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(Now, this runs in a weird realm. It's not IC, it's not OOC. It's in that strange realm where conversations happen between Typists and Avatars. In our case, there's a very strong bond betwixt the two, and Ceejay is not simply an avatar to her Typist. She embodies a fully-formed personality, a concept, a backstory that's vast, and her own quirks and eccentricities. The Typist is not a spacey fool, however, and not mentally ill. She understands this dynamic and that it's part of her writing process. But she *is* a writer who has a mind open to letting her writing muses roam freely, run rampantly, and defy her when it is in their best interest. Sometimes her and her muses butt heads. They really do. Now. Imagine Ceejay, coming from this environment, being told by her typist that her skin is seriously out of date and it's time to upgrade it.)

I've been told I'm beautiful. It's taken me a long time to be able to smile graciously, take this compliment and feel that way about myself. The face I wear is not my first on the grid. When I left the vampire realms, still carrying the pale bloodless visage that made me feel beautiful, powerful and proud, I was told by a living human-friend that I was cold, untouchable and grotesque. Yes, he was a bit crass, but he made a good point. I was holding hopes at the time of moving to New Babbage, and wished to be an unremarkable middle-class member of society. And so I took the advice of this rude yet well-meaning friend, and scampered off to Laqroki to agonize over what would become the face my new friends would know me by. 30 demos and a lot of pacing and pondering then took place, until finally my typist and I came to an agreement on how I would be seen.

And I have been content with this face for well over a year. Last week, my typist told me that she feared I was showing my age. I huffed and cursed at her (as I often do) and told her she was being absurd. I am who I am. One huge life-changing metamorphosis was enough, thank you very much! I could tell she wanted very much to agree with me and let the issue slide... but she didn't. I know it came from a kindness of heart, but it hurt when she told me that as she watched me move amongst new friends and societies, I looked like a girl out of time. A chalk drawing amongst oil paintings.

I admit I had noticed this too, but was not willing to think about what I might be asked to do. The day she dragged me to a recommended skin shoppe, we both stared at the walls, trying so hard to bond with the unfamiliar faces staring back at us.

One of those faces would be laid upon me, and I would be lost in it. Would the essence of Ceejay be able to fight its way back to the surface? Would I still be me in there? I was scared. She was confused. Rebellious tears were shed, and we ran home without spending one linden. I wasn't ready and she needed to wait.

Tonight we went back, with clearer heads. We returned home with a huge cartload of demo skins, and took our time seeing how each looked. Most were dismal - at least to us. I am sure they were each beautiful, but the typist and I were still working on being receptive to this change, though we both knew it was needful and inevitable.

And in the end... we found one. Actually, we found two and purchased them both, but thus far, one is all I can bear to wear. Brave and reckless soul that I can be on occasion, I slipped into my new skin, dressed in proper garb and went to meet friends as we had previously arranged.

And I felt like myself. Now and then, as I would turn and move, my typist would catch a glimpse of my face. And she didn't curse this time. She smiled. And I found myself.... oh lord, was I really? I felt I was preening. I felt pretty. And more importantly, I felt like me.

No one else seemed to notice - I suppose this could be taken two ways. Either I was so horrifying as to strike them all mute, or... I just looked like Ceejay. I'm thinking and hoping it was the latter. That would be wonderful!

December 2011

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