Red Light Requiem

Picking up the tangerine pumps he’d scored at the Sallie’s the day before Mazza held them up to the yellow gown and thought he was going to lose the kebab he’d wolfed down for lunch. He rolled his eyes and threw the gown on the bed and walked back to the closet with the pumps. He just knew he must have something to wear with them or why the fuck would he have bought them? It was totally logical.

Baz feigned disinterest slouched on the ratty futon with the past-it Indian bedspread hiding many a sin but he was beginning to get annoyed.

“Rattle your dags, you harlot, the sun’s been down for yonks.”

Mazza stuck his hand around the closet door and casually gave Baz the fingers. He was about to reconsider his footwear when he spotted the gold taffeta frock he’d been given a couple of birthdays ago. Whipping it out of the closet he spun around to the mirror with the frock against his body holding the shoes in front. Perfect is what it was. Who ever said he wasn’t a genius and possibly the hottest tramp on Karangahape Road?

Baz glanced over the top of the copy of Vogue he was flipping through and wolf-whistled.

“You go, girl. You’re gonna make some tonight.”

Mazza smiled and changed into his chosen outfit and then picked out a wig. Watching Baz in the mirror as he sat applying his makeup he was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude that they’d found each other in the mad world they inhabited. He almost hadn’t made it five years ago when he’d told his old man to fuck off and left the Waikato farm he’d grown up on and headed for The Big Smoke.

He hadn’t been on the street for two weeks when he was set upon one night by some drunken trannies who took offence to fresh meat cruising “their” strip. Hell, he wasn’t even hustling at that point, just trying to see where he could fit in. He’d known all along he’d end up on K’Road, where else was a boy who liked to dress up in women’s clothes going to be? His reverie was broken as he noticed Baz giving him the hairy eyeball in the mirror. He smiled and blew him a kiss. Baz just shook his head.

“C’mon you, get a wriggle on, we’ve got ground to cover, yeah?”

Baz was from New South Wales, a hard place to be for guys like them, even in Sydney, even in King’s Cross, where anything goes. He’d come over about a year before Mazza, tired of having Victoria Bitter bottles chucked at him by the hoons going by in their low-riders. He’d happened along that night as the trannies were about to do their worst and he’d sorted them proper in no time. Mazza had bought him a drink for the kindness and they’d been mates ever since.

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist sister, I’m almost ready. You fancy some tucker before we hit the bricks?”

“I suppose I could do with a bite. Shall we wing it?”

“Sounds like a plan. How do I look?”

“Like a hundred bucks a throw sweet thing. Let’s flush this loo.”

“Right then, you’re dissing my crib? You bitch.”

Together they headed for the stairs and down into the warm still night unfolding on Karangahape Road, ground zero for the real action in Auckland.

Tomorrow, Part 2

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