Love in the Time of Corona: When RuPaul Put Me in Drag, Part 4

Ru put her tits on me, leaning in with some peculiar substance on each thumb. Ru was not in drag. These were her spiritual tits. If you’re confused, read yesterday’s blog. The thumbs headed for my eyebrows. One of the main reasons I knew Ru’s efforts to transform me into a beautiful woman were doomed for failure was my synophrytic brow. “Synophrys” is the medical term for a “unibrow.” I always get it confused with “Sisyphus” but he’s the dude in Greek mythology who had to roll the boulder up the mountain everyday only to have it roll back down again and it’s a metaphor familiar to all who’ve had a taste of the human experience. All those times the life it represents has left my brow furrowed before but never furry which is on this night when Ru’s thumbs come in to apply that mysterious substance to my eyebrows and I say, “That’s not shaving cream is it?” (and I remember a time when I met Ru at Best Buy and we kissed hello and I must’ve given an upward glance on the way back from the kiss because I did in fact notice that his eyebrows were freshly shaven off and then freshly painted on and he said, “You just clocked my eyebrows didn’t you?” and I said, “I did.” So tonight I say, “That’s not shaving cream is it?” and Ru says no, it’s wax. “You’re not going to wax them off are you!?” “Shhhhhhh.” And I’m not actually sure she’s not going to wax them off until I feel her start to work the wax like a sculptor. She brings the volume of my eyebrows to the middle into a gentle ridge and the rest is smoothed out and pressed hard down so that instead of my big busy man-brows I’ll have a sassy but delicate I brow. Ultimately the pencil is used on the ridge and because of the foundation, the rest disappears. The application of the foundation comes next in fact and the little triangular sponge starts to march its staccato across my face in gentle, percussive pats which feel a bit like when the massage therapist uses tapotement which is one of my favorite things to have done to my body (karate chop hands, alternately drumming of the person lucky enough to be on the table) The taps of the sponge are rhythmic and uninterrupted except for refueling. I feel as though my face is being made into a blank canvass as my face is made into a blank canvass.  The rhythm of the sponge draws me into sort of a meditative state. And I start to ponder my history from the time I arrived in 1965 to tonight in RuPaul’s bathroom in New York City and every single time I’ve ever been told I talked like a girl or a walked like a girl, every time I have been yelled at and laughed at and physically hurt and ridiculed, all having to do with this most transgressive act of somehow being somehow like a girl or a woman. I thought about the terror I felt boarding the school bus for school each day because I knew what awaited me there. I thought of all the times in my life I’d had to try to push down and hide anything remotely thought to be feminine. Years of living frightened for my safety if I’m not able to do just the one thing, sublimate my authentic self. That leaves a mark. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not reducing my queerness to affect. But in the mythology of 1970s Alabama, “faggots act like women.” (You and I are more evolved now so our mythologies are more complex. Wink.) Ru’s now wielding a brush trying to, it seems, simultaneously start and put fires on my cheek bones. 

Soon comes time for the making of my eyes and Ru leans in closer. More delicate and precise brushes are brought out now and I start to feel like my eyelids are getting kissed by butterflies.  I can smell Nespresso on Ru’s breath. Having my eyes closed drops me again into meditation and I begin to sit with the fear of letting Adam see me like this, of letting myself see me like this.  Ru lifts my chin with a single finger and continues to paint my eyes.  I start to grieve the loss of every treasure stolen from me throughout my life by this unnamed fear, this fear I’m facing. Actually, I guess it does have a name. Homophobia I believe they call it. I start to grieve for everyone, for whatever reason, transcendent of gender politics and the gender paradigm, who has ever not been allowed to fully expresses the totalities of their being for whatever reason. It’s tragic how many people die never really having been themselves. 
A single tear slips out of the corner of my right eye and, out of embarrassment, makes a b-line for my ear in an attempt to hide. 
“Uh uh! None of that.” As she touches up the freshly drying riverbed with a sponge. “You’ll fuck up my artistry.” 

I’m staring at the White Rabbit’s watch as he replaces in his pocket and what I see on the face of the watch shocks me. It shocks me too that I am back out of the rabbit hole andn looking at Ru’s watch. 
“Your watch’s stopped.” 
He quickly looks at it and matter-of-fact agrees with it. “Two.” 
“In the morning?!! We started at like 9pm!” 

“Why you think they call it draaaaaaaag?” and if he’d been smoking a long cigarette from in a long cigarette holder, he’d’ve delivered that line with a long, smooth exhale. 

“Now it’s time to tuck!” And the simplicity of his statement redoubled my courage for what I was expecting not to be my favorite part of the experience. He presented me withg these little black panty looking things only not made out panty material to be sure. It wasn’t quite neoprene but definitely stronger than spandex. I took one look at them and said, “Those ain’t gonna cover me in the front.” And Ru said, “Yes they will, Sugar, because your front is going to be in the back. Now I want you to take your ‘between me down there’ and put it between you between me back there,” and somehow I knew he exactly what he was talking about. Ru  declares “DON’T look in the mirror!” as he leaves the room and I proceed to do what every man has done at least once in his life (he’s lying) but I hadn’t done since I was a kid except maybe once when Silence of the Lambs came out. 

I put on the black elasto-panties but keep them pulled down in the back. I bend over as far as I can so my butt cheeks are spread, I grab the whole frank-and-beans gang and push them through my legs and up between my butt cheeks. Then I carefully (using my other hand and some weird dancing around) pull the panties up trapping my cock-and-balls between my cheeks and all held in by the dick disguiser panties. When I stood up I took a deep breath as it was a weird sensation to get used to. With couple of coughs I made a mental note to myself that under no circumstance should I flex my ass muscles. 

Ru comes back in with a long auburn wig; think Bonnie Rate and it seemed to match my skin okay (I’m Scotish heritage so there was a fair hint of red on the beard and the head before I went gray.) Ru helps me on with the wig. 
“Now you can look.” 

It turn to the mirror and I do actually think it caught my breath. Say what you want about RuPaul (and obviously I’ve said plenty) but that bitch does know what’s she’s doing. I consider my features to be pretty prototypically masculine but I looked beautiful. Another binding garment (just shy of a girdle) and some panty hose had been added, my torso was still that of a hairy man. I sort of looked like a dickless ballet dancer with a doll’s head stuck on top. (I step a little closer to the mirror.) Yet beautiful! 
Ru brings a bra and I put it one like I’d done it a thousand times because I’d watched my mamma do it a thousand times.  The “gay deceivers” are an appropriate size and tasteful. Now the dress. 
As I mentioned RuPaul is 6’5” like I am so there just happens to be $16,000 gown with handsewn Swarovski crystal all over it. I don’t have the benefit of any foam augmentation other than the tits but muscles can sometimes pass for those kinds of curves under sparkling rust-colored fabric. Ru produces matching six inch heels, “Ever walk in these?”
And I was kind of hurt he didn’t remember. “You don’t remember?!” 
Once when Ru was trying to downsize his LA closet, he invite me over to see if there was anything I wanted (boy clothes). That seersucker jacket you see me in from time to time came from Ru. It was a suit when he gave it to me but my fat ass long outgrew the pants so they went to begin shorts for years until my first season in New Orleans when they simply disintegrated in humidity and gin sweat. 

Well I’ll be damned there I am at 1500 words again and I really do want to keep to that. I know there are many demands on your time throughout the day so I appreciate the time you’re willing to spend with me. 

My brother Josh called me today and said, “Hey Bubba, what’s the point of your blog?”
I guess the point of the blog is to keep me telling stories until I figure out a different way to tell ‘em. So I can’t promise that I’ll wrap the story about Ru tomorrow but I honestly expect I will and I really, really hope I do. I’ll tell ‘til it’s told. 
Remind me to start with “the heels in the hills.” That’ll get me kicked off. 


About this entry