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Saturday, June 25, 2005

K-- B-- As a Queer and Pleasant Danger

One of my lecturers at school this semester was neither man, nor woman. She prided her self on being a paradox: a man who had a sex change. She told us that Western civilization had brainwashed everyone into believing that there is a binary nature to life: him/her, right/wrong, black/white, dead/alive. These are the extremes, she told us, but in between was a whole spectrum to explore.
She said she was an incarnate Koan: what is the sound of one hand clapping? I say what is the look of one sexless human?
He had a sex change maybe eight or ten years ago. I really can't remember what she said. He might as well have had it a month ago because he still didn't seem comfortable in his koan body.
She walked around the room with pink and yellow sunglasses and blonde hair to his ears. She wore a pink bra under a see through blouse, which also showed his masculine love handles.
What did she tell us? She read a section from her one woMan play called "K-- B-- as a Queer and Pleasant Danger." She stalked across the front of the room shoving her arms into the air in violent ways that made me sit on edge.
"Am I real?" She kept retorting. "Am I real or is this just show biz?" She wailed dramatically and then ripped the wig off her head so that she was suddenly male. His bald head was frail and milky looking much like the head of a slug. The room fell silent. No one even gasped. He stood there for a moment blinking at us as if we were sunshine and then put his wig back on.
"It keeps me warm," she chuckled as she pulled the elastic onto his head and flipped the hair out of his face. "Otherwise I'd keep it off. I've got sinus problems." A few people laughed.
"What paradoxes are in your life?" She wanted us to write them down, while he listed his. "I'm a masochist," he said. "I'm an anoretic. I've been hospitalized more times than I can count." She thinks she's fat. She told us this while grabbing for his waist.
You're not fat, I thought. You're a man!
Later, he would forget that he told us that being anorexic had almost killed him. He seemed to forget a lot of things and then go back and say something different like, "Not eating has saved my life! I've learned that when I'm smoking grass, not eating will help me control that addiction. And if I can get out of grass, then I can teach myself how to eat."
One time in the lecture he asked us, "What things do you love, that don't hurt anyone else but get you in trouble?" His example was getting a sex change. Slapping his forhead he said, "I'm still running into things as a woman that I say, 'That's really cool!"
But then later he said, "When I had my sex change, the boy part of me didn't want to die. He was really sad to die but I felt backed into a corner. I felt trapped. But even after I killed him, he's still around. He didn't go away."
I've seen many strange and unusual lifestyles since coming to Antioch. I've met people who have challenged what I believe and why. With all of them, I've been able to find a piece of humanity to identify with. I watched K-- B-- at the front of the room, ready to give him a chance, ready to hear his story and discern the hurt that had led him to such a violent choice. I listened but a strange thing happened, something I can't figure out how to describe and something that will make you think I'm a little nutty. My spirit shifted and suddenly K-- B--'s body seemed dark. That's the only way I can think to put it. It was like I was reaching out for the person behind those pink and yellow sunglasses but was met with -- well nothing. It's the only way I can think to put it.
The sex change seemed the least of his problems. It was like I was looking at someone who had deliberately chosen to destroy everything natural about his life. And I struggle even now to write this because we're speaking purely of intuition and a gut level reaction. I only sat and listened to him for two hours, and didn't have any interactions with her after that. I don't like that as I'm writing I'm shaping your reaction to him as you read this. I'd much rather you meet him for yourself and draw your own conclusions. But that's never going to happen.
So how do I end this post? With what conclusions? I guess Koan's do this, they stretch your brain so that it slides back and forth without resting on any point --


Anonymous dww said...

Running from the image
shadow of the one self
sad insanity
to become the thing
we fear the most

8:32 PM  
Blogger pk said...

Wow Christin. You stretched my mind.

7:21 PM  

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