Cowboy

Harold Jaffe


So he's a legit cowboy? Stetson, chaps, lizard-skin boots, the whole shot?

You forgot his beeper.

What's the beeper for?

His investment team, attorneys, cosmetic people. He's a venture capitalist and has to keep in the zone.

Venture capitalist meaning . . .

Spot / hover / seize.

[pause]

He's a married man? Or does he juke around? Like Donald Trump or Ted Turner before Jane?

He's queer. Check that. He's a F2M, pre-op transsexual, who's sexually attracted to males.

Pre-op? His surgery was incomplete?

He never got the phalloplasty.

Which means what? That he lacks a dick?

Correct.

I guess that would put a crimp in his line dancing.

On the contrary.

[pause]

He's white, right?

Who?

The pre-op transsexual cowboy.

Why would you ask that?

When you said cowboy I thought of the traditional image: lean, tanned virile Marine Corps vet smoking roll your owns, listening to Merle Haggard tapes in his custom Ford pickup, calling women pals darlin', standing at attention with his hand over his heart for the national anthem at rodeos--

Stop right there. 'Bout every cowboy I know is into the militia and freemen thing. They're not going to sing any national anthem. They hate the freaking feds.

That applies to this . . . personage? This pre-op transsexual venture capitalist?

Absolutely. Why wouldn't it?

For starters, I wouldn't expect freemen to cotton to his brand of cowboy.

Interesting you say that. This image of the macho, gun-toting, big dog-loving, weak-brained, evangelical militia man is persistent as hell. But it's wrong.

Who's keeping the image alive?

The media obviously. Plus Wall Street.

Why?

What do you mean?

Why would they want to perpetuate that kind of image of the militia?

I'm surprised you ask. To make pizzazzy soundbites. Big-time dollars.

Watching disgruntled, evangelical, out-of-work ranchers hold a town meeting ain't all that pizzazzy.

You don't think so?

Well, it beats watching paint dry. But not by much.

[pause]

We were talking about the transsexual cowboy venture capitalist. How did we get into this other stuff? Ask me something more about the cowboy.

What's his name?

Christian name?

Your call.

Lamar.

Good name. Does he ride or is he rode?

You mean . . .

Horses.

He rides. Sure he rides. He has a stable of thoroughbreds. He busts broncs. He loves the ro-day-o. That's how he says it.

Where's he from?

Jersey. Jersey Swamp area.

And he got his sex change in . . .

Beverly Hills.

Academic shit?

Bryn Mawr. He was a female then. MBA from Wharton.

Top-flight schooling. His surgery came after Wharton?

Correct.

Why didn't he go the whole nine? Do the phalloplasty?

Why? Because having a dick ain't what it used to be. These days you're better off without it.

Because of state-of-the-art strap-ons, you mean?

That and politics. And fierce fem vigilantes. You heard of them, right? They fast-skate in large posses, packing Bowies. They spot a dick with an attitude, they go for his jewels.

[pause]

And if he don't have any jewels these fierce posse fems are left with egg on their face.

Exactly.

Where does he live, Lamar?

Divides his time between C'oeur d'Alene, Idaho and San Francisco.

He wears his cowboy deal in San Francisco?

Fuck yeah. He's six-feet-five, with long legs. You remember Jack Palance in Shane? Lean and shit-eating. That's how Lamar looks in his chaps and stetson in San Francisco.

Except Jack Palance didn't have to sit to piss.

You sure about that?

Ha. But six-feet-five. I didn't picture Lamar that tall. Long, lean cowboy reminds me of young Duke Wayne. You remember how Duke Wayne walked?

Yeah I do. Combination shy and swagger. Sort of on the balls of his feet, boots pointing down.

You know who taught him that walk?

Jane Russell?

Dick Nixon.

What? When was this?

Early forties. Nixon, fresh out of Duke law, was conflicted between going to Hollywood and DC. In his heart of hearts he wanted to be a movie actor. Not a leading man because of his nose and jowls, but a cowboy character actor. Gabby Hayes was his idol. Well one day Gabby, who would do a bunch of pix with Duke Wayne, phoned Nixon and said: We have this big young dude here who walks like a fag. I'm thinking maybe you can help him. He was talking about John Duke Wayne.

And Nixon helped him?

Hell, he turned his floundering career around.

Duke didn't need a phalloplasty.

No. Duke was hung okay. Nothing compared to Coop, of course. Gary Cooper. That's another story.

[pause]

So Lamar. He makes his venture capital in northern Idaho or San Francisco?

Both and neither. Lamar does his shit electronically. Sits naked in his personal sauna with his heat-resistant laptop.

Sits naked in his sauna without his phalloplasty.

You don't need a big dick to make the big money, partner. Not in these times.

You know, I can understand Frisco. But Coeur d'Alene? Isn't that where all those white supremacists are? Isn't that where Fuhrmann the racist cop in the OJ case retired to?

So? Just because Lamar hasn't had a phalloplasty don't mean he can't rock and roll/ I got new for you: racists ain't hung. Racists hate their freakin' bodies. That's one of the big reasons they're hot now.

What are some of the reasons?

Economics. Ain't enough to go around. Klan, Nazis, Freemen, the religious Right . . . Every damn posse is fighting for scratch.

You say "ain't enough." What about those eight figure salaries corporate execs pull in? What about the billion a day it cost to finance the Gulf War?

You asked me to give you reasons for racism's big comeback, okay? Another reason is illegals. White folks are up to here with colored pobres sneaking in, working for shit wages, taking money out of white American pockets. Still another reason is Clinton. Having a Jew in the White House. You're looking at me funny. I guess you didn't know Bubba was Jewish.

No.

Shit. There's a whole lot of Jews in Arkansas. Moved west out of Miami Beach when the Cubans came in. Have you ever noticed the way Clinton walks? Flatfooted. Take a close look at his muzzle. In bright light you can see the surgical ridges of his nose job.

[pause]

So I guess those are the reasons that pissed white racists are at the top of the charts. How does the venture capitalist pre-op transsexual cowboy fit in?

Lamar? Lamar netted 23 point 5 mil last year. Enough said?
Copyright CrossConnect, Inc. 1996

PREVIOUS || FICTION INDEX || NEXT