His lust is so sincere.
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In 1975 saying there was a character that I resembled in it a friend invtited me to a movie. It was the most flattering and least true compliment I've ever received. By coercing my imagination I could see what he meant. My eyes have always been the highlight of my face. Back then I was slender and wore my hair in something akin to an Afro (although a friend once said I had "broccoli head").
But by no stretch would I ordinarily remind most folks of Tim Curry as he appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In a sense I'd been studying for the movie, growing up watching every science fiction and horror movie, reading the Charles Atlas ads that had been running for decades in the back of comics. I liked it enough to see it again not long thereafter. Never done that before or since.
What brought me back wasn't the references to Forbidden Planet. I was fervently smitten, enthralled by Dr. Frank. I'd slept with conventional acting guys and enjoyed it. But it was androgyny, the blurring of gender color that excited in me every shade of erotic feeling from raw lust to courtly love (which originally wasn't much more than lust with high-class decor).
Inevitable digression: back then I felt wholly undgendered. Not that I wouldn't butch it up for someone pretty and soft. I could easily build a conceit that having no sense of gender in myself that I was seeking a complement that possessed qualities of both genders. Party it was that I was alive to the beauties of both genders and was disgusted with the way they were ordinarily realized. Or that I'm a masculine man who identified with a woman growing up and can never be comfortable with anyone who doesn't possess a similar mix. Yet again, I grew up seeing feminity abused, am attracted to the male body who needs to compensate for the terrors of his youth by being able to protect a feminine person. Obviously I can spin these out for hours and should've gone into gender studies.
Dr. Frank's buoyant, slippery sexual presence, his straightforward, happy lust was, well, just plain wonderful. David Bowie was the avatar of androgyny back then. But he'd already started back-peddaling, making any boy boffing he might've done sound like a youthful foible. (Although San Francisco gossip columnist would regularly report the attractive young men who accompanied Bowie to parties.)
It was a couple of years before I'd see the movie again. I was dating a slim, almond-eyed beauty. So I took him to see RHPS. Watching it snuggled up with him is one of the happiest memories I have of San Francisco. He started calling me up "To the lab to see what's on the slab." Who could resist?
The theatre was crowded with straight people. Even in San Francisco. They'd sing with the lyrics and ignite their cigarette lighters. Glad I saw it under the haze of passion. I hate noisy audiences. And there's something plain creepy about people who become so obsessed with a bit of popular culture that they watch it again and again. I guess the best contemporary examples are the people who get married according to the bylaws of the Federation of Planets and dress up like Klingons. (As if a bunch of pantywaist suburban kids could surive for a day in a warrior society.)
After a quarter century I rented The Rocky Horror Picture Show to watch with Charles. Not sure what he made of it. He's had more nights of fitful sleep. His stomach was rotten today. He did say that he thought I'd look good in Tim Curry's makeup, proving that love really is blind.
I was surprised by how many of the lyrics I remembered.
Because he gave me so much pleasure I've always hoped Curry would have greater success. At least he's been steadily employed.
It wasn't until a few months ago I learned that Richard O'Brien wrote a sequel, Shock Treatment. I don't feel any temptation to see it. His writing career must've fizzled. He managed to show up in a few movies, including the Spice Girls' movie.
It was damned weird that Meatloaf became so successful with his two Bat Out of Hell albums.
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