Monday, August 2, 2010

My Life in Pink - Part 8

I moved down to the City, staying at first with Karen and her latest girlfriend. But they were both smokers, and Robin lived in dread of any of their staunchly butch friends finding out that they were harboring one such as I, so I found a place of my own. It had slightly more square footage than a large postage stamp, and cost more per month than I’d have earned in a summer and a half at the salon. I needed to get something going quickly. I called about several receptionist jobs, and was invited in to interview for none of them because I’d never been a receptionist. I guess answering a phone or asking someone to have a seat while you let whomever he came to see know he’s arrived must be a lot more demanding than they sound. Then I saw a craigslist posting for servers at Bangcock, the restaurant I mentioned earlier. They wanted “very convincing ladyboys who can serve and singe, or at least mime.” I emailed them some photos of me that Zhaneen had taken, and an MP3 of me singing Celine Dion’s “Miracle,” and within 40 minutes had been invited in for an interview.

I felt, once in the place, as I imagine a star high school athlete does when he first finds himself one of a great many equally talented, equally hungry teammates on his college team. If I were to be noticed among the servers the place already employed — each prettier, more petite, and more feminine than the one before — I was definitely going to have to bring my A-game. At 5-5-1/2, I felt like an Amazon among them. And I wasn’t going to have lots of time to prepare my A-game either, as they wanted me to work the following night.

For the first hour, it was mostly harrowing. I’d never actually worked in a restaurant, let alone in four-inch stiletto heels and a very short skirt. But then, when I began understanding the rhythms involved, it got a lot less harrowing, and then exhilarating as the…gurls started taking turns jumping up on the bar and miming disco classics. It was hilarious seeing how turned on most of our male patrons were getting — and how very uncomfortable or even livid their excitement made their dates.

By the end of that first night, I’d had four cell phone numbers pressed on me. Two of the four had promised to make it well worth my while. A third had promised nothing less than well worth my while. I could see how the job could have been very lucrative if I’d been gay. It was pretty lucrative anyway; my tips were rarely less than 50 percent.

I became friends with one of the other servers, CruElle, whose unique selling point was that she wore gleaming black latex opera gloves and was as haughty with her customers as you might expect one in such gloves to be. The more horrid she was to most of them, the more delightedly they howled. She told me the whole shtick had been a natural outgrowth of becoming unashamedly annoyed with an overly demanding diner one night, and berating him quite heatedly. Far from demanding that she be fired, he’d loved it, and in fact had been dining in her section three times a month for the past six. Over the course of her employment, she’d developed a following that wouldn’t allow themselves to be seated in any section other than hers. They loved her naked contempt for them.

My interest in her increased geometrically when, the fourth time we met up outside work, she swore me to secrecy and revealed that she was no gurl, but a genuine girl. I got a huge kick out of the idea of her making twice as much money pretending to be a boy pretending to be a girl than she would have from an ordinary serving job. But I got a much bigger kick from her being excited to learn that I was in fact avidly heterosexual, and then insisting that I come home with her that minute.

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