Dragged up (1983)
"Your house stinks of dog piss."
Dean and Kaz were on the doorstep. I stepped aside to let them in. I was hurt, but Dean's words were undeniably true: our house smelled of piss, shit and floral disinfectant. You had to watch your step in the living room, skirting round the yellow, urine stained sheets of newspaper, scattered like stepping stones across the carpet.
"Fuck off," I replied and led the pair up to my bedroom.
Once there, Kaz and I exchanged excited glances: we were about to have some fun. We were proud of our catch. Dean - the only transvestite in our school and younger brother of the coolest bloke in town - was about to let us loose on his hair and make-up.
Clothes were piled up on the bed: a selection of my kaftans, scarves and dresses for Dean's delectation. I was dressed already: a cute baby punk in layers of black lace and lurex. My hair backcombed into a pink quiff, stiff with Cossack hairspray; eyes beetle black with shadow and kohl.
Dean chose my blue silk dressing gown over a lycra dress, which clung to his lithe body. Towering on four inch heels and crowned with a turban, his face painted like a Pierrot: he was a sight to behold.
At only fourteen years old, we were too young for the pubs in town. In any case, the local pubs were very rough and full of dads: ex-steel workers and glassblowers who were more likely to give us a lamping than offer us a drink. And so, dressed for Mardi Gras, we paraded up and down the grim High Street in the freezing cold: hoping to be noticed, but not beaten to a pulp.