I am writing a new story called The Story of Disco World. I don’t yet know what’s going on. Am I doing this instead of Cassandra? (3k/day wins NaNo in 17 days.) Is this a break before I get back to that one? I don’t know. All I know is that I had this title pop into my head a few years ago, and I was looking in my writing ideas notebook and this jumped out at me. So I’m playing with it. As you can imagine, Disco World is a 70s perversion of Disney World… and it’s two words.
And I mentioned Disco Inferno, and the next song my new Pandora playlist played for me is… Disco Inferno! I think that’s a good sign. 632 words so far. I won’t post the whole thing as I go, but here’s what I have so far. Thoughts?
I walk down the street, almost blinded by the sequins, trying to make my body as small as possible to avoid touching anyone. Where did they all come from? They are dressed like women but with manly features, large jaws and adam’s apples highlighted with bronzer and red gloss. They have wide platform stilettos and fishnet stockings, miniskirts and shiny ringlets, and bras pushing up god knows WHAT they are stuffed with. They meet each other with names like Allison Wunderland and Goldie Locks. They watch me with whispers and licked lips and I finally realize I’ve somehow managed to go where no straight male is ever meant to be: Drag Queen’s Row.
When I was a child, I always wanted to live at Disco World. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of Saturday Night Fever twenty-four hours a day? Even at age six I had four pairs of bell-bottoms, eighteen tie-dyed t-shirts, and an afro wig. I owned every album put out by the Bee Gees, and I never washed my hair or feet. I was the ultimate stereotype and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get a job at the happiest place on earth. I wanted to be John Travolta. I wanted to date the Dancing Queen and I wanted to be her Disco King.
The eighties were a tumultuous time. The introduction of the microwave and synthesizer meant the end of life as we knew it. The disco ball was out, and neon was in. Disco World was created as a magical kingdom where Grateful Deadheads and flower children could coexist as they extolled the virtues of world peace and free love. It was the most original theme park in the world, of that I was certain…
By the time I turn fifteen, in the middle of the eighties, I have waited long enough. I put on my brown bell-bottoms and a brown vest. I don’t have any chest hair yet, but I hoped that wouldn’t matter. I brush my hair, blonde and down just past my shoulders, grab my record just in case, and ask the Farrah Fawcett poster on my bedroom wall to wish me luck.
I walk the mile to Disco World, humming Oh What A Night and bopping my head. I’ve practiced my routine for months, and I hope I will soon get a chance to strut my stuff. When I reach the gate, I can see the Disco Center looming in all its mirrorballed wonder. Sure, I love Boogie Wonderland, Funkytown, and the Copacabana. I even like the World of Yesterday. But my favorite part of the park is the Disco Center. That’s where the Disco Showcase is, with pavilions where you can learn about the many different disco singers and groups. I heard that the guy playing Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees might get fired any day, and I am more than ready to step in as his replacement. I walk up to the security desk, which is being manned by a guy that looked like KC, as in “and the Sunshine Band.”
“Can I help you?”
“Is it true that Maurice is on the outs?” I ask.
“I can neither confirm nor deny rumors about Disco World employees.”
“Maybe this will help.” I slide a fifty across the desk. He slaps his hand over the bill and looks at me sharply. He tilts his head and nods slightly, and I glance at the upper corner of the booth. I don’t see anything, but there must be a camera there. Of course. I give the guard a shrug and keep my lips shut.
“Everyone loves working here,” he says. “Unfortunately, once in a while somebody gets disco inferno, if you know what I mean.” Inferno… he must mean fired!