Excerpt 3: Default to Goodness



Thanksgiving  Day

          My father and I went to the local Holiday Inn for dinner. My mother drank too much the night before and was unable to dress and leave the house. She stayed in bed, while we set forth for roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, my favorite meal.

In the buffet line, we ran into one of my father’s friends/clients: Anastasia. She looked much more like an East Village resident of Manhattan than the resident of an architecturally conservative apartment building in a good neighborhood in Memphis. She was more Harvey Fierstein than Anita Bryant. Anastasia was  quite flamboyant with her heavy makeup, colorful clothes, and Lucite handbag, which completely exposed the contents. Perhaps, she was a transgender. (Didn’t know such people existed in those days.)

If I had looked closely, I might have seen the Trojan condoms; Anastasia was a wealthy divorcée who got her kicks by pimping for the secret society of artistic, homosexual men in the neighborhood.

She threw raucous parties where handsome young boys and older patrician men were introduced. Women were invited also, but they tended to be in their 50s and 60s and were oblivious to Anastasia’s maternal machinations.

A few years later, I attended one of her parties shortly after I graduated from college.  Once again, my mother was indisposed because of her drinking, so I went in her place.


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