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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

from under the hood

from under the hood played through my imagination. Laughter bubbled out of my chest. “What?” Miss Tris asked. “Just thinking of you with tools,” I said. “She’s great with tools,” Tad said. That made Tayla laugh. “Perverts,” Miss Tris said, but she grinned too. Cars filled the parking lot. Everyone wore suits and pretty, pretty dresses. Dread chilled the moment. Fun time was over. Something bad was about to happen. “You coming?” Miss Tris asked when I hesitated. I nodded. “You okay?” Tad asked. I shrugged. Tayla squeezed my hand. A couple folks stopped to stare. Being small town queers, we were used to a certain amount of staring. We walked boldly to the door. Miss Tris had our tickets out. Mr. Skarey looked at us, all sad eyes and stern. “I’m sorry,” he said. We stopped cold. “There’s a dress code,” he said. People gathered and snickered. “What?” Tayla asked, dangerously. I closed my eyes. “You have to dress the part,” Mr. Skarey said. “Appropriately.” “What’s wrong with our clothes?” Miss Tris asked. “Michael,” he said. “Tris,” Miss Tris hissed. Mr. Skarey swallowed. He saw the fight coming and there was nothing he could do. “There are rules,” he said, weakly. “Fuck your rules,” Tayla snarled.

I backed away. People were really staring now. They gathered for the drama. “I can’t let you in,” Mr. Skarey said. “We have tickets,” Tad said. “Sorry,” he said. “That was a mistake.” Tension hung thick. I felt sick. “I can’t,” I said. I turned to go but Tayla wouldn’t let go of my hand. She was forcing me to stay. “Please,” I said. “No,” Tayla said. We stood there, three angry queers and me. Tad moved close and took my free hand. Behind us a group of Goth girls giggled, all torn black stockings and leather miniskirts. They smelled of weed and Schnapps. “This is shit,” Tayla said. “You need to go,” Mr. Skarey said. For a long time, nothing happened. I thought maybe Tayla was going to throw a punch. That would’ve made it perfect. But she turned slowly and dragged me away. “Told you this was a bad fucking idea,” she said. Miss Tris stammered, pale under her makeup. “Just take us home,” Tayla said. We loaded into the Mustang. “A Thing,” Tayla said. “Fucking beautiful.”