“You don’t mind if I take notes do you Wheeler?”
“Not if you don’t mind me watching tv while we talk.”
“Fair enough. Oh me, what iz that?”
“It’s comedy. Blowtorch to the head. Side splitting.”
“I guess so,” says a confused Hoss. “So we better start. Teebestia warned me I have to get above ground by sunset.”
“She’s smart. Have I met her?”
“I’m not sure. She sent me down to do the initial interview. She may enter later.”
“Cool. So what do you want to know about me pumpkin?”
Hoss blushed slightly. “First off, where are you from? Where are you born?”
Hoss gets chills. So that checks off, he thinks. “And your birth name is Wheeler Wilson, like it is now?” Others warned him that this may not be so.
“Nah,” Wheeler admitted. “I was born a man. Wilson Wheeler. I reversed the name when I reversed sexes. Or changed sexes, whatever. How’s that?”
Hoss scratches his head. He didn’t expect this! How to proceed: he decided to ask the most obvious question to get it out of the way. “Why… why did you do that, Wheeler?” Then he realized he probably went too far and backed off. “I mean, only if you want to tell…”
“I was in disguise. I was a woman all along. Except I didn’t realize it. Until I became one. 21.”
“Years. 21 years. That’s when I became Wheeler Wilson and not Wilson Wheeler.”
Hoss was, fer sure, thinking that Wheeler was lying now. She knows about Henry Wilson!
“What’s your stance on civil rights, Wheeler Wilson?” He eyed her keenly.
She threw up her hands. “Civil rights for all. Man, woman, black, white, Muslim, Christian. Why wouldn’t I be for civil rights since I’ve been on both sides of the fence? Gimme a break. How can you be prejudice of someone you’ve been!”
“Have you been black as well?”
Without answering, Wheeler locks stares with Hoss.
For a moment he was somewhere else.