#226 Dulce Nada

by Oswaldo Vargas

I danced onstage as Dulce, and patrons loved me. Complete with maroon rouge and lips and the dress I stole from Mama before she threw me out of the nest, I gripped the dress’s edges and swirled until the audience couldn’t see me anymore. When I stopped to breathe, I saw various kinds of eyes: the aroused, the enamored, the puzzled, and the spiteful. Only once did I see spiteful eyes; they followed me out after a show, well into the darkness I traveled through to get home.

After the show, I returned to the man my mother bore and put on my black jacket and black pants so I could meld with shadow, just in case an audience member decided to spout his or her mind. Two men, clad in black, followed my steps until the three of us were wholly shrouded. One of them, a bulky man, pinned me against a brick wall, and the other one looked through his guy-code codex to find the chapter on how to deal with men who performed in drag. It said to pray.

Dios, tell us what to do with this jotillo.” His arms rose skyward, waiting on the Holy Spirit for an answer. I tried to explain my affinity for dresses instead of men and how they were not the same thing, but to no avail. Mama, I wish you saw your baby, its wings clipped and left to rot behind the stage where his wingspan extended the farthest.


Dino Parenti said...

Such a wonderfully paced and ultimately sad story. Well done.

Heidi said...

You captured my attention and held it to the very end. The very tragic end. Made me ache. Beautiful.