Everybody calls him Cathy. He’s not easy to miss. He’s a brutally ugly crossdressing man who’s always wearing bright red dresses, sweaters, hot pants, hats, and so on. He’s bald and usually goes out as such, but occasionally he’ll wear an unnaturally red wig. Even if you don’t notice him, he’ll make you.

He has this stunt he keeps pulling for attention. You’ll often see him writhing around on the ground with fake blood and a mannequin limb next to him, acting like he’s just lost an arm or a leg. It looks like he’s actually injured from a distance, but you can tell it’s fake when you get up close. That’s usually when pops he up and laughs at you. There have been several times someone’s called 911 on him and he ended up arrested. He was always back doing his shtick in a few weeks though.

One day a friend and I came across him sprawled on the ground in a puddle of his stage blood and a fake arm next to him. He screamed at us to help him and that his arm had been cut off. We weren’t in the mood to deal with his shit and just kept walking past. He started screaming that we were horrible, heartless people. He jumped up and chased after us. We started running. We had no idea what a nut like him would do if he got violent.

The whole time he chased us, he just kept yelling that we were awful people who didn’t care if he died. He reached into the bright red purse he was carrying and pulled out a gun. That got us running even faster. He pointed the gun at himself, though. When he pulled the trigger we heard the click. The gun was empty. He just kept pulling the trigger. Click click click. The whole time yelling and shaking his head like he was angry he couldn’t blow his brains out.

As soon as my friend and I were safely in my house with all the doors locked, we called the police. When they arrived, they found him waving the gun around and banging on my front door. They cuffed him, put him the car, and questioned us about him.

They took him away and I haven’t seen him around since. They must have put him away in a prison or nut house for good this time.


Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He is a contributor to Cultured Vultures and blogs at http://dripdropdripdropdripdrop.blogspot.com. His first poetry book, “the sky is black and blue like a battered child,” is available on Amazon. He is currently working on his first novel.