ALL THESE LOVELY BOYS

 

WHEN KIRK FOUND out last week I might be camera man at the River Festival he called, so I invited him over in the morning, since I worked afternoons.  I was up early, juicing oranges and humming a tune. 

            “I love that song,” Kirk said, walking into the kitchen.  I turned and there he was, my grown son with two days stubble in a skirt and blouse, and a black curly-haired wig.  He even penciled himself a mole above the left side of his lip.   

           “For Chrissakes,” I said. 

            “Relax,” Kirk said, and smoothed out his blouse a little.  It was silky and cream-colored, like something his mother had worn.  I stuck the last orange on the juicer and placed the glass under the opening. 

            “We’re just here Kirk, you and me, no big deal for getting dressed up.”

            Kirk stood there and then reached under his blouse and adjusted a bra strap, “It’s not dress-up.”

            He had a deep voice and it scratched a little.  I felt uneasy, and had the impulse to punch him, almost to see if he could fight back, as if that made him a man, but I couldn’t take a swing with him looking like a woman.  

"All These Lovely Boys" is in Hobart 11, April 2010 , and here's a kind review of the story by Roxanne Gay.