One day James convinced me to accompany him to Club Venus over at Perring Plaza to pick up women who were amenable to dancing under the big glass ball.
"But”, said James, “we gotta take you shopping for some new threads. I have seen your wardrobe man and frankly it sucks. Might work for those big Mother Earth, Ms Natural types I see dragging you around, but the women over to the Venus need you to step up your game. They have some class. They actually shave their armpits and use lipstick.”
He could tell I was a tad miffed. He turned me to face the big glass doors on the front of the Towson State University library. “Look at yourself fool. You’re a schlub, what with all that tye dyed hippie shit cut off jeans flip flop look you are sporting. Really Bro, time to pick up your game. No sulking, we are hoofing uptown to Hutzler’s. Besides, what are you going to spend that paycheck on anyway, more weed?”
So we began the hike up York Road. James strutting in his everyday best and me flip flopping beside him in my everyday worst. After a short stop at the bank to cash my check, we crossed the street and entered the department store.
Forty five minutes later we strode out of Hutzlers looking like twin brothers of different mothers. I had transformed from an ugly duckling into an imagined swan. Tucked into a pair of baby blue bell bottoms was the classic “Fever” shirt with the big collar and puffy sleeves opened of course to show off the authentic fake gold chain. Toss in those outrageous 3” platform Disco shoes and Jack, I was ready to kill me some ladies. Least ways, James said I was gonna knock em dead.
James called me. Said something about being jammed up and he would meet me at Club Venus around eight - eight thirty. Left to get there on my own, I bummed a ride with some other folks from the dorm and walked in the club. A banner over the entrance to the ball room claimed in three foot letters, that this night was the first annual “Rainbow Night”.
Not placing any special importance to the notion of “Rainbow Night”, I walked onto the massive dance floor. Disco Jacks and Disco Jills were getting their grooves on. I was maybe halfway across the floor when it dawned on me that I was seeing mostly bucks dancing with bucks and does dancing with does.
“That goddamned James, …..I’ll kill the bastard", I thought. I smiled instead. James thought he had been safely living in the closet. He had no clue most of his friends knew he was gay and didn’t care. …… “But yeah where is that little bastard?” I finished crossing the dance floor and found the 50 foot bar. I ordered a shot and a beer and settled on a bar stool to watch the light in the loafer folks do their thing.
Into my second shot and second beer, I noticed a woman heading in my general direction. She was taking disco to an ultimate height, fashion wise. She was wearing a one piece silver hot pants outfit, thigh high silver platform boots, and topped off with a brilliantly white afro two and a half feet across. Woah, she wanted everyone’s attention. She would not be ignored. She smiled at me and……….. Damned, if it wasn’t James, doing his best tranny act and pulling it off to boot. He looked perfect. But then James always looked sharp.
All I could do was grin and head out to meet him on the dance floor for his first coming out dance. I had a blast that night with him and all the friends he used to keep in his closet.
- First written in Fall of 2018 for a writing class I was in.
- Cross Published in the original "Lost in the Bozone ll"
- Added a smidgen and a half of fictional bling just to gussy it up some.
Music for this tune has to be the infamous, one of the first of its kind, a song from back in the day that tied Anita Bryant's panties in a knot, the one and only - "Lola" - The Kinks Live