Chase The Ace
by Clare London
~~Daniel and Nick visit a club in Brighton, searching out the first old friend on Daniel’s list~~
We found ourselves in a narrow corridor running behind the stage and the bar, where two small rooms served as dressing areas. The young man who’d acted as receptionist was in the doorway of one of them, swigging from a can of drink and dressed in a tight, sparkling green Lycra vest and denim shorts. He turned to stare at me.
“Looking for Gerry?” he asked with a grin.
Behind him, the show’s announcer chuckled—he was sitting inside the room on a chair in front of a large mirror, now dressed only in the matching sparkly shorts. The two men were both of slight build, with similar pale good looks. All I could do was wonder if they shared outfits, taking turns to wear the top and then the bottom, until laundry day.
“I’m looking for Dina,” I said, raising an eyebrow.
Alice used to tell me I could look very forbidding, but the young man just laughed and nodded to the next room.
Dina sat in front of a similar mirror with a large cosmetic bag open on the counter in front of her. She’d taken off the huge wig and eyelashes but was still in costume, and she turned her chair to greet us as we entered.
“Hello, Daniel,” Gerry said. He was smiling, though his eyes showed some nervousness. “I saw you in the audience. Long time no see.”
His voice was lower than on stage, his natural hair a shaggy, dark mess, but he was still a long way from the schoolboy I’d known. He’d taken off the heels as well. It looked incongruous: his large, masculine feet showing under the feathered hem of the sparkling frock, the nail polish on his toes that coordinated perfectly with his fingers.
“You remember me?”
Gerry chuckled. “You’re memorable, honey. Not that you ever believed it.” He glanced at Nick and winked.
“Do I call you Gerry, or do you prefer Dina?”
He laughed, and in that moment I was reminded of the joker at summer school, the easy-going extrovert. “Call me what you like, honey. I love Dina, and I love Gerry too.”
“Are you a transsexual now?” I asked, from nothing but curiosity.
Nick’s hand tightened on my arm. “Dan, that’s pretty rude.”
“It’s okay,” Gerry said in his rich drawl. “I’ll talk about anything, you know.”
“We gathered that much from this evening’s show,” I said wryly. Continue reading