The address belonged to one of those awful church clubs, the ones where some trust-fund brats leased an old church and turned it into a church-themed night club. This one was called "Abby's," which reminded me of Arby's and was the same as calling it "The Church" only with a debilitating whiff of cleverness. The door was unlocked for the truck bringing in the St. Alfonse kegs, so I slipped inside.
The bartender was washing rhomboid glasses, his Latin tan gold beneath the bar lighting.
"We're not open yet," he said, pursing his Marc Anthony lips and thrusting out his precise micro-line of chin-strap beard. I was born with ear candy ice cubes, so I wasn't about to take the cold shoulder.
"Hey, was a girl in here last night, about this high," I held my hand up a few inches above my head, "dressed like a little girl raiding her grandma's closet, weird bangs, sort of cute, but super fine when you realized she could be way hotter if she knew how to dress and bought a better pair of glasses?"
He stared at me.
"She was a blonde," I said.
"Oh, yeah," the bartender snapped his fingers. "She left her computer in here. Who the hell brings a computer to a bar?"
Haelaegh Kahmets does. I took her computer and headed back out into the street. There was an open wireless hotspot labeled OMAR COMING outside of a walk-up a few buildings over. I logged onto the computer and opened up the tumblr bookmark and finally saw Haelaegh Kahmets in the buff.
She was a he.
And I'm okay with that, because gender is an artificial construct, up to the individual to define, and all that matters is whether or not someone is beautiful, and Haelaegh Kahmets was beautiful enough to have a Mario-themed burlesque show where she played Princess Peach. I always thought about adding live performers to my table work. I wondered how she would look as an 8-bit Rue McClanahan.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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