Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Dream: The Halls of Fashion: How Sexuality Shapes Society

The dream starts in a tribal village. Our protagonist and myself are dissatisfied with tribal existence. We hate everything about it and hate our peers and even hate ourselves. We talk of the city life and it's promise of sexual excitements beyond our imaginings. We endeavor to get there someday.
On the edge of the village, the jungle forms an imposing barrier between the tribal life and the city. I hover around the edge of the village and jungle. People occasionally return, some in a desperate state, desperate to return to a simple tribal way of life, others return with tales of money and sex and wearing new clothing. Mostly though, people are leaving, never to return.
My protagonist finds one of these people who returns from the city and asks him to take us through the jungle and show us around the city life. This person, an elderly black man, serves as our spirit guide for the rest of the dream.
We embark on our journey and soon we emerge from the other side of the jungle. There is a formidable obstacle in our path. A narrow passage full of pools of acid and serpents. I believe this symbolizes our descent into a caustic and impure way of life. Our guide tells us the passage is simple. Just ignore the snakes and step around the acid. I make my way carefully but get a small amount of acid on my sandal. It is apparently of no concern, but clearly it is impossible to exist in this new way without being somewhat tainted by it.
When we arrive at the gate of the city. It is heavily guarded and a fortified checkpoint is between us and our goal. We feel we have nothing to worry about, they will surely let us through. However, as we step into the checkpoint's airlock-like gate, a seedy character tries to act as if he is a member of our party. Fearing we will be denied entry because of this shady character, I exclaim to the guards he is not with us and I forcefully push him outside as the outer door closes and we are allowed in.
After we enter, an alarm sounds behind us and we hear that a desperate man with a gun tried to enter the city. I think perhaps he was a jealous lover seeking revenge on his ex and her new lover. My spirit guide hurries us along and there is an unspoken air of danger. Our guide dips into a dark alley, to acquire some means of protection, perhaps a black market gun, but I do not see the transaction take place.
He emerges and we are hurried into some sort of smoking lounge where he instructs us to imbibe hashish or cannabis, asking an that unspoken language of dreams, "Is this what you came to the city to find?"
I quickly grow bored of the smoking lounge and I tell the guide, "No, I am looking for something a little more sexual."
The guide, the protagonist, and myself set out through the first of the halls of fashion, a hallway with racks of cheap clothing, then arrive at another checkpoint. This one is not so heavily fortified. It appears to be the front of a night club, the only guard a sultry woman and a velvet rope. She looks us up and down and frowns as we are still too outwardly tribal. We are about to be denied entry when I get the idea of why she is there and I lie and say I am circumsized. The gatekeeper got an intrigued look on her face and then smiles and says we may enter.
We pass through the second hall of fashion, more expensive clothing, meant for clubbing and partying lines the racks. We emerge into a part of the city, with night clubs and pretty women being courted by slick looking men. There are expensive drinks, prostitutes, and other things that we can not afford, having just come from the tribal village.
The protagonist and myself express our disappointment at the financial requirements and he suggests we may have no option, but to beg for money.
Time elapses
The next scene of the dream, our spirit guide has set up a booth where he panhandles by playing guitar and djembe drums for the crowds and sells t-shirts and clothing. The clothing consists of styles appropriated from tribal life. Our protagonist approaches the spirit guide and says he wants to buy a dress.
The spirit guide says to the protagonist,"That item is for women."
From the crowd around the spirit guide's booth, some men and women start to jeer, but the protagonist has supporters in the crowd too.
A man exclaims, "I don't care if he has a sack. Let him wear it!"
Our protagonist wears the dress and departs from us, seemingly ending his journey as a transgender woman.
Still not quite satisfied I have found what I set out from the tribe to find, I tell the spirit guide. I am still looking for something more sexual.
He says, "A ha! I know what you're looking for, my friend."
We enter the final hall of fashion, where super-casual styles, that say "I don't give a shit how I look", line the racks of a seedy outlet mall setting. After this last passage we arrive at the seediest location yet, and approach the back rooms, when the spirit guide knocks on a wall, and a private room opens. I enter, expecting the culmination of my journey. There is a J-shaped couch that covers two walls and a small divider so upon entering you can not see around the bend of the J. I approach the bend cautiously, passing two overweight, acne-scarred young men and I start to wonder what I've gotten myself into. When I round the corner, all that confronts me is a pornographic movie screen being watched by these gross characters. My disappointment nearly shakes me from the dream.
I have one last thought before I awake however, and it drifts towards the satisfaction my travel companion, the protagonist, had found in donning the dress and being transgender. I decide it may not be the hyper-sexual reality I had hoped to find in the city, but it is good enough.
The dream ends.
I say a few words of gratitude towards my spirit guide.

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