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Castro Bridge Mix #8: Seven Hearts

Nov 10, 2013

 

Mae’s was packed with revelers desperate to get into the city’s most sought-after Halloween celebration. The establishment had ridden the rising tide of the Castro’s long-lived run as the Halloween capital of San Francisco which had grown into a mob of several hundred thousand by 2006. Then, after shootings took place during the 2006 event, the city pulled the plug on further mass-Halloween celebrations in the Castro. The only way that Mae’s could keep its party under control was to require a high level of Bridge Master Points for inclusion at its annual Halloween party. Virtually all who were in attendance had achieved the status of Bridge Life Master.

Lullabelle wanted to pick up a pistol and shoot Reed straight between the eyes. At the very least she would shoot him daggers with her eyes. After all, he was the man who had spent so many years putting her up on a pedestal which reached clear up to the sky. And then he just walked away. But it was simply impossible for her to hate him. Her heart raced as she felt his arm wrapping around her shoulders.

She waited until the documentary director had moved away before turning to face Reed. “Why are you here? Did your girlfriend get detention at her junior college?”

“Ah, still the same saber-tongued tiger.” He let his eyes drop to the wide plank wood floor. “No lass, I am a singleton these days. I was actually hoping we could be partners tonight.”

Lullabelle plucked off her signature oversized black circular glasses. “Me? Partner with the likes of you? After all these years? I’d rather be shucked naked, covered from head to toe in honey, and thrown into a pit of wild flatulent bears.”

A spritely man in full leather gear wearing a silver studded dog collar seized on Lullabelle’s remark. “Sounds good to me.”

Reed ignored the interruption. “Oh really, lass? Too high and mighty to play with me now? As I recall, I was the one who thought you about this insufferable game.” He moved closer to her, but her body language held him in his place.

“If it’s so insufferable then why did you bother to come here, Reed Douglass?”

“Why the hell do you think? To see you.” He tried to pull her hand up to his lips and she yanked it away.

Tell felt bile rising in his throat as he watched the live staging of a romance novel only twenty feet away from where he was standing. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore as he saw Reed getting closer to Lullabelle. “Well, Lula. Sounds like you’ve been bumped up to the plum role of Reed’s consolation prize.”

Reed was not amused by Tell’s derisive remark. Nor was he intimidated by him. “Don’t you have a wealthy widow you should be fleecing?”

“Only if she’s yours, Reed.” Tell took a swig of his drink and bolted to his side of the room.

 

****

“Come on, my little chickadee.” Waffles had decided to dress up in the original costume W.C. Fields wore in the movie My Little Chickdee for his “date” with Popeye Roboto who had the distinct honor of dressing like the establishment’s patron goddess Mae West.

“Where on earth have you been, Waffles? I need help with my gown. I feel like I’m gonna burst out of this thing.” Popeye had teased his normally very straight black hair resulting in a rather interesting look.

Waffles was immediately drawn to Popeye’s unusual hairdo. He moved in the precise manner W.C. Fields would comport himself as he scrutinized Popeye’s hair. “You know from some angles your hair it kinda looks like the top of a Shih Tzu and from other sides it has this Poodle thing going on.”

“Great. I look like a Shitpoo.” Popeye’s stomach started to growl audibly as he barely moved from table to table in his skin tight gown. “I think something I had for lunch is getting the worst of me.”

Waffles eyes rolled back inside his head as his nose hit the sudden stench of flatulence enveloping Popeye. He spoke with his hand cupped over his mouth and nose. “Good God, man!  What did you eat? Krakatoa?”

“You know I’m having a hard enough time with this dress without you adding to it.” Popeye began making raucous farting sounds as he tried to move as delicately as he could in the gown which was stretched paper thin across his massive muscular chest and thighs.

“Holy Yahweh. It’s like the Apocalypse is shooting straight out of your ass.” Waffles ran to a nearby window and thrust his head out of it for some fresh air. He was desperately trying to escape the media which had just broken the story about his recent split with a top motion picture star who had put his movie career on the line by coming out in order to be with him.

“Are you still thinking about Denny?” Sometimes it terrified Waffles the way that Popeye could practically read his mind.

He nodded. “It wasn’t gonna work out. He has a film shoot halfway around the world and our schedules never seemed to match.”

“Who are you kidding, Waffles? We both know you’re an expiration dater.” Popeye placed his muscular right hand firmly on Waffles’ shoulder — partially for consolation, and partially to steady himself with the incredibly wobbly high heels he wore.

“An expiration what?” Waffles had a good idea what the expression meant but he wanted to hear Popeye’s version.

“An expiration dater. You go for relationships that have an expiration date. Look at your last three boyfriends. Each of them had something that limited the time you’d be able to spend together. You need to find someone who can give you relationship longevity.” Popeye gently kissed Waffles on the cheek.

“Are you Mae West channeling my shrink?” Waffles cared about Denny very deeply. But in his heart, he knew that he belonged with someone else. A sudden chill ran up his spine. Dammit, I forgot to hire a replacement bodyguard.  He was just one nutcase away from being stuffed inside a body bag.

Popeye was famished as he watched several trays of food being assembled near the bar area. “If I eat even one piece of Bridge mix I’m gonna pop my seams.”

Waffles tried not to crack up as he watched Popeye navigate around the giant chamber with the dress further constricting his already rigid movements. “I’d say right now that your visual presentation is the least of your concerns, but I hear you. I’ve been living on Tic Tacs and cigarettes myself.” Waffles had a difficult time prying his eyes off of Dereck who wore a painted on Superman costume and who was off by the open bar and desserts area talking with Jensen dressed as a sexy hippy from the 1960s.

Waffles had purposely avoided the bar and incredible delicacies spread out at the “Mae Buffet.”  He was ravenous, but he was finally within five pounds of being suitable for a screen test. Normally, he’d tell a director to go to hell if they asked for a screen test. But not this time. Suddenly he saw Dereck standing next to a mountainous Niagara Falls cake and he felt his resistance melting away.

Dereck welcomed Waffles with an uncharacteristic bear hug. “So, let me ask you. If you eat a slice of that cake, does it get photographed and texted to your Pooh Butler?”

“I wouldn’t worry about that, Dereck. Don’t forget I’ve been behind the lens for my fair share of movies. I’m quite skilled at making things look smaller than the real thing. You should check out the pics of your personal parts I posted on line right after we broke up.”

“I’d hardly call it a break-up, Waffles. We only went out for like a week after I got divorced from Anne.” Dereck tried to make light of their brief dating period. Luckily they had mutually decided not to hook up the night that they ran into one another at Odyssey.

Waffles managed to tear himself away from the decadent cake and corrected Dereck with a hint of Broadway bravado. “Two months, three weeks, and five days. But you’re right. I guess I was just a small part in your little segue to Gaydom.”

Dereck was debating whether he would fire back, but then he saw someone walking towards them. It was a rather attractive younger man wearing a stripper’s fireman costume. “Hey, I’m glad you could make it.”

Waffles knew that he had seen this guy somewhere before. “Is this your new Bridge partner for the night? Where does that leave Jensen?”

“Actually, I’m not staying for the big game tonight. Waffles, I’d like you to meet Lyrick.” Dereck decided to cut a slice off of the Niagara Falls cake and heap it onto a paper plate which was encircled with hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds.

“Once in every life, someone comes along.”  Lyrick smiled and shook Waffles’ hand.

“How cute. He talks in song lyrics. He’s like a time warp jukebox.” Waffles managed to smile while simultaneously gnashing his teeth. He quickly snapped a picture of Lyrick who was standing next to a piece of Niagara Falls cake.

It was the first time that Lyrick’s stone-cold façade dropped. “What the fuck?” He was about to reach for Waffles’ phone to delete the photo, but Dereck stopped him.

Dereck sensed that Waffles’ gesture had disturbed his companion. “He isn’t taking pics of you. It’s the food he’s shooting.”

“He’s right. I have to text a pic of everything I eat. Don’t ever be an actor, kiddo. It sucks big time.” Waffles winked at Dereck.

Have a great Halloween, Waffles.” Dereck smiled over at him as he left with his date in one hand and a plateful of cake in the other.

Waffles felt the bottom drop out of his stomach. What’s that they say about having your cake and eating it too? He picked up his slice of cake and tossed it in the trash.  It had already served its purpose.

 

 

© Copyright 2013.  Will Morrison.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.