Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 09:24:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Howdy Stranger!

Dear Dr. Balis,

I am sorry I haven't written you in so long. I was busy with this project at SII and when that was over, they made me go on vacation. The powers that be at SII think that every employee must take their vacation time whether they want it or not. When Human Resources found out that I hadn't taken a vacation in five years, they had a fit and made me take a month off the day we wrapped the big project. I have even more time coming to me.

So for my vacation, I went back home. One hour after I landed, I knew it was a mistake. My Mother and Aunt Isabelle had this huge list of things that needed to be done--the house was falling down around them. What a nightmare. When I told them that I was going to call a professional to take care of the carpentry, plumping, and electrical repairs, they both started in on me: "A real man takes care of his own home." Blah, blah, blah.

So I spent three weeks working all day long on the old house I grew up in. Do you have any idea how hot it gets in the south in the summer? Roof patching at high noon is a sport in Hell that Dante never reported on. The entire time, not one word of thanks from those two old cows. I missed my Aunt Louisa. I was so miserable.

After three weeks of slave labor, I just said the hell with this shit. I hired a contractor to finish off THE LIST and retained a lawyer to keep track of my Mother and Aunt Isabelle. I drove off that evening and flew out the next day.

I am never going back.

When I got back to San Francisco, I spent the last week of my vacation hiding in my apartment. I was afraid that everyone could see what a bad son I was, like it was blinking in neon above me.

I finally returned to work and that Las Vegas marquee feeling faded. None of my co-workers ran up to me and said, "My God! You're a terrible son!" So I went beyond it. Actually most of my co-workers didn't even know I was gone. Except Mr. Major, SII's CEO, came by and said he was glad to see me and didn't I look healthy and tanned. Can you imagine? A powerful and dynamic man like Lloyd Major noticing me? Amazing.

Anyway, I decided that I am never going to return to Alabama. I'll still manage Mother's affairs, but I am never laying eyes on her again, period.

Once I faced this decision, it was like this great burden was lifted from me. I felt like I could breathe for the first time in my life.

I finally have the freedom to live the life I want to live. Dr. Balis, how does one go about getting a sex change operation?


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