I wanted a pretty dress 7 Oct 2014
I was after the most feminine frock a soldier could find. I was a man on a mission.
It was a moonless night. I was alone, abandoned by my platoon. My mission was simple: head into the depths of no-man’s land – aka the city’s largest shopping centre – and retrieve the cutest dress on rack.
I’m not a man accustomed to shopping centres, so like any good foot soldier, I went prepared. I spent many hours browsing online shops. I measured my waist, hips and bust and cross-checked these against online figures.
I checked open hours and ran stats on busy shopping periods. I studied Google maps with scientific precision.
I created spread-sheets of purchase options. I researched inventory flows from China. I calculated risks and options.
I printed a map of each floor of the shopping centre, and scribbled the notes of a madman, all cleverly encrypted of course. I was entering enemy lines, so I took no chances.
Once inside the shopping centre, I immediately activated my iPhone compass and got my bearings. I headed due north, some 300 metres. And there I found it: the fabled lost shop of hyper-girly clothes.
There was no time to lose. No shopping centre stays open forever, so I sucked in the jungle air-conditioning and stepped in.
I was brave. I was smart. My research had paid off. I dived into a change cubicle with five sweet floral numbers.
Time past in a blur. Clothes on, clothes off, checking how flattering each item made me look – how much it lent me a feminine figure.
And then disaster number one. I had been foolish. I had over-reached my station and dived into a very tight little black dress, one size too small.
Like any foot soldier knows: getting in is the easy part; getting out is the battle.
I was alone in no-man’s land. I couldn’t reveal my location to anyone. I couldn’t call the salesgirls for help. I was a fighter in a frock.
I struggled for some 40 minutes, bending, flexing, contorting – calling on all my combat training to get me out of that cursed number.
Somehow, and in ways that I will take to my grave, I made it out … alive.
My drill sergeant would have told me to retreat, head back to base and concede defeat. But by now I had lost all critical perspective. I soldiered on.
And then disaster number two. I put on a cute floral A-line dress and the zip on the back got jammed.
They hadn’t trained me for this. Zips with fine teeth weren’t my specialty. I wiggled it, I jiggled it, I cursed that damn thing before the godless sky above me.
I realised that I could die here, in this change room.
Thirst took the better of me, and in desperation I drank my urine.
I recalled seeing that film about Aron Ralston, who got stuck under a boulder and had to amputate his arm. In my bag I found my knife, ready to amputate my entire back in order to free myself from this dress so pretty that no harm could come to it.
My hollow life flashed before my eyes. My lips were dry like a desert stone. I wondered if I had brought my lap balm.
And then it struck me. A way out of this diabolical nightmare. Yes, I had my lip balm. Like a hand-grenade, I ripped off the cap and started rubbing that thing up and down the zip. Soon it ran out, so I used saliva from inside my cheeks, combined with my sweet, bile and urine.
Fortune favoured me that night. Zip down, I put on my army fatigues and headed to the counter, stained floral dress in hand.
“I’ll take it.”
Next time ... the transgender foot soldier takes on the world of wigs, makeup and undergarments.
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