Beautiful, depraved

Intimacy. Debauchery. Irreverence.

Friday, August 29, 2008

"6": Prettiness. ii. Beauty and resurrection


I wrote in "6": Prettiness. i. about how I perceive beauty as something that's earned, rather than bestowed. It's hard won, a struggle and a triumph.

In my relationship with Andre, I gave him access to every part of my life. He stepped in and stripped from me all the things I had any attachment to: my hair, my beauty, my gender, the shape of my body, the way I dressed, the decisions I made, the direction of my entire life. I allowed to be taken from me all the things I let define me, things that possibly obscured rather than enhanced the essence of me. In the end, I was very glad to have let them go.

*

With many beautiful, long-haired women, you'll notice something they share. They have themselves and they have their hair. It's a separate entity, a being of its own. As is their beauty, but it's particularly noticeable with their hair. The woman enters the room and her hair does also. She flicks it around, she hides behind it, she lets it flirtatiously dangle over her face. It becomes caught between her mouth during lovemaking. She and her hair, this visage of feminine power, are inseparable.

I loved my hair too. It was a perfect, sexy, beyond the shoulder length. It fell to the same spot on my back since I was fourteen. I'd wash it, curl it, highlight it. Andre looked at it as a flimsy adversary. He'd often grab a fistful of it, pull it hard and say, "It's nearly time to cut your hair." He did this several times over the span of a few months. I'd smile nervously, not sure if he was serious. "Ahh," he'd say, letting go, "it's not time yet."

Then it was time.

I'd just had it colored and cut - a beautiful mass of highlights that took four hours to perfect. It shimmered and shone. I came to his place that evening, feeling particularly peacock-like. He looked over my hair appraisingly and grabbed it in his hand, close to my scalp. His grip was tight. Somehow, when he said it, I wasn't surprised and I knew he wasn't kidding. "It's time." I could feel sadness well up in me but I also knew I was ready. To shed.

He led me upstairs into the bathroom and had me take off my clothes. I did, laying everything on the counter. He left and came back with scissors. He gestured for me to get into the tub. I stepped in and kept my gaze down as he started cutting huge swathes of my hair. I watched it fall in clumps, the reds and browns and little bits of blonde, all catching the light in different ways.

When he was finished, he took me by the hand and led me to the mirror. I cried. I didn't recognize myself, or at least the image I had of myself. I felt formless. I looked like a boy, like a girl, my face looked pudgy from the weight he'd had me gain. I couldn't really define myself anymore. He brought me one of his shirts to put on - a huge, baggy button down oxford. I looked even more like a boy. It was unbearable.

He took me to bed and sucking his cock made me feel better. I sucked with everything I had, as I always did, but tonight there was something I was trying to rebirth and bring back to life. His cock became my lifeline since I felt I had little else to hold onto at that point. He came violently in my mouth, which was a minor catharsis. I fell asleep cradled in his arm with my head on his chest.

*

It took days of tears, disappointment. I'd put on make-up, trying to beautify myself, trying to paint away the deep, deep discomfort I felt. Slowly it faded. In a few days I began to feel at peace. I felt free. I remembered a friend of mine who cut off her glorious Rapunzel hair. "You can't hide from yourself anymore," she said. It was true. There's nothing left, no artifice or side-stepping.

It took me a while to settle into it, and once I did, the attention started. A man gave me his number in a bookstore, spontaneously scribbling poetry onto a card. I was approached on the streets. And by women. For the first time ever, pretty girls were flirting with me. The world was full of dykes. At the grocery store, the gym, in parking lots. They were suddenly everywhere. My shaved head was the key to some kind of secret Sapphic code that announced my sexual proclivity. Who knew? Now I was also being hunted by pussy.

Photos: Enrique Badulescu and unknown

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