Later in life I was haunted a little by the coochie show I mentioned way back in some chapters. Not the “girls”, but the freaks from the sideshow. I kept thinking about the life the little hermaphrodite led. Or the bearded woman or the hunchback or the scaly snake boy. It was a concern that was expanded–or detonated or something–by reading “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn. I just couldn’t get over it for weeks. Then I started thinking about those freaks on show for the price of a ticket and it started getting next to me, personally.
I always hate it when gays or any minority get antsy when you say “normal”. And okay, being queer or licking shoes or whatever might be “natural”, and it’s certainly fine for you to do in my book. But it’s not “normal”. That word has meanings, and if there are norms, then that’s what normal. You could say blondes aren’t normal actually, let alone redheads. But not if you’re talking about Sweden. The problem is “abnormal” has come to take on extra weight. Not just being in a small percentage, but really meaning “freak”. And it occurred to me that almost everything I have and am in life comes from being abnormal. They let me go to school for free because I’m abnormally quick and tough and coordinated. I get paid to model and show off my ass and even body double in films because I don’t look like most people. I look like a teensy percentage of people that other people like to look at. And touch.
And I wanted to touch those freaks. Bad. Don’t you? Kids sure do. And kids wills stare at people, reach out to touch people in public, because they look different. They stare at a fat woman, a guy with one leg, the first guy they see with a full beard, a nasty scar, weird clothes. Because they’re different. Men go out of their way to look at women because we look different. Otherwise they could get their jollies with any mirror.
But I’m even more different than most women. My facial and body forms are out on some high-end long-tail (if you’ll excuse the expression) so they will actually pay to look at me. And touch. Those people the kids stare at on the street just aren’t fascinating enough that anybody would pay to see them. If the guy had three legs instead of one, they just might.
So I became aware of myself as a freak. In fact, the rappers and nigga-wannabes were all calling women “freaks” at that point. I quickly started seeing myself not as an athlete, not as a hot ticket, but as Superfreak. One more attraction in the sideshow of glamour and artifice and sexual fetishism. It’s an attitude that serves me well, a sure antidote against egotism and overestimation. Lots of girls in these trades deeply think that they are some rare breed of hot shit and should be worshipped for it. A lot of the real modeling disasters are girls who feel that way, but don’t have the looks to back it up. So they dump all their money and time and esteem into trying to get there. And a lot of girls are being filmed getting multi-cornholed in some warehouse in the Valley because they see themselves as trash and the attention their bodies gets them confuses them. I seem to be pretty free of self-delusion. Just one of the freaks. It’s a living for me, just like it is for the crocodile boy with the carnie. It’s not a choice. You’re born this way. Sometimes people get the impression I’m egotistical or stuck-up if I say something like “Men generally give me what I want because I’m beautiful and built.” But it’s just true. For now. Just the facts of my world as I’ve experienced it. Like saying “I get picked first for basketball because I’m taller than everybody else.” I don’t see it as something to feel superior about.
It took a little longer to shake my pride about sports. I did feel superior about that, and I liked the fact that sports, unlike beauty or other forms of talent, has a proving ground. You don’t get into big arguments about who can run faster or jump higher. You go out and have a race and everybody sees who won. But I came to see that as being the same thing, a freak show. You walk into a group of NBA or NFL players and tell me it’s not a sideshow attraction. These are not normal people. And that’s when they’re just standing there. Blow a whistle and you’ll see some freakishly abnormal behavior. It is not normal to be able to throw a basketball through a net from behind the half court line. Maybe getting a few years past my glory years in sports has mellowed my impression. But I think it’s part of that same learning thing. A little secret thing in your brain that says, “You’re not better than other people. You’re just freakier.”
I hate to keep coming back to this damned “where’s the line between flesh and spirit, beauty and filth” thing but since I started writing this it’s been a lot on my mind. And I keep coming back to something to do with moving from sight to touch. Somebody reading this serial sent me something about “oculis“, sins of the eyes. Sinning by looking at the wrong thing or in the wrong way. But that’s the sort of hog slop that medieval Catholics cooked up when they weren’t burning girls tits off for being witches or some such spiritual endeavor. Not a common obsession. But when you touch something, you can get it dirty. Or get dirt on you. That’s why your mother tells you not to touch anything when you’re in the mechanic’s shop.
It’s certainly a major line for a lot of women, isn’t it? Your boss touches you, is that OK? It’s like a membrane and the other side of it leads to a different sort of thing than the talking/looking side. You can complain about it to the company. Unwanted touching of another person is actually against the law in most places. You can be arrested for it. Maybe you could get arrested for looking at somebody, but you’d really have to work at it. I’ve worked in places where they made it clear, “The girls can touch you, but you can’t touch them.” And if you don’t believe it, you might just get tossed out on your butt. Maybe even pounded flat in the parking lot out back.
It’s like a leading question, something that leads in another door or to another set of rules with no limits at all. A person touching you can make you orgasm, can hurt you, can kill you. It’s really the Big Door in human intercourse. This dickhead director I met in Rometold me, “If a woman permits you to touch her, then she will permit you to fuck her.” And he said it like it was some natural law he’d proved out. Turned out he wasn’t as right about that as he thought, by the way. He might have ended up revising his philosophy. And all I got was a really stern talk from this handsome older polizia who was trying to keep a straight face about the whole incident.
And there’s a corollary, “If a woman won’t permit you to touch her, then she won’t permit you to fuck her.” And we’re right back to the line between good spirit and bad flesh being drawn most clearly at the point when two collections of flesh come into physical contact.
But generally they’ll tell you can’t just beat up any guy who troubles you. Sorry feminists, but men generally are bigger, stronger, and more used to violence. I’m not the usual woman. I’m tough and quick and can take a hit and am used to violence. Also I generally have surprise working for me. They don’t expect what happens to them to be coming from some petite bitch and are hopefully all messed up before they realize there’s a fight going on instead of foreplay.
But I don’t pretend I don’t have limitations in that. Especially since I tend to date bigger guys who are also pretty physical types. Or used to. So I’m not embarrassed to cheat. If you are being attacked, it’s not a fair fight and anything you do is fine with me. When I’m around men I generally have some little tie-breaker or another about my person. Pepper spray, taser, handcuffs, something sharp and nasty. I have a sort of special set of car keys. Not all are really keys, and some keys have been kind of sharpened up. If I grab it and hit some guy it’s going to tear off some sizeable damage. Times I’ve had a gun along for the ride. And a few times that came in handy. Not a good thing to discuss in public like this, but I’ll say this much; I find I have no compunction whatsoever about shooting holes in a guy who is trying to rape me or damage me. If you show a man a gun and he doesn’t do what you say, it’s like he just permitted you to shoot his no-good ass. I realize there are people who have moral and ethical objections to this. That’s their problem.