Trick or treat?

A Nightmare Before Christmas? Or because a lot of the stores already had their Chirstmas wares on display? Actually, it was just because my Santa's Little Helper outfit is so cute that I decided to wear it for Halloween. The tiny, red velvet dress with spaghetti straps and white fur trim, with matching Santa cap, were from Fredericks of Hollywood. I usually like to complement them with knee-high, white, plastic boots with seven inch platform heels which add impressively to my already six-foot-one-inch height. Since I planned to be kicking up my heels that night, I eschewed the boots in favor of my red swing-dancing sneaks and a pair of white, thigh-high stockings with ribbon accents. I let my red, shoulder-length hair fly free. I added some big, red, dangly earrings and long, white opera gloves. I made sure to wear some bright red, satin panties because the dress was short enough that the panties would surely be making brief appearances throughout the evening. As the San Jose weather had dropped twenty degrees in the last two days and it would be in the low forties that evening, I took my long, black, pleather trench coat to wear when I would need to be outdoors.

I hadn't made plans for Halloween night, but at the last minute I decided to don my Santa's Little Helper outfit and go out to the regular Friday evening ballroom dance party at The Starlite Dance Club in Sunnyvale. I participated in the Lindy Hop and Salsa classes and stayed for most of the subsequent open dancing. Santa's Little Helper was a big hit. More men wanted to dance with me than ever before. If it was a rumba, I would laugh and tell the fellow,"We do lots of rumba at the North Pole!" Then I would proceed to step on his toes and do my worst rumba ever. It was probably the Lindy shoes messing me up.

By 11 o'clock the crowd was thinning out and my feet were getting tired so I left. As I was driving home, I thought, It's Halloween, and how often do I get to be Santa's Little Helper? I ought to go somewhere else before I call it a night. I headed for a restaurant/bar called the Blue Pheasant in Cupertino. I had went there a couple of months ago and I recalled having had a good time. The bar is small and a rather déclassé, but they have a good DJ and the patrons are friendly. The last time I was there three men had danced and I enjoyed that the dancing got somewhat intimate on the tiny, overcrowded dance floor. One of the guys tried to get me to go home with him but I wasn't really interested. Another bought me a Coke and even took my phone number. (Of course he never called.)

When I got to the Blue Pheasant on this Halloween night, I discovered a line of people waiting to get in. I joined the queue, trying to avoid the copious cigarette smoke and listening to some of the chit-chat going on around me. It was mostly in Spanish so I didn't understand much of it. The line wasn't moving and the I was getting chilled even through my long coat, so after a short time I gave up.

I regained the warmth of my Mustang. As I left the parking lot I remembered dancing at the Los Gatos Lodge a long time ago, so I turned onto nearby highway 85 heading south. When I got to the Lodge, it was dark. Apparently they don't dance there any more. I remembered another hot spot in Los Gatos so I headed there, beginning to think I was crazy to imagine that somewhere I last visited fifteen years ago would still be in business.

When I got close to where I thought I the place was located, I heard music. It sounded like a live band, and they sounded pretty good. I found a parking space close by, which I thought to be a good omen, so I parked and locked the car. I crossed the street and went up a flight of stairs to Number One Broadway.

Number One Broadway is a smallish bar and it draws a primarily middle-aged, extremely yuppie crowd. Most of the women are petite blondes, and many of the men wear ties. On this Halloween night, the place was full but not uncomfortably packed. I paid eight dollars to get in and went immediately to the bathroom to doff my coat and freshen my lipstick. And to pee, which was the real reason why I hadn't headed straight home!

After finishing my business, I waded into the crowd in the bar. Perhaps a third of the crowd was in costume. Quite a few seemed to be getting double-duty from their Renaissance Fair outfits, just as I was getting double-duty from my Christmas outfit. One particularly tall, gnarled old wizard kept watch near the front door. (At the end of the evening, when I was leaving, he said,"Darn! I meant to ask you do dance!") There were a number of cat-women, some more successful than others. A French maid, a sailor, some witches and vampires, a biker guy (who may or may not have been in costume), a few nuns of both sexes, a guy in a karate gi, and a guy in a toga. I didn't see any ghosts—but then, they're invisible, aren't they?

The band, whose name, Sage, I can still read from the rubber-stamp on my hand, was even better than they had sounded from the street. Their eight pieces including a horn section were too big to fit on the bar's tiny stage—the keyboard player was actually on the dance floor off to one side. They played a mix of funk, blues, disco, and Motown hits. The music was very loud. This is one of those bars where the music is too loud to talk over, but everyone does anyway, yelling directly into each others' ears.

Immediately as I entered the bar, a couple started talking to me. The guy was 40-something, thin and balding, but not bad looking. The woman was a petite blonde (of course), a little younger than the man, very pretty, laced tightly into a sleek, black, Fredericks of Hollywood corset. As I leaned close to yell into the woman's ear,"EXCUSE ME? I COULDN'T HEAR YOU!", she began kissing me on the lips—French! It turned out she was kissing a lot of guys and girls throughout the evening. (She is a very good kisser!) Soon a cute, blonde guy asked me to dance, so I followed him as he elbowed his way onto the tiny dance floor. We danced until a sexy Tina Turner diverted his attention away from me. Later I danced with that couple I had met earlier, and this time the guy started kissing me (not a very good kisser). Two petite blondes who were dancing and making out with each other corralled me into their little hootchie-coo for a bit, too. I danced until the band shut down at 1:30. I enjoyed myself immensely. Best of all, my Santa's Little Helper outfit was a big hit. One guy, struggling to come up with a quip, told me,"With a helper like you, Santa doesn't need any reindeer!" I smiled and said,"Thank you," but a nearby cat-girl gave us a puzzled look. I shrugged and told her,"Damned if I know what that means!"

When I was slipping on my coat to leave, the guy from that couple started talking to me again. "Don't leave," he said."When's the last time you had a good orgasm? Why don't you come with us?" I definitely could have been talked into it, but I think he was only half serious; besides, the girlfriend was enthusiastically making out with a tall, cute guy right next to us. There were a couple other fellows hanging about nearby—waiting their turn, perhaps? (Earlier in the evening the guy had confided in me, "We're totally secure and we trust each other, you know?" Poor sap!) I couldn't figure out exactly what the situation was, but it didn't feel right for me, so I decided to leave.

As I walked out the door, the guy from the couple followed me outside to the second floor landing. He looked me directly in the eye and asked, "Trick or treat?", clearly not meaning it rhetorically.

"I'm sorry? What do you mean?" I asked, puzzled.

"Trick or treat?" he repeated. "C'mon, tell me, are you all woman? You're all woman, aren't you? I'm being honest here, you can tell me..." And like that.

I didn't really care, so I told him. Besides, I figured that he was operating under the Halloween exception—it's okay to ask because lots of men go around dressed as women that night. (All of them are transgender to some degree, whether they know it or not.)

"I've had a sex change operation," I said.

"Oh," he responed. "You're very pretty. I wouldn't have known at all. Okay, I'll tell you. I saw a whisker, and that scared me. But you're really cute. I'd have gone to bed with you in a minute if I hadn't seen the whisker."

"Then I guess I'll just have to find that whisker and get rid of it," I commented with forced joviality. I left, suddenly feeling very alone in the world.

When I got home I turned on the bathroom's bright makeup lights and peered closely into the magnifying mirror. I could not see a whisker. Maybe the guy's eyesight is sharper than mine, or maybe the light caught the stub of a hair just right. It is not worth obsessing over. There will always be some little thing or other that may set alarms off in someone's head.

Hi-de-ho. That's the life of a trans woman.

Lannie Rose
October 31, 2003

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