Hustler in a Party Dress

When I was little (yes I start this way a lot) I used to scream and cry if my mother tried to put me in pants. All I liked to wear were dresses. Everyday. It didn't matter if I was going to the park- whatever, dress please. Once in my party dress, I would go downstairs to our building's courtyard where I would collect bugs and sell them at a dollar a piece to this boy named James. James was obsessed with bugs. I would tell him that these regular, old Queens-bugs were special and rare (and maybe from Japan!). And, he'd believe me.

The building courtyard was a hotspot for me to hatch all my plans. My friends Tina and Betsy were tiny and Greek. I wanted them to play the babies in our game of house, but since they were small for their ages they wanted nothing to do with that and insisted on being mom and dad instead. The bugs came in handy here once again. Tina and Betsy were terrified of bugs, so I would pretend that one was crawling up their legs and they would then cry and want me to carry them. Hence, making them the babies.

It wasn't all about bugs, though. I had other dreams. Broadway mainly. I made the kids in the building be in my shows. I rehearsed them mericilessly and forced them to buy costumes according to my specifications. In a production of "Annie", I made a Pakistani boy play Punjab. When he showed up for the show in the outfit I had told him to buy, his parents looked at me in disbelief. They had no idea their son's director was seven. They scolded me and told me I was a naughty girl. I told them I was sorry I wasn't an adult, but tickets were still going to cost them five dollars. No comps for family. Always my motto.

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