*hustle* Peek into a keyhole, search in a fragmented mirror, crack open a tinted door that could lead to a naked body –a collection of secrets & memories from Marlowe, a former stripper.
The black box is taciturn, and cold all year round. Walking around for seven hours in an ice-tray, g-strings and nipple tape, produces goosebumps –permanent. We are ice-cubes, bobbling in a fountain of male squash, the first-press, the last-press, the only press –until they come back. We’ll juice them again, no matter. Try and get them before they get us first. That’s the trick. The hoax is an equal opportunity assailant.
If someone asks for special favors, which doesn’t happen as often as one might imagine, we are so outside of ourselves that the purged answer isn’t a part of who we are while inside the box. It’s attached to a we that can be seen in the mirror, but not felt. A we only recognizable by body, not name, and hardly ever face. We are frozen nails and hair. We are corpses twisting like DNA. What wavers is a soul that floats on ice pick heels. Animated corpses, animated meat. Pushing forward, but falling under. Living is a word we use in secret.
There is no discontent for we are disconnected. Strung together, yet despondent. Purgatorian shape shifters; ghost-like, whimsical, ethereal –we dwell in dynamic altercations and alternate currents. If only we could conjure Tesla. Light up the black box, highlight parts of a once preserved existence, perhaps charred or at the very least glowing. Scorch a mother who might or might not be one of us. Circle the burning witch, circle the once beating heart, circle the girl trapped in a cellophane wrapper.
Those flames extinguished before born. Sparks die like dreams on a drunken, blacked-out night.
The black box is frigid. Perfume spritzes freeze mid-air. They are dispelled by a customer´s breath; the molecules move around freely almost like us; some in structured spirals, some in chaotic curves, others in non-linear neutrals. They are unexpected whiffs of a sad girl’s story.
Despite its darkness we shimmer, golds and silvers sprinkled –eyelids, cheekbones, shoulders; faeries of the night, forgotten pixies searching the black box over for the one, anyone, the one that might take us away, or at least out of the box. And that happens sometimes, some of the girls go from this box into another where they will get paid to fuck or something like it. The belly crease or button drizzled with a glittery goo, it sticks to shirt tails or pants –the wife or girlfriend notices but says nothing. We are mythological; we don’t really exist until seen with the naked eye. The wife or girlfriend will find more clues, but until we’ve been spotted we can only be figments and fragments, faceless fables, fictitious forest fawns. It is with a wink we re-appear. Or the snap of fingers recently removed from a bank teller´s hand shake.
We travel on ice in the black box, clear platforms on which we skate. The costumes as glamourous and dramatic as any Olympic-status ice princess. The stage, our rink. We dismount onto piles of flesh and receive paper instead of points. We convert it all into self-esteem, revenue for creating envy, assets for staking claims. It’s our fantasy –we can make those stacks of bills anything.
Our moves, methods for garnering paper stacks, a peek into the center of us –not just some hole, like pussy or cavernous mouth. We all cling to our best tricks. We cling to the pole as if it were a life force or at least a source of heat. And yes, of course, because of its phallic appeal, we are compelled to writhe against it.
The box grows colder after the stage dismount. What cracks is not the stage or the mirrors surrounding our performance, it’s the heart of a heart we once had. We are empty pods, pods of shiny, twinkling iridescence with pearly mouths, and gem-colored eyes –we are like a velvet box.
Hangers to flesh, tiny sequined or florescent outfits. To hang ourselves above the crowd, a ceiling fan or a cobweb –to hang ourselves like spindles of flesh and fluid –to hang ourselves hands outstretched grasping for something. To hang ourselves onto anything.
Trickery thick, we keep looking at the door of the box as if there were a way out; as if the exit were an actual exit. But the reality is a box –a box we’ve hidden inside the heart, since forgotten or misplaced. We dream of a box-illusory. And we become the box. We are walking around inside ourselves. Beyond cold, unfelt and unfeeling; iced filigrees shivering against dejected blobs of men. They are flesh imitating our hearts. They are our hearts. And they are us; we –them. All the while, everyone remains still, frozen perhaps, for the triple axel dismount, that spinning madness that defies gravity.
We defy gravity, too, living inside one another. So close, but not touching. Touching so much, but not at all. There are no opposites, but plenty. There is confusion, but only always. All of it an alter unto a fetishized society, layered like loas, open like orishas –we are dancing dioses. Replicating and destroying, a torn knee, a bad rotator cuff, a broken hand, heart, head. Life-sized dolls, we are. Seen not heard, fucked and fondled, coveted then thrown away. We are reality ridiculous, we are dreams demanded. We are invented names. We are fruits and desserts and drinks –we are other dead girls.
WORDS BY: Jacklyn Janeksela