Oz

by Hadley Monroe

My plus-sized roommate, a sassy vixen wearing a half-pound of makeup and a wig that costs more than what I make in two weeks, crashes through my front door.

She’s squeezed into a sensational dress, but her lips look like they’re going to burst right out of their lip liner. It’s a good thing this fabulous bitch makes as much money as she does at the drag club over on Bourbon.

I could never make the rent by myself. The only skill I have is reading tarot to take tourists’ money in Jackson Square. It’s an OK gig. The hula-hooping women dancing for tips nearby don’t hurt, but they don’t stay when it rains.

Teenagers with bottle caps on their shoes tap on Decatur Street to the rhythm of men drumming on 5-gallon buckets. Sweat beads their foreheads from the too-hot sun. Their funk intertwines with the jaw-clenching sweetness of nearby fried dough and powdered sugar in a peculiar, only New Orleans medley.

We’re all there to entertain for money. Some of us do it with our morals on, and others with our morals off, just depends what street you’re on in the Quarter.

“Marilyn, darling? How were tips tonight?”

“You know how it be, baby girl. I shake my newly bought-and-paid-for pussy and them men can’t help but throw them dollars at me.” Her staccato laugh jiggled her kinda-sagging, bought-and-paid-for boobs.

“Brooke…”

“Brookelyn!”

Mrs. Frank slammed her book on the desk to get my attention.

“What? Ma’am?”

“I asked you to find the x intercept.”

“5?”