The year is 1944. You and i are strangers to each other, yet we huddle close, oblivious to our nakedness, and that of the multitude waiting with us, in precise lines leading to dull and utilitarian looking barracks. You don’t know me and i don’t know you – yet we are both in line, trembling and shivering not just from the biting cold but from the trepidation that comes from losing control of one’s own destiny an being forced to await the judgement of an outsider. But outside of what? Where are the terms of reference when i can see your nakedness – your maleness. Perhaps the bulging promise of femininity. Your discomfort at the exposure is negated by my utter oblivion to your embarrassment.
We would find solace in our shared misery if i understood your pleas for understanding – but your cries for mercy are mere noises to my crowded thoughts and interpretive-limited senses.
You behold me and the gradual dawn of realisation louvres your pained face as you realise i am a Gypsy – a homosexual intinerant. Suddenly, you shrink from contact with my nakedness. Where minutes ago we were compadres in adversity, we now mujst negotiate a well of doubt and distrust beforewe can again adopt the twin profile of shared terror.
What has just happened? Did i change? Did you? Did either of us morph into the anonymity of assimilated interpolation? No. We simply found a division that overshadowed our communal misery.
So when do we cast aside the limitations of society? When do we realise that our thoughts are not our own, but the work of influences so deeply ingrained that only a select few are granted the privilege of identifying it as a hegemony.
Do we hug each other when the steel doors are barred and the strange smelling gas seeps out of the shower heads.
You do not know me and i do not know you. When do we realise that this is the starting point for honesty?