In the Bar

I await my turn. I am polite. Patient looking. Outside. Inside my fortress of solitude, where everything is secret, I rant at the slowness. Prozac people in a Prozac ballet, taking orders, accepting money and plastic, making drinks and change, handing out libation. It’s a thick crowd, hungering for libation, awaiting our turns under a televised baseball game.

The man beside me on the stool looks at me and frowns. I smile at him but decide not to speak. He’s drinking a beer. Looks like beer in the glass, anyway.

He says, “It must be hard to a woman. Learn to walk in heels. Find bras that fit you. Have guys stare at you.”

I’m dumbfounded into silence.

He says, “Fitting a bra is difficult. Men don’t need to learn how clothes fit them, not like bras. Men don’t wear bras.”

I’m about to counter him but I don’t want to speak. Speaking will encourage him.

He says, “I guess some men do, men who are going through a transgender thing, becoming a woman, I guess they need to learn how to walk in heels and fit a bra, if they get boobs. I suppose they get boobs. That’s part of being a woman, right? They also need to wear pantyhose, I guess, which I think is revolting, encasing yourself, like you’re a sausage. Remember that Seinfeld episode when George’s father and Kramer create the mansiere? Man, that was funny.”

He takes a drink of his beer. The bartender looks at me and raises his chin and his eyebrows, expressing to me without words, you’re next, what do you want?

I order a beer. IPA.

The man beside me says, “What was I saying?”


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