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The sunshine sneaking through the shades tickled enough to awaken. He rubbed his tired eyes and sighed. Last night was still resonating from his hazy memory. He suddenly jumped up, realizing he never took off his face. Stumbling into the bathroom he reached the sink, afraid to glance into the mirror. Oh my God! Is that how I look!? Quickly, he washed off the makeup, gently removing that lovely orangey red lipstick he was lucky to find at the boutique last week. His hair was OK, because he never wore the wig to bed… unless of course he had a guest. Lately, that was not in the cards. When you hit 50 not so easy to find what you need out there. He knew it and that revelation was the toughest pill to swallow.

It was time to get ready for work. He had his usual breakfast, which was really nothing but a banana and a cup of instant coffee. On the way to the office he would get take out at the deli. It was tough for him to just eat alone anymore, after Michael. Seven years was an eternity, a wonderful eternity at that, to be in love with someone and actually live with him. Yeah, there were the usual spats, but Michael was fairly loyal… to a point. He was always loyal, had been that way his whole life. Michael had been ‘ The husband’ and he was so ecstatic to be ‘ The wife’. Michael enjoyed how he would look when really dressed to the gills. For seven years he could be himself, or rather herself, with Michael. When Michael passed it almost destroyed him. Another of too too many victims of Opioids, especially from their community of ‘ queer folk’. Tough to be unaccepted by so many in straight society when ‘boys become girls’.

The majority of the office just assumed he was like them… normally heterosexual. He played the game with the guys and took part in the inane conversations about tits and ass etc. A few of his female coworkers occasionally tried to set him up with a friend. He realized that as a man he was still attractive, even at this age. Sometimes he would sit at his desk and begin to tear up when thoughts of Michael floated by his memory. Could he ever get on with his life? He wondered. No drinks after work with the guys for him. Straight to home and an evening of nothing. He was tempted many nights to get dressed real posh and head for the club, the one that he and Michael had christened as their own. For what purpose? Could it find him a new love and not just another roll in the hay? Maybe he would just try that approach, going to the club, maybe once a week, on Saturday nights.

The paramedics found the body the next day when the landlady called it in. She knew all about him and his former roommate, no surprises there. One of the paramedics wasn’t sure if it was a male or female until he checked more carefully. ” Strange bird ” he said to the old lady. ” Nice wig though”.

PA Farruggio
October 2021