A Room of One’s Own

“It’s a transition period,” Meryl says, but everyone knows that once you’re in, it’s nearly impossible to get out. It’s a matter of logistics, really. We’re a three-person, which means that each of us gets about five waking hours per day. Take travel time into account, and we each have four hours to work, assuming that we never eat. That’s barely enough to pay maintenance, let alone save up for a new place.

Meryl was forty-seven when she moved into the body. Kate and I think it was some sort of cancer, because she’s always cluttering up the rules list with health-nut commandments like “don’t eat artificial sweetener” and “don’t sit near the smoking section.” Kate was hit by a bus when she was twenty four, and my body died of a good old-fashioned heart attack at the ripe age of seventy three.

We’ve been sharing the body for three years, which has been more than enough time to get on each other’s nerves. Kate’s always dressing us in terrible fad fashions, and once when Meryl stepped in she found a silver hoop in our navel. Meryl writes ad copy for an herbal health supplement line, and I swear, she’s going to give us carpal tunnel with all of that typing.

When one person’s in the body, the rest of us sit around in the lobby, which really isn’t a lobby at all. We can’t see out, since only the person in control can use the senses. Sometimes we tell jokes, or talk about our lives before the body. Usually, though, we gossip about whoever’s in the cockpit. It’s just girl talk, though. No bad blood.

The only time we’re all in the lobby together is the weekly meeting, Tuesday night after we’ve left the body to sleep. It lasts about an hour, before we get tired as well, and we use that time to talk about group expenses and time management. This week, we resolved to eat more tofu (Meryl’s still upset about our failed attempt at vegetarianism), get our hair highlighted (but nothing too extreme, we warned Kate) and buy lottery tickets. It’s up to almost $400 million this week, which would be enough to buy us each a supermodel. A girl’s gotta have some space to herself, and it doesn’t hurt anyone if that space was in a swimsuit magazine.

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