There was a scuffle at the back of the auditorium and then the door flew open and a couple of people ran out with several others hot on their trail. Over at the mike Ali and the Italian were fighting while Ali’s wife tried to pull them apart. An Ipod went flying over the Mayor’s head and smashed into the back wall. Nelly Furtado’s ‘Promiscuous Girl’ came blasting out. Fernando just stood there in tears as his life’s work blew up in his face.
“I think it’s time to go” I said to Fagette and took her hand and proceeded to try to drag her away from the unfolding spectacle. If she’d been a little older I might have let her stay but she was only ten. Just because I was involved in a riot when I was ten doesn’t mean she can. As I clutched her slippery hand I made a mental note to see about botox shots in her palms the next visit.
When we reached the top of the steps I noticed a group of black thugs hanging out by the door with figure skates looped around their necks. Oh no, a group of ne’er do well pleasure skaters who couldn’t get ice time, looking to blow off some steam on a law-abiding citizen fleeing a racial disturbance. This couldn’t end well. They stared at my bright plumage with envy thinking no doubt about how great I would look whirling around on the ice.
As we passed, one of them said to Fagette “ Yo peewee, is that a balloon you’re holding?” His friends laughed cockily. I spun on my Cuban heel and faced the ‘funny man’. “Oh I’m sorry…Desmond.” I said, taking a stab in the dark.” “I didn’t recognize you. I’m so used to just hearing you crying on the phone.” A couple of his posse sniggered. He took a step towards me. “How do you know my name is Desmond.” Lots of research in the field, I thought but said nothing. He moved in and put his face right into mine, and then whispered two words that have filled Jamaican gays with dread for years. No not gra ma, batti boy, which is Jamaican for faggot. “Sorry” I said “But my name is not Batti although my middle name is Boy and my last name is Ohboy.”
That did it. He pushed me and I flew back against the steps. When I picked myself up he was coming at me with his skates held high, guards off. I braced myself for the Trial. Then suddenly there was a white and brown blur and he went down. Something that looked like the Tasmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny moved through the crowd of thugs knocking them down like bowling pins. The blur came to a stop slowly and as it stopped spinning I realized it was a person and not just a person but Roble Shabirrap the gorgeous and funny cab driver from before. He came over to me where Fagette was brushing me off.
“We meet again.” I said.
“Thank you for what you did. What was that you did? ”
“It’s a form of martial arts derived from the movements of ‘whirling dervishes’. A lot of dervishes were gay so they had to learn to defend themselves much like the slaves of Brazil created capoeira as a form of self defence out of traditional African dance.”
“That’s an awfully long speech to make when someone’s creeping up behind you.” I said. ,
“Excuse me.” He spun once and sunk his heel into the stomach of the encroaching punk..
“So are you a Sufi? “ I asked.
“Is that Muslim?”
“Yes but with dancing and magic.”
And you?” he asked. ”What’s your faith?”
“Lapsed Catholic. You know what they say? Better lapsed than prolapsed.”
He looked at me like my rectum had actually fallen out on the floor. I tried to explain but he put his finger on my lips.
“No time. It’s crazy out there. We have to go.”
He picked up Fagette and then pushed me through the doors. He was right. The madness had spread. If it was chaos inside, outside it was bedlam. We looked around for a way through the crowd. Suddenly a large group of people on skates surged towards us and I almost went down under the flashing blades. Suddenly there was someone with an awful lot of bare pink skin blocking our way and helping me from falling. It was a big bull dyke with a Mohawk, big blue eyes, a giant demonstrative ass and the face of a china doll. The effect was like a beautiful flower growing out of a cinder block. The vision addressed me in a gruff voice.
“My name’s Vanessa. Come on.”
“I know who you are. Come with me.”
“Wait a minute. I don’t know who you are.”
“Do as she says Buddy ” said Roble. She’s a friend of mine. We have to get Fagette out of this.” I noticed that she was trembling and not from the cold because she doesn’t really feel it. My heart went out to her. Then I looked over at Roble who had a far away look on his face as he surveyed the madness. I touched his arm comfortingly. “Are you thinking of Black Hawk Down?”
“No. Come on, let’s go.”
Then Vanessa turned and went into a football stance, screamed ‘Charge’ and then did just that. No one could stand up to her. We followed behind in her wake. Finally we were at the street where there was a cab waiting. The door flew open and we all piled in. Vanessa snapped to the driver. “Let’s get out of here. Move it.” “Yes sir,” said the familiar looking driver. He turned around to greet us and I saw that it was Boti Dhalida the chess champion from the council meeting…
To be continued…