My contact with the world of the spiritually disenfranchised (but fashionably so), Sr. Serena Scatterpin, Renegade Sisters of Mary (she claims all gay men are Sister Marys), sent me a mysterious note.
She’s intuitive. She knows me like a well-thumbed paperback, hot passages underlined in pink. And, typical of Mondays, I’m bored. (I’m rarely bored the rest of the week. Never on Sunday. But when her note arrives registered mail I’m in a blue henna-rinse funk. Lover, er, liver problems, I think.)
Anyhoo, her note — redolent of St. Lily of the Valley of the Dolls perfume — is brief. “Dear Adult Boi Toi (yeah, sure!) meet me on the People Mover Thursday Midnight, for an interesting time. Try not to act gay. Butch it up for a change. Hugs, Serena.” Thoughtfully enclosed are two quarters for loop-the-loop fare.
Right off the bat I know it’s challenging. How do you look butch (convincingly) in the company of a nun? (Or a priest for that matter? Cardinals are no problem. They rarely go to bars, steam baths, or People Movers.) Anyway, I put on standard butch attire: jeans, vice-squad-blue turtle neck sweater, crew socks, and, for reassurance, hand-embroidered leather chaps.
A bit early, I make three loops solo before Sister boards. As she sits down next to me she whispers, “Well, at least you tried, dearie. Do keep your mouth shut.” And then a strange thing happens. At six boarding points, a nondescript stranger gets on, nods to Sister and sits down sheepishly. How curious.
Finally, making one more complete loop, now with eight of us awkwardly cozy in one car, a nerdy guy speaks up, “Hi, everyone. My name’s Teddy, and I’m a Bored-Again Christian.” Having played the 12 Step Game on more than one occasion (and I’ll admit for more than one program) like everyone else I smile (butchly) and reply, “Yo, Teddy.”
“My life’s fizz water. I don’t smoke. I don’t dance. I don’t rub-a-dub-dub. I don’t do anything other than PG13. God knows how many Disney films I’ve seen since I got saved. I want to kick up my heels for a change, but I ain’t got no courage for diddly squat.”
“Thanks for sharing, Teddy,” we all say in unison, as Wanda-Jean raises a pudgy hand to speak.
“Just once I’d love to do something, well, you know funsy — kinksy — in bed. Once a month it’s been the missionary position. My husband’s a real lard sass, and when you have to pray before, during, and after five-minute drill time not to get pregnant (for the fifth time), it’s no fun. I’d give anything to, well, peg the old coot.”
Perverse, aging queen I am — butch or not butch — I’m begin to enjoy myself. Sister gives me a penitential kick.
“Hi, everybody. I’m Melvin. My bored-again secret is that I’ve got a transgender sister. Too bad she’s going to Hell. I’d love — just for the heck of it, mind you — to cross dress. As you all know Christian women should wear long sleeves, no jewelry, no mascara. (Apologies to Tammy Faye.) If I’m going to relieve my bored-again boredom, I want all-out glamour.”
To which Scatterpin says, “Amen, Mel baby!”
Taking my turn I lie. “Hi, everybody. Believe it or not, I’m the People Mover security guard. As a full-time sinner, I’m never bored.”
Four rounds later we all get off, each determined to break the bored-again routine by playing casino nickel slots. As usual, I lose. Nelly, unsaved me.