Friday, September 14, 2018

Jenn/Zack: Penthouse

It has been a difficult few weeks, to put it mildly. This situation has put thrown already-somewhat-struggling relationship with David for a loop. I have to get used to moving around the world looking like an entirely different person - a male at that. I have to learn a new job and move to a big, intimidating city where I never expected to find myself.

Frankly, peeing in a standing position is not worth this at all. I'll continue to sit out of protest.

For our last few days at the Inn, things were what they were, and I let him process it. I tried to be there for him but he still wouldn't really let me in. To his credit he tamped down the verbal complaints, but that didn't make him any more fun. Luckily we had Pete to cut the tension by by taking us through the steps. She's been extremely valuable, even fun to talk to. Getting her reflections on her time as Brigette and some of the other things she's been and done really heartened me. I hope she starts to post again.

When we arrived in New York, the first thing we did was visit Lena's penthouse condo. I was in awe. I mean, obviously she's got fantastic home decor taste - beautiful furniture, amazing accents and throws, an incredible kitchen. I went to her bathroom and was totally gobsmacked at her selection of skin creams and home spa materials. Then there's the clothes, the cosmetics, the jewelry! I spent hours and hours just ogling it all. It was so exciting I think I got my first erection. (OMG kidding.)

So while I'm going nuts over all this treasure, David is just nodding along, "Uh huh, that's nice, whatever." And I know it's not his thing, but I wish he understood. Maybe a time will come when he's interested in learning more about it and we can bond over that. I mean, maybe I'm just selfish or I'm looking for a project to keep me busy, or I think it's just such a shame if all this stuff goes unused, but I'd love to walk him through it and see if he develops a taste for it. Maybe it's just for me... maybe it's like having a real life doll to play with.

Gah. So not fair.

So we got to the bedroom and there's this beautiful king-sized bed. And we share this look like, "Oooh boy, this is gonna be a talk."

He sits down on the bed and lays his hand on his breast - a weird little motion he keeps doing to remind himself this is all real. I sit beside him, sure to keep my distance. He goes, "Sooo..."

I cut him off, because it hurts less if I say it: "I think there's a guest room down the hall. If you want, I can..."

"That what you want?"

I take a moment, "Not really," I say.

A long pause.

"I'm tryin' here," he says.

"I know," I say. I want to lean in and kiss him or touch him in some way but I know that will scare him.

"I look at you and... well, you're a guy now."

"I'm still me inside," I'm quick to say. "I'm not just a guy, I'm your girlfriend, and I happen to be going through the same thing you are, more or less. I don't want you to be afraid to get close to me. I know the body thing is a barrier, that you would never feel a certain way about a person who looks like this, but... I'm asking. I'm begging you, to make some kind of exception and try to see me for who I am. Don't push me away... the only way we're going to survive this year is if we do it together."

He took a long pause and looked away, but I found his eyes - the eyes of Lena Howard - and tried to see my David in there. I know he's in there, and if I can see it, I hoped, so could he.

He rested his hand on mine - his aged, slender fingers on my big mitt.

We looked at each other.

Almost as a reflex, I tilted my head forward for a kiss, but stopped myself. I was embarrassed because I thought that would be the last thing he would want, even if I'm starved for love after a week.

But he caught on and leaned forward and kissed me. On the cheek, but it was still a big gesture.

He scooted a little closer to me on the bed.

"This is so weird," he says with a little smile, one that makes me think he's defrosting.

"You're telling me," I smile back. I go to wrap my arm around his shoulders - "Can I...?"

"Um, sure..." he says,  but he's clearly not comfortable.

And we had to have a pretty uncomfortable talk about it.

"No sex though," he says firmly, and I agree... and it's not like I'm overly keen on the idea either, but we're still us and we're still in love and I think physicality is a part of it. I'm not in a rush but I do think, with a year ahead of us, the idea could be revisited (isn't he curious??)

Eventually, it was time to send him to work. The luxury of running your own company is that if you haul off for an extra few weeks of vacation people tend not to second-guess it (the real April has been doing work from their new home in Springfield.) The bad news is you do have to go back eventually... which was a whole ordeal because of course I had to get David up and ready and styled for his first day as Lena Howard, CEO. I picked out a week's worth of outfits that I thought were somewhat gender-neutral (to my surprise he rejected some pantsuits as "too Hillary." Oh, dresses then? Lena has a ton of beautiful skirts and blouses...) I also did her makeup and accessories of course.

It was tough, though, because David is going from being unemployed for months to running his own company. He says it's not too stressful, but I suspect that's mostly because Pete is there covering.

And me... I was asked to take on some of Zack's work as a photographer. As a freelancer he is worried about losing clients if he takes himself off the market for a year, so I had him give me a crash-course in what he does and how he does it, and all the software and equipment he uses. Of course he agreed to collaborate as best he could, time permitting. I don't mind it so far, it's been fun.

Besides, if all I had to do was be a houseboy for "Lena Howard" I think I would be bored out of my skull!

-J/Z

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