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April 6th, 2005

I wonder if Prince Albert has one. Heard on NPR today: "Prince Albert, who has never married, is the successor to Prince Rainier." Late forty-something. Handsome. Rich. Never married? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

I'm feeling in touch with my feminine side today, which got me thinking back to that Halloween day a few years ago when I sat at the MAC counter in Hudson Belk at Crabtree Valley Mall for 1.5 hours while the make-up artist worked on me. I'd told her, "I don't want to look like a drag queen. I want to see what I'd look like as a real woman." She worked so hard on me. "I'm going to try and contour your jawline so it looks less masculine," she'd said at one point.

There was the little girl, maybe 12 years old, who walked by while I was "a work in progress." I had one of the chairs that was right by the main entrance of Hudson Belk, coming in from the mall, so lots of foot traffic. As she and her daddy walked by, she pulled his hand to stop, looked at me, and then turned back to him and said, "Daddy, will he still be ugly when she's through?" I wanted to quip, "You're nothing to look at yourself, Missy, but I'd f*** your daddy in a New York minute."

In spite of the time and effort, there was no charge at all, as the point of those places is to get you interested in the make-up so you'll buy a wheelbarrow full of it before you leave. I knew I wasn't going to buy anything -- she couldn't even talk me into a tube of lipstick for a "touch-up" later in the evening -- so I gave her a $30 tip as I left.

I had a blast the rest of the evening at a party, and then later, downtown at a bar. At the party, several times, some of my very good friends stood right next to me, and didn't even recognize me. Finally, I would say in my deepest John voice, "Aren't you even going to say hi?"

I had never done drag before, and can't imagine ever doing it again. By the end of the night, my size 12 pumps were absolutely killing me. How do women do it? The man who sold them to me at the Rack Room said, "Are you going to give those to your girlfriend when you're through with them?" I had to bite my tongue from saying, "Mister, if I did have a girlfriend, she sure as hell wouldn't have size 12 feet." Not that there's anything wrong with women with size 12 feet.

Which reminds me of those great lines about guys:

"Big feet! You know what that means." "Big shoes!"
"Big hands! You know what that means." "Big gloves!"
"Big nose! You know what that means." "Big boogers!" (Or, as my one friend prefers, "Big ski masks!")
"Big ears! You know what that means." "Big earmuffs!"
But I digress...

Oh yeah, and about my size 22-party dress, which I got at the consignment shop run by The Junior League in Cameron Village: The lady who was working in there when I was trying on dresses was such a snooty bitch. It was obvious that she didn't like the "ambiance" I was bringing to the "venue" potentially disturbing the "clientele." You know how I am with customer service! The more she turned up her nose, the louder I called across the store to my friend when I opened the dressing room door with the latest DKNY on, "Does this one make me look fat, Steve?"

When I went to the register to finally pay, I gave her my best two-faced Junior League smile and said to her, "I'm going to be sure and tell all of my friends at all of the parties I'm going to tonight, that I got my outfit here."



Love those pearls caught up on my left boob. The bra was courtesy of my ex-wife, who loaned it to me for the occasion. We filled it with birdseed, which, while it gave the breasts a good feel, certainly did nothing for the weight I was already pumping around. Never again.



I listened to a guest speaker at work today as part of Diversity Month at IBM. The speaker was Vince Lombardi (Jr.), and he was pretty good. I love how he started:

"In the classified section, there's an ad: 'Complete set of encyclopedias. Brand new. Never used. Husband knows everything.'"



Interesting Incident

So, there I was in the men's room in Papa Lou's. It's a small room. Along the left wall from left to right: first is the sink, then one of those dividers that only goes about chest-high (on me), the urinal (at which I'm standing), and the wall to the one stall in the place, which is to the right of the urinal.

The door opens and this taller-than-me, boyish, bouncy kid walks in, and stands in front of the sink. I observe all this out of the corner of my eye, out of which I'm still looking, as I do the business I'm standing there to do.

Though he's standing in front of the sink, the water is not starting, and I'm starting to wonder what's going on here.

"Hi," he says, just a little too loud.

"Hi," I respond.

"I'm Nick," he says. "Do you know me?"

I'm looking at him now, wondering if I should. I totally don't recognize him. "No," I say.

"I'm Nick. What's your name?"

"John." Shake, shake, shake... not his hand, my... Done, I move back from the urinal, behind and to the right of him now.

"Are you married?" he asks.

"No," I say.

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

"No," I say again.

"Do you have any kids?"

I'm thinking that this is getting just a little bit weird now, but just say, "No."

I'm guessing this kid is somewhere in the age range of 18-22, 22 the most. I'm also beginning to think that he is, perhaps, a special needs kid, though there are no "physical indications" of this -- just a feeling that the conversation going on between two adults sounds a little child-like on one side.

He is washing his hands now. "Do you live alone, John?"

I find this question rather chilling, and I start to respond honestly, but end up lying, "No, I don't."

He turns off the water, and says, "After I dry my hands, I want to shake your hand. Will you shake my hand?"

"Sure," I say, and I move to the sink while he moves to the towel dispenser.

He finishes, turns around back toward me, sees that I'm now washing my hands, and says, "After you dry your hands, will you shake my hand?"

"Yes," I say moving to the towel dispenser. He watches me push the lever down with my elbow so as not to touch that potentially dirty lever with my clean hands. He watches every hand movement of mine as I dry them -- probably more than I would have had I not been under inspection.

He has a big smile on his face now, reminding me a bit of a big bouncy golden retriever in some way. He sticks his hand out and says, "Hi. I'm Nick."

"John," I reply. "It's nice to meet you."

He says, while still shaking my hand, "Do you know my name now?"

"Yes, it's Nick," I say.

I walk past him a little, and reach for the door.

As I slide by him, he asks, "Can I pat you on the back?"

"Sure," I say, but keep moving toward the door. He pats me three times on the back, as if I were a good boy.

"Will you pat me on the back?" he asks.

"Sure," I say, and do, as I exit the restroom.

I sat down with my food, and carefully glanced around the room to see if he had come out and was with anyone. Maybe three minutes went by, and then he came out, joining a large group at a table. I didn't want to stare over there for two reasons: 1) I didn't care to have him spot me, and risk the possibility that he'd come interrupt my dinner, and 2) If they were a special needs group, I didn't want to appear to be staring at them.

I replayed the incident in my mind, and wondered how that exchange might have gone had a guy other than myself been in the bathroom.

I wondered if he was gay, and how lonely, or frightened, or perhaps just lost he might feel if he was. Hell, I was lost myself for 35 years of my life.

I also thought about the coincidence that I was using the urinal there. At work, since I'm totally "out," I always use the stall when I use the bathroom. Always -- even just to pee. I don't ever want there to be any way for anyone to file a same-sex sexual harassment complaint against me saying that I was eying them or being suggestive or any other ridiculous thing they might imagine.

If anything, to most of the guys I work with, I'd say, "Don't flatter yourself. Just because I'm gay, doesn't mean I have no taste. I have absolutely no interest in seeing any private part of yours. It's bad enough looking at the public parts."

About a guy I once worked with, who knew I was gay of course, and has since retired, a co-worker told me once: "The only thing he ever said to me about your being gay was that he did worry about being in the bathroom with you at the same time." This guy and I were so like oil and water; he disgusted me actually. How off the mark to think I'd be interested in "checking him out." Newsflash: I go to the bathroom at work to pee, not to pick up men.



Dancing was just all right tonight. I was a little low energy, and there wasn't much of a crowd at all. Oh well. Good exercise, though. And, I did get a chance to learn the follow part (while dancing it) to the Couples Cha-Cha, as Anthony asked me to dance with him and he only knew the lead, too. I like being "ambidancetrous" on couples dances -- it doubles your chances of getting a dance. (To steal a line from Woody Allen about being bisexual and it doubling your chance for a date on Saturday night.)

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