Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dion (Donald) [Rose of the Golden Girls]

Time to introduce some new fun characters on OT:


I parked outside this 1990s-style strip office building near the main drag – all weird-shaped concrete in pastels and desert colors mixed in ways that really shouldn’t be mixed, with silvery-blue windows, two or three palm trees, and more cactus and succulents than you’d find in the desert. The parking lot’s asphalt was bleached into such a soft gray, the white lines designating parking spaces almost blended with it. There were a few cars there but lots of open slots, too.

I had to go upstairs and down a center hallway to the back of the building, and that’s where the entrance to Palmetto Properties was. Nothing grand or glorious, just a sign stuck on the door with sticky letters, two of which – the “e” in the first word and the first “e” in the second word – were missing but still had the ghost of the adhesive in their place.

I went in to find four cubicles behind one of those metal desks painted to look like wood, that had stacks of paperwork and a couple of “In/Out” trays on it along with a daily minder catalog. Must be the receptionist, but no one was sitting at it.

Then this blond head popped up over one of the cubicles and started with, “Be right there -- ,” but stopped and his big eyes got bigger. “Jake?” It was Rose of the Golden Girls.

“Hi, Dion,” I grinned back. “How’s trickin’?”

He burst around the cubicle and stormed up to me to grab me around the waist and haul me into the air, and considering how tall he was, that was a good two feet off the ground, as he was screaming, “Oh, my God, you’ve gotten all buff and manly and oh, my god! You’re gorgeous. I can’t believe it. I haven’t seen you in what? Ten years? Oh, my god.”

“Shit, Dion, have you grown?” I grunted out as he crushed me with his hug.

He laughed and in a flash I remembered every moment we’d spent together that week. And it hit me that that fact he was so overjoyed at being with me had given me strength enough to see being gay was not a problem, given me a rock to build my stubbornness from when I got kicked out of my home. Yeah, Uncle Owen and gramma’d been supportive, but they were family and you expect that from them, even when other family members crush those expectations. It was having this Viking God not only think I was beautiful but worthy of love and unashamed of it that made it real.

What made me especially happy to see him was how little he’d changed – still a boyish face under hair so blond it mixed with the sun and eyes that danced for joy when he was happy and stormed like thunder when he wasn’t. His smile still made me think of heaven. Okay, so he wasn’t as buff as he used to be, and his clothes now were business casual instead of costume, but there was no mistaking him for anyone but Dion.

“I go by Donald, now,” he chuckled. “And I grew another inch a year after you went back to Texas. And there’s these.”

He set me down and showed me he was wearing purple leather cowboy boots with-three inch Spanish heels.

“Jeez,” I said, “What does that make you now? Seven-ten?”

“Drop it by a foot and you’d be right. It’s what’s known as, intimidation factor. I haven’t taken ‘em off in six months. How the hell are you?”

“Doin’ great. I live in Denmark now.”

“That’s what Owen said. He kept me up on everything about you. Don’t know why.” And he winked at me.

“Really. He never said a word about you.”

“Probably ‘cause I got slapped around by love and wound up married. To a chef. Can’t you tell?” He patted his belly, which was bigger than I remembered it being but hardly counted as fat.

“Still fishin’ for compliments, bitch?”

“It’s the vanity in me. C’mon back to my office.”

He lead me into his cubicle, which was mountains of paperwork and a couple of erasure-boards with notes and schedules written on them. Under it all were hints of a desk and an ornate chair. And I think I heard a phone ringing, but it could be coming from the next office. He took a stack of folders off an extra folding chair and plopped into his.

“Oh, my God, it’s so good to see you. Y’know, that week we were’s a fall-back memory for when things get too intense.”

“What d’you mean?”

“Oh, the last couple years’ve just been crazy. Doesn’t help that I’ve got kids, now.”

“Wait, is this chef male or female?”

“Honey, please! They’re from his first marriage. His wife left them with him so she could follow her bliss to Eureka. Certain family members weren’t pleased about it, but she signed the papers giving him full custody and the courts agreed they were valid, especially since Tan and I were legally married during those few months before Prop Hate. So now I’m co-care-giver to twin eight-year-old girls and a ten year-old boy. We have till two-forty-five before I pick them up from school.”

“I can’t imagine you a dad.”

“I’m not; I’m a papa. Tan is dad. So, I assume you’re out here for Owen. You know where he is?”

I shook my head. I'd been hoping Dion did.

No comments: