Cat in George

This time I’m the last to wake up. George is in his chair, wearing a T-shirt and shorts and looking… sad? angry? I’m not sure. Then I spot the bathrobe lying on the bed. Uh-oh.

I get up and push through the barrier, feeling the warm resistance slide over my skin. I think it’s getting easier. Practice? Never mind. Put on the bathrobe and walk over. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

He looks up at me. “Homework.”

“You alright?”

“Yeah, just not— ‘Ownership’ sounded awful when I thought about it. I did some stuff before the mirror and that was kinda nice, but…”

“Didn’t set you on fire, huh?”

He looks relieved. “Yes, exactly. And then the phone rang and then I tried to get back into it and it wasn’t working and I thought that wasn’t fair to you and that I had to and then I squicked on ‘had to’.”

“Hey! Don’t go there. I can just come over and wear this bathrobe.”

Wan smile. “Humoring the cripple, eh?”

Don’t blame me!

Calm down. He’s upset.

“I’m not going to hear that and instead make some coffee.”

As I’m rummaging around with the coffee stuff, I hear him getting up and then he puts a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry. Maybe I should go buy a guy bathrobe.”

I grab the hand. “Maybe I pushed too hard last night. I didn’t realize it could go like this. Everything else has been pretty parallel, so I just assumed and you know—”

He finishes the sentence together with me. “—what happens when you assume.”

I get up and hug him. He hugs me back. I look at him. Better, but not great. “Maybe we should talk about something else first?”

“Probably. So how was your day?”

“Lena is going to stay over tomorrow. She didn’t like the open door suggestion, but she scoffed at the idea of not doing this.”

“Oh, good!”

I look at her. “Isn’t it time you started rooting for yourself instead of for me?”

“I— I’m not— Yeah, I guess. Maybe. And I sort of did. Only Diana called it a scientific experiment.”

“So what’s science now?”

“She dragged me out for lunch. Turns out she’d invited Mark as well.”

Good for you, Diana!

“She— she got us to try… Mark putting his arm around me. On a park seat.”

“And?”

“And I snuggled up to him and I liked it and he did. But it was weird.”

“And you talked?”

“Yeah, we did. Talked a lot about what it’s like. He said he’s been double-thinking everything I said and did. You know, ‘is this a boy or a girl?’ And that he didn’t like that but couldn’t stop.”

“That’s not good.”

“I don’t know. He’s thinking a lot about something that’s a big deal to me. I like that. Maybe it’ll go sour, but at least he gets it.”

“Alright. Oh, and symmetry is being restored.”

“Is that good or bad?”

“Charles tried to ask me out.”

She smiles. “And?”

“And I told him I was dating someone.”

She grabs my hand. “Good.”


He finishes the sentence together with me. “—what happens when you assume.”

I get up and hug him. He hugs me back. I look at him. Better, but not great. “Maybe we should talk about something else first?”

“Probably. So how was your day?”

“Lena is going to stay over tomorrow. She didn’t like the open door suggestion, but she scoffed at the idea of not doing this.”

“Oh, good!”


Struggled a little with who's speaking which line here.

I'm thinking that “Maybe we should talk about something else first?” is George-in-Cat, but not positive. I think part of what throws me off is the early part of the paragraph is Cat-in-George's inner thoughts. To me, the speech that follows should then be CiG, since it didn't start a new paragraph. Honestly can't recall if that's the grammatically correct way, but since the "speaker" changed, that's how I'd do it.

Also, the pronoun changes throw me.

He looks relieved.
He’s upset.
He finishes the sentence ...
I get up and hug him. He hugs me back. I look at him.

I look at her.
She smiles.
She grabs my hand.


All of these are from Cat-in-George's perspective, referencing George-in-Cat, but with both male and female pronouns.
Chard's picture
The "Maybe we should talk about something else first" is coming from Cat (in George). This whole passage is supposed to be Cat (in George)'s perspective, so since the paragraph starts with the first person perspective and the dialogue goes with it, it's Cat speaking.

I don't think the statement needs to be a new paragraph. The dialogue continues the interior monologue that Cat was having. Also, Cat (in George) is the one who is doing okay with the transition tonight. It's George (in Cat) [maybe we can use fGeorge and mGeorge, fCat and mCat as a determinant instead of CiG and GiC?] who is struggling and I doubt would have the wherewithal to change topics.

And Rob has been doing his pronoun soup thing again. It's intentional, trying to show the blurring lines between the genders. Cat and George are having a hard time keeping the gender of the other person straight in their thoughts.
Rob's picture
Great summary, thanks.

When I set up the system for the section titles, I thought about a lot of variations, including something like this. Problem is, I can't for the life of me decide which who should be fGeorge and who mGeorge?

Is this the body whose driver license says "George", with either the original soul in it (mGeorge) or the swapped one (fGeorge)? Or is it the soul born as George, in either the original body (mGeorge) or the swapped one (fGeorge)?

Or maybe I'm just horribly overthinking it...