Dreamed 1992/6/15 by Chris Wayan
A parade in suburbia. Two Hometown Queens pass, one perched on a convertible, one standing on a wedding-cake float. As she nears me, she twitches her wrap skirt and it's suddenly gone--just dance-leggings and a tank top--naked in between. And her belly bulges... pregnant! She swells with each breath, full-term in moments. One gasp, and she gives birth standing on the float, waving stubbornly, smile pasted on. And it's no normal birth. A spontaneous Cesarean! The baby oozes out her navel like a drop from a faucet--a spidery monkey-child two feet tall, wet but not bloody and already able to stand. It holds its own placenta out like a trophy to the crowd. A homunculus, the instantaneous little man the alchemists sought? No. Too simian. A homonkeylus.
And now its birth reverses! The monkey leaps up, clings to her stomach and reabsorbs into her navel. She steadily unpregnants, till the bulge is gone--no stretch marks, no blood. Minute Mom adjusts her gown as if nothing ever happened, and is Parade Queen again.
And then she calmly repeats the whole birth! Is it a film loop? I watch closely this time. The monkey emerges into a sort of cage. Though it looks like a stroller, the baby's head is clamped straight and it acts sedated--or under remote control. I protest "That's cruel!" Others chime in, but the woman smiles "It doesn't hurt a bit." Even if true--clamping a newborn's head isn't safe! Or fair. But her own blinders are worse--hers are unnoticed, invisible... accepted.
That day in my Afro-Haitian dance class, we'd warmed up with deep pelvic rolls. Sexy and playful... but then our teacher scolded us for talking, or even looking at each other. Paste a smile on, dancer, and cage your eyes!
After class, crossing campus, I STILL dropped my eyes when I saw anyone sexy--unless she was scruffy like me. Anyone dressed nice will be offended at my very gaze. "The male gaze" the 1970s feminists called it.
Sex and class encage my head. A monkey, trained to dance...
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