The tale of the Roller Skating Drag Queen…and other life lessons
Something happened recently, a reminder to never take yourself too seriously and that it’s always better to be laughed with than at. This is the story of that incident.
“Ok Puss your pain relief should be kicking in now. What? You want more? But you’ve already had double the maximum dose!
Ok she’s refusing to move ’til she can suck the thing dry… Just give it to her”
The paramedic with the killer smile telling me to suck the pain away and go deeper with his whistle was kind of kinky but playing dr / patient wasn’t how my night was supposed to go.
It all started so well. I had boys of muscle and ginger by my side, the music was disco, my hair was huge, the crowd was dressed to play and my make up gun was set to whore. It doesn’t get much camper than a roller skating drag queen… until you fall over and dislocate your elbow and become sequin roadkill.
Crawling off the roller floor on your knees, dodging skaters and hoping no one runs into you or knocks off your weave, wearing a sad, desperate expression for help that no one can recognize through your paint job, cradling your fractured, dislocated elbow, … the best comedy comes from tragedy.
Sitting out back I moved my arm and that sickening wave of pain finally hit. I could feel myself turn that sickly grey green colour.. “thank fuck for make up holding my complexion” I thought. The muscles, gingers and security surrounding me winced and their voices faded into mumbles. As my hair and tits were removed to keep me from passing out Xanadu started playing. Even in this state the irony of having this happen to an Olivia Newton-John song was not lost on me.
The hot paramedic held out his hand and guided me out of the ambulance. Dressed only in my pink and sliver sequin cheerleader gear, with no wig, no tits, no heels, my arm in a sling and still deep throating the pain relief inhaler. My make up at least was perfect and the only tragedy was arriving at the emergency room looking like pageant runoff. I’d outdone my hotmess self.
“Why is no one getting a picture of this?”
Nurses, dr’s, xrays, patients who must have thought their drugs were messing with them and more of the hot paramedic telling me to suck down on his (the pain relief) whistle “ You can suck deeper than that, keep going.” he said with a smile and a wink. He was in on my seeing the whole situation as ridiculous and laughable.
Laid out on a table with nurses attaching monitors, sticking their hands down my outfit, I looked down and my tattoos and chest hair were poking through the sheer white leotard. For that moment I was a 36 year old man in an emergency room, dressed as a cheerleader, wearing more make up than Gloria Swanson. “Just keep laughing and for fucks sake keep your legs closed, no one deserves the view up your pleated mini skirt”… Dignity was thin in that moment but still holding on.
Hesitating with an oxygen mask so I could be anaesthetized the dr resetting my elbow smiled “I just don’t want to ruin your make up, it’s amazing” I offered to trade tips if she fixed me.
I woke up to her looking very concerned, while I was unconscious and she was cracking my elbow back into place she’d knocked off an eyelash. Apparently it takes a bit of force and she was very apologetic. “Oh just pull the other one off babe, i don’t want to be uneven and it’s not like I’m going anywhere” I said in my semi conscious state of morphine haze . “Fuck woman don’t scare me like that” is what I thought.
Feeling very Shirley MacLaine from Postcards from the Edge I was rolled into emergency’s overnight unit looking exactly how a scalped drag queen should look and I wished I’d packed a turban… just for a little subtlety and drama. My first life lesson of the night.
Thankfully it wasn’t long before my ginger roller boy bought me clothes and make up remover and to the disappointment of the night nurses I headed to the bathroom… They were as complimentary about the guy that came out as they had been about the make up. Lucky for me as with my arm in a cast and no shirt on i needed them to get up close and personal and button up my shorts.
A spunky orderly appeared in the morning and made enough trips past my bed for his lack of subtlety and little smiles to be noticed. Chest out, shoulders back, still sparkling with glitter and in a different type of sling, I smiled and put on my best injured homo charm. We made conversation, he bought me real food to replace the “lunch” the hospital was trying to pass of as edible, it was serendipity.
And that’s the story of why drag queens shouldn’t roller skate and you should never take yourself too seriously.
Later I found a note from one of the nurses in my make up bag
“The sights you see in the emergency dept lol”
Todays toast is served with a laugh, a caution and well deserved vodka
Break out the Butter, I’ll be back real soon