from Chris Wayan's journal, San Francisco, 1997/5/7
I'm still fighting eviction. Bike down Market Street to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, to have them go over our eviction notices. Wait over two hours. I draw sketches for my long, transsexual dream-tale Fishergirl. When I get stuck, I just watch my fellow evictees, and listen to the lone volunteer question 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 suppressed my dreams! 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. The owner-eviction scam in this town is a story but not one I can write yet. Not till my own eviction is settled.
Anorexia? Bonk Veronica is weird and funny--a dream just begging to be told. But I'm still going to the anorexia group. Don't want to exploit them--privacy issues. I'd have to change all their names...
The Tale Of Prrl!? That smug beachball! Vivid, weird, but... I dunno. Can I resolve it? Does it end?
Some short dreams? Just so I stay free, enjoy some variety.
Maybe do some poetry instead of comix for a while?
I hate being confined to "reality" like this--these chronic crises have been co-opting my dream-voyages. 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 worlds to explore.
But now my spirit's tide is out. Yeats described it in 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.
The lone worker is nice, businesslike, fast. I'm out in less than half an hour, defense in hand.
Walk 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 bounce 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 that's her only possible rebellion...
An Asian girl in a dress I think is daringly short from a block away walks up and by 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, that's it, 'The male gaze.' 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: the eye lets 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 odd. Even fish know that.
All right, I'll do some stories about the roots of anorexia. Gender AND body image AND sex AND display...
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