17 St. Phillip Street –Part 18-

Art by Rob Goldstein
Annabelle Zelda Marshall

Annabelle Zelda Marshall was sipping an iced tea (sans ice) when the raid began.

She was confused and asked a sprinting drag queen what the shouting was about.

“It’s a raid!” he shrieked, as a policeman gathered him up and shoved him through the door.

Margaret sat quietly and watched the commotion.

Eventually a cop went to her table.

“Come with me, please.”

“Why?” asked Annabelle.

“This establishment is closed.”

Annabel slowly rose, using her cane to support her weight.

“I thought prohibition had been repealed,” she said, as she gave the cop her arm.

The cop took Annabel’s arm and examined her closely. He had never seen a fag who look so much like his grandmother.

Outside Paul was in a headlock and demanded to see his lawyer.

Annabel wondered what kind of crime Paul could commit.

She looked up at the cop who had her arm and said: “I thought I was going to see a play about Jesus. A friend did say it was blasphemous but I surely didn’t know that one could still be arrested for blasphemy!”

“What is your name, please?”

Annabel was proud to say her name: “Annabel Zelda Marshall!”

“No—,” said the officer. “Your real name.”

“That IS my real name!”

The officer again examined Annabel’s face; this is one convincing old drag queen, he thought to himself. “Step into the light for me.”

Annabel lost her patience: “My Pappy was one of the noble heroes in the great battle against Sherman in Atlanta. My Pappy almost died trying to save that honorable city but he didn’t die, no! He came back here to his home and his Pappy’s home and his Pappy before that and now I have to stand here because some Yankee transplant doesn’t know my name? Marshall. Marshall. M-A-R-S-H-A-L-L!”

The cop had heard the name: “As in Gunsmoke?” he asked.

Paul, who was face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back heard Annabel’s speech and shifted slightly: “That’s her real name!” he said.

That earned him a kick in the face.

“Cuff the old fag!” said the cop that kicked Paul.

“She’s a woman!” screamed Paul. He got another kick.

Annabel hiked the hem of her skirt: “Do ah have to lift mah skirts to avoid incarceration!” spat Annabel.

The cop’s eyes grew wide and then he laughed.

“What the Hell is a woman your age doing in a queer bar?”

Text and image Rob Goldstein (c)2016 all rights reserved