I might not have thought anything of it. I’ve seen so many curious people over the years, made some fascinating acquaintances, swapping cards and swearing we’ll keep in touch, but … time’s juggernaut keeps thundering ahead on its course. Faces blur, names are forgotten, addresses expire, birthdays fall by the wayside. We drift apart, lose touch. Even the best of friends become strangers in the end. No one can fight the entropy of existence. The cold cage of mortality. As fast as humanity can produce new generations, the furnace of war, of disease, of industry, devours them. We’re so much coal. But then, as my mood darkened in those troubled teenage years of the twentieth century, I was surprised to see the She-male there, at every party – always in vogue, always the life and soul. The more depressed I became, the more raucous was the party that pressed hungrily to him or her, moths to the She-male’s bright flame. Was it a boyish woman in drag, or an effeminate youth? It didn’t matter. I just started to detest this intruder on my midnight revels. I felt jealous towards my yearly transition. Not surprising: it is all I have. This narrow bridge of time between the years. But like a cuckoo, this bright young thing had intruded into my nest. Every country, every year, the smug hermaphrodite was there, its perfect skin withstanding the onslaught of time, Dorian Grey to my withering husk.
That is when I learned to hate.
(1 of 12 connected flash fictions written by Kevan Manwaring, dedicated to David Bowie 1947-2016, and published here to mark the first anniversary of the passing of a visionary starman & much-missed musical genius. ‘Look up here, I’m in Heaven…’).
Kevan Manwaring © 2017