Sunday, January 29, 2023

Becca/Sam: When the child becomes the parent

Okay, it's Saturday night. I've got a verbal promise from "Corinne" that "she'll" be home before midnight. Sandi's gone to bed, as have the other kids, only I am awake to stand guard. I've poured myself a coke with just a little bit of rye in it, let's continue our story.

Like anyone, I've been curious over the course of my life what it would be like to be the opposite sex, but I happen to think it's a particularly male form of ego that suggests a woman would want to be a man. I don't covet big biceps or a handsome jawline for myself. I miss my long, tangle-prone hair, I miss my soft, short, curvy body, I miss my clothes. Knowing there's a potential timeline for a return to my old self -- if I play my cards right? -- helps me face the day to day realities of being Samuel Platter and try to make the most of it.

Naturally, looking at what happened to me and my dad, I thought there was some kind of cosmic intelligence at work here, some divine sense of humor. I woke up in the body of a man close to me in age, and he my daughter, a teenage girl. That doesn't seem like a coincidence to me, but investigating the rest of this blog indicates that it's 90% likely that it was just a roll of the dice, with a 10% possibility that some outside force has manipulated us into this situation for reasons beyond my understanding.

In the moment though, it was panic. I had to give the "kid" some of my Ativan to get through the first day (as opposed to letting him/her drink themself into oblivion.) By day two, I had sourced more information and he was more understanding about it.

So we're the Platters -- a tech investor and his cheerleader daughter. Our task: inhabit these peoples' lives as best we can until such time as we can arrange a return trip to the Inn... next year.

Sam is a good-looking guy. Piercing blue eyes and light hair, a confident grin. He looks like James Marsden, but ten years younger. Cheekbones forever. He's fit -- like I said, he's only a little bit younger than me but not having those same aches and pains makes me feel incredible. He fills out a suit well. I don't want to be a man, but if I have to be one, I would very much like to look like Sam Platter.

I'll admit, I was semi-curious about "the equipment" which I could not ignore hanging between my legs. How does it work? When would I know it was... activated? What do I do when it's idle? I have to admit, it was very distracting. After all these months I still feel like we're getting to know each other.

On day 2, dad went from being perturbed to buying into the whole idea. The same way I was coming to accept the perks of being Sam, he had to admit that if one had to be female, it's better to be young, pretty and nubile. To the real Corinne -- I'm so, so sorry about the current occupant of your body.

In my head, I had a kind of trainwreck fascination with the situation. Here's my dad, a man with zero impulse control, old enough to remember Watergate, who could never be anybody but himself, now wedged into the life of a squeaky-clean female member of the TikTok generation. How was this going to work?

While we processed, he asked me to braid his hair "Like Miesha Tate" It was fun, the nicest bonding moment we've had since I was a teenager. We talked a bit, about anything to get our minds off the situation: old times, work, whatever. For the first time in a long while I got the sense he was hearing what I was saying to him, paying attention and absorbing it.

That's something else that happened. This girl -- who I know inside is my dad, but before we left Maine sure wasn't acting like it -- was very lucid and very clear, very even-tempered. I mean, she still had a mouth like a longshoreman, but I've never known him to be quite so sharp and alert. All his senses were coming back, his faculties that were long since abandoned... he was awake and energetic. Youth is the ultimate drug, I suppose. High on life. And a heady cocktail of estrogen and progesterone, among other hormones.

I don't think we fully understand the mind-body connection, because before long it felt like I was not dealing with a "grown man in a child's body" but a child with the mind of a grown man. This was not simply my dad, looking different, this was almost an entirely different person: whereas before he was grouchy and lethargic, he was manic and optimistic. It was like talking to a different person who happened to have all the knowledge and memory of my father. 

Now he was in a body that wasn't permanently piss-drunk and stoned, that hadn't been destroyed by abuse. Part of the reason my dad can't get sober is that he can't stand withdrawal, but here he was with not a drop in his system and feeling fine. I think when he realized that, something switched in him. He went from shock and horror to acceptance and even enthusiasm for the situation in freakishly record time.

His outlook and demeanor had changed. He dug back in his brain for some of the religious platitudes they tell you in meetings about how this is his second chance by the grace of God. By day three, he was fully on board with this scenario: clothes, makeup, body, he was ready to accept it all, ready to devour the life of Corinne Platter.

Which was a little eerie, and certainly not my experience of transformation, but I had to go along with it.

I don't know that this is everybody's experience when they get de-aged or gender-changed through this magic. From reading through this it sounds like it's not, but maybe people are just sheepish about it. But my dad has an addictive personality, obviously, and in the present I could see that taking hold in the form of an addiction to being Corinne. Only I didn't really have time to process it. Having someone who is surprisingly accepting of this situation is infinitely preferable to someone who is going to fight you all the way (which is what I kind of thought would happen.) So my dad became my daughter, and we traveled back to California to meet the rest of the family, and to beg forgiveness for the delay and pretend like we belonged.

I'd like to say this was a "reversal" of our roles, but the truth is, it's just a solidification of the way it's been for years. I've been more mature and ready to handle the world than my dad since I was in high school. This just makes it official.

But does it make it right?

Hold on, I hear the door.


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