Next Winter

It’s just a stage, they said. But it wasn’t. It was his life.

The power it gave him when he put on that makeup, those shoes, those dresses. When he became her.

They said it wasn’t allowed. So he carefully wiped away the lipstick, removed the wig, slipped off the high heels and walked away. He left the lamp on.

This wasn’t the end, he said. She’d be back in all her finery. Not just a stage. His stage. The panto will return. The Dame will reappear. You will cheer and laugh and clap. Next Winter, when all this is…behind you.