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I WAS AN ELEPHANT HANDLER

Dreamed 1989/4/3 by Chris Wayan

A bisexual friend of mine took me to the Pickle Family Circus in SF. I got a crush on the flying trapezist. Humans get as beautiful as leopards, when we bother to live in our bodies. But so few of us do...

My friend found her attractive too, but she worried: "Should she show off her body like that? Is this exploitive?"

As she spoke, I realized I'd learned the same childhood lesson: NEVER draw attention, especially sexual... NOT EVEN IF YOU CAN CARRY IT OFF!

THAT NIGHT

I work in a circus. My boss, Mister Pickle (short for Practickle) has me caring for the elephants, but I want to be a clown-girl or a trapeze artist. I'm tired of handling big old gray wrinkled things! I want to be a star, show off, get some attention, some fans, some laughs.

But Mr. Pickle's noticed that I watch my fellow carnies, not the audience. He laughs "Aw, you just want those muscle boys to pick you up... in both senses!"

And the damn clown is right... except for gender. I don't want to impress the audience OR the highwire guys. It's the trapeze girls I like. They're hot! But (sigh) they're probably just straight little teens with trapezoid boyfriends...

And meanwhile, in the next ring, one of the trapeze girls I long for giggles "That new elephant handler sure is cute."

And her girl friend whispers "Yeah, but she's bound to be straight."

NEXT MORNING

I draw it all up as a sort of circus poster:

My new boss wants me to handle the circus elephants, but I want to be a clown-girl or a trapeze artist. I'm tired of handling big old gray wrinkled librarians--oops, elephants! (I was working in a library at the time). I want to be a star, get some attention... but not from the audience, from the trapeze girls. They're hot. But (sigh) they're probably straight... (Meanwhile, in the next ring: a trapezist giggles 'That new elephant handler is cute' and her girl friend whispers 'Yeah, but she's bound to be straight.'
(If that's too small, here's the same poster doublesized.)

The dream warned that the glamor and terror and joy of life, for me at least, right now, is in baring myself (politically correct or not). Daring to show off, flirt, and be a star. And to be out of the closet about who I lust for! Damn the consequences--quit being a cautious elephant handler.

Elephants? That's no mystery! I was working in a library when I dreamed this--and handling professional librarians all day. Gray, wrinkled, intelligent, individualistic, cranky, formidable, and they never, ever forget.



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