Crying is a drag...
by Erin Halfelven
Chapter 4 -- Good News about the Bad News
Aaron found me before I could decide what to do. "Had a good cry?" he asked, standing in my doorway. He looked competent and masculine and my evil heart lurched with the attraction I had felt for years and only joked about.
I shook my head. "No, I had a lousy cry." I wiped my eyes and blew my nose and wished he would go away.
"I haven't told you the good news yet," he said.
"Huh?" I said. I blew my nose again, feeling like even my brain might be full of mucus.
"I got a new job. In California."
I looked up. I knew it. Now he would move away and I would be really, truly alone. I felt a stab of pain in my chest.
He grinned at me, like twisting the knife. "Double the pay, too. And it comes with a house." He looked smug and happy.
"Aaron!" I sat up and stared at him. "A house? In California?" I wanted to be happy for him but I didn’t think I could manage, but I hoped at least it didn’t show on my face.
He nodded. "A little town North of Los Angeles, Rancho Domingo. It's a new company, a Chinese-American consortium called Urban EcoTechnology. They make low emissions construction equipment and tiny little electric cars."
"What will you be doing?" I asked.
"Management," he shrugged. "Probably inventory control. It's what I'm good at. I've got a bachelor's in engineering and an M.B.A., I’m a perfect fit. This is a cutting edge company that's going places."
"Sounds...wonderful," I said, trying to put a little enthusiasm in my voice. I wanted to look away from his happiness but I couldn’t do that to him.
"So, the club closing works out really well for us. I mean, timing-wise." He stammered on that a little.
"What?" I said, not really hearing him.
"Well," he said, trailing off.
I looked up at him. His smile flashed on and off and on and off again. What was wrong with him, I wondered? Had he caught a whiff of the desperation his news had caused in me?
"Damn it," he said, finally. "Will you please put on a wig and some makeup and meet me back in the kitchen? I can't talk to you looking like Willie's head stuck on Donna Reed's body. And you don't have any eyebrows!" He turned and stumbled out of the room.
"What the hell?" I said after he disappeared. At least he had intrigued me enough that I stopped thinking about the easiest, cleanest and most painless way to kill myself.
Chapter 5 -- Blonde to the Bone
I have six good wigs and another half dozen cheapos. At any time, two or three of the good ones are loaned out and I usually end up giving the cheap ones away. Every faux girl needs a good wig or three. But there were things to do before I chose a wig.
I made a quick trip to the bathroom and washed my face. Patting my eyes dry carefully, I looked at myself in the mirror. I wouldn't be twenty-six for another five months but I knew I looked younger. At least, as a boy I looked young. As a girl, well, I didn't look older than my age, and that was a plus. I have an oval face with wide cheekbones and a little round chin, a real asset for a female impersonator. Now if I just had talent, I would not have been working in the backroom of the club, I'd've been on stage. We can't all be divas and there's always room in show biz for curtain pullers.
Sighing for what might have been if only I could sing and dance, I turned on the makeup lights on either side of the mirror and started taking out supplies from my collection of cute little make-up boxes. I stripped out of my little black hausfrau number and hung it up before I began slinging any of the warpaint around, though. Nothing ruins a nice frock like spilling Honey Beige on it.
A little greenish concealer under the eyes and a dab or two on a blemish here and there. Another glob on the upper lip to hide my phantom mustache. A coat of foundation. I debated how far I should go with the makeup. Theatrical, like I helped the girls do before a show? Simpler, like for an evening date the few times I had slipped away to Minneapolis or Chicago? Or even more down the glamour scale? I decided to go for young, suburban chic; enough to say I was wearing makeup but not so much that the makeup became a statement in itself.
I used a thinner coat of foundation over the first one, then I drew on my eyebrows in a delicate arch. Some of the girls have tattooed-on eyebrows, I've thought about it but it limits you to one style. My real ones are blond and so thin as to be almost invisible and I frequently just shaved them off which was what Aaron had complained about.
I giggled, surprising myself. Aaron seemed really flustered today and it didn't appear connected to his news exactly. What was going on with my oh-so-stiff-and-proper roommate?
I finished with my eyes, blue-green shadow would make my grey eyes look bigger, and mascara for that wide-awake frame. I started working on my mouth, a dark lipliner to make my lips look plumper and a two-tone coat of fifties reds. Blush and powder to finish off.
My short dark brown hair gave me a waifish, Audrey Hepburn look, I thought, and made it possible for me to visit my mother in Illinois without a lot of screaming. But Aaron wanted to see me in one of my wigs. I took my blonde Lana Turner model down and tried it on, arranging the curls to fall on my shoulders. Nice. I considered trying the shorter, Doris Day pageboy but I kind of liked this effect. I looked elegant, like a society housewife who stays home to make things wonderful for her man. A sexier June Cleaver look.
Smiling, I freshened my scent with a drop behind each ear then replaced my simple bobs with medium-size hoops. An inch-and-a-half seemed about right, slutty but not too slutty.
Makeup done, I considered wardrobe. Changing clothes often is part of the fun of being a girl, I always thought, and having a big closet helps. I dove into my walk-in looking for just the thing to turn my roomie's crank, a little fuchsia number with a full skirt and puffed sleeves, yellow flowers on the yoke and hem. It screamed wholesome springtime girl-next-door-who-needs-to-be-fucked like nothing else could.
I held the dress up to my reflection in the mirror and decided I needed more bosom to do it justice. Off went my comfy olive and black bra which wasn't an appropriate color anyway. I've been taking hormones since I was sixteen and legally since I was nineteen so my boobies are my own but sometimes they need a little help. I found a yellow Wonderbra in the drawer and with a set of Curves the combination turned my C- into a C+. I changed my panties to match, too, 'cause I'm kind of anal that way.
The little mister has shrunk a bit since I had his two wingmen evicted down in Mexico six years ago. Some of my boyfriends' are a bit disappointed at junior's patent lack of interest in them but the nice thing about being on hormones is I can get multiple orgasms without having a real hard-on. So joke those guys if they can't take a fuck. I tucked El Wrongo back into his hiding place and snugged up my hi-cuts.
I debated wearing hose and decided against. My legs I knew were smooth; we have, or had, an electrolysis machine down at the club and two of the girls even had licenses to use it. Licensed or not, all of us were smooth as silk everywhere we wanted to be. What's a little pain between friends? I’d gotten rid of all my beard too and if my mustache would just stop coming back we’d all be smoother and happier.
Raelynne had gone the full Brazilian, but I’m not that crazy. Besides, I don’t have to wear some of the costumes she wears.
I looked at my image sitting on the makeup stool, for all the world like some teenage crumpette getting ready for a big date and felt the tears coming on. “Damn you,” I said to myself, “don’t you cry over nothing! You’ll have to do all your makeup all over again!”
I don’t know why I never listen to me, I’m pretty smart most of the time.
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