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Tranny Obsession

I’m obsessed with The Tranny who lives behind my apartment building. It should be noted that I’m using the term “lives” loosely, as she is very much homeless and has created a space for herself in our back alley. I first spotted her on move-in day, as I was struggling up the stairs and carrying a box filled with old socks and underwear. When I looked up, there she-he was: wearing a silver disco wig and dragging a big, black garbage bag behind her. Things started off innocently enough; I would wave to her when walking to the front door and mumble a compulsory “Hello.” But when she chose to persistently ignore my attempts at neighborly civility, I decided to step up my game. I took a page from Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, and spent my afternoons wheeling a chair up to my windowpane so I could watch her, like a tranny vigilante. Honestly, I am just looking for some answers. Like, as to why she chose the back of our building (it’s a dirty alley, and I saw a man in bicycle shorts masturbating there once), and how it’s possible that each time I see her she seems to have a different wig on (seriously, you’re homeless, how is this happening?). I have an idea of where she gets her money, though, as I often see middle-aged white men with saggy paunches and receding hairlines trailing behind her into the shaded part of the alleyway.

When this happens I draw the curtains and busy myself by dusting the bookshelves or watching re-runs of Maury, to give her some privacy. Ideally, I like to imagine that these men are like me, just concerned citizens who happened to see her gold hoops shimmer as they were taking an afternoon stroll and have wandered toward her to be neighborly. But in reality there are all those wigs, so very many wigs…And it’s not just that I’m gawking, I worry about her, too. At least once a week, I end up leaving a peanut butter sandwich in a brown sack against the wall where I think she’ll find it. And sometimes I’ll include a pack of generic brand condoms, as I yearn for her to be safe. It’s not that I don’t have a life— it’s just that I obsess over hers. Because I like to gossip with my neighbors, I found out that before living in the alley she stowed away in the tool shed that’s just next to our building. And when our landlord opened it up he found hundreds of scraps of cardboard where she had scrawled, “I love Beyonce!” over and over again. The Tranny, my Tranny, is a woman obsessed. I imagine her going into the shed to worship daily. Lighting bits of paper as a substitute for candles, and praying to the gods of high heels by reciting the lyrics to Single Ladies.

It explains why she has to entertain the “johns” I’ve seen, it’s not just a vanity thing, it’s because she wants to be like her idol. Her inspiration and her motivation come from this one woman. If she has a purpose for getting up in the morning and making sad men happy behind a bush, it’s Beyonce. And then it hit me. The Tranny and I are in fact one in the same: She has her obsession, and she is mine. We are both consumed with a fiery passion, one that cannot be contained by tool sheds or agonizing hours spent in front of living room windows. But this truth also means that my mental stability is now on par with that of a homeless prostitute, something that I keep to myself on lonely afternoons when I wait for her by the window.

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