called me to follow-up on my conversation with her husband. And she was not happy. Apparently, according to him, I lectured about how they should be raising their son, and "What right do I have," "Where do I get off" and all that shit.

I was surprised to hear this from the mom - I thought she'd be a bit more sensitive to the way her son is treating girls, so I tried to explain, "What Tyler did really hurt Olivia, and if you had a daughter, wouldn't you feel like she had been wronged?"

"Well as a matter of fact," she said, "I do have a daughter and she would never get into that situation because she doesn't let boys in her room and wouldn't let them take her personal property. Maybe you should reconsider the lessons you're teaching yours."

I wanted to scream. You blame Olivia for this? Shit, lady, it was your son she let into her room, doesn't it bother you how he behaved? The boy's a perv, own up to it! She's innocent, and as far as you know, she's a lot younger than him so she doesn't have the defenses... and frankly "she" shouldn't be expected to have her defenses up anyway because she thought she had a friend, not a panty-thief.

Basically, the lesson they're sending is: boys can be assholes and get away with it, especially to girls. And she's going to be a boy again soon, so I'm hoping she doesn't take that lesson back with her, and instead remembers the hurt that caused and vows never to put it on someone of the opposite gender. Or anyone for any reason.

Now I'm getting all worked up. We ended the conversation abruptly because otherwise I felt like I might go over there and throw a rock at her myself. Okay, so I do seem to still have a lot of growing to do, but the fact that I didn't do any of that, just took an angry lap around the block and cooled off shows I've grown as a person.

I got shamed for trying to tell someone else how to be a parent, and then I got shamed for how I parent. It seems like there's no right way to parent any more than there's a right way to be a woman... which is to say there isn't one, everyone's always going to be telling you you're doing it wrong.

Ugh, screw all this. It's wine-in-the-bath time.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Tyler/Judith: Suspension

Friday, I got a call from the school that Olivia had been taken to the Principal's Office and that I would have to come pick her up. I guess the upside of only working 2.5 days per week is that you don't necessarily have to interrupt anything important to do that. But it was a shock, since the Kid has only gotten more docile and well-behaved since being Olivia. Restless to get back to the Inn, sure, but a model student.

So I got to the office and found her and her friend Tyler being watched by the secretary. They were several seats apart, unwilling to look at each other. I could tell pretty much what had happened but I needed the details. When I arrived, she looked up, I could tell she'd been crying: "Mom!" She ran over and hugged me, burying her face in my chest.

Normally, the Kid just calls me Ty (to Kitty's consternation). Obviously, we're out in the world so she has to call me "mom," but I felt the emotion behind it. Something had happened that was going to require me to be very motherly. My stomach churned. I hoped I could handle it. I also felt a hot hatred for Tyler, if he did something to hurt my kid.

The Vice Principal, a stout black woman, opened the door to her office. "Come right in, Mrs. Walker. Bring Livie with you." Livie? That's what she goes by at school? Oh well.

I steeled myself. "So, what exactly happened?"

"There was a fight," the VP, Mrs. Thompkins said. "Between Livie and that boy out there, Tyler Chernobek."

"WHAT?" My eyes went wide at that. I looked over at "Livie." She was hanging her head.

"Livie was the aggressor," Mrs. Thompkins said, "But it was... in response to... hmm... well, Tyler stole some property of your daughter's."

I pursed my lips. "What did he steal?"

"He stole a pair of her underwear."

I felt sick to my stomach. That kid is two years older than "Livie," no matter how old Dylan is mentally. He's been in my house, he's been in her room.

"When she found out, instead of telling a teacher, she threw a rock at him and chased him down and bit him."

"You bit him?"

The Kid shrugged.

"We have to issue your daughter a one-week suspension."

"Oh, come on..." I rolled my eyes. "She's like eighty pounds, she's two years younger, this wasn't a fight it was..."

"There are policies in place, Mrs. Walker," she said. "Honestly, if it weren't for the mitigating circumstances, it could be a lot worse."

"Well, fine," I huffed, "Are you punishing that little punk out there?"

"The theft occurred off school property, and he didn't instigate the fight, but he will be forced to issue a formal apology."

"Great," I rolled my eyes. "He types out a note and you guys just... I, I'm sorry, this is a bit stressful, I know you're just doing your job." The words sounded like bitter defeat as I said them.

"I'm sure you're blindsided," she said, "Livie is a model student, her instances of acting out have really decreased lately."

I didn't want to say that seemed to be because she was making friends. I guess that's all over now.

I signed off on some stuff - trying to remember how to do my "Judith" signature - and walked Judith out of the building, past a very unapologetic-looking Tyler Chernobek.

In the car I mustered up a half-hearted lecture about using your words and not lashing out like that, but I was so worked up and offended by that brat's actions that I really couldn't justify it to myself.

At the end of it, all I could say was, "You really bit him?"

She shrugged and said bitterly, "When I was punching him it just made him laugh."

Savage, as the kids say.

At dinner, I had to update Kit about it, and I honestly dreaded it. Kit is so... ugh. He really tries to get everything to his specifications and to mold us into his model little family, I could tell he was not going to like this. And I was right. So first he offered a much more fiery version of the same lecture I already gave (ignoring me when I cut in with "I already said that, she already knows.") Then we sent her to bed early.

Then Kitty turned on me.

He wasn't angry, he didn't yell, but... man, was he pissed. "This is you," he said, "Your influence. You're like that, totally temperamental, won't let anything get in your way, don't know how to deal with pressure..."

I was insulted, but I tried not to let it show - contrary to the picture he was painting of me. Hey, I said, don't blame me, I've been a good woman. Nice, patient, calm. I'm different and I impart that on her. You're the one ranting and raving.

He went on and on about letting my upbringing influence my "parenting" more than I know. I clenched my teeth and told him he didn't know what he was talking about and I'd be sleeping in the spare room tonight. He said I misunderstood and was taking it all the wrong way, but I told him it was too late and I needed to be alone anyway.

In the spare room, Dylan/Olivia came to me saying she couldn't sleep and she had something to say. She asked if I was mad at her, and I said no... honestly I couldn't blame her but I couldn't tell her that was the right thing to do. Then she said she heard what Kit was saying to me and said it wasn't fair...

"It's like he forgets you guys aren't my real parents. I've been like this for a while, sometimes I just... lose it. I've got my own shit going on. None of this is your fault."


"It's my fault."

I said not to take it too hard.

Then she elaborated: "I knew he took it. I didn't say anything because he was my friend and I didn't want to make him mad, and the more I thought about it the more I thought it was kinda cool. I didn't know he was going to show them to everyone at school. All the boys I mean. Suddenly, it was not so cool."

I groaned. "Dylan... did you have a crush on Tyler? Were you trying to... entice him somehow?"

"Ew, no," she scoffed. "I don't want that. This body and him? Me? I don't like anybody, boys or girls. I just wanted to like, be friends. Honestly, if he likes me that way in this body there's probably something wrong with him."

"Well, I can tell you," I said, barely able to hold back a laugh - despite being confused, exhausted, angry and annoyed at this revelation, "That's not how you make friends. OK?"

"Yeah," she said. "OK."

We hugged it out, and she went to bed, and the mood improved between us. It took longer for me and Kit to hash things out. I basically just said "Forget about it, it's over, let's move on." If we can, of course.

I mean, part of being in a relationship is getting through these little flare-ups, right?

The last thing I had to do over the weekend was to call Mr. Chernobek and let him know what his son was up to (of course he did hear all about it) and that his son wouldn't be welcome over here in the future. He said of course, that makes sense.

He said he was going to have a talk with his son about other people's property and privacy, and I said that was good, and hopefully he can improve his respect for women.

He was a bit more dismissive about that, just saying "Mmhm, well, you know, boys will be boys."

That tensed me up, and I told him that this was a serious violation and the whole "boys will be boys" attitude needed to change where these matters were concerned. He curtly thanked me for my opinion and cut our conversation short.

After the conversation, that really stuck with me. How much shit did I get away with as a kid because "boys will be boys?" Maybe in the grand scheme of things, that's how I wound up here to begin with...