Tuesday, March 29, 2005

imagination on being gay and on being heroin-addicted

I'm just back from a trip to the West coast. It was an 850-mile long, breathtakingly beautiful drive along the coast from Portland down to San Francisco, studded with lots of pleasant surprises--excellent crab cakes in a tiny restaurant in the middle of nowhere (sorry, folks), big chunks of happy flesh sunbathing on rocks off the coast (seals and sea lions, that is), and cities with trees in full bloom. Continuous hairpin curves and steep downhill were also impressive ( to tell the truth, scary enough to make me grip the handle on the door even when I wasn't driving), but the two most vivid impressions were about people.

In San Francisco, we took an aimless stroll in the Castro neighborhood, among many others. It is a gay/lesbian/transgender neighborhood with so many cute little shops and fancy-looking restaurants, many of which proudly display the rainbow flags and banners. Same sex couples were everywhere--happily holding hands as they walk along the charming streets. Their free and natural expressions of affection was very heartwarming, just like those of heterosexual couples. But with so many homosexual couples around, being there with my heterosexual boyfriend almost seemed wrong. Not that I felt totally alienated, nor that they cast mean/hostile glances at us, which could be their everyday experience in the heterosexual world, but I felt a slight unease about the fact that I'm "different." Flipside of which is, of course, the sense of alienation that same sex couples might feel in the predominantly heterosexual neighborhood, which is about 99% of the neighborhoods. I had never been in an area as openly homosexual as Castro was before. Until I was there, I didn't realize how it would feel to be homosexual in this sometimes hostile world of heterosexuals. That was a fresh experience.

Another one was a horrifying one. When we were on one of those old-fashioned trollies, equipped with jolly drivers, a woman got on. I couldn't help noticing her strange proportion--a big face with a double chin, a quite chunky torso, and anolexically thin, almost twiggy limbs that stuck out of the heabily bosomed torso. As she took a seat several empty rows in front of us, I noticed the deep lines on her skin around her upper arms as well, obviously indicating that she had lost a huge amount of weight in a blink. I wondered if she had had the scary liposucction (I believe that is what it is called--the plastic surgery in which your fat is literaly vacuumed out through small incisions). Whatever she paid for the surgery, that isn't doing her any good. She looks just scary, not at all beautiful, I thought. She was one of tose cases of strange proportion resulting in the grotesque. I shook my imaginary head. My boyfriend told me, after we got off the bus, that she must have been a heroine addict and that heroine has that weird effect on human body. Either way, she scared me in the same pitiful way the gorems in Lord of the Rings did, something that is very much human with only a few very wrong features...


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