©James Crawford, 2014
“Are busses ever on time?” I retorted. ‘Bob’—Roberta—and I didn’t mesh well. Neither one of us seemed inclined to cross that invisible line in the sand to come to a mutual understanding.
She snorted, dropped the butt to the sidewalk, and crushed it out under her black ass-kicker. Then she opened the door for me. There are worse things she could have done, I’m sure.
Letting me into a bar in the middle of the day, with two brides nearly having a fist fight, was a jolt to my weed-powered equilibrium. My spur of the moment solution was surprising, even to me. I stood up to my full height, spread my arms, and declaimed, “Peace be with you!”
It stopped the argument! All eyes turned to me, and every mouth opened. Most of them let loose hysterical laughter, including Bride Prime, who fell over on the floor. That was not the sort of reaction I expected, but I can’t argue that it worked.
Shannon Black, Bride 2, walked across the concrete floor and shook my hand. Her eyes were a little moist from laughing so hard, but she looked radiantly happy. I’m a sentimental sucker for people who express joy through their pores, regardless of sexual preferences.
“Jammy, you are beyond brilliant!” Shannon gushed at me. “You knew we’d be insane today, didn’t you?”
“Yeah!” Sometimes you have to let people believe what they want to. “I thought looking outlandish would help everybody take things less seriously.”
“No wonder our community recommends you so highly,” Karlye Johns, Bride Prime, said as she got up off the floor, “you’ve got a deep understanding of people.”
My spirit guide broke into my consciousness, looked around, and snorted derisively. “American lesbians.”
I smiled at Karlye, and remarked on how excellent her leather pride vest looked. Apparently, I couldn’t have offered her a better compliment if I’d tried. She almost oozed satisfaction, and in my semi-high state, I could see it popping up like pimples in her aura.
“Scooper is a bootblack, and he really did a fucking excellent job.” She pointed across the room at the heavy man—decked out in black leather from his shoulders to shoes—hanging at the bar.
Now Scooper Ronson is the one person in the group that I’d known before being introduced to the wedding party by a second mutual acquaintance. He was a pretty well-known local personality, at least in the gay leather community, and exuded drama like the smell of shoeshine. I halfway expected for him to be a problem, and hoped I’d be wrong about it.
I’d been introduced to the rest of the attendants during the first meeting. They were all gay men.
Raul Chuparón was probably the foremost hispanic transvestite performer in the Northwest. If she was female and hispanic, he could look like her and lipsynch her lyrics better than the original. His version of Selena was enough to pull on your heartstrings.
Holding up the far end of the bar was Chauncy Steel, an International Leather Master title holder. I didn’t research it, but it was some kind of serious award, and his attitude matched it. When he laughed at me, it was the first time I’d ever seen him smile.
Stan Jingles rounded out the attendants. He was a pleasant little fellow, dressed so dapper that you could cut your finger on his pleats. I was told that the wedding rings were his creations, and having seen them, I was more than slightly impressed. If I wore high end jewelry, I would go to him in a flash.
Stan was holding up his end of the conversation with the First Femme, Tina McGill. She was the only member of the party that I actively wished was straight. One look at her glamorous features, to die for body, and flowing chestnut tresses, and anyone would be enraptured. I was. Silly me.
“Okay!” I smiled at the brides. “Let’s get this rehearsal going! There’s an epic party afterward, right?”