Eryk walked toward the dumpster behind his apartment holding a dress. It was night and the dumpster was full of raccoons. He'd only seen them before in hat form and felt a deep aversion to them, the way he did toward all traditionally male attire. The dumpster sat in the corner of the parking lot, which was hemmed by a chain-link fence that gave the view of a birdcage veil - a view he found comforting. He had even tried to duplicate it by tilting his window screens and modifying his computer monitor to display diamond pixels.
"Are you really throwing me away?" the dress said. It was pink and velvety with a long skirt that brushed against his legs as he walked, giving him an erection. Like most transvestites, he found tactile sensations the most stimulating, to the point where his other senses had all but withered away. This was why he hadn't fully seen how he looked in the dress when he bought it.
"Sorry," he said, "but you make my butt look big."
"But what are you going to wear to the prom?" the dress said.
"I'm not going. I couldn't find a date anyway." He remembered the girls who'd rejected him, their faces resembling eyeless masks - he never looked at girls' eyes long enough to remember them - masks he would've bought if they were on sale at feminization.us.
"Wait! I have an idea," the dress said. It slipped out of Eryk's arms and grew arms and legs made of hanger wire. "We can have the prom right here, and I'll be your date." It held out its hand. "Come on, let's dance."
Eryk stared at the dress, its wiry frame just short of his ideal female body - still slightly too existent, for it was only women's clothes he loved. He'd never danced before, unless you counted the time a cricket had crawled inside his female bodysuit, making him flail spasmodically. But he took the dress's hand and they danced smoothly across the parking lot, whose pavement became a dance floor.
"Wow, this is great," Eryk said. The streetlights became disco balls, the raccoons became promgoers and slow-dance music played from the storm drains.
"And look behind you," the dress said. "They're announcing us prom queen and queen."
Eryk turned and a spotlight shone on him. He felt perfect, his body a network of vectors describing the flow of femininity to his brain. He wished the world were an early-aughts first-person shooter, every surface a mirror he could see himself in. The light grew brighter, and he realized it was coming from inside his head, which hurt suddenly. Then he noticed he was lying on the pavement.
"Motherfucker!" The dress was standing over him, holding a brick spotted with blood. "Do you know what I've gone through for the past few weeks? It's incredibly wrong to be worn by a guy, to feel his small but still noticeable penis pressed against you. It's basically rape." The dress's voice reminded Eryk of a dominatrix, and the blood on the pavement slurped back through the cut on his head to join the rest of his blood in his groin.
The dress climbed over the fence and hailed a cab with its hanger-arm. "I'm leaving. I'll make money breaking into cars or doing discount abortions. Oh and by the way, I don't make your butt look big. Genetics make your butt look big."
As the dress got in the cab Eryk wanted to shout that its thread was caught on the fence, or maybe that it felt like he'd been born without a chance, adverse to society's tastes like the irregular panties he dug from department-store dumpsters and wore on six-Vicodin nights, listening to Tori Amos and watching infomercials, pretending the blue lines of the itch reliever were love and tolerance, defeating the red lines of his gender dysphoria. But then the raccoons attacked.
A list of things to avoid whenever you're in Gary or any of the Hoosier State's beautiful and welcoming locations.
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