As a writer I feel like I have grown, less like a flower more like a weed… fast but rough around the edges. It has been two years since I started this blog and I have now participated in a year’s worth of Writer’s Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contests. This particular story I actually completed in about 3 hours and is dedicated to Steve Poltz and his wildly entertaining tweets.
The Easy Way Out
Silence filled the living room. Superficial words were only thing passed between us in what seemed like weeks. Her eyes looked shallow from lack of sleep and constant crying, yet hard with the same intensity of the question that managed to come racing out of her lips. It was brave of her to make the first move.
The grandfather clock in the hall, a wedding present from her parents, chimed, reminding me I should be leaving for work. But somehow I don’t think even work will grant me reprieve. Yet still no words were coming.
I would like to say there is an easy explanation as to why she saw me walking barefoot down the sidewalk at 7 a.m. Sunday morning wearing a silver, sequin dress with the matching pumps swinging from my finger tips. I would like to say it was just a silly frat boy prank played on me by old buddies from my college days, or even a cross-dressing theme party thrown by coworkers down at the firm. Those would have been the easy way out; well, if I hadn’t let my instincts take over. Ducking behind the nearby park bench maybe would have worked, if she hadn’t already locked eyes with me as she slowed to get a better look.
Oh, and I have to say borrowing (and subsequently losing) her handbag wasn’t one of my brightest moves either. But I really couldn’t justify buying a new one since she already had a purse that perfectly matched the dress AND the shoes.
My lifelong weakness had always been for football, golf, and younger women but ever since that night I first got up on stage with the lights and the room filled with young college boys and bachelorette parties, none of that mattered anymore. Anyone who sings karaoke or performs in a play knows the feeling. The high from the cheers and boos from perfect strangers acknowledging your guts for doing what they are too timid to try themselves.
The night in question, instead of sneaking home after the show, I stayed to watch the carnage that I had heard so much about from the other drag queens. The nightly hook ups turned the club into a feeding ground for unsuspecting young boys. I figured these kids had to know what was coming with a place called the Cockpit, located many miles from the nearest airport.
Staring at the mirror backstage, I touched up my make up. The vultures had already made their way onto the floor, already fighting over the best morsels. I found myself drifting ghostlike and ghost white around the club, not sure of where to turn. Bailing after each show separated me from my audience and now here I was, mingling amongst them.
A drink, I needed a drink. As I saddled, rather floated up to the bar a older gentleman dressed in a suit complimented my performance and offered to purchase my drink. I thanked the guy and accepted his offer even though free drinks were on the house for all performers. We got to talking about dog shows and horse racing, two of his passions in life. I interjected a thing or two but it was mostly just him droning on. I was slightly interested, but getting sleepy. I excused myself from the conversation politely, stating I needed to retire for the evening. He generously offered a ride home, noting that I looked utterly exhausted. I respectfully declined even though I was drained. That is the last thing I remember before I woke up with a pounding headache, naked in a strange house to the wafting smell of bacon cooking and coffee brewing.
Panic filled my lungs as I scrambled to gather my clothes scattered about the room. Squeezing back into last night’s dress was the last thing I wanted to do, but it beat the alternative. I noticed the sliding glass door of the bedroom led to the back porch. My heart raced, as I opened the door and dashed out, though the yard, over the fence and down the back alley. I didn’t stop running until I reached the park just blocks from our house, where I slowed to gather my thoughts.
Struggling to remember the details of the remainder of the night, suddenly I felt a gentle touch on the pulsating vein on my hand bringing me back to the quiet living room, my eyes flashed open and in the same instant, the words finally came, “Annulment now.”