[Library Dreams] Performer’s Note on Insults and Hurt

(originally posted on facebook)

We had a little (maybe not so little) incident in the Library Dreams this Sunday.I don’t really know why or how it started. When I noticed, there were a few men yelling at me about my body (take off your top, I want the Asian girl…etc). Later I knew that the insults were directed towards almost everyone there. I didn’t really know how long it lasted. There was one point that a security guard came out and said that it’s the public property (maybe in response to Sophie’s brave behaviour in taking her jeans partially off). I was holding a man’s hand with my waist shimmy from left to right at each step.

I walked towards them with the shimmy, and I looked them in the eyes with friendly smile, and I heard them.

After a while, I told them to shut the fuck up.

They yelled back at me, I yelled back at them in a playful but hopefully serious tone.

I kept on moving, running and dancing on the lawn.

I was so conscious of my black spaghetti-strap top which was low-cut with lace on the fringe of the breasts area.

The top was 9 years old. I bought it at banana-republic when I was 21. A strap top very likely made in a sweatshop.

I kept on dancing.

And I kept hearing them.

During that time I felt that all the insults were directing towards me, because I was the one wearing the less with the low-cut strap top and the tight leggings. And I couldn’t really catch all the words.

If I did I probably wouldn’t be able to keep on dancing.

I gradually moved away from them to the other side of the stairs, near the fringe of the lawn on the south, and started spinning.

I probably span at least 50 turns.

I kept on hearing them.

And I kept on spinning.

There was a slight height difference on the lawn.

Everything blurred while one person span so fast.

All turned slightly white and green.

I stopped, and fell.

I straightened my legs; I moved in a relatively straight line.

I saw my friend sitting on the stairs, I gave her a kiss.

The move was like this, push the right shoulder, push the left shoulder, give her a kiss, hands up to the sky.

I walked towards her, I landed my kisses on her.

I landed my kisses on the foundations of the stairs. I gave the air kisses to others.

And the guy said “Sorry I didn’t know what you were doing.”

We had a fist bump.

I danced towards the tree on the lawn that was installed for grasslands.

I heard the other guy (sounded a lot younger) kept yelling: Take off your top, the guys are watching.

I landed my kisses on the leaves.

I lied down on the grasslands.

There were countless bugs on each grass, black bug on the tip of the grass.

I moved on.

Somehow the noise disappeared.

I didn’t know when.

Clinton’s sounds was near me now.

I had to find a place that’s safe both for me and the grass to keep on proceeding.

It’s not a march, it’s not real nature, it’s only fabricated, but the grasses were real.

I felt that there was an animal growing.

The lens hurt sometimes.

I keep on hearing the yelling from that young boy.

Nothing really changes for me.

I wonder if I should have sat down next to them, to be braver, instead of tuning them out.

I was trying to keep on performing, I guess.

Strangely, they were the most devoted audience I could have.

And the worst ones.

I still feel hurt.

I wonder if there are other choices to make.

This is so much of a “blaming the victim” reaction, from me, blaming myself.

I felt that I should really gave myself a big hug for keep on performing and found the strength from the surroundings, from those who supported, and from that fabricated nature, and from my fellow performers.

But now I was reading the sort of feminist body art and wondered if I wasn’t brave enough.

This is not right.

This is too wrong.

*after thoughts:

Strangely, I knew (?) that I was brave.
And strangely, I knew that I was brave in the consistency in performance (as everyone else did).

It’s gonna take a while for me to process the whole thing. Maybe a very long while.
And it’s really hard to allow oneself to be vulnerable.

– Chun-liang

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