The thirst

All that mattered was the thirst.

There was no clarity in my mind about where I was, what I was doing, or who I was with.

All that mattered was the thirst.

It had to be satiated.

All that mattered was the thirst.

I was surrounded by a darkness I thought could only exist in the deepest recesses of my mind.

All that mattered was the thirst.

Yet, even in the complete darkness, I could sense someone there.

All that mattered was the thirst.

A growl rose from my stomach and into my throat. I was so close, I could taste it.

All that mattered was the thirst.

I growled and grunted, a wrathful predator snapping teeth at the air.

All that mattered was the thirst.

The growl was swallowed up by the darkness, then swiftly followed by footsteps.

All that mattered was the thirst.

The click of high heels approaching accompanied by the light creak of leather and latex.

All that mattered was the thirst.

Gentle breathing upon my neck.

I didn’t dare move.

A gloved hand met my face and drew me in. Skin met skin.

All that mattered was the thirst.

Falling

You know how in films (usually romantic comedies) the main character always hits a low point – like no job, no girl, no house, or something – and then suddenly things start looking up for them? It worked out that I got the date for my second opinion appointment, got offered a great job (theatre editor of a local free magazine), and got my progression to masters in the same week. Pretty awesome.

And yet, it feels like I am empty.

The first person I want to share all this amazing stuff with is her, but she has someone else to be happy with and for.

I guess, in the end, it’s impossible to have it all; it is impossible to get the dream job, to be with the girl you accidentally develop feelings for, and to feel on top of things more often than you feel down.

I don’t know. It just… it feels as though there’s nowhere to go from here, aside from settling into the new job, finish off my dissertation, and look for a few more jobs to support myself fully. Work and academic progressions are quite rare, and quite liberating, but there’s nothing to fill the gap that is saturated with emotions for her. It used to be filled with rage, and frustration, but now it’s been substituted with a quiet melancholy and occasional embarrassment.

Seeing her again yesterday just brought it all back in one huge rush of emotion. I didn’t really have any control over it – not as much as I thought I had anyway. I knew what was happening on the inside, and yet couldn’t stop it. It was like knowing I was about to fall but didn’t catch myself.

I have to pull myself out of it though. I want to stop, to step away, and not keep falling. I have to -mainly for my sanity. I am sure this is not what I think it is, and that I am just immaturely obsessed with the thought of her.

Hell’s Bells

[Felt like writing some good ol’ fashioned fiction…]

The bells’ knell resounded through the village.

Nature went silent. She muffled the birds, stilled the swaying of the trees, frozen the wind, as if she knew what was coming.

The cobbled streets of the village were empty and silent.

Then it began.

High-pitched screams echoed across the countryside, startling birds into flight. Birds flew off en masse, but the flapping of their wings was not loud enough to stifle the bloodcurdling screeches coming from the village.

Amid the confusion, a door creaked, followed swiftly by the whipping of hard steel through the air, ending in a low groan.

Moments later, silence reigned, as if nothing had happened.

The bells rang still, seemingly louder in the deathly quiet.

Somewhere a door swung open, clearly too heavy for its hinges.

Heavy panting sounded, then the grinding of a match as its tip was ignited. A moment’s silence dominated, then there came a healthy pop and crackle as flames swallowed the village remains.

The scent of burning flesh and wood turning to ashes filled the air.

Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on.

This singular phrase has been echoing in my mind for the past two or three weeks. It’s not the only line of Shakespeare I remember, and certainly not the solitary line I know. So why has it been playing over and over in my mind?

Well, I suppose – first and foremost – I like my Shakespeare. It’s the first line of Twelfth Night, a play all about disguise, mistaken identity, love, and misplaced emotion. What’s not to like?

Also, according to my high school teacher, it had passages that alluded to homosexuality – always welcome in a classic play (just in case teenagers get bored of it, yeah?). The passages in question were the dialogue between Antonio and Sebastian, where you can occasionally find the word “love” and strong words reflecting passion and a more-than-friendly relationship. I always felt she was stretching it, mainly because many interpretations of Shakespeare are very sterile and clinical. Schools and teachers like to tell you what they think a book and its content means, whereas its author may have just written it to while away the hours or entertain a king or queen.

To be fair, I think Shakespeare might’ve added the ‘homoerotic allusions’ to keep people guessing. By this point in the play, he’d already constructed the romance between Olivia and Cesario (aka Viola, who was dressed as a man for her own protection). Perhaps he felt the need to keep the plot balanced: Olivia developed feelings for Cesario (Viola), Viola had feelings for Orsino, and Orsino had feelings for Olivia. Also, Cesario/Viola looks identical to Sebastian, so it is easy to see where the disguise comes into the romantic relationships.

I dunno… Admittedly, I don’t know why that play is important – aside from the fact that it was written by Shakespeare. In the spectacle that is theatre, if we don’t look to Shakespeare, it is assumed we know very little about it.

I guess it’s also an important play because Twelfth night was the English version of Venice’s Carnival – it took role-reversal to the extreme. And it was part of the system, when society allowed for it to happen. Or so I’ve been told…

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Lessons from Priscilla: Queen of the Desert

Described on the poster as the best feel-good musical since “mamma mia”, “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” certainly deserves that title. With disco ball visual effects and musical numbers like “It’s Raining Men”, “I Will Survive” and “True Colours”, it isn’t difficult to see why it is popular. Disco might be thought to be dead as a dodo, but Priscilla proves it is not. The colourful costumes seemed a mix of disco fashion, Lady Gaga, and haute couture.

Admittedly, I am eternally sceptical of writing about musicals – I am a fan of many, but I do recognise that the story line is not always the most important thing in a musical, and stretching it can cause it to fall apart very quickly. With the particular musical, I was concerned at first that it would be the “hey, let’s laugh at the men in dresses” show, but it became obvious very quickly that this was not the case. While the drag queens were funny, no one was laughing at them, but with them. They were supported throughout the show by the audience, and all the way.

Everyone in the crowd cheered when Felicia (the youngest and most thrill-seeking of the drag queens) was saved from a fight by Bernadette (transsexual woman) who barged into the bar scene and kicked the chief-instigator-cum-idiot in the nuts. It was a “you go girl!” moment, although we all knew Bernadette was a post-op, transsexual woman played by a man.

I don’t think anyone in the production or the audience condones violence, but it was a moment of rallying against injustice – an injustice that many people actually still go through today. Bern (as she was affectionately known) then went on to fall for Bob, a mechanic who saw her perform many years ago. The feelings were requited, and celebrated with champagne.

As a trans*man, I am often asked if my parents know, and what will happen if and when they find out. I suppose sometimes it is best not to think about it. Having seen Priscilla, I can say I am not scared any more (or well, not as much as I was). Priscilla, among other things, was about family.

To put it simply, the plot follows the journey of three drag queens from Sydney to Alice Springs. The entire journey begins from Mitzi – the main drag queen – travelling to Alice Springs to perform and meet his wife and 6 year old son. While the three struggle with their own ego and their past, it is very obvious by the end that they are family. They are there for each other. It reflects a feeling I’ve had with queer people I’ve met in the past few months; we’re family. We stick together.

While I greatly appreciate the opportunities my parents have given me in life, I know that if things go belly up (aka terribly wrong), I do have a family. I have my friends; queer or not, straight, gay, bi, trans*, cis, black, white, […] who cares? We’re friends, and family to an extent. We stick together, and try to help each other in times of trouble In the same way the Houses of the New York Ballroom scene were established in the 70s and 80s, we are family – we just don’t share a name.

Either way, I am pretty sure my reading of Priscilla is not the same as anybody else’s. Maybe to some it was just a good night out – and it was. It also recognised the diversity in the drag scene itself, although only reflected through three characters. It felt as though, if something went down outside the theatre, people would stick up for one another, and protect each other, even though that was probably not the case. Perhaps this is ambitious, but that is one of the purposes of art; to bring us all together. Not in a hippy “let’s hold hands” kind of way, but just as a community of people who understand and care about each other, just as Bob the mechanic understood what drag queens were about.