... Bout de thin little girl wit de elbows pointing everr' which way. But She got her a sweet lil voice goes all low when she serious. Oooooh, look at her. Hair all stringy & changin' wit de seasons. A lil mouse, a lil cat all lanky in de rain. Every time I see her i want ta take her in my arms an' hold her face up to the moon. Trouble is, I ain't de only one. Every chit in Chinatown want ta Rock n' Roll sweet Sotto to sleep. All of us want ta swing her to de stars, or write her up in de sky, ooh-wah, ooh-wah. She don't know it, or do she? She walk in dark places, She look up in de sky and howl at the moon, or look you right in your eye and bear her teeth till you go all jelly or curl up in a little ball on de sidewalk in de summer and close her eyes and sing... And damn, everr' woman with soul in her belly get de fire between her legs, come out on the stoop to lissen, eyes half close, swaying to dat sweet Sotto Music. Den, out come 'Baccy; we all scurry away when Gebaucis come out.
Gebaucis-whom everyone call Baccy, jes not to her face- She Sotto's Woman. She a big Bad Mama, She like an Amazon, big broad bad-ass woman, tall like a tree and built like a two-by-four wit bosoms. Anyone look at her dey say, "Dere go de Stoniest Butch I see in my Life! An' chile, I done got Around." But it ain't true. O sure, anyone look crosswise at her Sotto-gal she plant 'em three-ways in de ground, but dat woman a big Butch-mallow. She sweet as pie, polite as sugar. She chaw tobacco sometime- part o' why she call Baccy, side de fact dat she remine us o' Chewbaca. And she do treat Sotto good. She come outta de house, but she don't make Sotto stop singing. She jes stand dere, looking Butch and lissenin, making sure no fire-crotch hussy looking at her Sotto-girl. Shit, she My Sotto, I do damn near de same ting. Anyway, some o' us sneak looks tru de window 'neeways. And all o' us lissen close to de door as possible, till dat sweet little voice cut off n' she go back den inside. Den we all got de fire in our pussies we got to take care of. So it reel quiet for 'bout an hour, den everyone gotta git an go 'bout dey buisiness.
I's Armide, so you know. Chilluns call me Auntie Ammie, (As I de Story-teller 'bout here) Every udder chit call us Middie. C'ept Valentina, She call everyone by dey proper name. Valentina a real High-Class lady, Verr' Refine an Elegant. She prob'ly de only chit in town wat don look three ways at Sotto-girl. She picky. But she ain't taken on woman since Ecne. Don' know how long ago t'was naw, since Ecne left. She left outta shame, Partly Outta Valentina insistin'. Don' understand all dat really, don' pretend to. Wern't Ecne's fault. And not a chit cared three-ways no-way. Jes Valentina an Ecne, I g'ess. Perhaps I otta tell you de whole story, from de beginnin. Das what I do, fer'all.
As I tell you, Valentina an Este was Lovers. Actual, dey was Wives. Ecne were de onliest woman Valentina allowed give her a baby. Pritty little Gel t'was too.... name of Guilhemena, an we all call her Guilia. An She was such a little beauty, she coulda had any o de little chits 'roun de block, she stir up so much crotch-fire an heart-talkin. But she was an Odd little gel. Coulden git her mind off de Mens! She wis- um, 17, and all she could talk about wis mens! Not 'roun her Mama 'do.
I remember one day, Me an some O' de udder Biddies was'all settin up in de sodashop-barbershop, Drinkin' de lemonade an Watching Oprah (Cuz Mathilda, Lady dat own de joint, an karl-de-hairdresser, dey love dat show and dat ol' crust-cuntchy lady Oprah), An lil' Guilia an de lil' tom-gel name of Sprat, an 'Thilda, De lil' Gel O' Mathilda, dey wis setting dere playin spoons for ginger snaps and talkin 'bout Wimmins, pretending dey all big.
"Oooh Chile! You heard Sotto sing it down today?" 'Thilda a long black gel, firm all over, look jes like Mathilda wen she wis a little 'un. Sprat swooned.
"You know it girl! She three-ways fly." Guilia roll her eyes.
"Yeah, an she three-ages too ol' fer you lil chit-munks. Sides, Ol' Baccy hear you spit like dat, She plaster you lil' baby face all o'er de damn street."
"Oh, an she jes right fer you huh Guilly baby?" Spratt tease. Spratt a lil' blonde grrrrl, her mamies two o' de stoniest Butches I ever see- an I been Aroun, chile. Name of Tonka an' Indy, an' dey gel take after 'em too; she jes got a good han' wit de fly little ladies. Guilia shake her little beaded head.
"Naw baby, She ain't my racket t'all."
Now, I tell you, dat got my attention good, cus not noone- Not even Valentina, iffen you keep at her- deny Sotto Hot ('Cept to Baccy face) Lessen dey arried.
"Grrl! What you on?" 'Thilda mouth wide open.
"I tell you." An Guilia lookin jes like her Mammies, all refine an smart, ab she say, reel low, she say, "Onliest thing like gits me reel hot, you ain't gwine fine in dis town."
Sprat suck in her breath, "Git out!"
"Naw baby, I serious." She smile all secret.
What you got 'dere gel?" Ask 'Thilda. Gulia lean in wit dat lil' smile on her lip and she say reel low, "De Mens."
Thilda an Spratt jes let their air out like balloons, wit dey mouths all open an gaping like fishes.
"Git OUT!" whisper 'Thilda, all breathless.
"Nawt doin baby. T'ain't nuthin like em. Swear."
Now all us biddies all turn roun' an' Vilanje, Valentina's sister, she got to pipe up.
"Men! Now really child, what can a man give you that you can't get from a good woman?" Valentia family pride themsel's dat dey talk all refined. An' I tell you sumptin' else, Valentina woulda slapped Guilia's face three-ways to sunday she hear her talkin like de rest o' us chits. She woulda killed her, she hear her talkin bout de mens like dat.
But dat lil'get set her chin proud, jes like her smart-ass birth-mama, an she say, "Wimmens fuck, dey gotta use a thing outta rubber. Mens got a thing outta real flesh dey use to give wimmens babies. And baby, de mens got these bodies all hard, an dey covered in dis reel fine hair, and whew- dey got a sweet sexy smell get me aw hot jes' thinkin bout it." Now, Karl look like he bout to faint, an I'm wonderin how dis lil' chittersnap know all dis. Dere ain't a lot o boys in dis here town, an most of em', like Karl, dey truck wit de other mens.
"You don' need no mens girl!" Say Ange, who I use ta truck wit, "What you need is a Stone Butch!" Dis make every chit bust up three-ways laughin' , cept Mathilda, Karl, and Guilia, who keep reel hard dat lil' set chin o' hers.
"I don' want no woman think she a man. I want de real thing."
Now dat make de whole shop go all quiet. See, sumpthin you gotta understan' s'at in dis town, well, we all been here a long time. We all sorta forgot dat mens who like wimmens ain't tryin ta be stony butch. We forgot de terms 'strait' an 'queer' an 'bent' n'all, I mean, s'not like we need de mens thing ta git a baby in a woman. An de menfolk don' need wimmenfolk to get babies niether. De rest o de worlds' kinde... oblivious to us, an we to 'dem. So where Gulia got ideas like dat I t'aint de foggiest. Finally, Mathilda gwine speak up.
"Now, you Lassies... an you too Karl, you lissen up an you lissen up good. Ah've been hir longer dan any o you trollops. Ah've been outside de invisible walls o dis wee township. An dasis how cunts think out dere. Ach, belive it, don', but out dere, dere's wimmens wat think t'aint nuttin better dan de mens arms an de mens thing. An deres mens what truck after de wimmens too. T'aint nuttin wrong wi dat. Some o' us Queers- an dat's wat dey call us- Queers, bufties, dykes, bent-boys, Homos, fags- some o' us live out dere, an dey don' ken how ta make de babies wit each other. An de Heteros"- She say dat like de ol' folk say knee-grows, a word like she ain't use for a long-ass time- "Dey live wit dem, tho dey don' really like it much. So wat if dis wee burd happens ta truck wi de Laddies, well, how should we be as stupid as de cunts out dere? Ye ken?" An Mattie gie de room such a look! We all jes sorta look down an shame, till Vilange, she gotta gwine and pipe up.
"Girl, just what is your mother going to say?" Naw DAT make Guilia drop a lil. We know she ain't talkin bout Ecne niether. Wat VALENTINA gwine say, dat de real question. But Guilia don' git to answer, cuz Mattie come jus' den to de rescue.
"Wat Miz Valentina ken, dat all she need ta ken, an it should make no neverminds ta da rest o' ye trollops. Dis wee birdie's affairs are one o' those t'ings, she don need to ken. An it gwine stay dat way, ken?"
Mathilda, she kinda like... well, she sorta de wise woman 'roun here. Every chit in Chinatown lissen three-ways to Mathilda when she speak. So everyone gwine je's nod dey heads, an de lil'gels sorta shuffle off. But somebody, an I bet my last plug nickle it was dat stuck-up chit Vilanje, must not a lissen too good, cuz soon after dat, you could hear Valentina shoutin like de devil all de way up on de hill, so loud Baccy almos' tromp on up dere tell her ta shut up, cuz she drownin out her Sotto-girl. But nevermind, it wern't long befo' Guilia and Ecne both gwine up and lit outta town an never come back, leavin' Valentina in dat dere big ol house on dat big ol' hill, all alone. But even up dere, she can hear Sotto singin her sweetness down wit all us other trollops. An I seen her window open on such a day, jes a crack, so I know she lissen. Not dat you'll ever git dat sass t'admit to it. da rest o' ye trollops. Dis wee birdie's affairs are one o' those t'ings, she don need to ken. An it gwine stay dat way, ken?"
Mathilda, she kinda like... well, she sorta de wise woman 'roun here. Every chit in Chinatown lissen three-ways to Mathilda when she speak. So everyone gwine je's nod dey heads, an de lil'gels sorta shuffle off. But somebody, an I bet my last plug nickle it was dat stuck-up chit Vilanje, must not a lissen too good, cuz soon after dat, you could hear Valentina shoutin like de devil all de way up on de hill, so loud Baccy almos' tromp on up dere tell her ta shut up, cuz she drownin out her Sotto-girl. But nevermind, it wern't long befo' Guilia and Ecne both gwine up and lit outta town an never come back, leavin' Valentina in dat dere big ol house on dat big ol' hill, all alone. But even up dere, she can hear Sotto singin her sweetness down wit all us other trollops. An I seen her window open on such a day, jes a crack, so I know she lissen. Not dat you'll ever git dat sass t'admit to it.