Well, they think Zee's crazy, coming back from vacation, giving two week's notice, and saying she's going to up and move to New York because she met a guy on vacation. Nope, don't want to stay on as remote after that, either - just making a clean start! Which surprises them a little, as previous-Zee apparently liked working from home during the pandemic. I can kind of see why - there are cheat sheets right next to her monitor about who everyone is - but it's kind of not exactly an ideal workplace. None of her co-workers are surprised by the desire to move on, even if previous-Dee didn't exactly strike them as the romantic type, though the management seems to think giving notice right after coming back from a long vacation is the sort of thing an asshole does. Can't say they're exactly wrong, but, again, there are a lot of co-workers who think giving the finger as you depart is the stuff of legend.
I was able to pack fairly light for the move - previous-Zee started downsizing almost two years ago, and I told her that she could keep whatever she had come to grow fond of from Zee's apartment, not realizing just how much she'd take me up on. But that's fine. She became Zee in her mid-twenties and had been her for three years, and as much as she wasn't looking back, there was a lot of things she was used to, and which I wouldn't know I was missing.
So I went to New York, put some things in a storage unit that J.T. had arranged, and then made my way to Flushing, because the new Magda was insisting that I stay with her and tell her everything she needs to know before completely diving into her new life, which was a surprise, but a welcome one. Short-term situations in New York are at least one of hard to find and expensive, and J.T. and I didn't want to do the "new girlfriend immediately moves in" thing again, even if it would look less weird with me not appearing old enough to be his mother. Hopefully I won't be here long, but it's nice to be somewhere kind of familiar while I get on my feet.
I was a bit surprised when I got buzzed up that first time and new-Magda opened the door; she looked younger than I had looked as her and I told her so. She accepted the compliment and said that she'd spent some time as a make-up artist back before she got married, and had all sorts of experience with shaving a few years off a middle-aged woman even before she'd been one, and "Magda" was aging quite gracefully to begin with - although she said I obviously knew that, of course, because I'd been Magda not long before.
She ran through all that quickly before saying that I'd certainly found myself a nice little landing spot and I said, yeah, I feel a little more like me while still being someone my boyfriend would enjoy having sex with. She turned a bit red at that - she's actually in her mid-sixties and sort of aspires to be as sex-positive as a Golden Girls character but still defaults hard to cis-het in her thinking, and the idea that I could start out as a "normal" man and get to a point where I was looking for a just-right female body even with magic involved is hard for her to get her brain around. It's going to be fun the next time that Harmon arrives if she starts thinking of him as entirely Alicia the way she seems to treat me as entirely Zee because she doesn't know what to think about me as Daryl.
Still, she's a pretty apt pupil for someone who initially worried about teaching an old dog new tricks, seemingly excited to learn all the goings-on at the airport. I asked if she thought she was going to be Magda long-term, and she says it's tempting, depending on what happens with her husband, who has become someone fairly age-appropriate for Magda but... Well, his real identity is ten or fifteen years older than her, so there's a very real possibility that it won't be there to come back to in the spring, and he doesn't want to stick someone else with so few days. Apparently, he says she should stay Magda whatever happens, rather than be a widow everyone takes pity on, but they've been together for decades and she can't imagine abandoning him like that.
It was a sobering thing that I brought up with J.T. on our "welcome (back) to New York" date that evening. We've known kids who became adults via the Inn and vice versa, and I've certainly given some thought to having potentially lost twenty years while living as Magda, but the other end of things is scary. Just imagine becoming Magda's husband as a teenager and not knowing if your heart will make it to the next Inn booking!
Fortunately, we've got that behind us, and he figures that in time, once I've found a place of my own and a new job, we'll eventually get to a point where we can just look forward. Easy for him to say - he was only someone else for one year, almost five years ago!
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