Tuesday, September 07, 2004


When my brother and I were little our family would often take trips into the city. Beforehand, though, we would always drop by to visit my father's friend in the Lower West Side. As we rolled through the streets at around 9am, about the hour that the neighborhood's residents are usually departing from local bars, we would see some extremely wild stuff going on. The place was swarming with leather queens, dominitrixi, transvestites and euphoric, virtually nude homosexuals snapping their fingers, yelling across the streets and expressing their affability in no uncertain terms.

Every time we got off the West Side Drive at that exit my mother would quietly hit my dad's leg in retribution for taking the short-cut. In the beginning my brother and I just sat in the back seat slack-jawed. But we caught on pretty soon, and began looking forward to the cast of characters. We wanted to make base-ball style trading cards, there where even a few that we came to see every weekend.

But the biggest kick we got out of the whole scenario was torturing my parents with their Victorian sensibilities. We would ask "Mom, why is that man wearing leather pants without a behind"?, or "if they are trying to kiss, why is one facing the wrong way"? All in very innocent tones.

Once my brother pointed out this monstrous 7 foot tall drag queen and asked "Mom, why is that man wearing make-up and women's clothes", and my mother, in her typical caustic way, just explained "it's laundry day, he had to borrow something to wear".

For some odd reason they found it necessary to take us to a show afterwards. Go figure.

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