Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dude looks like a Lady

The club closed at at midnight.

I lost $20 to a lovely lesbian biker couple. My pool hall days never prepared me for them. They invited me to the gallery show opening of their good friend. It is something about women and pain. Something I know well. They also invited me to join them for the night.

I agreed to the art and passed on the group sex. You have to love open relationships. I don't trust them. I don't ever wanted to be a third wheel. But it was nice to be asked. They were the first people interested in me sexually since Mercy was created, I am not even sure if then. It did make me feel a bit alive and that I am a sexual being again. I will always thank them for that.

After the bar closed and the girls were getting into their going home clothes, Mizty asked me to play some music. Something soulful and dark, something sad and strong. Oh so much to choose from, but what does beautiful queens like? Oh they love women larger than life, so large that no man can dear contain them.

"Now baby, you do know how to since the blues. Someday you will have to tell me why." Mitzy put his arm around me and kiss me gently on the check. "But not tonight, because, girlfriend we have got some celebrating to do , after part, it is my man's birthday!" He said standing and smiling making a large stage gesture with his arm like Vanna White to point out Eric.

"Oh, man! Happy birthday Eric!" I jumped up and hugged him. "I'm sorry , I have nothing for you."

"Nonsense, girl." Mitzy was right behind me and coming down to my ear. " He has been saying all day that the goddess of fairies brought you to him today. His birthday present was you. "

" Then off to the after party we go!" I put my guitar away in it's case and strapped it over my back. "Hey wasn't your birthday yesterday" I said as I looked at the clock as we were going out the door.

"Sweetie, the day doesn't end until I close my eyes and sometimes not even then, not where birthdays are concerned. "

Everyone laughed.

"29 is such a big year!" Mitzy proclaimed.

"Yes , indeed, it has been for the last 10 years. SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! the world outside awaits, fairies of the night." And with Eric's words we entered out into the alley to party on into the night from gay bar to gay bar.

I don't remember coming back into the apartment. I don't remember getting undressed. I don't remember crashing on the sofa. I don't remember much more than leaving the to the alley from the last bar to be sick.

Oh, my head. Make the world stop spinning.

"Sorry, sweet Butterfly, I can't do that, you see the world would stop moving and who would I ever banish from the light?"

I opened my eyes to see Eric.

"Come to think if of it, I can think of quite a few people. We'll start with the republican party." He laughed at his own musing.

"Did I say that out loud?" I got out of my mouth. Oh my mouth, did I pack a tooth brush and mouthwash? Oh mouthwash has alcohol in it. The thought made me nauseous.

"Yup. And from the looks of you I better help you to the bathroom."

Before I knew it I was in the bathroom making sick all over the place.

There are some moments in your life that make you realize you are too old for drinking like Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris. They even came to that conclusion at some point. Though it does make for great stories you make up later.

After cleaning the bathroom and myself and washing my mouth out several times with mouthwash, I emerged from the bathroom a new woman.

Ah bright light, bright light. "Sun glasses, anyone have sunglasses?"

This went on for more than a day. I will not bore you with the details but I did like being pampered, I almost faked it for a few more hours. But Mizty caught on quick when I could keep an egg down. He started batting me about with some sort of piece of his long silk scarf that made me stop.

By nighttime I felt better.

By nighttime I was expected to go back to the club. We went early as Mizty preforms in the cabaret.

Mizty asks me to come along with him early. He needs to get ready for the show. He does so many divas. While he and the girls get ready, work out details, etc, he wants me to play.

The owner likes the music. But this is a gay bar. A la cage au faux show. Not meant for the blues. The audience wants outrageous queens to go with their girls night out, bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations or first dates. They do not want to be brought down.

He is fine for me playing for the girls, it makes them happy but lets me know once it is time for the show it is time for me to pack it up.

The people file in and I go back stage, I put my guitar in Mizty's dressing room and stand off sides.

The first night I loved watching her and the other girls. But now I love watching the audience react to them. I have gone up to shy women and told them to just get up there and give them the money. Tips like strippers in their fake bosom brazers.

When Mizty comes out he transforms into the divas of old.

Aretha was the first, the women went wild, so did the guys. But like Chrystal points out in every show, "All your straight girls, the boys all look pretty but they are just not into you."

And that makes this the safest place in the world for a woman like me. Don't get me wrong, I want a man. I want a man like the faux divas are singing about. But I am not in the position to get one. And these very real men, in dresses, shower me with love and kisses. the safest place in the world, like I said, to teach me how to except the love from other adults without the fear of of my heart getting broken in the process.

Eartha Kitt is a favorite of Mizty. She just channelled this great woman.

I Will Survive is many many women's, real and fake, anthem. All the women cheer and stand up. Dancing follows. Such a joyous song for us. It's a good thing the only boys in the club are boys.

Oh I cheered all night and danced on the sidelines and watched the people in the crowd. There is something magical about being here. No one cares if I have a butterfly on my face, if my house if clean enough nor do they care if I have a few extra pounds.

I feel beautiful. In every way. I see beauty in everyone here.

After the show I played a while, as requested by the girls, while they did a meet and great with with people who hung around. A young man , so bright of spirit waits for the slight queen who looks way too much like the real thing. He takes female hormones so his breasts grow in natural. No fake tatas on him. Damn I wish mine looked that good after 4 children.

The young man with the gleam in his eye, acts to cool as he hands her a $20. She excepts is with a smile and a peck to the cheek. He smiles and both know that is all he will get. But he is happy. He walks over to me and hands me a $20 too. I smile at him. And he smiles the sweetest smile. He is so nice. So real about his niceness.

He was the first boy I wished was straight. I stood up and kissed him on the cheek. And he reminded me how much of a beautiful gay man he was by his expression of "awwwww".

It was enviable that if I was here long enough I would start seeing the beautiful boys as more, but so quickly.

I decided that night, I must find a straight guy for a one night stand before I leave. You may ask, why just a one night thing? Well simply put, I can't stay here for ever and I can't bring someone back to the girls either. I put my mind and fantasies into that and let the pretty boys flight of fancy fly right back out of my head.

It's weird to be back

I headed into Boston.

I thought about a lot of things. Mostly about Bobbie. About how she died. About how final it was. About how young she was. Only 15 years older than I. About genetics. About me only having 15 years left to live. Well less than that now. Mercy will only be 17. Will she graduate before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I thought about how Bobbie gave me up so easily. I thought about how easy it was for her not to believe I existed any more like some childhood mistake. She didn't even ask for me when she was dying. She never once asked Cindy to find me and my children to see her one last time.

Only in Hollywood do we believe that people repent for their sins on their deathbeds. Maybe they don't consider their sins sins at all. I wondered if I could have given up my daughters so easily, and so fatality that even as I lay dying for months I do not call out for them.

Less than 15 years now. Let's get this party started.

I felt the years melt away as I approached my old stomping grounds. I had 200 dollars in my pocket and that was a lot more than I had back in the day.

I found a place that was safe to park the car for free. This is not an easy task, it took some time. I found the T and road it to the commons.

There I found my old place. The sun feeling great on my older skin. The freedom was lifting all those burdens from my shoulders. I hate to admit I let myself forget I had 4 little girls. I let myself just be me. I have felt so over burdened by single motherhood that I almost forgot I existed.

But here I am, sun sitting pretty in sky, light breeze, swans, people of all races, and the smell of the city. Here I am. I am here. I am so in this moment of myself it over powers me and I forget to breath. I realize this as everything started to blacken around me.

I open the case and take out my old friend. I leave the case open , for the donations of the patrons of the arts. I start strumming. Ah yes, I remember you here, old friend. I begin to play. I play a whole song before my voice wants to join in.

Ah but when I started, it was like I never left the park. People started throwing monetary homage to me. Well, me and the ghosts of soulful blues artists. I wished I lived closer to Boston where I could do this a few times a week. But it would cost me as much in gas as I would make. That would never do.

The faces are not the same as before. But people are people. It was great to seeing all the younger people grooving to the older music. Rap was one style I could never get into. I am taking them all along my musical ride. And I am losing my years as I do.

Hey wait. That face looks a little familiar. Older, but familiar just the same. But so many faces can look the same from people who live in the same place. On his arm is a very tall black man in 3 inch spiked heels. Oh he is also in a very pretty yellow dress. He smiles wide at me, I thought his lipstick would crack. Oh I like this one. And I have to find out where he gets that lipstick, I think it is my shade.

"Butterfly as I live and breath!" The familiar shorter-than-his-friend man said. The voice came echoing out of the past as well. I just looked at him try so hard to find him in my memory banks of my mind.

He laughs. "Oh sweetheart!, You don't remember me after leaving your apartment to me and the boys and a month of food back in the 80's! Girlfriend, no-one knew where you were until this Queen from England came over and brought one of your records with her!" He smiles. Oh that smile.

"AHHHHHH! Oh my god, ERRRRIIICCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!" I screeched as I threw my arms around him.

I felt large arms around us both. "Hey I wanted some sugar ,too." He said as I looked at him with a smile and I kissed his cheek. "Oh , you so sweet!"

The embrace lasted longer than any hug from a man I had had in the last 5 years.

"Eric who is your lovely friend? And you have my album?" I said still beaming.

"Oh darling, Lady Butterfly, this is Mizty." He smiles as he motioned to the lady. His actions over dramatically.

"Oh the songs we played in the club years. You know that mother of yours came looking for you 2 days after that horrible little prick and his mother. Everybody looking for the baby. All they found was a bunch of boys, sometimes at play." he smiled wide. " Poor southern minds got blown wide open. One day a group from DSS came. Oooo we had some fun with her. We told her we ate the baby. They actually took samples of our poop. Funny Bitch she was. You should have seen what we did to her afterwards." He laughed a devious laugh and a twinkle in his eye went along so well with his hand gesture that said don't ask. "Never mind, don't ask, I don't want you involved." he laughed, we all laughed.

I can just see all those uptight judgemental people coming to find me. This is how he reminds me. This is how the universe reminds me f who I am. That people did care. That I did belong.

"My mother came?"

"Yeah, she said that the boy's mother called her all upset. She said where ever you were, you should stay there." Things got serious in his voice. "When we realized you were in England, we didn't tell anyone. We were glad you got out. So how is your mother? "


"Oh, I'm..."

Did I say serious? nothing gets more serious than DEAD.

"I never saw her after I left. She never called. It was like she didn't exist, now she doesn't. No big deal." I said shrugging it off. I was trying to believe it myself.

"Now, girl, that is your mama, and what ever did or didn't happen that is your mama and it effects you." Strong arms are holding me again.

I smile and sit back down and start strumming again.

As the sun started going down. I started packing it all up. Eric and Mizty came strolling by.

"Hey where are you staying, sweety?" Eric inquired.

"Ummm... I hadn't thought about that. I have a car. I don't think I made enough for a hotel room. I'll be fine." I said with a wave of the hand as if it was nothing. I really hadn't thought that far along in the plan.

"Nonsense. You will be staying with us for a while. Until you get on your feet." Mizty said with a smile.

I realized what I must have looked like to them at that moment in the park alone and singing for change.

" Oh I have a house in the country. I only came to Boston to drop out for a while, get my head together and find myself again."

"Drop in , drop , out and get high. Or something like that?" Eric and Mizty said as if it was rehearsed.

"Too 60's of me?"

"Did I call it with the mother thing, or what?" Mizty said to Eric in a in-the-know manor.

"O.k., I will crash with you guys, um, ladies, um, lovely people. Where do you live anyway? " They both laughed at my stumbling over what to refer to them as.

"This lovely small place, you might remember it." Eric smiled slightly.

"My old place?"

"My old place now, honey."

"Did you change the lock?"

"Odd question, but no."

"Good," I pulled put the necklace underneath my shirt, I put my old key from my flat on it for luck. I can't believe I kept it all these years. "than this will still fit. If I knew that I could have been playing tricks on you for years. " I stuck my tongue out at him playfully.

"Meant to be!" Mizty proclaimed. "Now get your shit together and we have to get ready for the club."

First night back, and I am in my old home flat, with old friends and new ones and about to go clubbing. Yes, baby, I am back. This is what it is supposed to be like.

We got the car to the flat and got ready for the club. Eric looking dapper, Mizty looking lovely and a bit over done and me , well I found something low cut in Mizty's closet.

Ge got to the small club, It didn't take me too long to realize by the cute boy at the door, the women with butch tattoos and the queens on the stage that I was not going to find myself a man of my dreams here. Oh I did realize I was going to make a lot of friend here.

Before I could turn around Mizty was on stage and the crowd was cheering wildly.

That was the moment I realized as people smiled at me and I was cheering too: I am in the land of misfit toys. It was so nice to be home again, a tear of joy trickled down from my eye.