Sunday, February 7, 2010

Return to Risky

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Winged Balinese Princess

Beauty shops and bars. Magnets for gay men. You can travel the world over and with some certainty always manage to find your tribe in or hovering around these two locations. Such is the case here on Bali where I have returned to complete the first draft of Rights of Passage. This time my husband and writing partner Robert is here with me. One of our first stops was the La La Beauty Salon and Spa (you may recall my blog entry last December) to pay a visit to my friend their head stylist Risky.

As we approached the salon along the main road in the village of Ubud, an attractive, slim, Javanese transgender woman and an equally stunning looking Balinese boy greet us with warm, welcoming smiles. So disarming are these smiles that we barely notice that xeroxed menus of La La treatments were being thrust into our hands. Reflexively we take them and the two begin their well oiled sales pitches. Maybe you need massage now? Haircut? Mani? Pedi? Cream Bath? All offered up in rapid succession with more than a hint of seduction in their voices.

I know this routine and immediately shift the conversation by inquiring as to the whereabouts of Risky. Seconds after I utter his name, I hear a loud gay scream of delight. I look up and see Risky descending the steep stone staircase leading from the salon. He is clutching at his neck as if he were wearing pearls. He is squealing with excitement. His hands begin to flutter uncontrollably as he reaches for me. I think to myself, it really is Oscar season - a picture perfect entrance.

We embrace. His first question is where did you come from the bars down in Kuta? See what I mean? Here is the bar thing right off the bat. As if we would fly 12,000 miles and then hightail it to the first gay bar we could find upon landing on Bali. No I came to see you, I say. He coos with appreciation and mock coyness. This is my husband, I add quickly. Risky greets Robert warmly and quickly turns his attention back to me. Ever the business man Risky says, come upstairs you must have special La La treatment. No time to waste. You too he says to Robert.

Although I know we must look like two severely jet lagged old queens I tell Risky we will be back in a day or two. I assure him he can work his La La magic on us then. For now, we need a cool shower and a little shut eye.

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