Wayne felt slightly off when he woke up and even more so when he realized he wasn’t in his own bed. At 73, he couldn’t remember the last time this happened. The bed had red sheets with tiny black hearts. On the facing wall amongst cutouts from teen fan magazines, was a poster of a boy band, four teenage boys posing petulantly for the camera wearing black rags and sporting black die jobs. They all looked like androgynous twerps to Wayne, more examples of the feminization of today’s male. The swagger of Sinatra had been more his style.
As he lay there letting his old head clear of sleep, the significance of waking in a girl’s bedroom fully struck him. With a hot flash of adrenaline he glanced at the rest of the bed, relieved to be the only one in it. He couldn’t recall a thing from last night, which meant he must’ve blacked out, but he didn’t remember drinking or have a headache or even feel a hangover. In fact he felt really good. “Peppy” described it best and he hadn’t felt peppy since his doctor told him to lay off the triple espresso a decade ago.
He rubbed his face with his hands, wondering how the hell he ended up in this bed, and froze. His face felt all wrong; it was smaller and the skin was soft and smooth, no morning stubble. He felt his head with his hands and found he was no longer bald but had long brown hair and both his ears were pierced in multiple places. He stared at his hands, flipping them back and forth. They were the hands of a woman. Oh my god, he thought in a panic and cupped his crotch. His Johnson was gone. And so were his jewels.
He sat up, pushed the bed covers aside, and pulled down his underwear. His eyes bulged in disbelief. He had a vagina. He pulled off the T-shirt he apparently slept in, and he had tits, nice tits, but still tits. He jumped out of bed and stood in front of the dressing mirror. He didn’t just wake up in a girl’s bedroom, he woke up as that girl, and she was hot. Staring at his reflection, she would’ve given him wood if his pecker wasn’t missing, but instead he got a tingling sensation which was pleasant in its own way. Oh my, he thought, I’m getting turned on by myself. This was certainly going to make my sex life easy.
There was a quick knock on the door and an attractive woman poked her head in, saying, “Time to get up.”
Wayne looked at her face, then at his own in the mirror. They looked a lot alike, just years apart. “Mom?” he said meekly.
The woman cocked her head to the side. “Honey, what are you doing?” she asked, looking at him standing naked in front of the mirror with his black panties bunched below his butt.
“Is this a dream?” he asked.
“Honey, if I woke up with your body, I’d sure say it was a dream. But you three kids changed that. I’m definitely going to the gym today.”
“So this is a dream?”
“Yes, honey, this is a dream where you pull up your panties and get ready for school.”
His self-consciousness made him do as she suggested. The panties felt different than the boxers he’d worn for seventy years, but not restrictive because there was nothing left to restrict. Ugh, he thought.
His new mom smiled. “Well, I’ve got to go wake your brothers.” She closed the bedroom door. There was a robe hanging from the back of it. He slipped it on and sat on the edge of the bed to collect himself. He was a teenage girl with a milf for a mom and he had to get ready for school. Well, he could manage that. It was only a dream, after all.
He found the bathroom down the hall. From the sounds emanating from inside, it was occupied. He knocked.
“Yeah, yeah, don’t get your panties in a twist,” a boy’s voice answered, probably one of the brothers.
He had never realized how irritating that comment was until now. “Hurry up, you little shit, I need to shower.” He hadn’t had to wait to shower in years. He’d really taken a slide down the economic ladder, from top shelf assisted living, to “the bathroom is down at the end of the hall.”
The door opened. “No shit, you stink,” the boy said as he slipped past her.
“Asshole,” Wayne said under his breath.
Her brother glanced over his shoulder as he went down the hall. “I heard that. I’m telling Mom.”
“Tell her what, you stupid fuck?”
“That you called me an asshole and a stupid fuck.”
He’d gotten himself into a tit for tat with a preteen boy. What was he thinking. Normally he would’ve just scared the crap out of him like he did to the punks at the mall where he went walking. He had a conceal and carry permit and would just flash the gun butt in its holster under his jacket Dirty Harry style. “She won’t listen to a little brat like you.”
The boy laughed. “Who do you think she’s going to believe? Her good little son, her perfect child, or you, the teenage delinquent Lilo wannabe who’s been grounded half her life? Duh.”
He glared at the boy. “I’ll piss in your shoes while you sleep, so you better watch your back, fuck-head.”
Their mom called from downstairs. “I heard that. Language, please.”
He locked the bathroom door behind him and sat on the toilet. This was the strangest dream he’d ever had. It was even stranger pooping as someone else. She needed more bran. While showering he saw a razor hanging from the bottle rack and realized he probably had to shave his legs and underarms now. He ran a hand over his legs and looked at his armpits. Boy, this girl was kind of a slob. Well, he’d help her out during his timeshare, he thought as he picked up the razor and soap and started in on her legs. It was nice leaning over without getting a back spasm.
After he showered and made it back to her bedroom, choosing what to wear was a problem. Her skirts barely came below her butt and she had nothing but punk rock T-shirts. He found a pair of black jeans and a white button-down that looked practically new. The jeans were tight going on but they covered her skin, and the shirt was boring but at least “I’m a slut and the line starts here,” wasn’t printed on it like the T-shirt he woke up in. He found a pair of penny loafers and slipped them on. They were well worn, complete with pennies. What did he care whether his clothes were exciting or not. He had never even thought of clothes in those terms. They simply covered his nakedness and kept him warm.
He looked himself over in the dressing mirror and realized he did care if his clothes were exciting or not, as if the girl’s interest in clothes had bled into his personality. She hated the shoes. They belonged to a uniform, and then it dawned on him that he wore a uniform to school. He opened the closet again and there it was, shirt, skirt, jacket and socks all hanging from the same clothes hanger. She could put it on in the dark with a three alarm hangover.
There was a school crest on the jacket, St. Mary’s Academy. Oh no, he thought, it was the nuns all over again. He’d been taught by nuns too at St. Joe’s Academy. There was a school backpack on a small writing desk cluttered with makeup bottles. He emptied it onto the bed and learned she was a senior and her name was Olivia. He picked up a spiral notebook and flipped through the pages, and from the look of her doodles, she was extremely depressed. Suddenly he felt woozy and was hit with a flood of her memories filtering through his own.
She was 19 years old and had been held back junior year for bad grades and had hated school even more ever since. The uniform reminded her of hairy nuns and creepy pale-skinned priests whose touch always lingered a moment too long. Her classes were boring, the girls were stupid, and her mom wanted her to be a younger clone of herself so she could marry some workaholic absentee like her dad.
For a moment, Wayne felt he was two people, an old retiree annoyed with a body failing him a bit more each day, and a sprightly girl with her whole life ahead of her but who was depressed enough to think that life was just a bunch of crap. Then just for a moment, he couldn’t remember his name, not Olivia, but his old man name, Wayne, and it was as if Wayne was now the passenger. The growing strength of her returning memories confirmed this as his began to fade; memories of his dead wife, his grown kids, scaring punks at the mall were all disappearing behind a cloudbank of Olivia’s monotonous days at school, fights with her mom about her clothes, and one last memory of a bottle of pills held desperately in her hand.
He found the empty bottle of her mom’s prescription sleeping pills between the bed and the wall and hid it in her backpack, ashamed for her, and as he looked at himself in the mirror, he saw Olivia, and then Olivia saw herself and Wayne was no longer there, absorbed into the presence of the girl.
She scratched her head with both hands, then shook it, trying to clear it. God, what a strange dream, waking up as a pervy old man in her body. She wondered what the nuns would make of that. Boy, he sure did miss his junk, she thought with a laugh. She cupped her crotch and could almost remember what it was like for him when he still had it. She knew what the nuns would make of that.
Why was she wearing jeans on a school morning? she asked herself and quickly slipped on her uniform like a second skin. As she put her books back in her pack she found the empty pill bottle. She dropped it back into the pack, wondering where it had come from but figuring she’d throw it away at school. Her spiral notebook was left open on the last page. She recognized her handwriting but not the goodbye note to her family she didn’t remember writing.
She tore it out, wadded it up and dropped it into her pack. She’d ditch it along with the pill bottle. God, what had I been thinking? She wondered. She only had a couple months left of the nuns, and if she got a job she could move out of her parents’ house, and if she showed them she was serious, they might pay for her to go to college. She’d been wasteful and thinking so short term. She had her whole life ahead of her. No more moping around doped up and depressed, blaming the world for being born. She was going to live life and enjoy it.
She glanced down at her crotch. Boy, what a strange dream, she thought, and why do I have the urge to go walking at the mall?