lindsay by jadamthwaite

17 Jan

I’m sitting in the stock room surrounded by metal rails and unpacked boxes. I turn the name badge over in my hands: Matt Evans is embossed on a shiny silver panel, smeary with fingerprints. I lean forward on the grey plastic chair, elbows on knees, and drag my eyes away from the badge to look up at Eva, who is sitting at the top of the step ladder unpacking a box of red ties.

“What do I do?”

“You could kill him,” she says, stretching out a tie between her fingers until it’s taut.

I laugh but my thumbs twitch and my heels tap the floor like nervous woodpeckers. “Be serious, could you? I’m genuinely worried about this.”

Eva smiles. “I am being serious. You could kill him. Metaphorically speaking anyway.”

“Right,” I say. “And failing that?”

“I don’t know, babe… have you tried talking to him?” Eva laughs at the thought of this, her narrow shoulders hunched and shaking as she imagines the scenario.

I glare at her over the top of the badge, shaking my head slowly. “Of all the people I could tell, I tell you…”

“Oh, I’m joking,” Eva huffs. “Of course I’m joking. Look, why don’t you just tell everyone?”

“Right,” I say sharply. “Because they’ll go for that, won’t they? Everyone will just accept it and we’ll all carry on like normal.”

Eva shrugs. “You’ve just got to be yourself, that’s all I know.” She starts clipping the ties to a hanger.

There are lots of things I admire about Eva. One of them is how straightforward she is. Another is her ability to hang things perfectly. I wish I could do that. I sigh deeply and stretch my legs out in front of me. “God, you’re dramatic sometimes,” Eva says.

I stare at her.

We hear the sharp clip of heels tripping towards the store room.

“Grace,” says Eva with certainty.

“No.” I shake my head. “That’s the wrong kind of click – that’s a stiletto kind of click.” I nod towards the door. “That’s Lisa.”

The door thuds and a black stiletto kicks it open. I raise an eyebrow smugly.

“Damn, you’re good,” says Eva, shaking her head.

The foot is followed by the rest of Lisa, tall and manicured and, as always, looking like she hasn’t spent the whole day on the shop floor like the rest of us.

“Hi Leese,” Eva says cheerily, still clipping ties.

“Looks like you’re working hard back here!” Lisa grins wryly and crosses over to the other side of the room. She wheels a metal rail of jumbled shirts and tops across the floor. “They want the sale stuff out now… stupid time to do it if you ask me… but hey!” She shrugs and smiles brightly. “It’s crazy out there today, you know. We’ve had all the freaks in! Some bloke in a red lycra dress just appeared at the counter asking for Lindsay Lohan! Can you believe it? Lindsay Lohan! And he had Gwyneth Paltrow heels!” She pauses. “He? She? … Oh, I don’t know!” She waves her hand dismissively. “Why do we get so many weirdos in here…?”

My pulse is racing.

“What did she look like?” I ask calmly, careful to keep my voice flat and casual.

“It was a man IN A DRESS!” Lisa rolls her eyes. “How am I supposed to know what he looked like?” She crashes the door open with the rail. The clothes flutter and jostle like washing on a line and the door bangs shut behind her.

Eva looks at me, wide eyed. “That’s not… no!” She shakes her head. “Is it?” She leans forwards, staring at me, her blue eyes boring through me like headlights. “That’s not what you call yourself, is it?”

I don’t answer.

“Lindsay Lohan? You’re joking!”

I snort and pick at a smudge of pink nail varnish left over from last night. “Yeah well… she’s hot stuff, isn’t she? And she’s got sexuality issues. It seemed fitting… Anyway, it’s not Lohan – it’s Lahaan. Lindsay Lahaan.”

“Jesus, Matt.”

“What?” I pin the metal badge back onto my shirt. “Still think I can just come out and tell everyone after that reaction?”

“Well, I don’t know… not if you’re calling yourself Lindsay fucking Lohan!” Eva stares at me in disbelief.

“It’s Lahaan,” I tell her through gritted teeth. “It’s a… I dunno… a tribute…”

Eva shakes her head and laughs. She jumps down from the step ladder, twenty red ties on a shiny metal hanger swinging merrily beside her. She strides back towards the chipped grey door into the shop. “Who bloody cares what they think, eh? … Lindsay.” Eva winks and dances out the door.

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5 Responses to “lindsay by jadamthwaite”

  1. ingridfnl January 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    ❤ fantastic twist. i absolutely love the gender reversal and crossdressing… as well as the little details like him chipping away at the nailpolish. great story j.a.

  2. typicalquirk January 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I loved the twist. Great work.

  3. phoenix.writing January 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Hee hee hee. This was great. Took me an embarrassingly long time to get there (even with the metaphorical killing, lol), but I really enjoyed that twist and Matt’s attempt to explain himself and his name choice. I liked the details of the shoe-fall identification.

  4. juleshg January 24, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    This was fabulous!

    I especially enjoyed how Matt felt the need to defend his choice of names as “a tribute” — as if Lindsay has reached a level where a tribute is in order.

  5. jadamthwaite January 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Thank you, everyone. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found this one really hard to write. I enjoyed it though… Thanks for all your lovely feedback: I’m glad to know it worked!

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