Starring Erick Davidson: The Drag Show
Submission by Terrence Moss, TNG contributor
Terrence Moss is a short fiction writer and media commentator with articles featured on Associated Content and Suite 101. “Starring Erick Davidson” also appears in the blogosphere section of www.frontiersweb.com. More Erick Davidson stories, performance pieces and other works can be found at www.terrencemoss.blogspot.com
Erick Davidson is an early thirty-something from New Jersey who has lived in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade.
“I don’t know how you convinced me to come to a drag show,” Chris says to Erick as they are seated at table toward the left of a circular stage. Kawfee Kayke, a performer that Erick had seen many times when he was living in New York City, is headlining a special benefit in Hollywood for the Make it Better Project.
“I just can’t believe you’ve never been to one before,” Erick replies.
“Believe it or not, no one has ever asked. They just assumed a corn-fed son of a farmer man wouldn’t be interested.”
“You’ll love Kawfee Kake. She sings pop songs operatically. It’s fantastic.”
Chris looks around. “You don’t have to convince me. Once you’ve done it, you have a new appreciation for it.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope. It was for a presentation in college. The professor wanted something memorable and creative so I paid homage to the ‘Went with the Wind’ sketch from The Carol Burnett Show — curtain rod and all.”
“I hope you have pictures. If you were as broad then as you are now, that had to be quite a sight.”
“It was. My mother has them. I was surprised by how much she supported the whole idea.”
“Interesting. So in your case, being gay really was your mother’s fault.”
“Basically,” Chris confirms as he once again looks around. “Where’s Mitch?”
Erick and Chris had recently run into Erick’s ex-boyfriend Mitch at Callender’s on Wilshire, where Mitch had just started working as a waiter. Chris and Mitch hit it off right away, having previously been set up on a date by Chris’s friend April — who had more successfully set Chris up with Erick after her boyfriend Grayson caught Erick checking him out on a bus and orchestrated a meeting between he and April, thinking she might be able to find someone for him.
Since then, Mitch has joined them for dinner at Chris’s apartment, movie night at Erick’s apartment, a Runyon Canyon hike and now he was meeting them for the drag show — all these in addition to serving as their preferred waiter at Callender’s.
As Erick considers this, Mitch walks in, spots the couple and sits down in the empty seat at their table across from Chris. “Did Erick ever tell you about the time he did drag?” Mitch asks Chris.
Chris turns to Erick and raises a curious eyebrow. Erick turns to Mitch. “Funny you should ask that now, but it’s a horrible way to start a conversation.”
“With your dentist, perhaps. But we’re at a drag show. I can’t think of anything more appropriate,” Mitch responds.
“What about ‘hey guys’?” Erick suggests.
Mitch ponders this for a moment. “Too cliché.”
“When did you do drag?” Chris asks.
Erick turns back to Chris. “Technically it wasn’t drag. It was cross-dressing. For a play — A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And we were by no means trying to make me look cute. I wore a platinum blonde wig, a lime green sundress with a floral print going down each side and high-top sneakers.”
Chris tries to imagine this in his head. “I hope your mother has a picture of that.”
“She does. She posted it to the Facebook a few months ago. It’s a shame you haven’t joined yet. You may want to. It’s the only way you’ll see it,” Erick says with a smirk. “It’s interesting how the passage of time changes people because she had a fit when I told her my part required me to wear a dress.”
“Here it is,” Mitch says as he hands his Android to Chris.
Chris chuckles. “I’m no fashion plate, but you look absolutely wretched in this monstrosity.”
Erick leans over to Mitch. “I hope your kidneys fail,” he says with a smile.
“You’re so sweet. Thanks for inviting me,” Mitch responds as he rubs Erick’s recently shaved head.
The lights dim and three individually colored spotlights suddenly shine on the circular stage. An announcer introduces the opening act, Miss Clara Voyant. The audience applauds politely for the largely unknown performer. The applause quickly turns to cheers and screams when the familiar opening to the disco classic “Young Hearts Run Free” begins to play through the loudspeakers. Clara, dressed in a slinky silver dress held up with short spaghetti straps that doesn’t quite reach down to her knees, walks out onto the stage in step with the beat of the music and begins singing along to the audio track. Erick’s eyes narrow as he begins to recognize Clara’s strong forearms and muscular upper arms. His eyes open wide and his jaw drops as the top front of the dress strains to contain a pair of expansive pectorals.
Chris, clapping along to the song, leans over to Erick. “Hey, isn’t that Anthony the Temp from your office?”
“He’s full-time now, but yes. And I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.”
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