Excerpt from Privates

As a small child I was unfamiliar with the details of male anatomy. I had already been exposed to countless images of medieval Adams, their crocus-pale and usually Flemish loins covered in fig leaves; male ballerinas on PBS holiday specials like the Nutcracker, each lavender leotard impacted with arcane and mysterious knots. What was contained within? Balled-up newspaper? Freshly-laundered socks?

I thought about these bulges, but didn’t think for long. Television was instead devoted to the female form. By the age of five I was already deeply familiar with the notion of delicious breasts, the more fatty, the better; and I had decided in my infinite wisdom that I preferred women in harem garb—Busby Berkeley casts of maidens giving peekaboos from the shadows of pastel, floor-length veils; denizens of ancient Babylonia and Atlantis who never failed to resemble corn-fed blondes from Minnesota transformed by tanning lotion and gin rickeys into pleasure domes of myth.

My ideal woman was Tina Louise from Gilligan’s Island crossed with Rita Moreno. Sex sells, and it was sold to little girls to the point I may as well have been a lesbian.


(Read the rest of Privates in Death Confetti: Pickers, Punks, and Transit Ghosts in Portland, Oregon, published by Feral House.)


Drawing and collage by Jennifer Robin