WILL IT GO ROUND IN CIRCLES
by James Hold
"I've got a story, ain't got no moral."
"Oh, I do adore the view from this window." Christina rested her elbows on the sill. "From here you can see all kind of things."
"What window?" Her kid sister Billie looked at the blank wall.
Christina ignored her. "There's a mist that comes in from the river. Somehow, it makes everything clearer. I can sit here for hours looking across town, listening to the music floating in from all the clubs."
Billie snorted. Even if there had been a window on that side of the house, it would not face the street. She went back to her dolls.
There was a knock at the door and their mother entered. "Oh, Christina, must you squat in that horrid position? You look like a pagan idol."
"Pagan idols don't wear skirts," was Christina's exasperated reply.
Mother sighed. "If you bend over like that, you won't need one either."
Ron wanted desperately to kiss her. So he did. He held her tightly, drawing her close and feeling her yield. His hand strayed down to her knee.
“Ron!” she whispered, amazed, aghast, and drew away, her face averted.
"Gosh, Chris, I'm sorry. Forgive me.”
"Oh,” she wept, “it’s not your fault!” She waited, watching the mist, listening to the music. "There's just so much I want to do before...”
"I understand," said Ron, although he really didn't.
They got out of the car and he walked her to the door. "Drop by tomorrow," she said as she went inside. "Things will be different then."
The next day Christina decided to become a man. She didn't go through the usual methods. She simply made up her mind and that was that.
She came down to breakfast wearing black jeans and t-shirt. "Sorry I'm late," she apologized, pointing to the red mark on her throat. "I nicked myself shaving."
Mrs Preston said nothing. It wasn't as though she hadn't seen this sort of thing before. "I think you missed a spot," she pointed to a square of dark stubble under her lip.
"No, mother," Christina replied. "That's my soul patch. All bluesmen have them."
"I see," her mother nodded, and that was that.
When Ron dropped by that night he said nothing about the change other than to compliment her on her soul patch. He had tried growing a moustache once but it hadn't worked out and he felt slightly envious. When the evening was over, she saw him to the door.
She closed her eyes and lifted her chin, awaiting a goodnight kiss.
"Gee, I don't know," Ron hesitated. "This could get awkward."
The next evening Christina went clubbing and landed a gig playing harmonica with Adam Upright and the Ledgers. She didn't bother to learn the harmonica. She simply made up her mind to do it and that was that.
The Ledgers were a Carnaby-clad pop rock cover act, and the addition of a black-shirted, amplified blues harpist seemed out-of-place at first. Yet Christina made it work. People came in off the street to hear the new sound. Everyone danced and partied. Chris-tina had a few drinks between songs and tried hitting on the bass player. The bassist was flattered, but he wasn't into that sort of thing and Christina went home disappointed.
Back at the Preston residence, kid sister Billie grew rebellious. Instead of practicing her assigned piano lesson, she played boogie-woogie to Canned Heat records. Her mother and her piano teacher pointed out that girls in lace dresses generally do not boogie-woogie to Canned Heat records, but Billie ignored them and kept on playing.
That evening, Mrs Preston tried talking to Mr Preston about the situation. Mr Preston had dug his old college ukulele from the attic and been playing the riff to "Smoke On The Water" ever since he'd gotten home from work. He told Mrs Preston he wanted to master the lick before tackling the solo.
Mrs Preston shrugged and went out. She returned home with a saxophone, then locked herself in the basement with a Dave Brubeck LP.
Soon the whole neighborhood was playing music. Even Christine's boyfriend joined in, doing "In A Gadda Da Vida" drum solos. That year's church talent show was crammed with musical acts. After a while, it got boring.
Then one morning Christina came down to breakfast wearing a short green dress. The soul patch was gone, replaced by face powder. She had decided to be a girl again. And that was that.
After school, Christina went to her room and looked out the window. Her kid sister joined her. When their mother came in and saw them squatting before the blank wall, she knelt beside them.
"I do love this window," said Christina, misty-eyed and smiling. "It's such a nice view from here."
Mother and sister nodded. A circus was setting up at the fairground. Maybe they would check it out after dinner.
Author Notes: More fiction by James Hold is available at http://www.smashwords.com.
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of James Roy Hold.
Please do not print or use without permission of the author.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.