The Cock Crowed

Peter’s denial is a common story.

The Cock Crowed
by Angela Rasch

The clock on my laptop hadn’t changed in hours. Sometimes that happens on the graveyard shift. The time between 1:20 and 1:21 A.M. can last forever.

I toyed with the nameplate that hung from the wall of my cubicle. Peter Schiltz, the nameplate stated. I’d thought about using the name Petra for my fem times, but that’s so obvious. When I’m dressed I love the name Crystal. I know it’s a name strippers are fond of, but I still think it’s delightful.

At 1:45 Wally, from accounting, poked his head over the divider. “Pete, did you happen to watch HBO last night?”

Wally’s the guy I love to fantasize about. I’ve given him at least a hundred mental blowjobs. “I was watching ultimate fighting. What were you and every other faggot in the world watching on HBO while real men were glued to UFC?”

Wally blushed.

If I don’t make him blush once a week, live isn’t worth living. As far as I know he’s a hetero as they make’em, but he’s cute as all hell when he blushes.

“It’s a. . .,” he stammered. “They had a comedy special with Eddie Izzard. I about died laughing."

“Eddie Izzard!” I roared. “Isn’t he that fudge-packer who wears dresses?”

“He doesn’t wear dresses all that often . . . anymore.” Wally said almost apologetically.

“All that often? Isn’t once ‘often’ enough? Wearing a dress is like being pregnant. If you wear a dress, even just once, you’re either a woman or you’re horrifically fucked-up.”

“He’s really funny,” Wally said quietly, but pulled his head back down out of my sight. “As Eddie would say,” Wally’s voice floated to me, “As Eddie would say, 'Armageddon . . . out of here'.”

***

At 3:10 I sat in the lunchroom eating a chicken and cucumber wrap I’d brought from home. Marcy’s dress is soooo cute. How do they think of making a sleeveless dress out of red and white fabric that looks like a cowboy’s bandana.? I wonder if I can find something like it on line in a size 18? It’s so frustrating to order an XL, only to have it be so small I’d need two of them. But . . . with a Really Red lipstick I’d look good in that dress!

Sean sat down and pulled out a PB and J sandwich. He ate a few bites before waving it at me. “Racist . . . that’s what some jackass in Portland said. Cuz not everyone eats PB and J teachers ain’t supposed to mention it less-en they balances what they say by talkin’ about food ate by Somalis and Hispanics.”

“You don’t say. What’s next?”

“I’ll tell you ‘what’s next’. To be politically correct we’re all going to have to starts wearing uniforms. Unisex uniforms.”

“What would be wrong with that?” I asked. “If the big boys up in the ivory tower want to pay for my clothes I’m not going to fight that.”

“What if they decide we’s all gots to wear ladies’ clothes.” He went on to warn me about how women have to wear dresses sometimes for hygienic reason . . . so there would be days when we would all have to wear dresses.

“Fuck’em!” I declared. “They would have one hell of a time getting me to do that. I’d like to see them try.”

We both laughed in open rebellion of the fictitious change in dress code.

***

At 7:06 A.M. , my shift having just ended, I left the building and started to cross the parking lot. I could smell the manure from the barn on the farm across the road from our call center.

“Hold up, Pete,” Gordon shouted. His face was red from the short sprint he’d taken across the lot to talk with me. “I wanted your opinion on something,” he said, trying to catch his breath.

I nodded.

“Jenkins and I have to drive down to Atlanta for a seminar next week.” His forehead wrinkled.

“So?”

“The company wants us to save some money by bunking together.”

“One bed or two?” I asked mischievously.

“Two,” he quickly asserted. “but that’s sort of what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Un huh.”

“Have you ever heard anything about Jenkins?”

“Like what?” I studied Gordon’s shoulders, memorizing the contour of his muscles. In about an hour I’m going to be lying in bed in my negligee stroking myself while thinking about his build.

“Like. . .” Gordon asked. “Which team does he bat for?”

I laughed. “Jenkins is married. He and his wife have four kids.”

“I know,” Gordon stated. “I went to a Christmas party at their house last year. The thing is -- I been thinking about the shirts Jenkins wears. They’re usually some womanish color like pink or some other pastel.”

“I’ve never noticed,” I lied. I’ve often wished I had the guts to wear what Jenkins does . . . maybe even with the buttons on the other side.

“Pete, do you think I’m safe in a motel room with him?” Gordon’s face was dead serious.

“If I was you . . ." I stopped and lowered my voice. “. . . I’d pack a gun in my suitcase.”

“A gun?” Gordon’s face showed complete shock.

“That way when Gordon comes out of the bathroom in a nightgown you can shoot him before he tricks you into thinking he’s a woman.”

A rooster on the neighboring farm crowed.

***

I wept bitterly, all the way home, frustrated by what I had to do and say to get through life.

The End

For years now I’ve donated stories to Erin to help support this website. She receives all the proceeds from those stories, whether she sells them through Doppler Press or uses them as an inducement for contributions to Hatbox.

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