My leg is in plaster. I suffered a hair line fracture in training and I am unable to play football for a month. It’s not serious. The plaster is just a precaution and it comes off on Thursday – which means on Friday I can go to Kitanye Big Market which is always throbbing with throngs of shoppers from all over the city. I’m going to dress up. I can’t wait. I have a lemon pinafore dress I bought a month ago and have been too shy to wear. I have money to buy clothes now. My team, Kase FC are a professional side and pay me appearance money. One hundred and twenty thousand shillings a game. Six dollars US. It’s a small fortune and my mother is grateful that we can now eat good food regularly.
I bought the lemon dress in a department store in downtown Chanzo. The shop assistant looked suspicious. She had a face like a Sunday school pic-nic and had tried to cover the cracks in her face with make-up but really might have been better for a good facial. She slid her eyes over me as I was holding the dress up against myself in one of the long mirrors. I coughed and shuffled and said it was a present for my sister but she didn’t look convinced!
I bought the high heels on the same day. They’re lemon too. I hope it all blends. Aubergine lipstick. A white beaded necklace. And mushroom eye-shadow. This morning I had a dress rehearsal. I stood in front of my mum’s cracked dressing table mirror. For over an hour! I liked what I saw. My eyes were deep and dark – like a forest river. I couldn’t resist tossing my hair. I don’t think I’ll wear a wig. My hair is kind of Arabic and flows in curls down my neck and almost onto my shoulders.
I never felt so good. Ever. The dress against my skin and the way it flowed when I turned; the way it followed when I paced across our tiny congested hut. If I spun abruptly, the dress lingered in the air, magically, before it came soaring back to cascade against my slim, shapely frame. I could feel the warm blood in me as I prowled like an old leopard waiting to be fed.
If I’m going to cross-dress in public I know I should be convincing. I’ve had little forays before but never this serious. Many people cannot, or will not, understand why someone like me man should want to dress as a woman; so it’s important that when I do I should make as good a job of it as possible. If I fail to look like a real woman, people will snigger or I will suffer violence from stupid and aggressive males and even intimidation from the police. It is the mark of little men to like only what they know.
So I know I need to look good. And I know I will. I’m getting quite excited!