The summer and early fall months slipped past for Chris. He tried to keep busy developing new accounts, but he wasn’t very effective. Mercer had been right about his court date. The attorney worked it out with the court, and if he stayed away from contact with the police, he would have no blemish on his record. Although this was good news, the downside was that Chris wouldn’t receive a paycheck for the rest of the year in order to pay the attorney’s fee. He still had the money from his father, or at least SOME of the money, but it would take a lot of that to keep paying the rent on his apartment and to play. And Chris was certainly determined to keep playing. At least 4 days a week, Delores would meet him in one of the janitor’s closets. While the sex was great, he was getting tired of her. Sometimes they would meet at a bar when her husband had to work a double shift, and they would usually end up at his apartment for a while. Eventually, however, Chris began to find ways to avoid her. He stopped answering her texts and calls. He began to go to new bars in different parts of town. With each new bar, he found new people to hang around with, and many times, these “friends” would come back to his apartment to continue the party. Chris financed it all, too, so he began to develop an entourage’ of sorts. Many times, he would awaken to find an assortment of bodies curled up throughout the apartment. In fact, a couple of people were usually still there when he returned from work at the end of the day.
Chris’s financial package dwindled down to just a couple of thousand dollars, which wasn’t enough to pay for the next month’s rent and he began to worry that he would lose the apartment. He had good reason to worry, too. The other residents of his building were becoming increasingly angry with the constant parade of drunks and assortment of women and men earning their income from the parade. They didn’t appreciate that their building was becoming “Party Central” for the City!
However, one night Chris thought he had found the answer to his money problem. Chris was
sitting at a bar which had become one of his favorites, when he noticed a couple of guys come in the door. At once, Chris knew they were country boys from out of town. Everything about them screamed a life used to hard work and small towns. There were two stools next to him, and they moved their way through the tables and people to where Chris was sitting. They each took a seat
next to Chris, and ordered a couple of beers. Chris turned on his stool to face them.
With a crooked smile on his face, Chris said, “Evenin’!” He left the “g” off the word as sort of a joke to himself, with just a hint of mockery.
“Hi.” The older of the two responded.
“Where you guys from?” Chris queried.
The older one grunted and half smiled. “That obvious, is it?”
Chris smiled his most charming smile and said, “Well, I grew up on a dairy farm and I know the look of a couplea men who make their living by hard work.”
“You in some sorta sales, are ya?” The older continued to respond, while the younger man looked around the bar with the look of a kid in a candy shop.
Chris threw back his head and gave a hearty laugh. “I like you,” he said. “You are as
street smart as my dad.”
“We are from upstate New York. In town for a convention.” He said. The bartender sat their
beers in front of them, and the older man took a swig, winced and slightly shook his head. “Never did like this much. Reminds me too much of…”
“Horse piss…” Chris repeated at the same time. “Yeah, my dad used to say the same thing. He
never was much of a drinker. I however…” he said, reaching for his drink, “make up for him. Cheers!” He saluted the man with his glass.
“I’d probably like your dad.” The man said. “I’m a dairyman too… So, what brought you to New York?”
“I’m in advertising.” Chris said.
“So…. Sales…” The man said with a smile.
Chris nodded and said, “I guess you could say that, although sales haven’t been very good
lately. By the way, the name is Chris Dresden.” He stuck out his hand.
Taking his hand, the man responded, “Walt Dubois… and this is my son, Pat.” Walt nudged his son and leaned back so his son could shake Chris’s hand.
“Uh…nice to meet you, uh… Chris, was it?” The son responded, and although he met Chris’s eyes
for just a moment, his eyes quickly strayed to a movement behind Chris. He then said, “Whoa…” absentmindedly.
Turning around, Chris saw a tall, dark-haired figure wrapped in a skin-tight red dress. Chris winced, and started to laugh hard and loud. Looking up at Pat with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “That’s a friend of mine. Would you like to meet her?”
“Uh…ssssure,” Pat responded with an eager smile.
Turning back around, Chris stood up and yelled, “Hey Sugar…. SUGAR!” Finally getting her
attention, Chris yelled. “C’mere Sugar, I got someone I wanna introduce you to!”
The red dress strutted over to the bar, and Pat’s mouth continued to lower with each swing of the hips. When Sugar finally reached the bar, Chris stood, put his arm around her waist, did two air kisses to her, and said, “Sugar, I want to introduce you to a new friend o’ mine…” Turning to Pat with his arm still around Sugar, Chris said, “Pat DoBois, meet Sugar…”
Pat stood up from his stool, put his hand out and said, “Pleased to meet you… uh, Sugar.”
Sugar slinked away from Chris’s arm, moved close to Pat, took his hand in both of hers and said, “Well aren’t you just the CUTEST thing…” in the deepest baritone voice you could imagine.
Pat’s face immediately turned four shades of red while his dad bust into raucous laughter and Chris continued the introduction by saying with a straight face, “Frank Sugar… the best drag queen in all of the City!”
“N-n-n-nice to meet you Mr. Sugar…” Pat stammered as he tried to slowly pull away from the
death grip Sugar had on his hand.
“Don’ worry baby, I’ll be kind…” Sugar said. Turning to Walt, Sugar said, “I can see where this boy gets his good looks from. You know, I’ve never done a father and son before… at the same time… Whatya say, Dad? Are you up for some New York adventure tonight?”
Walt continued to loudly laugh, and put up his hands in front of him and wheezed, “No… no… thanks for the offer, but we aren’t quite that adventuresome. Sorry, Sugar.”
Sugar said, “Well, that’s too bad. Welcome to New York, and if you are in town again…. Look me up.
I’ll show you why they call it the ‘city that never sleeps’!”
Turning to Chris, Sugar asked, “See you later, Chris?”
“I’m sure you will, Darlin’. We usually seem to hit the same places.” Giving Sugar a hug and two more air kisses, Chris watched as she returned to the group she had come in with.
Turning to Pat, Chris smiled and said, “I’m sorry Pat. I couldn’t resist.”
While his dad continued to laugh uproariously, Pat smiled ruefully and said, “Daaaang… I just… couldn’t tell…”
“I KNOW,” said Chris, “and believe me when I say that it was FAR more embarrassing when I
found out that ‘she’ was actually ‘he’! We never had drag queens in Wisconsin!”
Still laughing, Walt said, “Chris, you have absolutely made my trip to New York one I will… WE… will never forget!”
Turning once again to the bar, the three began to get better acquainted and talk about the convention Walt and Pat were attending. It was a convention for dairy farmers throughout the northeast United States, and Chris found out that Walt was to be a presenter for a new technology he had invented to increase milk production. Since Chris had experience in farming, he was genuinely interested, and the conversation eventually turned to how they were going to market the new invention.
After about an hour of discussion, Chris invited the two to come by his office the next morning
to tour the building and speak further about the possibility for the company to market Walt’s invention not only to the Northeast, but also the rest of the country.
Rising from his stool, Walt said, “Well Pat, we better git goin’. Mornin’ comes early!” he stretched out his hand and said, “Chris, thanks for such an educational evening.” He smiled and turned to his son, “Pat, I guess we gotta talk again about the diff’rance between a cow and a bull.” He then again erupted into laughter.
Pat smiled slowly and lowered his head slightly, looking towards the floor.
“Here is my card, Walt.” Chris said, taking Walt’s hand with one of his own and handing a
card to Walt and then one to Pat with his other hand. “And Pat… just remember, I let you off easy. At least you still had your clothes on.”
They all heartily laughed, and the three left the bar together.