Leaving the tv on, Sam returned to his face. He added more embellishments then usual, more mascara, more shadow, and then took the pink dress from his closet.
Gweniveer had bought him the dress. Or, more correctly, Gweniveer’s mother had bought him the pink thing that was borderline confectionary: white puffy sleeve, heaps of rosy gauze, and beads like tiny peaches. He put on his undergarments, then the dress and bent and stretched to do it up himself. Staring at the mirror, Sam ruffled his own hair.
An orange cat meowed in the doorway, and he chuckled at himself before putting on his wig and sitting down at his vanity again. The skirts blossomed around his desk chair. He stared at the phone.
Then his cell phone buzzed in his pants pocket. He reached over and fished it out. “Gweniveer, go on without me.” A pause, as she spoke. Then, “No, I’m serious. I’ll meet you there later.”
He did not wait for her response. He turned off his cell phone and dropped it on the floor.
Reaching for the phone on his desk, he dialed another number and waited, patient as it rang, but his other hand fisted the delicate gauze forming the outer layer of his skirt.
“Hey, Mom,” said Sam, “it’s me. Happy Halloween.” A beat, then: “I love you, you know that, right?”
Another pause, and Sam wondered how far into adulthood that some people would sound like the adults in the Charlie Brown films: murring, unclear, and viewed from the legs down.
“I need you to understand this,” he interrupted. “I love girls. I also love boys. I love everyone, apparently, in fact.” He cringed to him as Rulash came to mind. “And when you’re okay with that, you can call me back.”
Then Sam hung up the phone.
Like coming to the surface of a pond, Sam began to hear again. The nyaar noise the giant cat Crookshanks made, the barking of the Chihuahua in the back… The tv.
“This is Judy Lane!” exclaimed the reporter with breathless enthusiasm, “and even I can’t believe what’s happening at Grüger Corp!”