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Archive-name: Changes/tiresias.txt

Archive-author: John Cowan

Archive-title: Tiresias

The following story is Copyright 1989 by John Cowan.  All rights reserved.

Despite the above legalism, you are hereby given the right to reproduce

this story for any non-commercial use, provided you do so in its entirety,

including this copyright notice.

The opinions expressed by the characters in this work of fiction are

not necessarily those of the author!

As soon as I wake up in my coffin I know something's wrong.

It's serious.  The worst thing that's happened since five years ago. That's

when they replaced my left upper arm with this plastic prosthetic.  The

forearm  is still mine.  I got extra hazard pay that time.

It's dark as usual.  Always dark in a spacer's coffin.  Soon they'll open it.

Opened.  It's light.  A tech removes my body.  It's against regulations to

try to get up or speak.  Medical and Security directives together are an

unbeatable combination.  They wheel me into a recovery room.  What do I

remember.  Nothing.  As always.  A side effect of the space drive.  Or is it

Security again.  Nobody knows.  Asses on the line beyond the atmosphere and

we don't remember a thing.

Debriefing.  A leftover name from the old days.  No questions asked.  No

answers.  I get up carefully.  An overhead speaker activates.  A  carefully

neutral voice.  Deviation from usual procedure.  Accident during field duty.

Full details to follow.  Major modifications necessary.  A standard surgical

procedure.  Dates from the twentieth century.  Modernized and improved.

Hormone treatment by implant.  Most organs functional within obvious genetic

limits.  A man with my training should be able to cope.  Psychological

assistance available.

I stop listening.  I know what he's talking about.  I have no cock.  I have

no balls.  I have big tits and wide hips now.  I am not a man any more.

I am now a woman.  I am still a spacer.


When I get home the house is deserted.  My things are still here.  Ruth has

moved out.  I knew she might have gone at any time.  For any reason.  I play

back the phone's messages.  Only Ruth inviting me to dinner.  To discuss.

An address across town.  I go.  I meet her new lover John.  He looks much

like me.  The way I used to look.  We try to make casual chitchat.

His eyes follow me.  Suddenly I realize he is attracted to me.  I am now a

woman.  He offers me a drink.  I accept.

We get through dinner.  John steps out.  Ruth and I talk.  She has known for

six months.  They told her even though we had no contract.  Humanitarian

reasons.  Bastards.  They would have told my parents instead.  But they're

dead.  I don't even have relatives.  I've been on my own since my late

teens.  Until Ruth and I got together.  That was two years ago.  Three.

I've lost a year.  Now she's saying it's over.

She tells me she thought it over carefully.  She still loves me but can't

accept me.  Except as a friend.  I say I understand.  I say I can't accept

myself either.  I still feel the same.  Not changed.  I have new clothes

from the agency.  They fit.  She offers to take me shopping someday.  I

laugh.  Bastards.

Ruth kisses me goodbye.  The way women do.  I try for more but she holds me

off.  I'm still strong.  Physically.  As strong as I used to be.  She gives

me a phone number.  A new friend of hers.  Wants to meet me.  I doubt

it.  A woman.  I promise to call the number.  I return home.  If I were a

woman I'd cry.

I call the number.  She's another spacer.  We arrange to meet for lunch.

She says she'll recognize me.  I guess so.  My case must be all over the

agency by now.  Spacers keep track of each other.  I could find out about

her if I knew her full name.  Ruth just called her Lucina.  I get to the

restaurant first.

I notice her before she notices me.  She has no hair at all.  No eyebrows.

She wears goggles.  Later I learn this is to protect her eyes.  Instead of

eyelashes.  She finds me and walks over.  I watch her.  Great body.

Sexy walk.  Long super smooth legs.  Naturally she doesn't need to shave.

I love her already.  She sits.  She smiles.  She takes off the goggles.

We chat.  I realize I'm looking at her.  She looks back.  I've never seen a

bald woman before.  She just woke up that way one day.  In the coffin.  All

hair inhibited.  Naturally there are no reasons.  There never are.  I don't

know how to talk to her.  I haven't talked to any strangers.  Since I came

back.  Any women.  How do women talk.  I don't know.  I'm a man.  When I

make small-talk with a woman I'm always coming on to her.  Or trying to

distract her.

I want to come on to Lucina.  Just looking at her turns me

on.  I still feel the same as I used to.  Not so localized maybe.  My

nipples are hard.  My crotch feels like it's tied in knots.  I don't have

my cock any more.  I am a woman.  We go on talking.  The food arrives.  We

eat.  I reach for the check and start to pay.  She insists on splitting.

She says I have a lot to learn.  I don't want to learn.  She leaves first.

Her ass is just as cute as the rest of her.  She undulates out the door.

She calls me the next day.  Wants to meet me for dinner.  I never heard of

the address.  Customer assistance tells me how to get there.  In the old

district of the city.  It's down a flight of stairs, unmodernized.  Only a

small sign by the door.  Wood with black letters.  It's a dinner and

dance place.  Lucina is sitting at a table near the front.  She's gotten

dressed up.  I don't know why.  I am a woman.  I sit with her.  The waitress

brings a plate of appetizers unordered.  Maybe she ordered them.  It puts me

off.  There is no dancing yet, but there is a live orchestra playing softly.

Ancient stuff.  We sit.  I don't know what to say to her.  We have nothing

in common except our jobs.  Which we don't remember.  And that she makes me

hard.  No.  Wet.  I actually feel more warm than anything.  Maybe that's

just an expression.  I 'm hot for her. That's the way to think about it.

Maybe it was just a fluke.  Nothing will happen this time.

The appetizer is good.  I don't know what it is.  Looks like highly scented

dog food.  But I like it.  The taste is better than the smell.  Like oysters.

It seems there are no menus.  They bring food.  More of the same with little

vegetables for variety.  We don't say much.  There's conversation all round

us.  She starts off several times but keeps trailing off.  I'm not much help.

I spend the time looking at her face.  Once I get used to it I see how

stunning it is.  I ask her what color hair she had.  Blonde.  I never liked

blondes much.  They used to get to me when I was a kid.  They used to make

me feel invisible.  All women love to do that.  They walk down the street

showing it off.  When you notice them or act appreciative they ignore you or

bite your head off.  I remember how it used to make me so mad until I

learned to play.  I'm glad her hair is gone.  Now she's just a spacer.  Like

me.  She's been on leave for the past year.  She expects another six months

at least.  I never knew how much leave I was going to have.  I still don't.

We finish eating.  The orchestra music gets louder.  Couples get up from the

tables around us and begin dancing.  I look around at them.  They are all

women.  Everybody in the restaurant is a woman except me.  No.  We are all.

Lucina extends her hands to me.  I get up and help her out of her chair.

We dance together. The music changes and we dance close and slow.  Her

dress is thin and her body presses up to mine.  I feel my heart beating in

my head and thighs.  Her boobs mesh with mine.  Mine are bigger.  I am a bit

taller.  I breathe her body in.  It knocks me out.  I want to have her.  My

body always knows it's been away for months even if I don't remember them.

I start to whisper to her.  Then I remember what I am.  I want to fuck her

right here on the floor.  But I haven't got anything.  I am not a man any


Automatically I have been leading.  She guides me to the back.  Still

dancing.  There is an unlit stair.  We climb it and get into a waiting

taxi.  She must have set me up.  This must have cost.  I can't talk.  She

pushes her hand under my standard issue sweatshirt.  I still have no other

clothes.  I don't wear anything under it.  She runs her hands over me and I

almost faint.  Over my tits.  My nipples are aching.  I need help.  The taxi

is in the air and the pilot's compartment is blacked out.  No one can see us.

She pulls up the sweatshirt and suckles my right breast.  I lose control of

myself.  I don't remember anything clearly afterward until we're in bed.

She makes me forget the newness of my body.  I have never felt anything so

intense.  Not with any woman.  Everything works perfectly.  All the right

parts are there and they all work fine.  They told me this at the agency.

I don't have periods and I can't have children but that's all.  I am a woman.

When Lucina stops to rest I go down on her vigorously.  I think I do it

better  than I used to.  Before.  I am glad.  I still feel like the same

person but I  am better at some things now.

The next morning we order breakfast in.  Lucina has money and spends it.  I

have money too of course.  Somehow I never got in the habit of spending

freely.  Spacing is like not having a job at all.  You just make money.

Except when you're called.  And even then it's just time out of your life.

Not like real work.  But very well paying.  The risks are probably high

or the pay wouldn't be as good.  Nobody really knows except the bosses.

Whoever they are.  Bastards.

We make plans.  She will move in with me.  When we are not working we will

stay together.  Otherwise we are free.  They will not care.  It doesn't make

us less effective in space and nothing else matters.  I have a new woman.

I am not a man but I am still the same person.


I am a dyke and I live in a dyke world.  Except in the elevator and on the

streets I don't see men.  Lucina fills Ruth's space smoothly.  She takes

care of me and I take care of her.  I find out what women do together.

It's not like I thought.  Outside our apartment there is a whole existence

without men.  We go dancing together.  We go to women's bars.  We go to

dinner in women's restaurants.  Lesbian theatre collectives.  Lesbian films.

When I was a man I didn't know this existed.  I had no need to realize its


We will not be exclusive lovers.  Either of us could be called up at any

time.  Lucina assures me I will only be given short missions.  I don't know

how she knows so much.  Perhaps she is an agency supervisor.  I have never

met one.  Not since I joined.  Only orders that come in the mail.  And

the techs that put you to sleep and wake you.  They don't count.  They never

go to space.

After a few months leave I get my orders.  Report at once. The usual.  At

most they give me different drugs this time.  I wake up in the coffin with

no changes and no memories.  Only three weeks have passed.  Perhaps when I

wash I will notice a scar or two where I didn't have one before.  Then

Lucina goes out on a mission.  I continue doing the same things alone for a

few days.  A week.  I talk with the women I meet.  I am shyer than I used to

be.  At an afternoon dance an older woman picks me up.  About forty-five.

When I was a man I always went for the young ones.  Now I am the young one.

Her name is Abigail.  She lives alone in a big house.  Her parents left it

to her.

Abigail is a passionate woman.  When we go to bed I am very hot to eat her

out.  Her pussy smells different from Lucina's.  Much stronger.  The pubic

hair concentrates the smell.  All Lucina's smells are very subtle.

Abigail wants to put her fingers inside me.  She says I am too tight.  She

promises to help me relax.  I do.  She is gentle.  I am glad of the sexual

variety she provides.  We spend the afternoon and the night fucking.  I have

learned to still call it fucking.  We are both tireless.  She asks me if I

want to try some of her toys.  She shows me.  I tell her that is not for me.

She is not upset.  She doesn't know my story.

In the morning we are both polite.  It was very satisfactory.  I will be

glad to see her and talk with her again.  I feel friendship for her.

I have never felt this with a woman.  I don't want to see my old friends any

more.  Abigail and I sit quietly over breakfast.  Our desire for each other

is used up.  She says that is the usual thing.  Perhaps one day we will want

each other again.  I return home and to my life alone.

Lucina is five months out.  There are other women.  Sometimes I am

aggressive and take them home with me.  I explain that my lover is on a long

trip.  I don't tell them much about myself.  Sometimes I go for weeks

without sex.  It doesn't seem to matter as much as it used to.  I miss

Lucina's presence at night and in the morning.

I get another set of orders.  By the time I return Lucina has also come back.

We have a good reunion.  I share the things I have learned with her.  She

tells me she has only two weeks' leave.  Then she will be gone for at least

a year.  We spend the first week in a frenzy of socializing and lovemaking.

The second week is quiet.  We wait.  Without orders she packs a bag and

leaves.  I don't know why she needs to pack.  I don't know enough about

her.  She must be something more than a plain spacer like me.

For a few weeks I stay in the apartment except to eat.  I suppose I am

depressed.  I consider going for that psychological guidance I was offered.

The hell with it.  I go to a straight bar for the first time and get

drunk.  A tough-looking guy comes on to me.  I ignore him.  When he gets me

too mad I hit him on the button and he folds up.  I am still the same person.

They  throw me out.  I don't care.  I go home and try to weep.  I am not a

man any more.

The next day I go to a dance.  There are lots of new faces.  There is a girl

sitting in a corner by herself.  Nobody goes near her.  I get curious.  She

looks about seventeen.  I don't think she knows anyone there.  I pull up

another chair and sit down with her.  She is sixteen.  She doesn't care

for men.  I listen to her story.  There isn't anybody else she can talk to.

She saw the address of this place posted on a street lamp.  She's scared of

the people.  I take her to dinner at a gay restaurant.  Her name is Anne.

I get to pick up the whole check for once.  I wind up telling her my own

story.  It's the first time I've told anybody.  Ruth and Lucina knew already.

She looks scared and maybe a little awed.  We make a date for dinner


When we meet Anne looks a whole lot better.  She must be a naturally happy

type.  She's only been sure about her feelings for a few months.  Before

that she thought she just wasn't ready for dating and boys.  Last night she

wore jeans.  Tonight it's a simple little dress that looks just fine on her.

At her request I buy her a drink.  She is really cute.  I inquire about her

parents.  She told her mother she was spending the night at a friend's.

The friend is actually spending the night at her boyfriend's  apartment.  I

smile.  I hope her friend has a good time tonight.  I intend to.

We have wine with dinner.  We are both feeling good.  Over coffee she tells

me her secret plan.  She is conspiratorial and little-girl wicked.  She

wants me to take her to a women's strip joint.  I have heard of such places

but have never been to one.  They aren't Lucina's style.  While Anne goes to

powder her nose I quietly ask the waitress.  She recommends a place not too

far away.  We leave the restaurant and signal a cab.  There is a stiff cover

charge and minimum.  Anne isn't used to such high living.  I tell her not to

worry.  Spacers always have money.

I get us a table for two in the second row.  We can see everything.  The

audience is mostly older women alone or in couples.  The strippers are not

that pretty.  I am disappointed.  Anne seems to be having a good time though.

She tells me that she's never seen a grown woman naked before.  I think

about later tonight and smile to myself.  I take her hand in mine.  It is

soft and warm.  Eventually the featured attraction comes on stage.  A

redhead.  She is much hotter stuff than the other women.  Her moves are

great too.  Watching her excites me.  Anne's hand grips mine.  When the

stripper casts off her bra we see that the tassels are attached to her

nipples.  Some things are the same everywhere.

Anne and I hold hands in my lap.  The strip will be total.  The tassels

rotate as she pirouettes and slowly discards her short skirt.  She has

no panties.  There is only a G-string which doesn't hide enough.  Her thick

bush is a darker reddish color.  I imagine that it is Anne up there I am

watching.  Her hand is now clutching my thigh.  She is sweating and so am I.

Then suddenly in my imagination it is me up there performing for the crowd.

They love me with their eyes and I love them back.  The tassels fall off.

The  G-string snaps and we get just a glimpse of pink.  The lights go down.

The audience roars.  They pound the tables, hoot, and throw money.  Anne

and I look at one another in agreement.  During the confusion before the

lights come up we escape.

When Anne and I get into bed I can hardly breathe.  I turn on a soft rose

light I have had installed but haven't used yet.  By its glow she is

intensely beautiful to me.  There is fear in her eyes but also yearning.

She tells me she was determined to seduce me tonight no matter what.  I

laugh softly.  I begin to cover her body with gentle kisses.  I want to be

easy on her.  She demands more.  She seizes my face in her hands and pulls

it up to hers.  The yearning is redoubled.  Behind it the fear still remains.

She kisses my mouth and feeds me her tongue.  Chills run through me.  Anne

does not make me swoon or lose myself.  I want most of all to feed that


Her little hand is dry and smooth once more.  She takes mine and guides it

between her legs.  I feel the heat radiating from her.  Her bush is soft and

springy.  It is even denser than the stripper's.  It occurs to me that we

might have seen a fake.  Anne is real.  She is only sixteen.  I start a

rhythm on her clit and watch her face intently.  Engorged with desire

she looks quite different.  Suddenly I remember Gloria.

I had Gloria years ago.  Before I was a spacer.  She was in her teens too.

I never found out her real age.  I'm not sure of her real name.  She was

crying in a cafe.  I took her home.  I was going to cheer her up.  When

I got her to bed she told me she was cherry.  I was awed.  I believed her.

I showed her everything to do.  I was still a man then.  She bled on the bed.

She swore it didn't hurt her.  It was just a little bit of blood.

Now I remember her face.  Like Anne's.  Fear and lust together.  When I

slowly inexorably pushed my way into Gloria's young tight wet little

cavity.  It was her fear that excited both of us.  When I shot off inside

Gloria it drove the fear out of her.  I made her a woman then.  I didn't see

her again but I knew she could never forget me.  My mind switches back to

Anne.  She loves what I'm doing to her.  Her body is going wild but the

fear's just not there.  It has gone underground and disappeared.  When she

comes down off the clouds I know it isn't the same.  I made her feel good

but the magic circuit didn't close.  I let her get me off.  She does me with

great enthusiasm if a little awkwardly.  It's good but it's not enough.

I sense somehow that Anne is still a virgin.  Emotionally.  There's nothing

more I can do for her.  We get together a few more times and then drift

apart.  She goes on to discover her own life.  I need to discover my own.

Being with Anne made me know I am also still a virgin.  I move out of my

apartment into another part of the city.  I need a new life.  I need to know

men.  I  need to be a woman all the way.


I call Ruth and take her up on her offer.  She's surprised to hear from me

but still friendly.  We go shopping.  It's springtime.  I tell her I want a

new look. All the agency clothes go on the scrap heap.  All my old clothes

went long ago.  My men's clothes.  I am a woman.  I have to start over with

everything.  I buy basic functional clothing mostly.  The places Ruth takes

me have clothes that fit me even though I am a big woman.  By becoming a

woman I have become much bigger.  I like to look at my new clothes in a

mirror.  When I am wearing them.  I have trouble with the new vocabulary I

need to use.  There are so many things I don't know.  Things Ruth takes for

granted.  Explaining them to me isn't easy.  I try to learn.

I have my hair done.  The useless expense still bothers me but I push down

my anxieties.  I want something easy to manage.  The hairdresser tries to

oblige.  Ruth supervises.  She is pleased with the results.  We start

to experiment with makeup.  A touch of lip gloss.  Some mysterious pigments

from jars.  When I see myself I have trouble recognizing me.  Even my hands

and feet have changed.  I try several nail polishes and settle on a faint pink.

Ruth approves.  When she's not around I try some wilder makeup experiments.

The results are garish.  I look like something from an old movie.  The hell

with this.  I am still the same person.  Or not that different anyway.  Yet.

Ruth is married to John now.  I still don't know him well.  I don't think I

want to.  I have gotten over wanting Ruth.  I think.  Down inside myself

it's probably still hiding there.  I need to be a woman all the way.  I

call my old apartment.  The machine answers.  I tape a message for Lucina.

I tell her I can't see her any more.  Not for a long time at least.  Maybe

we can be friends later.  It's a lot like the message Ruth left for me.

Lucina knew I might go at any time.  For any reason.  All spacers are alike

in that way.  I would like to say goodbye to Anne but don't know how to

reach her.  I'm afraid to return to my old life even briefly.

I need to explore the straight singles scene by myself.  Ruth can't help.

It seems far more predatory.  Men are hunters by nature.  You aren't given a

chance to get to know people.  When men talk to me I still freeze up.  I

still see a competitor.  Somebody who's trying to dominate me.  I don't want

to be dominated.  I don't know how to see men as offering something to me.

Right now all I see is people who want to take from me.  I cannot give

to them.  When I was a man I took sex from women.  Being a lesbian taught me

about giving.  The men I meet in the bars don't want me to give them

anything even though they say they do.  They want to take it.  This isn't

getting me anywhere.  I have to find some other way.

It turns out everybody else is looking for the other way too.  Outside the

bars there are lots of singles events.  The same thing but less intense.

How did Ruth find out she was interested in me?  I can't ask her that.

Before I didn't care how.  Now it's blocked off.  Everybody has their

blinders on in this world.  They set up the limits and play the games inside

them.  I don't enjoy playing from this end.  The gay world seemed so much

looser once you were inside it.  But it was a smaller world too.  This can't

be  all there is.

I think about a personals ad.  I laugh.  I don't know how to describe myself.

 I go to a video dating service.  I find the questionnaire almost impossible

to fill out.  I cheat.  I give myself a phony background.  I listen to tapes

recorded by men.  I wonder how much they're cheating.  I have no idea how

such a thing could possibly work.  I begin to get positive attention from

men in public places.  When I looked like a dyke I got flak but no

admiration.  Now men look at me and smile as well as leer.  I am an

attractive woman now.  I try to imagine what it would be like to tingle

inside  when I see that I turn a man on.  Now I am starved for any kind of

affection.  Not just for sex.  I find myself wanting to talk to people on

the street.  I have to watch myself.  I could get hurt.  There are too many

creeps out there.

Finally one night I attend a lecture on history at the library. I've always

liked history.  It's so solid and unchanging.  I am the man with no history.

The woman.  In a way this sex-change is the first thing that's  happened to

me since I signed up with the agency.  Afterwards the room breaks up into

small groups of people discussing the lecture.  There is wine and cheese and

a party atmosphere develops.  It is not a singles event.  I find myself

talking about the lecture to an older couple and a man about my age.

When the couple leave for home I determine to take the initiative.  I don't

know whether I want to head off trouble or start it.  I suggest we adjourn

to a restaurant for some coffee.  He agrees readily.  Immediately I start to

think about what he thinks I am thinking.  Too late now.

We go on talking at the table.  About the lecture and then about other

things.  He seems to want me to mostly listen so I do.  When he asks me what

I do for a living I hedge.  I don't want to tell him I am a spacer.  It

handicaps me conversationally.  There's nothing to say about my work because

I remember nothing.  Civilians don't understand about that.  He probably

thinks I am just a party girl or something.  No interests of her own.

I manage to convince him I was serious about the lecture at least.  With one

part of my mind I keep wondering what he is thinking about.  With another I

am pretty sure I know.  I remember being where he is.  With a third part I

condemn myself for jumping to conclusions.  Not every man was like me.  It's

hard to keep my mind on what he's saying.  He seems to be serious too though.

He certainly isn't just snowing me.  That's reassuring.

He asks me to go to dinner with him tomorrow evening.  I don't know what to

say.  I carry a handbag now.  I make a pretense of searching it.  Finally I

give up.  I tell him I accept.  I have trouble getting to sleep and

oversleep the next morning.  I am at loose ends all day.  I call Ruth and

tell her I have a date.  She comes over after work and helps me dress up.

I put on a pretty dress.  Ruth helps me as always.  I feel so grateful to

her.  I have not felt so nervous about anything in years.  She tells me

that's natural.  I know it is but it doesn't help.  She kisses me as I go

out the door.  The way women do.

I get a little drunk at dinner.  I'm so nervous I find it impossible to hear

anything he's saying.  I think it's very strange that he's never told me his

name.  I'm afraid to say anything except Yes and No.  My voice would wobble

too much.  I am incapable of doing anything except wait for him to make his

move.  If he's going to make one.  I don't know.  I don't know what the

signals are in a man.  I don't know what kind of signals I'm giving out

either.  Finally he mentions his name in telling me what another man had

said to him that day.  A thought strikes me.  He might be gay.  Maybe he

just wants a sympathetic ear to talk to.  Perhaps I remind him of his mother.

I can't find out.  I have all I can do not to tremble visibly.  Luckily he

doesn't seem to notice.

My capacity for drink seems to be less than it used to be.  By the time the

check arrives I am feeling no pain.  He scoops it up smoothly and signs for

it.  He must have an account at this restaurant.  I wonder how many others

he's brought here.  I reproach myself for this thought.  It seems natural

for us to walk out together.  Drink takes me in the head.  My coordination

is fine.  I am more voluble now but I no more know what I am saying than

what he is telling me.  I vaguely hope it isn't too awful.  Or too

revelatory.  Perhaps he is going to signal a cab for me.  No.  We are

walking together.  I catch myself just as I am about to enter a strange

apartment building.  Obviously he lives here. The world sways around me.

He thinks it is just the liquor.  He asks me if I want to come upstairs and

have some coffee or something.  I say no thanks but go on walking forward.

Drink never affects my legs.  I make it upstairs and into a soft chair.  I

pass out while he is fixing the coffee.  When I recover it is dark  and I am

lying on a couch.  He has put a woolly blanket over me which I appreciate.

I haven't felt so awful since I was young.  Since I was a young man.  There

is a glass of water and two aspirins on the end table by my head.  I gulp

them and try to go back to sleep.  Eventually I manage.  I wake up to the

smell of coffee.  He comes in dressed in a bathrobe and carrying another.

I remember his name now.  Frank.  I greet him.  He offers me the bathrobe.  I

take it from him.  The coffee quickly follows.  We drink from matching cups.

Afterwards I take a shower and put on the bathrobe.  It fits fine.  I feel

much better and sit one the couch.  He is sitting in a chair nearby.  He

apologizes to me for having nothing better to offer me.  I give him a

friendly laugh.  He apologizes again for never finding out what my name was.

This is a problem.  In the gay world I used my real name.  They were used to

women who used men's names.  Now I need something more plausible.  I pick a

name at random.  Elaine.  It's not great but it's the only one that occurs

to me.  At least the initial is right.  I don't have anything monogrammed or

anything but it will make life simpler to have the same initials.  From now

on I will be Elaine.  I resolve to see a lawyer as soon as possible.

I feel it would be appropriate to offer to cook breakfast.  After all he

probably expected to get more than that from me.  I offer.  Luckily for me

he turns me down.  I'm no cook.  I can scramble eggs but that's about it.

He cooks.  He isn't any better than I would be.  At least nothing burns.  I

perceive that he wants to take care of me.  I feel sick enough that I find

this notion bearable.  He is being carefully impersonal.  Or rather

unintrusive.  I know that the shoe is on the other foot now.  He is

wondering what I think of him.  I wish I knew what to think.  I like him.

He would make a good friend.  We talk and I can now listen without trouble.

I find out he is not gay.

After several hours of talk I decide it would be a good idea to leave.  He

hasn't mentioned needing to do so.  Perhaps he works unusual hours.  I don't

know what time it is but it must be early afternoon at least.  I go back

into the bathroom and put on my old clothes.  They feel terrible.  I decide

to be female and give him a thank you kiss.  On the cheek of course.  He

puts his arms around me.  Later I am sure he only intended to give me a

friendly hug.  It is too much for me.  Even though Frank's body is hard and

angular I have not been hugged for weeks.  Not even by Ruth.  I can't blame

her for that.  I hug him back.  The kiss becomes more intense than I

intended.  When we finally part I am wobbly again.  He looks concerned.  I

assure him I am all right and make as sober an exit as I can manage.  I walk

home.  It really isn't far at all.  On the way I grow wildly excited.  Once

in the door I tear off my sweaty clothing and jump into my bed.  As I touch

myself I try not to think about him.


Summer brings a time of madness.  I have seen the lawyer and wear my new

name now.  I become fascinated with everything I have lost.  I am not a man

any more.  I buy magazines with pictures of naked men.  Their cocks achingly

remind me of what I used to have.  I watch crotches.  On the street.  In

restaurants.  In elevators.  I ride up and down in office buildings.  There

is a lot to see.  All different.  Men seem to go around with hard-ons all

the time.  Was I like that?  I can't remember.  Curiosity eats me.  I no

longer speak to anyone much.

I go shopping again.  My new clothes are more daring.  Short skirts.

Low-cut blouses.  I remember never to wear both at the same time.  Thin

summery things as well.  Semi-see-through clothes are in just now.  They

reveal you in flashes as you walk.  I go out wearing a long skirt that seems

solid but opens at a different place with every step.  The new technology of

sexuality.  I have my ears pierced.  It doesn't hurt.  I experiment with

earrings that change color as the light changes.  I learn to walk in

spike-heeled shoes.  I buy a multicolored midriff blouse with matching navel

jewel.  I don't have the guts to wear this publicly.  I buy a full length

mirror for my apartment and pose before it.  I experiment with perfumes but

can't settle on anything.

I take to riding buses to nowhere in particular.  I walk to the corner and

take the first one that comes.  When the whim takes me I get a transfer and

change to another bus.  Eventually I return home.  At first I just sit on

the long seats and watch the people across from me.  Men sit with their

legs apart.  Women cross theirs at the ankles.  I do the same when I sit

down.  Slowly I wriggle on the uncomfortable seat.  I move one foot forward

and the other back.  Now my knees are apart.  My fellow passengers react.

Women mostly look away.  Some look at me with curiosity or resentment or

desire and then I look away instead.  Men get nervous.  It is so easy to

make them nervous.  Secretly I enjoy it.  I decide to advance to the next

stage.  I have become calculating.

During rush hour the buses are often crowded.  I must stand.  I begin to

seek out the most crowded lines and I frequent them.  I wriggle my way

onto buses and move as far to the rear as possible.  As more people and

still more get on I am often unable to move.  Trapped helplessly at full

length between three or four bodies.  Secretly I enjoy it.  I try to pick

out men taller than I am.  They are not common but not rare either.  One day

I manage to align my rear perfectly with a man's front.  I wipe sweat from

my forehead to cover for rubbing up against him.  Curiosity eats me.  He

swiftly stiffens and pulls back in embarrassment.  Daringly I follow him

with my body.  I am glad I can't see his face.  He tentatively brings his

hands upward to clasp my waist.  My body is filled with flames.  We don't

speak.  His hands tell me he wants me to turn around.  His erection is

insistent.  I refuse.  I cannot stand to let him see me.  I have gone too

far.  I must escape.  I break free of his grasp and move toward the front.

He tries to follow but can't get his larger body through the crush.  I get

off at the next stop and immediately get on the following bus.  It is just

as crowded.

Madness fills me now.  I pick out another attractive man of about my age.

I get close to him as soon as I can.  I face him directly.  My breasts are

only an inch or two from his half-open shirt front.  My nipples ache.  I

drown in the smell of his skin.  I can waste no more time.  My hand seizes

his crotch.  I fondle his balls.  Then his cock.  Like the other man he is

silent.  Too surprised to speak?  Too shocked?  I can't care.  There is a

small clear space below that is free of the crush of bodies.  I unzip him

and let him free.  I clutch him fixedly.  The fire in my body is washed out

by the double amazement in my skull.  First, that I can be so insanely

incautious.  Second, nostalgia.  His organ feels as mine felt, grows as mine

grew.  Shoots as mine shot.  I was once a man.  It takes him no time at all.

His whole load spills onto my dress.  It soaks my belly and thighs.  Suddenly

the pressure behind me is relieved as several people exit via the rear door.

Leaving him behind I stumble after them.  He must take care of himself.  I

work my cab signaler frantically and manage to return home somehow.  I

shower and go to bed.

I repeat this experience again and again.  It almost always goes according

to plan.  I am better prepared now.  I buy a new and larger handbag and a

collection of handkerchiefs.  Plain white.  I hold the cloth in my left hand

and the man's cock in my right.  Almost never do I need to actually pump

them.  Men all seem to be hair-triggered.  I no longer get my clothes messy.

Each time my inner reactions of lust, amazement, and nostalgia torch me.  It

is far better than ordinary sex.  I no longer feel any need to masturbate.

I learn about the variety of men.  The large and the small.  The young, the

middle-aged, the old.  The cut and the uncut.  Curiosity eats me.  Teenagers

are especially exciting.  They are so unsuspecting and then so eager. The

occasional rejection doesn't stop me or even bother me that much.  I just

leave the bus and wait for the next one.  The next man.  When I was a man I

used to dream of meeting a woman who did things like this.  Now men must be

dreaming of me.  At the end of each day my bag is stuffed full of

handkerchiefs.  I glow with the power of the pleasure giver.

I return to the singles bars.  The hunks who stand or sit nursing or

guzzling their drinks have not changed.  I have.  They are still looking to

take.  I now have something to give them.  One approaches.  He has blond

hair and blue eyes.  He is tall and muscular.  He wears a tight shirt with a

fashionably deep vee neck open almost to his waist.  We talk and drink.  His

name is Brian.  He jokes about it.  I tell him my name.  When he makes his

move I am ready.  We go to his apartment.  It is just one small room.  The

furnishings are sparse and neat.  Only the bed is luxurious.  Midnight blue

satin sheets.  He dims the lights and fiddles with the stereo.  There is

soft romantic music.  We dance.  I find it easy to let him lead.  Meanwhile

I plan.  At last he begins to kiss me.  Gently at first.  Then more

passionately.  His hands explore me.  I have no trouble returning all this.

It's almost hard to believe how relaxed I feel.  He is leading me gently

toward the bed when I stop him.  He is surprised but not angry.  I tell him

I have my period.  A lie of course.  He stops short.  I get down on my knees

and begin to undo his belt.  He lets me.  He makes no move.

He has been hard for some time.  The back of my mind notes that he is of

middle size with only a slight curve.  I am now face to penis with a man for

the first time.  I save up saliva.  I build up courage.  I lick my dry lips.

I begin to go down on him.  First only his hole.  It is like a little mouth.

So was my own.  Then the head.  He is circumcised.  I run my tongue over it.

I know exactly where the tender spots must be.  I lick them with special

attention.  He reaches down and puts his hands on my shoulders.  Then on the

back of my head.  The nostalgia within me increases.  This is just what I

have done.  With Ruth, with countless others.  Live-in lovers.  Short

affairs.  One-night stands like this one. Super-quickies with spacer

groupies.  Married women.  All have sucked me.  Now I am the cocksucker.  I

know how it's done.  I do it.  Deep and long and hard.  Back and forth.  He

spreads his legs to help him stand.  I slack off.  I want to make it take a

long time so that he will be totally satisfied.  I torment him with pleasure.

He begins to moan and cry out.  I am lost in this coupling.  I don't even

notice when I slow up and he begins to pound his hips into me.  My mouth

needs to swallow him whole.  To reclaim him.  Finally he comes.  It seems

like a gallon of semen.  I swallow as fast as I can.  I do not taste it.  My

senses are reeling.  My curiosity is satisfied.


I am ready at last.  I give Brian my phone number but he never calls.  It

doesn't matter.  There are other available men.  To avoid trouble I watch

their hands for wedding rings.  Married men are safer.  They won't demand

commitment.  By sheer chance my first fuck happens to be sensitive.  Right

away I let him know I've never gone all the way before.  I tell him I've

been saving it for the right man.  I don't know if he believes me or not.

He's flattered in any event.  He goes down on me first and it is just as

good as when a woman does it.  I find I have missed having orgasms.  I come

this way several times before I make him take me.

He is careful.  Too careful.  I want him to force his way inside me.  I use

all the words I can think of to turn him on.  I beg him to fuck me, hard.  I

know how to excite men.  Finally he does it to me.  Luckily he doesn't

expect me to help.  I I hope I am tight enough to make a convincing virgin.

He has some trouble getting it in, so I probably am.

I am being fucked by a man.  Even though it hurts me at first somewhat I

don't feel invaded at all.  Somehow it isn't as intimate as oral sex.  It is

less frenzied and more of an operation.  Maybe that's just inexperience on

my part.  He varies his rhythms, trying not to overwhelm me.  Finally the

reality penetrates my brain.  A man's cock is inside my body.  I rock under

him.  We get caught in a crescendo which leads to his orgasm.  I feel an

emotional peak as he comes but don't climax with him.  I feel his semen as a

warmth within.  He holds me for a long time.  I feel warm and safe and

wanted.  When I was a man I used to roll off a woman right away.  I'm glad

he's different.

I see him again a few times but there is no commitment.  I sample

heterosexuality as I did in my teens.  This time from the other side.  I

make mistakes and find myself sleeping beside real creeps.  Some abuse me.

I beat the hell out of one such.  I have a few advantages other women don't

thanks to my different upbringing.  I learn that I don't have orgasms from

intercourse.  I resolve never to fake anything.  Let them learn better.  I

think of men as "them" now sometimes.  I am a woman.  My experiments taper


I meet David in a cafeteria-style restaurant.  He sits down next to me and

we talk.  I still have trouble making conversation.  For over a year now I

haven't done anything except move from one sexual number to another.  No

orders come for me any more.  I wonder whether this is Lucina's doing.

When I look at David's face I seem to see Lucina's face superimposed on it.

They have similar bones.  But David wears a beard.  I have never slept with

a man who had one.  I don't want to tell him about myself.  Or about spacing.

But little by little my whole story comes out.  He listens well.  Nothing

seems to shock him.  Not the women or the men or the sex change itself.

We become friends.  He tells me his life story.  Just out of college and at

loose ends.  Working odd jobs to make odd money.  We go places together.

Movies, museums.  Baseball games.  I haven't been to a game in years.  I can

relax with him and not worry about what he's thinking.  We go to bed.  He is

wonderful to me.  His lovemaking style is also like Lucina's.  I almost

believe that somehow she sent him to me.  Of course I don't tell him this.

Although he is amazingly tolerant of my moods, he is easily wounded.  He

can both give and take.  And he lets me do both as well.  Perhaps it is

because he is young.  He has never grown the mask of cynicism that I wore

for years and years.  I think that I am falling in love with him.  I don't

really know what that means.  It isn't like the puppy love I felt as a kid.

And yet it is the same.  I feel more myself when he is around me than when

I am alone.  I wear no masks with him.  I want to spend all my time with him.

He moves in with me.  It is a mistake.  He feels obscurely defeated by my

wealth.  With me to pay for everything he no longer needs to work.  His

sense of self-worth disappears.  He is depressed.  We discuss the matter and

he moves out.  We remain friends and lovers but agree to see other people.

We still spend several nights a week together.  He introduces me to his

other women.  None lasts long.  I feel I provide the continuity in his life.

I love him.  He tells me that I am his closest friend.  He won't say it,

but I know that he loves me as well.

Suddenly he drops out of sight.  I no longer even hear from him.  Weeks pass.

I see him one day on the street with a younger woman I don't know.  He is

laughing his special laugh.  Jealousy flares in me.  I push it down.  As a

man I was never jealous.  Perhaps I didn't care enough.  Or didn't feel my

own feelings strongly enough.  At last he calls me.  He wants me to meet

this one too.  We have dinner together.  The evening goes from bad to

impossible.  She rakes me with veiled contempt.  I don't have the training

for  this kind of competition.  My unusual upbringing has its disadvantages

too.  David is trapped between two fires and unable to quench them.  At

last the meal is over.  I pay for everything and run from the restaurant.

I go home and cry myself to sleep.  I never see David again although I do

receive an invitation to his wedding.  It is the same woman.  I discard it


As autumn turns to winter my mood changes to leaden depression.  There are

many days I don't get up except to read my mail.  Nothing but junk and bills.

I pay the bills morosely.  When I go to bars it is to get drunk and be

picked up.  I spend a lot of time in strange beds with men I don't remember

meeting.  I don't even feel anything with them.  I will never be a real

woman anyway.  I never bring anyone home.  I hardly talk except for what's

necessary.  I wish something new would happen to me.  I again consider seeing

a psychiatrist.  It seems like too much trouble.  I discard all thought of

change.  I eat, drink, weep, and provide a receptacle for men who are doing

the same.  Sometimes I can get up enough energy to watch TV.  I never

remember afterwards what I have seen.  News, old movies, documentaries, soap

operas all leave no impression on me.  Even the commercials don't bother me


Somehow I get through the winter.  I have my meals delivered.  Drinking

alone is easier than going out.  Nobody would want me.  I will never be a

real woman.  Spring arrives tentatively.  At last one day I notice myself

in the full-length mirror.  I haven't wanted to see myself.  I look

appalling.  My housedress is dirty and torn.  I don't remember buying it.

It is ugly.  My hair is a tangled mess of uncombable knots.  I haven't even

bathed in several days.  I stink of old sweat and alcohol.  I am a disgrace.

My eyes have trouble focussing on myself.  A powerful shudder of horror runs

through me.  I decide to straighten up.

As a first step I stop drinking altogether.  I wash.  I discard most of my

clothes and buy new ones.  The clothes that aren't too bad I stuff in a

closet and don't look at.  I want as few reminders of the bad times as

possible.  I have the apartment redecorated.  I consider frills and pink but

decide against it.  I go dancing sometimes.  I feel energy beginning to

surge in me.  I resume masturbating.  I experiment with new methods.

vibrators and running water.  They work wonders for my body.  I read books

on technique and on female fantasy.  Sometimes I fantasize about David.  I

dream mostly of his tongue on my clitoris.  I know it's only a dream and it

doesn't threaten me.  Much.  Sometimes in between licks my fantasy lover

alternates between being David and being Lucina.  Or David and Anne.  Or

Brian and Anne even.  I imagine doing one sexual thing with one person and

another thing with another.  After each orgasm my depression threatens to

return, but I chase it off with a new fantasy.  At last I decide to act out

some of them.

I buy my wildest clothes yet.  Outfits so lewd I don't dare wear them on the

street without a full-length coat to cover them.  There is one scarlet

number that is just three skirts: one around my hips, one around my middle,

and one around my neck.  It covers everything but my arms and legs, but

every part of me is easily accessible to any passing hand.  Another is

molded plastic and stretch fabric above with a flowing full-length skirt

below.  The plum-colored plastic supports my bare breasts.  I wear it with

matching nipple rouge.  There is a thin sari that covers everything and

conceals nothing.  A clingy body suit in dawn pink with the crotch cut out.

I have my own crotch shaved at a beauty parlor when I buy this one.  I'm

afraid that if I do it myself I'll mess it up.  The woman assigned to me is

very gentle.  She handles the razor most delicately and I trust her

completely.  The feeling of security turns me on to her.  As a finishing

touch she eats me out with professional  thoroughness.  It seems I am no

longer threatened by women wanting me.  I tip her very well and go home

feeling fine.

More shopping trips follow.  I buy a canary-yellow ultrashort minidress to

be worn without panties.  Or with see-through ones.  I get out the midriff

blouse and the navel jewel from the closet.  I buy synthetic pubic hair held

on by quick-release body glue.  There is a tiny gadget which allows me to

erect my nipples by flexing a rib muscle.  After I try this for a day or so

I discover it makes me too sore to wear it.  A portable vibrator in the

shape of a heart is more of a success.  I learn to walk while having small

orgasms.  Sometimes I need to lean against a building.  I decide that the

coat should be mink.  I have it made to order.  I call customer assistance

and make a list of group sex clubs.  I start visiting them.

Bisexual women are in demand.  I find I prefer small groups of three or four

with no more than one other woman.  Other woman: that thought is automatic

now.  I learn many new positions.  I have a different name at each club.

In one of them a balding man in his late fifties initiates me into anal

sex.  He uses lots of lubricant and goes slow, so it doesn't hurt too much.

Apparently my prostate is intact somewhere in there:  I come with him, which

surprises the old goat no end.  It's a very different kind of fucking.  My

body likes it but I don't.  Or maybe it's the other way around.  I can't

decide.  I keep trying to find out.  I become even more in demand.  At

several smaller establishments I am given a complimentary membership.

Apparently I attract extra business.  I now sleep all day almost every day

and spend the entire night club hopping.  Life is busy and interesting

rather than frenzied.  I feel I have found a sensible solution to boredom.  I miss love though.


At last I grow tired.  I have had no orders in over two years.  Have they

forgotten me?  I send in my resignation but receive no answer.  I move to

another city and change my name again.  My mail will not be forwarded.

I have never been here before.  It seems a far less cosmopolitan place.

Conservatism is the rule, at least in public.  No one knows me here, and I

have no contact with any of my past.  Just for kicks I go to a church one

Sunday.  It is a different denomination from the one I was raised in.  I

haven't been in any kind of church since I was twelve.  Afterwards there is

a social hour.  I introduce myself as new in town.  I am as ladylike as I

know how.  I try to emulate the people I see.  I surprise myself with the

good time I am having.  This is the first time I have talked to people

without ulterior motives in a long time.  Since David.  In a way, since

Lucina.  Or even Ruth.  I find myself thinking about Ruth a lot.  I wonder

how her marriage is going.  I pick up the phone to call her but decide

against it.  I go back to the church repeatedly.  I even listen to the

service.  The minister talks in a way that appeals to me.  He sounds like a

man who might know what he's talking about.  And believe in it.  I make

friends there.  Men and women both.  I have never had men and women

friends at the same time.

George is one of them.  He is interested in me:  I can feel it even across

the room.  Somehow I can tell he doesn't quite know it yet himself.  I make

a point of conversing with him.  I watch him fall in love with me.  There is

nothing foolish or childish about it.  I see that he is a man of great

feeling.  I have no desire to hurt him.  I do not tell him about myself.

But he bares his soul to me.  I see him more intimately in our conversations

than I have ever seen anyone.  As I feel his feelings, I feel my own feelings

stirring and growing.  Womanly feelings.  I too am falling in love.  I long

to be supported by his stability.  When at last I am able to get him in bed

with me, the power and maturity in his touch astonish me.  His consideration

for me is exquisite.  Making love with George consumes not only my body but

my heart.  I experience sleeping with him as supreme tenderness.  I have

never been so loved since I was a baby.  I have never loved so much myself.

This is difficult for me even to think.  But it is true.

I will marry George.  He wants it and I want it as well.  I will be a real

woman at last.  Complete.  We will have children.  Surrogate mothers are

expensive, but I have told him I have a trust fund from my grandfather.  In

other ways he will want to support me, which is fine with me.  I am a woman.

The wedding will be in our church, of course.  Perhaps one day I will tell

him what I am.  He is an utterly secure man and could accept me, I know.  I

cannot yet accept myself, however.  I have accepted what I have become.  I

have not yet accepted what I was.  I can only hope that that serenity will

come to me as well.


End of mindpick file.  Supervisor's Preliminary Recommendation follows.

Agent currently Unsuitable for active duty.  Potential for later duty still

substantial, possibly increased by recent experience.  Retain on Inactive

status with full benefits.  Transmit file to historical storage.

Signed, Lucina Kaplan.  Ends.



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