Grit Heads to the Tenderloin

It took me at least an hour just to get my six-foot four-inch frame out of bed. The hangovers were getting worse. I had to dump at least four shots of brandy into my coffee to stabilize myself. Then an ice-cold shower, not because I like them, but because I had been procrastinating replacing my water heater - mostly because I didn’t have the coin to pay for it. The D.A. had fronted me a couple of hundred bucks, but that still wasn’t enough. I could probably put some of that money toward my phone bill, or my electricity bill, or... I decided to think of that shit later. My head was in no shape to wrestle with all that crap; besides, I had to get going on the Chief’s murder case!  

The first thing I had to do was get to the Tenderloin district. If the Chief was into cross-dressing or who knows what else, someone in the TL would have heard about it. I was sure of that. The Tenderloin had lost a little of its luster over the years, but it was still the place to go and let your hair down. When I was a kid I remember it as being a hot spot for jazz clubs and nightclubs in general. Sure, the TL had your typical restaurants, hotels, apartments, corner-grocery stores, liquor stores, and other businesses, but the nightlife is what attracted most people. With it came the whores, pimps, wannabe pimps, hustlers, wannabe hustlers, and many colorful characters you could write a book about and some did. 

I needed to find Momma Blue. As I recall, regulars in the TL called her Momma Blue because she was so dark that some said they could detect a faint blue sheen to her skin, especially when she stood in the sunlight. I, myself, had never seen that. Momma Blue was the most well-known drag king in the City. She was also a well-respected business owner of several night clubs and Turkish bathhouses. Her club, the Blue Gardenia, was the hottest in the Tenderloin. Their well-produced shows featured the most beautiful drag kings and queens in the country. At least that’s what the marquee said.

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