by Michael Rodriguez
“Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie. Miss Vaaaanjie.” Those words have been echoing through the internet since Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s now-iconic exit from RuPaul’s Drag Race on March 22.” - Vulture
Miss Vanjie said she would buy the flowers herself.
For Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams had her werq cut out for her. The weaves would have to be snatched from their edges; the All-Star judges were coming. And then, thought Ms. Vanessa Vanjie, what a morning—on fleek, as if gifted to twinks on the Fire Island shores.
How fresh, how sickening, how yas-slay-mama-slay, the air was in the early morning; like the slap of a Strawberry-Daiquiri to the face; the kiss of a wave; chilled and flying high as a receding hairline and yet (for a qween of twenty-six as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there on the catwalk, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the fish in the audience, at the hunties and hennies with concealer winding off them and the shade rising, falling; standing and looking until Pearl serving her best Stepford-Wife-Robot-Bitch said, "Is there something on my face?"
She felt somehow very like her—the boss diva who had eliminated herself in All-Stars 3. She felt glad that she had done it; sashayed away.
The clock was gagging.
The foundation contour dissolved in the air. BenDeLaCreme made her feel the beauty; made her feel slayed; concussed. But she must go back. She knew from her death-drop she must assemble.
Ms. Vanjie had a theory in those days . . . that since our drag personas, the butch or femme bad-bitch in us which walks, are so momentary compared with the other, the tucked part of us, which spreads wide, the unseen might come thru, be recovered somehow attached to this fierce legend or that. And could she sell her sex on the floor if, say, the category is...realness with a twist?
Yas, Gawd Honey!
She had a perpetual sense, as she side-eyed the gurls lipsyncing for their lives, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the faux queen feeling that it was very, very dangerous to vogue even one day in herstory.
This late age of the season’s run had bred in them all, every Glamazon for the Gods, a well of tears. Tears and sorrows; courage and endurance; a perfectly upright and stoical bearing. To which Miss Vanjie could only surmise a “Bye felicia!”
Did it matter then, Miss Vanjie asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely? If this Kiki must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely?
She thought there were no Gods; no one was to read her; and so she evolved this atheist's religion of slaying for the sake of slaying.
He thought her resting on body, but believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in highlight gloss.
But nothing is so strange when one is in love (and no tea, no shade, but what was this except being in love?) as the complete indifference to padding.
What is this terror? what is this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with this elegancia extravagancia?
It is Miss Vanjie, he said.
For there she was.
Michael Rodriguez is a Dominican American writer whose work has appeared on Funny Or Die, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Thought Catalog, The Annual Varsity Show, and more. He is a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Program and is one half of the digital sketch team MellowDramatic. For more visit his website.