Showtime at the Cabaret - Part 1 (Day 3 - Night)

Joint post by Wandering Wolf and Sail

Dorian leaned over to whisper into Lyen’s ear. “Remy and Arturo are two of tha prettiest girls Ah think Ah’ve evah seen,” he offered with a mild chuckle.

“I know exactly what you mean,” she replied in a hushed tone, “I don’t wear makeup, but if I did it would be a major feat to look half as exquisite as those gentlemen.”

A place like this was skirting the boundary between good fun and pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and the nun had a gnawing sensation that perhaps she ought to be less inclined to take it all in. But the lights! And the colors! Dear Arturo and Remy had created a vibrant place of inclusion in this frigid town on New Kasmir. Even better, they had put that charm to Marisol, and she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their hospitality.

Onstage, Remy wore the guise of a stylish ingenue from Earth-That-Was. The song he’d just completed was a simple tune, yet Lunar Veil’s medic had to agree that not only could the trans performer sing the words to ‘J’Attendrai’ in impeccable Franc, but the high pitched tenor of his voice delivered a convincing, if somewhat sultry, feminine match to the black evening gown and dark tresses. The house burst into applause and whistles as Remy delivered a stately bow, before exiting the stage.

As the band transitioned into an instrumental, Dorian cast his eye about the cabaret. The place was filled; each table occupied by couples and every stool at the bar taken. Marisol slipped between knots of people, drink tray held aloft as she delivered to the club’s thirsty patrons. Her white blouse and black bow tie could be seen weaving and darting through the crowded bar as she worked the room. After stopping to clear glasses and note a fresh order, she cut through the tables toward them. “Are you having fun?” she smiled.

“Absolutely!” she flashed a dimpled smile, “Dorian and I have been admiring the hosts in their costumes. You know, I’ve never gotten to see something like this before. Everyone seems so free to be exactly whom they want. It’s liberating to watch.” Ly finished off her soda water just as the band finished their first instrumental number.

“Looks like another round,” Marisol eyed the two empty glasses. “Same thing each, or do you want something else?” she asked.

Ly nodded a ‘thank you,’ hands in the Wai gesture, as the lights changed focus to the center stage.

The crowd offered applause as Arturo took the stage. He’d changed into his traditional evening jacket and slacks. “We hope you’re enjoying yourselves, but our waitress has complained that you’re a lot of damned drunkards!” As the laughter swelled, Arturo raised a hand to still the crowd. “And so, if you alcoholics can avoid dying of thirst for a moment, we thought it nice to give her a break. Marrrisol,” he gestured toward her, “will you sing one for us?”

As the audience offered a chorus of applause and wolf whistles, Marisol joined Arturo on the stage. He grinned, made a grand gesture toward the microphone, and stepped into the crowd. The band set off with a percussion and piano in a salsa mambo cadence as the singer’s eye trailed up the microphone stand to a mic positioned for the much taller Arturo. As the crowd laughed, she lowered the mic, and joined the band with her voice.

”Tu rostro lo tengo fijado
En el lado de adentro de mis párpados
Tu recuerdo resuena como un eco
En mi jardín subterráneo de orquídeas…”

By the time they’d come to the second verse, Marisol removed the microphone from its’ stand. She sauntered toward the band, before hopping onto the faux baby grand piano. As she sang, she crossed her legs, which elicited howls and whistles from the crowd when the ankle length skirt opened. The new boots gleamed burgundy as she and the band concluded their performance, ending in a few mischievous piano leaps.

She hopped down, offering an awkward curtsey as the good natured crowd cheered and whistled. After replacing the mic, Marisol resumed her floor duties, her smile unceasing as she was stopped by numerous patrons. Finally, when she worked her way back to Lyen and Dorian, she blew a stray wisp of hair skyward. “Whew!” she exclaimed. “Arturo got your drinks? Good. I’m gonna sit down for a minute,” she said as she dropped into the chair next to Lyen.

Watching Marisol perform was like watching a lotus unfurl to greet the sun. Her beauty was evident in her candor and she carried it so effortlessly.

“Marisol Chavez! You. Were. Amazing!” It was times like these that the nun realized just how young she was, to feel the rush, to engage in society once again after having operated in the dedicated channels for the temple for so long. “You were like something off the cortex!” Vaudevillian humor appealed in its over the top display, evident to Lyen in her sore cheek muscles. “Have you done this before?”

Just when you thought you were jaded and immune to the world, life managed to place a jewel right into your hands. Despite himself, Dorian couldn’t help but steal glimpses of Lyen throughout the evening’s show. Their friendship had always held a significance; the nun’s upbeat, kindly demeanor and unobtrusive wisdom had made her the only so-called “clergy” to whom he’d turn for counsel. To know her was to look up to her, in many respects...especially for a man who’d made his life in the gutters and brothels of the worlds he’d wandered.

Yet now, seeing her as she drank in this experience with the unabashed delight of a child, was indescribable in the sense of joy she projected. Her conversation with Marisol was animated and lively. The two talked and laughed together so freely. As he watched them, he felt an abiding sense of gratitude for these two people, in this unforgettable moment.

“...mi mother,” Marisol was explaining. “You didn’t grow up in Constanza Restrepo’s house without learning to sing, and to dance,” She smiled at the memory. “You know the story...I stood on mom’s feet and held her hands as she waltzed me all over the kitchen.” She glanced up to catch a cue from Remy. “I need to go. Arturo’s up next. I help him with costume changes onstage!” With a friendly hand to Lyen’s shoulder, she took to her feet and hurried backstage.

Ly caught her hand for an instant, a pat of good luck.

Musical credit: "El Album" by Aterciopelados

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