he’s a lady you see

It was Bluefield. What did queens do in Bluefield? Sit at home and wish they were some where else. Every night but Thursday.

I was working at a grocery store in West Virginia when I saw my first drag queen. It was after midnight and she sloshed through the door in stripper heels and gold stockings. She looked like Mariah Carey. I watched her browse the pickles and low sodium ritz crackers. The lunch meats and the cakes. The after-hours bread men whispered and the ladies in the office made upset faces. I stared because I knew she wouldn’t mind; and wondered who got all dressed up to peruse confectioneries on a week night. She bought a case of Bud Light, hopped in a mustang and drove away. The night manager kicked a coke display and broke his foot. I laughed. He called me a sheep dog.

Every Thursday night, between studying for stats and ringing up the milk, I rang up Bud Light for a queen in a mustang. Word got around. People started dropping in just to see what one looked like. To roll their eyes and look shocked. The store was quiet when she patroned. Something wicked this way comes.

I wondered if she wanted to get away as much as I did, and if she knew I knew she was a pentecostal preacher on Sundays. I recognised her grandson’s car.

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  • Stephen Earley Jordan, II
    Jan 30, 2006 at 4:19

    This one is great… Love it. absolutely love it. You play on the idea of how sheltered things are because of the appalachian mountains. This is great “Sudden” fiction. definitely marketable. Great how you played with the drag queens sexuality with your own internal desires to leave and be “free” like the drag queen seemed to be.

  • Trish
    Feb 3, 2006 at 0:10

    Wow. You really are good. I need to write fewer “I’m having a bad day and my kids are driving me crazy” blogs and start writing like this. I’m inspired.

  • ms bees knees
    Feb 9, 2006 at 0:24

    you are a phenomenal writer. i hate you. but that’s a lie. i really sort of love you.

  • Janice
    May 12, 2006 at 22:50