from Chris Wayan's journal, San Francisco, 1997/5/7
I'm fighting eviction. Bike down Market Street to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, to have them go over our eviction notices. Have to wait over two hours.
I keep busy--draw sketches for my epic dream Fishergirls. I was a lemur girl on an alien planet, on an Odyssean voyage. Fun.
Whenever I get stuck, I just watch my fellow evictees, and listen to the lone volunteer interview person after person--bailing a flood with a spoon.
What should be my next story? A dream? I have so few now. The stress around house-hunting has messed up my sleep and dreaming.
Could I write a story from waking life? My mad uncle's story and its devastating effect on me is the most emotionally urgent, but I don't think I know even the bare facts well enough yet. And the owner-eviction scam in this town is a story needing to be told, but not one I can write yet. Not till my own eviction is settled.
Can I write/cartoon about anorexia? Bonk Veronica is weird and funny--a dream just begging to be told.
But I'm still going to my anorexia support group. Don't want to exploit them--privacy issues! I'd have to change all their names, and wait till I'm no longer in that group. And I LIKE them.
Maybe the Tale Of Prrl instead? That smug galactic beachball! But a vivid, weird dream, and it doesn't raise privacy issues. I didn't like ANYONE in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, and they're unlikely to sue.
But... I dunno. Can I resolve Prrl? I think I don't fully understand that dream... not yet.
Work on some short dreams? Just so I stay free, keep doing art, yet enjoy some variety.
Maybe do some poetry for a while, instead of web art or comix?
My fidgets aren't really artistic. These chronic crises have disrupted my sleep, curtailing my dream-voyages. I hate being confined to "reality" like this--especially since reality is an understaffed office with ugly stains on the rug. Oh, wait--reality is also a lot of beautiful girls I could date... who maybe I've neglected so long because I had such beautiful dreamworlds to explore.
But it's not easy to flirt when in mourning. I'm mourning the amputation of my inner life. My spirit's tide is out. Yeats famously described it in a late poem, The Circus Animals' Desertion... Dream-deprived, I can barely breathe, pressed flat as a butterfly in a book--but only when pinned do I really look at this world--so sordid and splendid, crazily blended.
Once I actually reach the (lone) caseworker, she's nice, businesslike, and fast. I'm out in less than half an hour, eviction-defense in hand.
As long as I'm down here, I walk to the Main Library along Market Street.
Ahead of me is an early teen in a velvet miniskirt and white tights. Feel guilty that I lust for her, she's too young. But she's so cute, wiggles so much--most men sway once per step, women twice, the back-bounce being so quick it's hard to consciously register, despite the emotional effect. But this slinky girl's hips shift three or four times every step. And I don't think she's even consciously trying to draw attention... she's doing this while walking along with her mom and little sister, hand in hand.
Or maybe sexiness is her only possible rebellion...
Ahead, an Asian girl in a dress I think is daringly short from a block away walks up to me... and it's a buttoned skirt flapping open six inches higher with each step! Open up to her crotch. Again I feel as if it's rude to look, yet she obviously wants attention (and looks good enough to carry it off).
What's that stupid Dworkin phrase? Oh, right, 'The male gaze.' As if women were blind!
Shall I coin a counterphrase? Shall I conjure...pussy rays? Lightrays going FROM her skin, physically PENETRATING my eye! My pupil's a pussy opening to the photon-sperm from HER body so boldly displayed... Male gaze? To gaze is as female an act as can be! Slutty, in fact: our eyes let ANYONE in.
Just as to display is a male game in almost every species but ours. Playing with lipstick is a transvestite act all right--for girls. Why aren't boys strutting in skirts and girls ogling? Any bird or mammal will tell you they should. We're the weirdos of the animal world. Even fish know better.
All right, I'll draw some stories about the roots of anorexia. Body image, sex, display, gender AND gender dysphoria.
Think I'll call it... Boy Body.
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