“All Eyes on Egipt?” I asked, remembering the misspelling and the tacky hieroglyphic-embellished storefront that looked like a Vegas hotel I passed before entering the vagina.
“Yeah! She said that they still find some devotees from the bookstore lurking in their backyard from time to time.”
We looked at each other for longer than seemed comfortable.
“So, tell me, you look like you don’t belong here. I mean, I don’t think any of us belong here, but you especially don’t seem to.” I smiled. He laughed, not the hearty guffaw I anticipated from someone like him, but an innocent, boyish giggle.
“I’m reconnecting with my friend Margot. We grew up in Dallas together and lost touch when I went to school. But I just moved to Brooklyn and found her since she’s one of the only people I know in New York. I think this is her form of punishment for not talking to her in almost seven years.”
“That’s funny, I’m here to meet Margot.”
“Is that right?”
“My, uh, my friend Ryan met her somewhere a few months ago and said I should get to know her.”
“Oh, you know Ryan! I met him a few months ago at This ‘n’ That, I told him about Margot and invited him here. Are you an artist as well?”
He tufted my fauxhawk, brittle from bleach. I recoiled, not disgusted, merely apprehensive.
“I don’t know what I am. What do you do now that you moved to New York?”
“I’m a barista in a hostel in Long Island City.”
I laughed, despite myself. Strike one.
“It’s not exciting. It’s just, I need some job, and the tips are good. But I have a secret for you…” I look, doe-eyed, being nice but genuinely waiting to hear what he had to share. “…I’m a drag queen by night.” he whispered. “That’s why I moved to New York.”