Saturday, March 28, 2009

Forbidden Fruit Leitmotif, Vivacious Vivi

"No thank you, Creation,
no muse need apply.
I'm out for good times--
at the very least,
some painless convention."
-- Alice Walker, "I Said To Poetry"

I find it nearly impossible to write and have a job of any sort at the same time. Unconventional as my job may be, doing it well requires that I relegate my more fanciful artistic thoughts and impulses to an obscure part of my brain. Instead, I focus on behaving in a socially prescribed manner calculated to come across as adorable, fun and/or sexy. Hopefully I'll get used to stripping soon enough to get back to a regular writing schedule, for even when I leave the strip club I find myself keyed up and replaying the colorful events of my shift over and over in my mind. During my off time I get no respite-- a thousand distracting thoughts swirl madly and regroup like a swarm of bees without stingers, plaguing me in an amorphous, yet undeniably vexing way.

Inspired by William Blake, Fra Angelico and various Book of Hours-style illuminated manuscripts, I have been toying with the idea of illustrating some of the 60 or so poems I have written since Valentine's Day. However, I must choose one cohesive theme, such as Blake's "Songs of Experience". In fact, believe I will choose loss of innocence and forbidden fruit as my prevailing leitmotifs. I want to keep the illustrations simple and use a single figure as much as possible, like this:

I've also been running into a girl named Vivi all over town for several months now. A slender, friendly, vaguely Latina native New Yorker with a huge, magnetic smile, Vivi is obviously a very independent young lady. I first noticed her working behind the counter at my favorite little cafe to buy vegan goodies in the LES (sometimes, after beating men up at the Dungeon all day, I'd stop by with my best friend, a fellow vegan domme with whom I often worked, and order a pecan roll as big as a cartwheel). I especially like Vivi's long, wild, curly hair-- the sort I used to have when I was her age (20) and hadn't yet discovered the miracle of the Japanese straight perm (apparently I now have the same haircut as Anna Wintour, or so I was told by a guy who paid me to just sit and talk with him at the strip club last night).

Anyway, I saw her again two nights ago in the subway near her college in Tribeca. She asked when I'd be old enough to drink and I explained that I'm almost 28. She'd always assumed I was closer to her age. She asked what I was doing in the neighborhood, so I showed her my shoes-- standard black 5-inch stiletto platforms of the variety only transvestites and strippers ever wear. I thought she'd understand right away, but it took a few tries.

"You design shoes?" she asked.

"No. I wear them at work..."

"You write about shoes?" she tried again, which makes sense since I write for a women's magazine she often reads.

When I told her the real deal she didn't believe me.

"Nuh-uh!" She cried with a shocked smile, running her hands lightly over my smooth hair and laying her hands lightly on my cheeks. I like a girl who's unafraid to touch me. I'm the same way.

"With this baby face?" she asked, shaking her head and giving my shoulders a playful squeeze.

"It's true." I said simply, taking her hands in mine.

We parted with a hug. I like her enormously.

Last night I spotted her balancing trays outside an Irish pub, overwhelmed but still smiling, even at her second job. That girl can take care of herself.

"Hi Vivi!" I call over to her in passing.

"You look pretty!" she exclaimed.

"So do you!" I chirp in response and bounce off to the Brooklyn-bound F Train, blithely swinging a bag laden with cake for today's breakfast, which I enjoyed a little bit too much. I'll never be a size zero till I can stop eating so much sugar:

PS I also ran into Sister Corrine on my street-- I used to go to the Pentecostal church where she is a deaconess on Friday nights, but I get home too late these days... I made sure my bag was zipped up so she couldn't see the sheer lace gown or fishnet stockings inside.