The following events are just as real as they are imagined, and aim to impart equal consideration towards befriending trixie transvestites as purchasing discounted produce.
“Here you go doll, you need a baggy for your veggies?” I couldn’t tell if the strong onion odor was from the produce section or him, but it was formidable.
“Thanks,” I said, and graciously grabbed the bag. Our eye contact was piercing and uncomfortable, and feeling my face wane in nerved sweat, I turned sharply, smiling fake. He peered at me deeply as I walked away, and I felt his eyes on my back. I turned around and there he was, unmoved. He waved and curtseyed.
"A girl just can't even go to the market alone anymore here. Just last week I saw an elderly man beating a girl about your age with a cane in the parking lot of Hancock Fabrics! No one even stopped it child. The girl had on a blue sweater. Cereleum. Wool I do believe, doll." He said. The tone of his nonsense was so assured, and the vision of his imperial attitude was an encapsulating thing really.
“Where are you going now?” I asked him. I noticed he had developed quite a limp. He grabbed my arm for support as we walked.
"Oh my goodness. About a hundred years before you were conceived child! I've been here. Ooooh I've been here and there. I've seen things in this neighborhood that, doll, you don't even want to know about!" He brushed his face and adjusted his curls femininely.
We talked about the pristine weather, and went through the rudiments of small talk. We arrived in front of my dorm building. His name was Magnus, and he really seemed like a lovely man to me now. He was like a cartoon figure, or the anti-thesis to a superhero; entirely unreal in nature, yet perhaps useless to any real production or function.
We stood in silence in front of the doors. He leaned on the wall for support.
"Oh don't even worry about me doll. I'll crawl if I have to child. Oh, I've been worse. I have been worse," he said.
"Well, if your in some pain and need to recover for a moment, would you like to ..."
He rushed passed me.
"Oh my. Look at all these ee-vents you've got goin on." he said, scanning the postings on the bulletin board.
"Oh my. Intra-mirror-ol' football. Doll, that's where you need to go to meet a nice boyfriend!" He laughed with full lungs, teeth, a deep breath; an arresting release of boisterous chime.
Peers did what they do. Stood in gawky jerky silence, watching and ignoring all at once.
"Look." I thought. "Judge." I thought. "Assholes." I said, by accident. Didn't mean to let it slip. Magnus put his hand over his mouth in shock, a very lady thing to do when someone swears really.
"When I was a little girl, doll, my mother used to braid my hair everyday. Now she was a perfect lady. Always put together. No you'd never see her without perfect lipstick and a pressed blouse. She made sure I was polished too, doll. No dirty dresses. My stockings always clean." Magnus looked beyond me, tranced in thought.
"Sounds lovely." I said.
"Being lovely IS important child." He said, matter-of-factly.
I wondered if Magnus truly believed he had been born a little girl, if his mother had dressed him as a little girl always.
“Would you look at those moons, Magnus!” I said. Magnus marveled over the image too, because they were really quite glorious.
Now the tomatoes seemed even less dubious than they had before, and I ate three of them ravenously, without rinsing or slicing into them at all. They tasted wonderful. Tomato juice dripped onto my blouse, and seeds stuck to my lips and chin. I walked to the couch and offered Magnus the last one. He ate it in just two bites. The juice dripped over his lettered buttons, and we both laughed riotously at the mess.
"Do you mind just laying down with me here, doll?" he asked. He layed down on the couch on his side, offering me the space before him. I layed next to him, not saying a word. He smelled my hair. He breathed softly into the back of my head, and for a moment I thought I felt him crying. He soon fell asleep, and snored riotously. The masculine sounds bounced against my hair and danced into the moonlit shadows of the walls. The deep snores were genuinely masculine. Magnus had not practiced and perfected a mask of loveliness for these breaths. I stood up and placed a blanket over his floral dress.
When I woke in the morning, Magnus was gone. A note, written in lipstick, took up the majority of the window in large elaborate cursive writing:
"My name is Magnus," it read.
I washed tomatoe puke off my walls. I drank the opened can of diet coke in my fridge. It was flat but tasted good. Underneath the couch I could see red curls sneaking out from a depth of shadows. I pulled out the red wig and held it in my hand. The curls were rough and thread-like, like a doll I'd had years ago. I put it on my head and opened the windows. "It's almost 11 a.m.," I thought. And It was. It was almost 11 a.m.