Please help me. I’m trapped in a cult. It’s an amusing and horrifying experience. Will you let me tell you about it?
I am no-one and vulnerable. The lowest bug. I want to open up my wings and fly away but the cult won’t allow that to happen. I see boots. Many boots. Everyone wants to wear the boots. Marching, marching, safety in numbers, organised rows and columns, profit and prophet, up and down the Mall, up Whitehall, turning left as one great creature to salute Mickey Mouse, our glorious leader, eyes forward, forward march into Picadilly Circus. And that’s where it really gets scary.
I try to talk to people about the cult. They shrink away from me. In truth I am monstrous. In truth I am tiny. My eyes are set in purplish blotches, dark in the dark. My stare is intense. Male gaze.
I am dissent. Put on the boots. I am six foot two, a large leer of a man. I totter and weave through the columns and rows, I skittle chairs in the bar, trying to squeeze by, pushing through the mass of covered flesh and sharp bones, a breathing bony slug, chattering, two hundred fanlike attachments, chitin hard they rise from the slimy dermis, the creature bristling, then clatter against each other, clackaclack, harsh wave of annoyance, as a succession of lines descends the wooden staircase all-at-once and the mass settle, out of time.
The bell. A Pavlovian device. Does it stimulate thirst? The first bell? The second? No need to think about it. Twenty minutes and glasses please. Clinkaclink, all-at-once.
The stragglers disperse. No-one hears boots. I hear boots. Tottering, weaving. Tomorrow they take up their places. There is nothing to be frightened of. Man is a farce. And any woman who would aspire to be like us. I don’t mean the organs, the appearance, I mean the essence of the cult. The cult has no essence. Oh a powerful woman must take on the trappings, as Solomon Perel wore the garments of the Hitler Youth. Yet if women who wear the uniform would replicate Mankind, they will fail miserably. It is not that women are or must be the gentler sex. It is simply that there are many millions, all along the gender spectrum, who can threaten, use violence, rise tall, toss a grenade. But to dismantle the patriarchy? Create anew.
What is the cult? Oh yes, the cult of fear. I’m going to make a cup of tea.