The Bravest Man in Montana
I knew nothing of this, only that Charlie had arrived in my life like a miracle to manage the cafe for me when I was in Montana on my own. My (now ex) husband was the one with the retail experience and my visa didn't allow me to work in my own cafe...so I needed help. Charles was at the end of some official sick benefit but was now perfectly well. The American rules and regulations however didn't allow him to work for anyone for money. So he ran the cafe for free...
Thank you Charlie. Like Robin, you were a miracle.
The Bravest Man in Montana
Copyright Maggy Whitehouse 2000
Charles is standing in front of me asking which dress I think he should wear for the review he is hosting. One of them is spangly royal blue with sequins and the other a deep, rich gold. They are of very simple design - flattering to the woman of fuller figure - and he made them himself.
We decide upon the gold one. It seems to add that particular je ne sais qoi.
Then it is the matter of which wig. The blonde, the red or the black. Each is tried on for my opinion.
It is like working with my computer: ‘Please insert disc and close gate....No disc in drive A’ I have no suitable disc for this. My ego is frantically searching for a familiar, similar situation in which to file what my eyes report seeing.
‘Well?’ says Charles.
‘It’s hard to judge,’ I say tactfully. ‘Without your make-up on anything other than black looks rather funny.’
Charles gives me a big grin. ‘The beard doesn’t help, does it?’ he says.
‘Not really.’ We both giggle together. Charles’s beard, like his own hair is a rich natural black. It is wonderfully trimmed and shaped but it does not do much for the wigs.
‘I think I prefer the black anyway,’ he says. And he is right. The long, straight tresses do suit him, beard and all. Charles would make a very pretty woman.
But the boobs. Oh boy, the boobs. Charles has two sets of boobs: one is a simple padded bra manufactured for cross-dressers - and the other is one he made himself. The professional bra is good, he says, but there is no weight. I handle the vast expanse of nylon which is broad and deep and at least a DDD cup.
‘It’s a bit outside my scope!’ I say pointing to my own ‘B’ cups and laughing.
‘Well I’ve got to dress up to my size,’ says virtually circular Charles. ‘They suit me this big. The problem is that they ride up and they just don’t move properly. Yours move properly when you walk.’
‘So I should hope!’
'Honey,' he says. 'This is a town of cowboys and film stars. The only women round here who wouldn't have me run out of town have boobs of solid silicone.'
So, he shows me the second pair of boobs. These are just boobs which he fits into a separate bra. They are the perfect weight and they have wonderful movement and they are encased in nylon stockings with a beautifully made nipple to show slightly through the clothing. I take them in my hands and scrunch them slightly, just about to make a comment on never having handled a woman’s breasts before. Then I fall about laughing. The boobs are made of bird seed.
Charles joins in. ‘I know it’s ludicrous,’ he says. ‘But it works!’ Behind him the zebra finches and canaries in his aviary cheep indignantly.
‘Charles,’ I say. ‘Thank you for this experience. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying myself.’ And I mean it. This is pure joy in its own funny way. And nothing I ever thought could or would happen to me in Montana.