A woman dressed as a man masquerading as a woman. The detective; a camp parody of female manhood, in black spandex leggings, high heels, and feminised dinner jacket, face plastered with a thick layer of badly applied make-up, 5 o’clock shadow and ruby red lips. She/he/they – someone told me recently that it reflects a familiar dynamic, and a confusion that’s steeped within my childhood. He’s right under my nose, and yet he is so allusive. The other day we donned our costumes, you were your mother’s ex-lover and I was my parodic fantasy. We set the film rolling, and we tried to get into role, you closed your eyes, hummed and repeated your name, at least that’s what I think you did, I’ve probably added some extra stuff in there, as memory is apt to do, but that’s how I remember it. You began to draw and squeeze ketchup on the creased surface of the paper, I scuttled out of the room, and appeared at the door, uttering that I would interview you. I knock the door, and tried to swing my arms, like a man trying to be a woman. My voice high pitched and incredibly posh – is this how he speaks?? He’s not sexy at all – ‘helllooooo’ I say. ‘I am detective pimpernell’ – or some such ridiculous name that I’d made up on the spot, in my fluster of panic. ‘Hello’ you calmly reply, a little smirk lighting up your face. ‘Do you know Mrs Flimpleprink?’ I ask, another horrendous name, I have no idea where they are coming from, I think I am nervous. I move my hips from side to side, and pose and pout, moving my magnifying glass close to his head, his crotch. His head looms large inside the round black frame, as mine does the same from the other side. We both crack up. I almost piss myself. He tells me about his painting, as I scrutinise his surroundings. ‘Abstract’, he says, ‘it comes from a place deep within’ as he points to his stomach. ‘You’re a pretty girl’ – he reaches out with his arm, I jump back disarmed. ‘I am a man’ – or am I? ‘No, no, yes I’m a woman, a pretty girl’. I’m so confused right now. I feel asexual in this outfit, even though it hugs my ass, and shows off the delicious curve of my wadded cock sock. I feel no desire for anything within me. Like a piece of curled up paper jammed in the crack of two facing walls. I only inhabit the empty spaces, the small and uninhabitable. Argh, do I really want to be him? He has no desire. Is he a more honest form of myself? But how can I be honest without my desire? I feel if I were to lose them I would lose myself, and this is what happens with the detective. I try to pour everything into him, but he has sex shaped holes and all of my sexuality empties out of him, and all that is left is questions. I describe him as having an obsession with a deceased beautiful young blonde thing, whom he was once called in to investigate. His obsession takes him on a journey, into the bowels of my psyche, where he meets illicit dancers, and women with hypnotic snake-like hips. He finds himself drawn into things that he never thought he could entertain; the women here are so different and seductive that he cannot help but fall under their spell. It makes me think that he is not me, he is someone I want to seduce. I like it when things are difficult. Tense. It makes the prize all the more worthy in the end.
Image credits: (Left) The Detective, 2014, (right) The Painter, 2014, Daddy I am a Man project, AnnaMaria Pinaka & Lo Liddell, (photographs) – Photographer: Bart Sluiter