Deconstructing the Alchemical Nature of Names
It’s tough enough to admit to friends and family that you are gay – and for many gay men, just telling people that you’re homosexual is not the true deep secret.
With this said, it isn’t uncommon for gay men to come out of the closet twice. What do I mean? Well, for example, when a gay man has an exceptional fetishization of leather – a fantastic curiosity in leather daddy biker bondage – he may hide it even among his gay friends. When he is ready to be open about his leather fascination, this is typically seen as his “second coming out”. The same can be true for many other provocative interests, such as S&M, Rubber, Feeder Fetish, Feet, Drag, Transvestism, Polyamory. Frequently, a second coming out is admitting to others and yourself that you aren’t just gay – you are actually transgendered.
Well, I am finally ready for my second coming out. I have come to terms with the fact that I am, actually, a crazy bag lady.
Interestingly, I don’t think my mother will be surprised. Moms always know.
For the past few days, I’ve been lugging everything around in bags and carts, excessively dressing myself up in stockings, skirts, sweaters and scarves; I’ve underlined those S’s to highlight the meta-orthographic nature of my accoutrements. You see, the letter S is an incomplete symbol of infinite ( ∞ ≈ s ). In saturating my body in clothing that hisses, I am attempting to complete the infinite – I am accessing the hermetic hermaphrodite; the alchemical symbol of unification, wholeness, the complete balance of female and male, young and old, light and dark, heavenly and mundane, the super knowing of unknowing – of ignorance and gnosis.
Let me repeat: In order to unify the essence of self with the physical and ethereal, I must embody what I am and the opposite of what I am – I must simultaneously be a vibrant, adventurous 24 year old man and a crazy, old bag lady.
How did this happen? Well, when I was in high school, I often skipped class to search for 4-leaf clovers out in the soccer fields contemplating the spiritual qualities of the physical world – not merely lead and gold, but of butterflies, carousels, and pinecones. By college, I was building faerie homes under logs, having tea parties on tree tops, praying to 1960s Yoko Ono and parading with plastic penguins.
Now in New York, my preferred roommates have been post-menopausal women. Coming out as a crazy, old bag lady was the logical next step.
This is the journey of what I call the hypognostic – the hallowed seer of inconsequential things, a celestial architect of earthly images, a consecrated mage becoming mundane, all in pursuit of extracting divine meaning from absurd nothing experiences (a retrograde variation of Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite’s concept, Via Positiva). Hypognosticism is the playful and uncanny ability to cull esoteric truth out of everyday objects, no matter how meaningless, void, or empty they may be. With a few years experience courting the mystic realm of the pre-post-neo hermetic none-conscious (the tiny crawl space where Dadaism acts as a potent dowsing rod), I’ve been salivating at an opportunity to share my skillz.
Thus, in an effort to expand my street performance, I created a sign and took my hypognostic insight to Washington Square Park.
And here I was, the divine seer of the English-Roman alphabet, ready to deconstruct and reconstruct the true essence of personal being through inadvertent play of the most important noun given in youth; your name.
Before I knew it, a camera crew was on me – they would be my very first non-paying customers.
Revolt. It is some new hip hop channel. Their name revealed internal business conflict; conservative versus adventurous. This conflict is the imbalance between the grounded, heavy letters V, L, and T versus the light, whimsical letters of R, E, and O. Although it is expressing itself as a hip hop channel, Revolt is so new that they themselves do not know exactly what they are (expressed through the essential first letter, the amorphous, passive R). I forget the details of how I got this exact information or how I found these associations; it always comes through me in a hot mess of frazzled cat speech. But the host and the camera crew were quite impressed at the level of intimate knowledge I discovered through the deconstruction of the letters. Indeed, they were a little spooked.
In that afternoon, many curious individuals asked about the significance of their name and thus the inner truth of their being (for would we be the same person if we had different names? Would others see us in the same light if we had different names?). Many asked me if I interpret all Ashley’s as the same; No, I do not – my intuitive third Ay gathers discrete information which allows me to dissect each name, no matter how common, differently. There were students, musicians, a poet from México. People paid me in 1s, 5s, apples, and smiles. Many were satisfied thanks to my internal, immaculate bag lady.
If you are curious about the alchemical nature of your name, please let me know and we can arrange a meeting.