All That Glitter—Elaine Bonow

All That Glitter

Lester Buchannan sat in his usual place a back corner of the VIP area sipping his second Grey Goose on the rocks with his customary lemon twist. He never had to order, his drinks appeared before him like magic carried by his waiter, a young man dressed or should I say in a state of undress wearing a pale blue paisley dance belt, very well; the matching chiffon cape swirling as he danced around the VIP area with a tray of cocktails perfectly balanced.

The music was thumping soulful techno. Intense spotlights flashed from the floor highlighting the DJ deep at work on a stupendous array of equipment in his raised booth. It was Saturday night and just because it was a gay club it doesn’t mean gay women and gay men hung out together. Saturday night at the Double H, aka Hung Like A Horse, was strictly a testosterone-fueled affaire. It was sweaty and stinky.

The bartenders were having a dance off on the bar, stripping down to their bare asses, laughing and collecting the dollar bills thrown to them by the unruly mob egging them on. Men with sexy, smoky eyes danced hard sometimes alone but to a man accompanied by some type of stoned partner: Ecstasy, Vitamin K, Coke, Crack, Poppers, hybrid pot and alcohol: a little of this, a little of that.

Lester’s VIP perch gave him full view of the dance floor and the stage. Tonight the stars were coming out. The younger studs came to showcase their well-rehearsed routines. Boys descended from all over the globe for these legendary showcases. Stars were born while others were booed for amateurish portrayals, and although some of the queens would become famous, this was no Ru Paul Drag Race made for TV show, this was raw and raunchy and tonight promised to get completely out of control.

Show time was quickly approaching. It was almost midnight and as they called it the Bitching hour. Lester’s personal waiter, Miss Copper Penny, whom everybody sweetly called, Miss CP (colored person) as an homage to her Ebony realness and because in reality, that girl was never late, sailed by to see if he needed a fresh drink. He nodded yes, as the music slowed to a heavy tribal drumbeat with a heavy bass, signifying the to the boys that the show was ready to start.

A troupe of Ballet Boys started moving in tandem to the beat. They had worked out an intricate choreographed dance. The crowd on the dance floor made room for the twelve fierce boys. They could have been backup dancers in a Drake video, with their street dance style.

The cavernous dark room heated up. Miss Mister Cloudy tried to calm the crowd so that the show could start but then there came a chant from the crowd, “Big Bertha,” it whispered. “Big Bertha,” it declared. “Big Bertha,” it cried. Miss Mister Cloudy (Miss MC) for you squares, motioned for the DJ to start the music for the show and the rowdy men began to calm down.

Lester, sitting alone in the darkening room, opened the cover of his Ipad, pressed the home button, slid his finger to the right and entered his pass code 1107, his birthday. When he opened his Facebook page the same photo that he last looked at was staring him in the face. He pressed the GIF symbol and the huge midnight blue sequined buttocks stated gyrating to a tranced chant, “Big Bertha, Big Bertha, Big Bertha,” sang out with a heavy bass, over and over again. He felt himself get excited and slammed the cover shut.

The time was ticking down to the hour. The crowd picked up the chant Ten-Nine-Eight-Seven-Six-Five-Four-three-Two. The room was pitched into blackness. Five muscular drummers in loincloths were spotlighted on the stage. Miss Mister Cloudy re-appeared in a cloud of blood red smoke. The first performer was carried on a litter to the stage by four men buck naked except for white tube socks swinging long and low before them.

He called himself Caleb the Cocksucker but his stand-up routine failed to wow the audience. They became distracted making advances with each other, leaving in groups to go to the bathroom for more party favors. The next two performers were no better, a drag queen who need to work on her costume and another who didn’t qualify in “The higher the hair the closer to God,” standard of the drag circuit.

Someone screamed “For Fucks sake get Big Bertha out here NOW!” Lester was feeling the effects of that third vodka. The only reason he was here, at the club, on this particular Saturday night, sitting in the dark, getting more and more turned on, was to wait for Big Bertha, but he knew he had to wait and wait he did.

He went to the bathroom to take a piss and find some drugs. He knew he could count on Carmine to supply him with some poppers. That and a couple of hits from a blunt would help smooth the evening so that he would be ready for the climax.


Act after act was presented to the audience. Between acts disco music kept up a steady beat. The dance floor was pumping. Lester felt pangs of loneliness. He felt unfulfilled and unwanted but soon he knew he would be saved. The crowd too was harnessing their bling for the finale.

The time was approaching. Lester motioned to CP for another drink. His edgy anticipation had smoothed out. He actually felt strangely contented although that could have been the Ketamine laced blunt he had taken a hit from.

The crowd had grown for this final act. Miss Mister Cloudy stood on the stage silent and still. Suddenly all the lights went out and BAM, a shimmering spotlight pointed at the ceiling and then swooped down to the vision all of them had been waiting for all night. Lester moved to the railing of the VIP area swept up in the excitement like everyone else in the club.

There she was, Big Bertha in all her six-foot five glory. The midnight blue sequined gown barely containing the oversize corseted body. She turned to present that glorious ass, round and firm like two overinflated basketballs. A roar arouse from the crowded dance floor. Big Bertha it spoke, “Big Bertha,” it demanded. “Big Bertha,” it roared. She didn’t disappoint.

The music rose to a fury. The boys on the stage had exchanged their white socks for midnight blue sequined socks, which also rose to the occasion. Big Bertha shimmied and shook. Her finale was lip- syncing to the Grace Jones song “Pull Up To The Bumper Baby.”

The boys took turns having simulated sex with every part of her body bending her huge frame in positions a Yogini would envy. The crowd followed suit and Lester who disliked dancing found himself bumping and grinding caught up in the frenzy shouting “Big Bertha, Big Bertha, Big Bertha,” until he fell back in his chair exhausted by the thrill of it all.

The club turned on soft jazz music to quite the crowd after the show. Lester went to the bathroom to wash his face and get a spray of cologne. He got his shoes shined and combed his hair. He always tipped the attendant a crisp hundred-dollar bill for getting him back into the clean cut Mr. Lester Buchannan he came in as.

Clean smelling, sweet and shiny Lester was one of the last to leave the club. He checked his watch. Just then a tall heavyset man came around the corner dressed in a very fine custom-made suit.

“Oh there you are darling. Thanks for waiting for me, as usual. I can’t wait to get dinner I am starving. Over dinner I’d like to have a serious conversation about my future. To tell you the truth I am getting tired of this. I want to retire and start a new and different business.”

“I agree my dear. We have thought about this before. You are right. We’ll figure out something great.” Lester let out a sigh of relief. He was not a jealous or a critical person but if he never heard the words Big Bertha again he would be a saved man.





About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on November 10, 2015, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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