Monday, January 24, 2011

A Dead Pigeon in a Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket

Jessie met her in the alley, the same alley where I saw a dead pigeon in a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket. I will never forget that. It was 15 years ago on December 23rd. My band had played a show at the Great American Music Hall with the Mother Hips and I got drunk, really drunk. So drunk I lost my car. More like I couldn’t find my car.

While walking the alleys of the Tenderloin looking for a 1982 Dodge Champ, I stumbled upon the KFC bucket.

Eventually I gave up looking for the car and went home. This is where it gets blurry. In this time, I must’ve called the cops and reported my car stolen. How I knew the vehicle identification number or license number and how I managed to sound sober while reporting the car stolen, I have no idea.

At 7 am I was awoken by the doorbell. I got up, inquiring who it was. It was the police. They said they found my car in the alley where the KFC bucket was at and that they towed it to Pier 27. I’m sure they knew it wasn’t stolen, but lost. I knew the drill; I’d retrieved my car more than once from Pier 27.

Before going back to bed, I checked the answering machine. A call came in at 4:30 am from Mr. Pizza Man: “Hello, Hello! You ordered a pizza. Are you there? Hello?” This also wasn’t the first time I’d heard this. I looked around the room and my dog was lying against the door. Regardless of the night, I always remembered the dog.

Jessie and the girl exchanged glances, but never spoke. She was tall, thin, blond and had a dog, which she walked from one end of the alley to the other. By all accounts, she was pretty. The guys all said so. I had my doubts. These guys were dick for brains and could find a way to justify ugly and transient. She lived in the alley, for Christ’s sake.

My first response was, “Is she a guy?” This was a legitimate question. In our work neighborhood, it’s pretty well known that pretty women are guys. But she was different they said. She was white. White male to female Trannies tend to be large, draggish and easy to spot. If she were Filipino or API, it would’ve been a different story. They’ve cornered the market on pretty trannies. But she wasn’t, so we debated her gender. Were we witness to the lone pretty, white tranny (PYT)?

One morning, she approached Jessie: “You know, I’m not a guy,” she admitted. Jessie told us this and we debated the validity of her statement. I told Jessie that he should marry her. In the history of relationships, “You know, I’m not a guy” could be the best opening line ever. He agreed, but he had his doubts.

They talked a bit and she asked him to visit her at work. She worked the desk at a SRO in the alley. Jessie agreed, but never made the date. He said something in his gut told him not to go. It wasn’t the tranny in her that scared him - Jessie was no stranger to trannies. He said it just didn’t feel right.

A week later I was in line at Subway. A woman matching the description of the girl in the alley was in front of me. She had a dog. I meticulously observed her backside looking for clues: her neck was elongated, she had gentle facial features, no Adam’s apple, small feet, round butt, hips. I thought, “Definitely a woman.”

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