X-ray


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I’ve really gotten into this trend of the lecture as entertainment. You couldn’t get me to the Meatpacking district on a Friday night if you paid me, but give me a glass of Trader Joe’s Cabernet and a slide show and I’m all yours. My new favorite place in the whole wide world is the Observatory and a while ago I was tempted by the title of this talk:

The Anatomical Unconscious: X-Ray Specs, Visible Women, and the Eros of the Unseen An illustrated lecture with cult author and cultural critic Mark Dery. He went from the Chemical Brothers to baroque medical mannequins and everything in between and it got me thinking about x-rays and intimacy and what it means to really see through someone. I mean, really see through someone.

In Dennis Cooper’s Frisk, the protagonist, obsessed with sex and death, attempts to articulate his desire to mutilate the hustler he just fucked:

I want to know everything about you. But to really do that, I’d have to kill you, as bizarre as that sounds.

I mean, I know there’s no God. People are only their bodies, and sex is the ultimate intimacy, etc., but it’s not enough. Like you. I find what I know about you amazing, so amazing I can’t get beyond my awe. So part of me wants to dismantle that awe or whatever, and see how you work. But I know that’s selfish. Your life’s as important as anyone’s, including mine… so, I’m stuck.

The x-ray spec ads in the back of old comics tease with the power to see through dresses and full-slips, not through skin. It was the tantalizing suggestion of seeing something you shouldn’t be able to see and getting away with it. There’s been such hoopla over the new full-body x-ray machines at airports because they show a little too much, an indication of flesh not just skeletons and metal hip replacements. But it’s not being naked either.

It’s beyond naked.

I think one of the reasons people get into play with bodily fluids (spit, blood, piss) is that it’s from the inside of someone and in the case of blood play (unless is menstrual blood) it’s not supposed to be on the outside.

Years ago a friend of mine was shopping for a a little gift for her boyfriend. His knee had been injured long ago in an accident and it always gave him trouble. She found the perfect thing: a replica of a human knee cap.

I thought that was really sweet.

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