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Basic drag

When I got to the shop, Stevi smiled big and held up a sea-sickly green skirt with yellow pinstripes, and then a blouse that was almost its opposite, yellow with light-green wavy lines. She made a question mark with her face and eyes, and I answered with an exclamation point.

We'd talked a few times about putting me into ladies' clothes on the sidewalk, and Stevi is the one who'd hesitated, never me. I always thought it would be a kick, and it was.

Doug in drag from the ground up: my ordinary ankle-high black tennis-shoes and socks, then my bare hairy legs. Then that awful skirt, from just above the knees, with boxers underneath. Then the blouse, filled with my every-day man-boobs, unsupported. Above that, my ugly face, with longish beard and crew-cut on top. No make-up, and of course that's the real artistry of drag, so my look was very basic. More 'Polk Street' than Castro. A cheap necklace or a chain of fake-pearls might have helped, but Stevi thought the minimal approach was better.

Changing clothes in the shop's cramped restroom, the first thing I noticed was that my skirt had no pockets. How do ladies survive without pockets?

Stevi let me stash my pants in the office, but she didn't want me carrying a purse from the shop. "Too easy for someone to steal it," she said. It was weird being without my wallet all day, but everything about the day was weird.

Without the insect mask, the world felt breezier and my face less sweaty, and it was also five degrees cooler underneath the skirt. Liberating! Things rattled and bounced, and that breezy, airy feeling of freedom down under felt somewhat sexy all day, I'll confess.

Guys, you never really think about how locked away everything is, under a zipper and belt. With only boxers between me and the great outdoors, it was like an inmate released from solitary confinement and finally, happily allowed to wander the yard.

The new outfit was good for business, too. People smiled, and many were ushered up the stairs and into the shop. Geraldine hated me, of course, and glowered from her shop under ours, like my living and breathing was an insult.

In the mid-afternoon, a man in an ordinary suit made eye contact with me, smiled and I smiled back, and he paused and held his arms open. Why not? I walked into him, expecting a hug but got a kiss instead. It was slightly startling, but quick and light. Charming, I decided, not an assault.

After he'd laughed and walked away, I wondered what made that moment enjoyable instead of offensive, like when the short black guy I think of as "the littlest pervert" had poked at me with his penis. The difference is all in the technique, gentlemen, and the smile, and the lack of thrusting.

♦ ♦ ♦

While I was on break inside the shop, Dahlia Diamond herself stopped by, to announce that I'm on the comp list for the play. "Just tell them your name," she said, "and they'll let you and your plus-one into the show."

A plus-one? That hadn't occurred to me. Anything I do, I usually do alone, but maybe I could ask Kallie...

Then Dahlia added, "Please don't come to a weekend show, though. We're expecting to sell out." Then she said excuse me and started browsing the shop, and I went outside to resume handing out flyers on the sidewalk. When Dahlia left she was carrying two bags, and LeeAnn told me that she'd spent more than a hundred dollars.

Would a more sensitive soul have been offended at being told not to come to the play on Friday-Sunday? Possibly, but I hate crowds, so a show with some empty seats is better anyway.

I'm more offended that Dahlia didn't say anything about my lovely skirt.

♦ ♦ ♦

When my shift at the shop was done, tucking myself into pants again was a sad moment, like going back to the jail after a day on work release.

From Pathetic Life #11
Wednesday, April 26, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life
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