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Trying to Make His Way Home
by Radioactive Loner
Radioactive Loner -- all rights reserved
 

I was cradling a Kahlua and cream at the bar. It was one of those really frigid, icy nights where the wind would just rip through you, but you didn't have the comfort of snow to adorn the landscape around you. Most of the Blind Pig patrons were coming in this night rubbing their hands (or hooves, or paws, or other such upper appendages) together to generate warmth, while quickly slamming the door behind them.

Suddenly, a norm came in. At least, I assumed he was a norm. You really can't tell with SCABS ... he could be a gendermorph, like I am, but perhaps one that was a woman, now morphlocked as a man ... sort of the reverse of my situation. Or perhaps a gendermorph who's free to morph back and forth ... like I hope to be, eventually. I hated being in this body so much that I tried to kill myself ... but that's another story that I've told before, and to only a few people. The road back from that sort of thing's hard, and I'm still journeying. But at least I've not abandoned the journey altogether, like I had tried to beforehand.

The norm was interesting. He had on an overcoat that was a near duplicate of mine, and an air around him that just seemed a bit strange. And the way he was looking around the bar wasn't getting him much appreciation from the gang. He was doing one of those glances where he's gaping, but trying not to show that's he's gaping, and not being that successful, and everyone knows that but him.

I suppose, to a first-time norm who wandered in here by mistake, the gang at the Blind Pig would be a bit strange. We have Jack, a mule morph, who's master of the ivories ... both the ivory keys of the piano in the corner, and the ivory balls of our pool table. [Both faux ivory, much to the relief of the few elephant morphs who occasionally frequent the bar.] We have Wanderer and the Lupine Boys, the standard Gang of Rowdy Bar Regulars (tm) led by a master thespian who I owe more than the world to. We have Donnie, the bartender, a huge bull of a man (literally) whose fearsome presence is tempered only by his incredible gentleness. We have plushies, lizard morphs, deers, racoons ... an incredible vastness of diversity that make the Blind Pig a startling sight for first-timers.

Still, that doesn't mean gaping's really appreciated. After all, it's OUR bar, not theirs. And if Normie over there kept looking around, the mood might get a bit ugly, especially since a few of the bar's patrons were well into their cups. I caught the norm's attention, and motioned for him to come over.

Imagine my surprise when, upon noticing my gesture, the norm got incredibly excited, and rushed on over.

"Tara?" he asked. "Is that you?"

Well, let's put it this way ... ever since I grew breasts and lost a lot more, I've not been too ... welcoming. Especially when perfect strangers spout my name out of thin air. My eyes narrowed a bit, my mental shields dropped right into place, and I looked at him. I ran through a few responses in my mind, then chose the most formal in the most icy tone I could manage ... "I'm afraid you've got the better of me, Mr. ... ?"

He smiled. "I'm afraid my name's not really appropriate here, nor is my nom de plume. But, I've got a real interest in visiting here, and in meeting you for the first time."

This was getting decidedly weird, and I thought about calling Donnie over and asking him to evict this decidedly weird character.

"Tara, when you looked out onto the sea a few days before your suicide attempt, your thought was that, for an actor, it would be an appropriate way to commit suicide by re-enacting Ophelia."

My eyes widened as his words sunk in. As far as I knew, SCABS had no way of giving anyone any sort of telepathy ... so how the hell could this person know my very own thoughts?

He grinned. "Interested now, eh?"

I merely nodded.

"Just follow me to a booth. I promise I'm not a sicko."

We found a secluded booth in the back of the Pig, where few could overhear our conversation.

"Tara, I know this is going to sound very odd. But ... let's see. How to approach this? Do you remember an old song ... it would be back around the '90s? There was this sort of neo-folk singer named Joan Osbourne, and she sang a song, 'One of Us' ... one of the lyrics was 'What if God was one of us?'"

My alarm stepped up a notch, and I looked at him cynically. "Yes?"

"Tara, I'm ... well, I'm not going to claim to be God. But I created you."

My instincts began to step up a notch, and I tensed to leap out of the booth.

He closed his eyes, and spoke very quietly under his breath, "But, then I thought to myself, what the hell -- crazier things have happened over the past few years. Why wouldn't my creator turn out to be a portly 24-year-old? And even if the guy was a nutjob, he didn't look to be the psycho type. I decided to indulge him and listen more. If nothing else, it was good for a weird laugh."

But, then I thought to myself, what the hell -- crazier things have happened over the past few years. Why wouldn't my creator turn out to be a portly 24-year-old? And even if the guy was a nutjob, he didn't look to be the psycho type. I decided to indulge him and listen more. If nothing else, it was good for a weird laugh.

I sat back down in the booth. "Okay. I'll listen. But please don't forget that you have a very tight-knit community of SCABS surrounding you. All I have to do is begin yelling, and you're going to get yourself evicted and firmly trounced upon, not necessarily in that order."

He grinned. "Somehow, I didn't think you'd be this wary. I just ... wanted to meet you. Somehow, you've been my female counterpart. When I've been walking around in life, thinking about how life might've been different, it's been you I've visualized."

I tried to play him out a bit. "Where did you see me for the first time? Have you been following me?"

He thought a bit. "No ... this is the first time I've ever met you in person, Tara. Your personality sort evolved ... I stole your appearance in this form from a Calvin Klein underwear ad." He chuckled. "I suppose you have me to blame for being a bit of a bombshell. But don't I look like you a bit before you became a woman? I never described your appearance as a male, but I had myself in mind."

I looked at him ... and he did look a lot like I used to. Not exactly ... there was quite a number of differences. But he could be family. Possibly. I wasn't totally willing to entertain this idea, but I have to admit, it was a sort of a strange concept to wrap my mind around. And I always did enjoy science fiction ... so it was a bit fun to indulge his lunacy.

I rose a finger. "Not that I'm actually entertaining this even for a minute ... but, let's say for the sake of conversation, you are my creator. Who created all of this ... the universe? You?"

He shook his head. "Many, many people ... although your universe was birthed by one man. But the individuals ... many have real-life counterparts in my universe. Wanderer has a real-life counterpart somewhere in the South ... so does Jack, Brian, and almost everyone in this bar. In a sense, all of you are representatives of us ... we all meet using the Internet on a mailing list via computer. We e-mail back and forth on a mailing list, posting stories. Can you guess what some of those stories involve, Tara?" He grinned.

I had a sinking feeling I did. To claim all of reality was merely someone's story ... that in itself was a rather scary thought. And one of a psychotic's. But ... he just didn't seem dangerous. And I wanted to hear more. "So, if you're my creator, why did you choose this to happen to me?" I had a bit of anguish invested in that particular question. I caught myself before I slid into his reality.

He frowned, tapping his fingers on the tabletop. "I've wondered about that, myself, Tara. I mean, I'm not transsexual, nor do I really want to follow your transformation in my own life. But I've always wondered, I suppose, about the benefits of what having attractive sexuality must give someone. You're an escape of sorts, I suppose -- it's no accident you morphed from a stout man into a bombshell. I look at beautiful women on the train, and wonder what it must like to have such confidence in your sexuality ... to express that part of you with such ease. I suppose in that sense you're my alter-ego."

I looked at him dumbly. "Are you kidding me? Confidence in my sexuality? Since the transformation, I'm probably one of the most frigid women in this town! Thanks to SCABS, I've totally rejected who I am and what I look like, because I can't deal with how different I am and my resulting place in society."

His eyes deepened in sudden, surprised pain. He took a deep breath. "I hadn't realized," he said, his voice suddenly a bit rough. "You're not an alter-ego, Tara ... you're a facet of your creator. Perhaps one he never realized before."

He closed his eyes, and began saying some more words underneath his breath. This time, I couldn't quite make the words out. I reached for my empty glass, ready to jump away from the booth, and leave this weirdness behind me.

<Blink.>

Donnie reached out a hoof and gently steadied me as the room settled back in my eyesockets from its sudden spin. I let a slight smile grace my lips. "Thanks, Donnie, I nearly fell off my barstool." He looked at me in concern, then pointed at my glass.

"No, I've only drunk about a quarter of it ... I doubt it's hit me that quick. But, nevertheless, maybe I better lay off ... "

I pushed the glass back towards him. All of a sudden, I felt a huge gust of wind blow through the fabric of my blouse.

"Jumping Jenny's Mule, someone close the dang door!" A rousing chorus echoed Jack's cry as Brian lept up and shut away the icy wind behind the Pig's stately oak door.

As Brian closed the door, I looked at it in puzzlement. I hadn't heard anybody come in ...

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