Lost American Tour


Side Show Girl

Ok, this entry is kind of a downer. I've actually had a really good day, but this is what I want to write about. Since I don't have anyone to talk to about it in London.

So, where do I begin with the painting? Let's start with the museum. The Tate Modern. There's the London Scenester crowd. Those cool kids with their crayola hair, combat boots, plaid, designer leather. Mohawk clad girlfriends walking arm in arm. You know, that scene. I am dressed like a Gap commercial because that's all I've packed. I left the fishnets at home. Along with my girlfriend with a mohawk.

It is close to closing time, so I'm meandering around, only spending time with what interests me. Mostly sculpture. I'm feeling pretty good at this point. I'd just seen this sculpture that when I walked around it, it looked like an apple with a piece coming out of it. I was amused.

Then I go into this dimly lit room with red rectangles on the wall. Normally not my thing, but I found it oddly soothing. Then I go into another room and find all this word art, for lack of a better way of describing it.

Written on one of the books is:

Yeah, that spoke to me. Moving on. Now I'm thinking I should come back tomorrow and donate some proper time to the place. Yay!

Some of the work was quite depressing. At one point, I couldn't tell if the women in the painting were corpses or orgasming. And I wonder why so many of these works focus on death. I'd definitely settle for hopelessness. Death is so played out. I wanted to say that outloud, but didn't want to get beat up.

Anyway. I get to this room, and staring me in the face is Christian Schad's Agosta, the Pigeon-Chested Man, and Rasha, the Black Dove.

Look away.

Look away.

God damnit look away.

Fuck. I was frozen. The man in the painting was obviously suffering from funnel chest. Fantastic. I read the blurb by the work. The two models were in a side show in Germany.

My insides are now on my outside. I'm stuck in a K-hole with this painting. It is telling me I am a freak. I am a funnel chested freak. I refuse to cry in the museum. I thought I was over this. But this painting brings it all bubbling up. The doctor may have corrected most of it when I was in 7th grade, but it never feels like it.

There are all these London hip kids at the museum. They all look the part of that crowd. Weird hair, weird dress, weird smells, weird piercings. But I didn't have to do anything to be a freak. My chest bones were deformed. They can dye and pierce themselves all they want, but until their bones are deformed, I win. I'm the side show girl.

Exactly 4 people have ever seen my chest. Teresa and I had this conversation about the boys we'd dated/made-out with and all that. She said she felt slutty compared to me. I tried to explain to her that I don't really do flings the way she does. The chest thing kind of gets in the way. Who wants a stranger telling them they are a freak? But she didn't get it and went on this "woah is me, I am a slut" pity trip. I have deformed bones, so I win. Every time.

Talk about your pity trips.

I hate that a simple trip to the museum dredged up all these feelings. I didn't want to remember what it felt like when I was a kid. Knowing that I could not change the one thing that condemned me to be a freak-girl. Knowing that I'll never be normal. I can dress like a Gap commercial, wear the mask that grins and lies, but I will never be normal.

I was seconds from being a total wreck in the museum. I heard the footsteps of a couple approaching where I was standing. I darted away as fast as I could. I didn't want to hear what they'd say about the Pigeon Chested Man. I couldn't take it.


At 7:40 PM, Anonymous sibling said...

I think you are beautiful inside and out.


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