Living Your Life

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Constance listens to the music as she dances across the room. She loved old disco music and music from the seventies. Sure, she had her favorites of today’s modern-day music, but she also liked the old-style music. She dances in time to the music as it plays.

When the current selection of music stops playing, she stops and wipes her face. She takes a sip from her water bottle and replays the recording of her dancing. She watches herself as she dances to the music. A smile appears as she edits it and posts it to her YouTube channel.

Constance changes clothes, selects a different music set, and starts dancing to it when it starts playing. The music she was dancing to now was Super Freak. She loved how it sounded and how easy it was to dance to. She stopped the video after she finished dancing to the music.

She edits it and prepares to post it tomorrow. She took another sip from her water bottle and slid down the wall she leaned against to sit on the floor. She appreciated that she was able to find a place where she could dance or perform some gymnastic moves. Her first apartment was a little hole in the wall for which she was paying too much money.

Her landlord was an asshole and demanded the rent money on the first of every month. If you didn’t have it, he would hound you every day until the fifth and then change the locks on your apartment door. She had it happen to her twice, but it was a good thing she knew how to pick locks. It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube nowadays.

It pissed her landlord off, but there wasn’t anything he could do because he was breaking the law. He knew it, and so did she. God knows she knew the law. She has been arrested several times for trespassing and stealing. She didn’t have a choice on the stealing part.

Constance didn’t have a job, and when she applied for food stamps, they said she could get a job since she was a young, able person. So, they only offered her twenty dollars’ worth of food stamps. She asked the social worker how she was supposed to survive on twenty dollars a month.

The reason she had a hard time finding a job in her hometown. Before she was forced to move, was because she was a transgender person. The small town she was born and raised in was heavily into religion. The city had been founded by people who were prosecuted for their beliefs. The thing was, it wasn’t simple either. The founding families of the town she was born in were worse than the Amish and Mennonites.

Constance had to keep her feelings secret and play along with how she was supposed to act. However, her parents arranged for her to marry a young girl from a family she had known since she was little. Her secret finally came out, and she was forced to leave.

Her parents made it clear that they didn’t recognize her and that they disowned her. She wasn’t to have any contact with her siblings either. It had hurt her a lot, but she could do nothing to change their minds. Their religious beliefs and traditions were more important to them than their child.

The first few days had been hard on her because all she knew was what she learned back home. She knew nothing of the outside world or what she would encounter. Since she was forced to walk to the town nearest hers, she almost got run over several times.

By the time she arrived at the town, it was raining outside. She had some money from jobs she had done, but not much. She managed to get a cheap meal and find a place to sleep.

The next day, she was forced to look for work. She was lucky to come across a farmer who needed some help on his farm. He provided her with food and a place to stay in exchange for work. She worked her butt off for him.

Constance stayed with him for a few months before being offered another job, and the farmer encouraged her to take it. She had a sneaking suspicion he was behind her getting the job. She worked for the person just past Christmas. She spent her first Christmas away from home.

The family she worked for had included her in their celebrations, but she missed her family. She may not agree with their religious beliefs or how they feel. However, they were an important part of her, just like the people she grew up were. She managed to get another job as a truck driver. He was looking for someone to help him with a load he picked up. Her job was to unload the freight at the destination.

Constance traveled with him for a while and got to know him well. His name was Albert, and he was an older guy. He had been driving trucks for the past forty years and would have continued until he had a heart attack one night. They had pulled into a truck stop somewhere in Michigan for the night. When she went to wake him up, she discovered that he had passed away in his sleep.

Another truck driver was willing to let her ride with him to the next town he was going to. So, she took him up on his offer and traveled with him. The town he dropped her off in wasn’t too bad, and she found a cheap apartment.

It was in that town where she learned about herself. She went to a bar with some friends she made, and the bar turned out to be a gay bar. That was where she learned about Drag Queens. She had heard stories about them but had never seen or met one in person. After she went to her first drag performance, she knew what was missing in her life.

Constance takes another sip from her water bottle. She stands up and heads towards the showers to wash her body. The place she was renting now was a large studio. It was her practice place and her living place.

She had no privacy in the shower or going to the bathroom. The wall that generally separated the bathroom and the rest of the place had been replaced with frosted glass cubes. So, people knew when you were in the bathroom. The place still needed a lot of work, but otherwise, it was nice and spacious.

After Constance takes her shower, she puts on an oversized t-shirt and a pair of leggings. She sits down at her sewing machine and starts working on the dress she was hired to do. One of the performers down at the Dancing Cactus hired her to construct a dress for her. All those times helping her mother with her sewing was paying off.

She was good at sewing and designing new things. She has had several jobs from the various drag performers. Most of the ones she met couldn’t sew worth a damn. So, they hired her to construct their new costumes.

Constance works on the current job she was commissioned for. Once she finishes it, she has to do a final fitting. She sends a text to the customer informing them. She sets that project aside and starts on another one. She cuts the pieces out for it and adds some elastic material to the design. That way the wearer can dance and do splits while wearing the outfit.

Constance glances at the clock and stops to fix herself some lunch. She grabs a can of beef stew from the cabinet, empties it into a soup bowl, and microwaves it. She looked out a nearby window and noticed the weather was ugly.

“Looks like we're in for a nasty storm today.” Constance takes the bowl out of the microwave when it dings.

She walks over to a pile of floor pillows and grabs one from the pile to sit on it. She didn’t own very much furniture or a television set either. If she wanted to watch something, she used her laptop.

Some of her friends from the club were surprised when they came to her place. Especially when they discover she doesn’t own a television set or a bed. She usually slept on a futon on the floor.

When Constance finished her stew, it was raining cats and dogs outside. She takes her dirty dish, rinses it, and leaves it in the sink to wash later. She goes back to work for a while and stops for the day. There wasn’t much more she could do until she got the client in to make some
adjustments to the outfit.

Since she had nothing else to do, Constance grabbed a heavy blanket and several floor pillows and set them up on the floor. She moves her laptop from her sewing desk to the floor and watches Big Bang Theory videos. She was on season three and was halfway through it.

Just before she falls asleep, she turns the videos off and plugs her cell phone into the laptop to charge. She snuggles up under the heavy blanket and slowly drifts off to sleep. She loved rainy weather and always made her sleepy.

Constance's alarm clock goes off. She reaches for her cell phone and hits the snooze button. She didn’t want to get up yet. She lies there, waiting for the alarm to go off again.

When it goes off a second time, she turns it off and rolls over to see what the weather is like outside. She noticed it wasn’t raining anymore, but it was still cloudy. She checked her cell phone to see what the weather would be like and noticed it was scheduled to start raining in fifty minutes.

Constance slowly drags herself off the floor and stumbles into her kitchen. She makes herself a cup of coffee to help her wake up. While the coffee is brewing, she fixes some toast. She sits at the small kitchen table and waits for the toast to pop up.

After eating some toast and drinking her coffee. She listens to the rain as it comes down.

“Well, that throws a monkey wrench in my plans.” Constance watches as the rain comes down.

She finishes her coffee and changes into her dance leotard. Since she was going to be stuck inside all day. She figures she’ll practice some of her gymnastics moves. She puts some music on to perform too and starts doing a routine she put together.

She never knew how much she missed out on growing up in a religious community. She goes through the routine as the music plays.

“Owe!” Constance felt a sharp pain in her back when she did an arch.

Constance flips over and stands up. She could feel a little twinge at the base of her back. She had hurt her back a few months back and every once in a while her back would act up. She had gone to the free clinic a few blocks from where she lived to be checked out.

The doctor down at the clinic referred her to a specialist. It was a good thing she qualified for Medicaid, otherwise she would have been unable to pay for the visit. She ended up paying for only a small amount.

Constance loved working for herself. Sure, there were days she didn’t have any jobs to do. Then, there were days when she had too much work for one person. She tried working for big companies and chain stores, but couldn’t deal with the strict rules, and when people found out she was trans. Their true nature would come through. The second company she ever worked at, one of the women who worked there had come into the bathroom while she was peeing.

She was still confused about how the woman found out she wasn’t a genetic woman. However, she did, she spread the word about her true nature to the other women she worked with. When she showed up for work a week later. She was told to report to HR.

She and the HR person had a conversation about her status and she told the HR person to take the job and shove it up her ass. She walked out the front door, slamming it so hard that the glass broke. She was pissed and in tears later.

She made a New Year resolution that she would never work for anyone again, except herself. It had been hard at first because she didn’t have a lot of money to start with. She managed to drum up some business with the Drag Queens at the club she liked going to.

It had started with one Drag Queen asking her to fix some old costumes she had. After that, it spiraled out of control. She ended up getting more and more clients. She managed to save enough money to buy several different mannequins and two different types of sewing machines. One did embroidery and the other one she used for normal sewing.

For relaxation, she danced and posted the videos on YouTube. She also did gymnastic routines and posted on the web as well. Between the three different hobbies and some custom jobs, she was hired to do from the web. She made a decent income.

She did try to contact some of her friends and family members back home. But she never heard back from them. She knew this would happen, but she wasn’t surprised. She puts one of the pain relief pads over the site of the pain.

Instead of going back to practicing her gymnastic moves. Constance gathers up her dirty laundry and tosss them into the washer. She had an apartment-style washer and dryer unit. Her landlord didn’t care after she offered to buy her studio apartment.

She couldn’t believe the luck she had when she was walking home one night after going out for dinner. She spotted something shining down in the sewer. Normally, she would have ignored it, but her curiosity got the best of her.

When she shined the light from her cell phone down into the gutter, she noticed that it was a bag of silver coins. She managed to retrieve the bag and bring it out of the gutter. When she looked at the coins, they were old silver dollars.

The next morning, she took them to the sheriff's office and reported them to her friend. He was a drag performer and a deputy at the sheriff's department. His coworkers didn’t know he performed in drag.

The owner of the coins showed up days later and rewarded her for finding and turning them in. She put that money towards buying her studio apartment. Now, her rent was her payments to her landlord.

Within the next few days, the people she was doing work for, showed up for their fitting. Angie wanted her to make a few adjustments to her costume and add a few items to it. Amy on the other hand wanted her to make the outfit sexier and revealing. Amy was a black guy who loved showing off his figure and wearing big breasts prostheses.

If she had breasts as big as the ones Amy wore, she would have back problems. Angie was slim and had a nice figure to her. Angie was a year or two younger than herself.

However, Amy on the other hand was older and has been doing the drag circuit for a few years. Every time RuPaul was recruiting new contestants for his show. Amy always applied, but never got picked. It was too bad she didn’t because Amy would add some flair to the show.

Constance informed both women that it would take a few more days to make the modifications to the dresses. Which was fine with them, as long as the dresses were done by the weekend when they had to perform.

After Amy and Angie leave, Constance goes and does some shopping for her place. She hated cooking, so she bought mostly frozen meals or meals that didn’t take a lot of prep work to do. On the way home, she stops at her favorite Chinese restaurant for an order of General Tasos Chicken.

Once she arrives back home. Constance puts the groceries away and sits down to eat while watching some more episodes of Big Bang Theory. As she sits there and eats her food. So, far her New Year’s resolution has come true.

She hopes the rest of the new year goes as well.

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joannebarbarella's picture

Constance has had it rough, but she's a tough girl.

Thanks for getting your second story within the contest guidelines.

A sad but poignant story

and shows the realities of life that many of us have to endure on a daily basis.

Thank you for posting this