Writing 101 Day 7: Give and Take
Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.
“Come on”, he said, in an exasperated tone, “you can’t tell me that a woman with a beard is natural.” We had been watching the replay of Rise Like A Phoenix, the Eurovision winner title for 2014 .
“Natural?” I asked him. “What do you call natural? A beard is quite natural, don’t you think? Silicone implants, on the other hand – that’s totally unnatural and still you accept it. And what about botox, facelifts, nose jobs? Even dyed hair and makeup are artificial – tools to make you look younger and more beautiful, lipliner to make your lips appear fuller, hair welding to make your hair longer, all that stuff. Doesn’t that strike you as unnatural?”
“Well yes, it does”, he said, “but it’s just not that obvious. I wouldn’t be able to tell if someone’s hair was real or fake. But that this person is a fake is so blatantly obvious.”
“So what?” I shrugged. “Look at Cher, at her dainty little nose. And then have a look at some of her pics from the sixties and the nose she had then. Or Michael Jackson. He just looked like a zombie in the end, after his countless ‚beauty‘ operations.”
“Yeah, that was terrible”, he agreed. “I didn’t like that either. But at least he still looked like a man.”
“So that’s what bothers you”, I said. “Just admit it. You can live with unnaturalness all right, as long as it doesn’t challenge your preconceived ideas of what men and women ’should‘ look like.”
We lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. Finally I said, “Did you know that I was seriously considering having a sex change some years ago?”
He looked shocked. “You did?? No, I had no idea. Why on earth would you want to do that?”
“Because I felt like a man, so I wanted to look like one. I wanted that beard stubble and the muscles and the deep voice. I wanted to look like a pirate. Like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.” I grinned.
“God …”, he muttered. “Good thing you didn’t go through with it, then. What made you change your mind?”
“Well, I got some info about what that would actually entail – what can be changed by an operation and hormone treatment and what can’t, and I decided it just wasn’t worth the trouble. It wouldn’t have been the real thing … plus I don’t have the physical build to be convincing as a male”, I added, indicating my deplorable height of five foot four. “I’d never be able to find a lover, for one thing. Gay men prefer the tall, broad-shouldered type.”
“You’re much more convincing as a woman”, he said.
“I know”, I sighed. “Everyone says so. Well, almost everyone.”
“What about yourself?” he asked. “Don’t you think so too?”
“Frankly, I don’t care what other people find convincing”, I said. “My friend Gene is better at wiggling his bosom than me, although his is fake and mine is genuine. It’s because he really feels feminine, and I don’t.”
“God, that fag”, he said, looking disgusted. “Did you have to bring him up? I really don’t understand … ”
“… why I like him?” I said. “Because we obviously have some things in common. Besides, he’s got a great sense of humour. Going out with him is a guarantee for having a great time.”
“If you’re like him, maybe”, he said. „For me, it wouldn’t be. I’d feel so embarrassed …”
“But why?” I asked. “Why would you feel embarrassed? It’s really good fun.”
He looked surprised. “Isn’t that obvious? A drag queen, for Chrissake! People might think I’m also one of them. It might even cost me my job.”
“Of course”, I said. “I hadn’t thought of that. Sorry for being such a dimwit.”
He acknowledged my apology with a curt nod. We fell silent for a while. Reluctantly I came to the conclusion that although Paul was one of my best and oldest friends, we would probably never see eye to eye on these matters. But at least I had mustered the courage to tell him about my almost-operation and my feelings concerning a “female” identity, and it had actually gone better than I thought it would. That in itself was a small victory.
The topic of aliens would have to wait until another time …