Chapter Three

Sarah's Note

Sarah started to change — to drift, mentally, physically — right around when she went to college. We wouldn’t hear from her for weeks, then months. She left school — she said she needed space to grow, and we agreed to give it to her. We got an email saying she was in California (she kept mentioning the palm trees), and then, just a few weeks later she tagged us in this picture on Facebook with the caption “in Japan for the Olympics.” In a moment of confusion we googled Tokyo Olympics, but of course we were right — 1964. It was 2010.

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Chapter Two

Chapter Two lives here:

Later that night, Marie couldn’t really focus on the party. She kept thinking about Sarah. It had been so strange to run into her in California after all these years, and after she’d left her at her hotel (with the view of the palm trees that Sarah had been so enamored with) she was sure they’d meet up today like they’d planned to, but Sarah didn’t show up at the park, and wasn’t answering her phone. Marie had even posted a missed connection, but she hadn’t gotten a response.
November 7 at 6:00pm

glanced at the calendar, it was dated october 10, 1964. Marie wondered, if Sarah had left SoCal for tokyo olympic.
November 7 at 7:33pm

Then she came across this post:
Marie’s instincts were right.
November 10 at 9:33pm

It was time to leave the party.
November 11 at 1:40pm

As she gathered her things, Marie reflected on her next move. Obviously she had to contact Sarah.
November 11 at 12:30pm

She sent off a quick email and was immediately rewarded with the buzzing of her phone:
“Marie,” read the email
You’ll have to come to me. I am in Tokyo now. It’s 1965. The Olympics were wonderful. Let me know when you can be here.
November 12 at 1:15pm

The story continues in Chapter Three …
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The Story Begins

This is a transcript of Chapter One, which lives here:

Even from this grimy room, she could see palm trees. That was what she loved about California.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 8:54pm
She looked at the man who was sleeping by her side. He looked totally harmless laying on the bed, half naked.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 8:57pm
The second hand on his watch ticked loudly, she hadn’t noticed before but now it was deafening. It read 7:03.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 9:13pm
At 7:04 she slid off the bed to discover the floor was flooded with strange milky water.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 10:44pm
It was then that she noticed the low but persistent tapping at the door. Paralyzed, she stood in the center of the room as another minute ticked away.
November 2 at 11:01pm
He was dead.
November 2 at 11:23pm
In between the taps at the door she could hear the sounds of the waves crashing outside. His body was still warm.
November 2 at 11:44pm
Warm as an English muffin right out of the toaster, she thought. And then she thought of breakfast. If only she had remembered to order it the night before.
November 2 at 11:53pm
She was reminded of childhood summers in her aunts kitchen, warm buttery breezes and the smell of death in the air. She should have known.
November 2 at 11:57pm
Bethany Strout But it was okay. She could still do this. New state, new start. She could do this.
November 2 at 11:59pm

«…. Don’t… Don’t…

Don’t touch…

…the knob»

November 3 at 12:49am

‎”Weird, I have a penis,” she thought, looking down at her new penis.

November 3 at 1:38am
The newly discovered penis, the milky water on the floor, the dead man, and the craving for breakfast… Was this a dream… or was she really shooting the opening scene for her her 1st B grade porn film? 

The knocking got louder. It filled the room.

November 3 at 2:45am
‎”… Don’t touch it…”
November 3 at 3:16am
It was too late. The penis erupted.
November 3 at 9:04am
‎’Ma’am,’ said the voice from outside the door, ‘ma’am, is everything alright in there?’
November 3 at 12:52pm

‎’I’m an awol national guardsmen who’s now recruiting for a carnival in lebanon. did you remember to fill out your census?’
November 3 at 1:05pm
Something was clearly amiss. In fact, everything seemed to be amiss. She remembered packing up her car back in Cleveland, she remembered how the pink lamp her sister had given her two years ago hadn’t fit in the trunk with the rest of her things, and she’d had to leave it on the curb. She remembered getting behind the wheel, turning the key, the hoarse-sounding startup of the engine. And that was it. Now she was here, whereever that was, the world, and even her own body changing in impossible, uncomfortable ways. What had happened?
November 3 at 4:28pm
She had changed, that’s for sure. She’d wanted it, didn’t she? It was hard to say. Things were only getting weirder by the minute.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 8:34pm
Was this really happening or was she reading a dark, troubled, Twitter feed?
November 4 at 8:51pm
Overwhelmed with grief at the appearance of this horrific appendage, she walked softly toward the window. “No,” she thought, “no, things aren’t ok. Nothing is fucking ok. This dirty window, this dead man in my bed, this thing between my legs. Nothing.” The world appeared through the window, blurry with grime, blurry. She lifted the latch and opened the glass, cracking years of paint as she did.”
Friday, November 5, 2010 at 11:48am
Again, she looked at the palm trees lewdly swaying in the smog filled sky and thought, that’s what I love about California, it’s continuous apptitude to pretend and reinvent itself. From nonindiginous plant species to nonindiginous penises, pinii? It was all the same.
November 5 at 5:21pm
She paused. How had she gotten here? These changes to her body were impossible, she knew that. She remembered vaguely that she hadn’t been sleeping. Could she be hallucinating?
November 7 at 3:46pm
She backed away from the window. She could handle this. All she needed to do was get rid of the body. Maybe Yahoo Answers could help. She opened her computer. She typed in her question, and was rewarded with options:,
Again she thought: I can handle this.
November 7 at 3:47pm
But then, she asked herself, is it possible to change sex twice?
November 7 at 3:49pm
No, it isn’t- but the question isn’t why you would want to, but why you should have to think you need to. And also
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:39pm
She had to get out of the house. Her clothes were in a pile on the floor, soaked in whatever that watery white substance was. She walked over to the closet. His closet.
November 10 at 9:17 pm
When did he get these rainbow striped suspenders? Did she even really know this man?
November 10 at 9:18 pm
“That’s it,” she exclaimed, “I should check my Facebook page, maybe I updated my status last night, which might provide some clues to this mystery.” She chuckled to herself in a moment of lightheartedness, new penis or not, last night must have been insane! When her page opened, she was immediately distracted by a post from her cousin with a link to a bizarre news article about an alligator on an airplane. Coming back to the newsfeed she thought she’d just quickly glance through her college roommate’s new album of baby photos and before she knew it 30 minutes had passed and she found herself on her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s Facebook page (the idiot had her privacy settings all wrong and so her wall was completely visible). And that’s when she saw it.
November 11 at 2:00am
lamely stealth, pulling a trenchcoat sunblocking move a la dracula or an ashamed politician, she exited the house and tried to find her car. she realized that only her right eye could focus, as if she left the contact out of the left. thing was she didn’t need corrective lenses. right eye open only, she spotted her honda’s distinctively dented tailfin. then she spit in her hand and looked, cupped the liquid, stared into her wishing-she-wasn’t-in-hell-well: it was the white stuff. and it smelled like deja vu. but it tasted like nothing she’d ever eaten. “what an internet thug i am,” she reflected. then she tried to get her smokes and lighter and the white liquid was loosed. instead of splashing it just hit her shoes and the pavement, and congealed more or less instantly. she crouched, got close to some of it that’d mixed with motor oil, and saw it was glowing. then right at once both of her eyes were focusing 20/20 and every sense was transmitting gaplessly crystal clearly. she stopped breathing, but didn’t think she needed to keep breathing. “internet thug’s having her new spiderman moment for the SECOND time,” she said to herself out loud in a isaac hayes deep male voice.
November 11 at 3:18pm

Her phone buzzed:

Dear Sarah, I miss you and hope you are well. I found your reply to my first message on the BBS. I hope I didn’t miss you. I wonder when we can have coffee!

November 12 11:09
Hurriedly, trying to steady her shaking hands as she did so, she typed out a reply to Marie:
Read her reply, in Chapter Two
November 12 11:10pm
The story continues, in Chapter Two
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