Thursday, May 25, 2006
You Can See Out, But Nobody Can See Inside
Years ago, I tried on some leather lingerie in a store on Bourbon Street. I didn't have any money, being a grad student, but the owner assured me and my friend Shelley that we could try on anything we wanted in the entire store just for fun. We were with a man named David who had chosen the porno store just down the street to come out with his homosexuality (no surprise to anyone -- David was nearly forty and had a long distance "fiance" and each day at lunch in the grad student lounge, he'd make a production of setting her framed picture in front of him as he ate while ogling every man who entered the room) right before we saw one of our closeted long-married professors (it was SMLA, a type of English conference week, held in New Orleans -- there is a God!) come out of a boy on boy peep show -- Hello, Dr. . . . ! we said, in which might have been one of the more awkward social interactions ever.
To lighten the mood as David was feeling shaken by his recent confession, we cruised into a store that had a bunch of whips and corsets in the window. Basically a shy person, I nearly died at the thought of even holding a whip in my hand, but alas Shelley and I were hurried upstairs to try on some outfits. The owner said, Just change in front of the window. You can see out, but nobody can see inside. Both of us were stupid enough to believe this might be the case. (Grad school does horrible things for your good sense.) I quickly took off my shorts and t-shirt and looked out onto the street, full of people getting drunk and going to see the tourist voodoo shops. After a minute, I stepped away from the window and moved into an attached back room filled with dildos and butt plugs, things I had never seen before. Eventually, Shelley and I descended the stairs, like brides in a twisted movie, and modelled our outfits. The owner approved, as did David, and we half-heartedly whipped a few inantimate objects in the shop before returning to change into our own clothes, the only thing in the store we could afford. The day continued, as days do, and we continued our search for something that would transform us (we settled on Hurricanes), and walked the streets until the light died, and we needed something more than a drink to kill our hunger.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got." Janis Joplin
(a happy little dessert with alcohol)
Serve the following ingredients in a crepe!
a drizzle of Frangelico
Bendictions and Maledictions
First published in Bordersenses
The skinny ones like me went first,
those who didn’t worry about being
over their designated weight, the doctor’s
office scale recording every variation,
the only good thing was being less than
before. In the background, the other ones
locked themselves into bathroom stalls,
vomiting what they had left inside them,
stripping down to their bra and panties for
the final tally, the number that would decide
whether they would be allowed to dance
that week during half-time. I watched them,
teenagers that looked like women, hips,
thighs, and stretch marks. They dated boys,
went to parties, had abortions. Still a child,
I had sex with men twice my age, acted
the part long before I knew the lines, never
bled once a month like women always do
eventually, not that anyone could see anyway.