In 1988 a tiny ad in the back of my wife's Premiere magazine introduced me to Bettie (then Betty) Page. There was no bondage evident - even if there had been the image was so small I might only have been able to infer it. Sandwiched between other bits of cheesecake in this sidebar placement for Movie Star News was a woman in a tight white sweater, skirt and heels. There was nothing I registered but the look - the posture, the natural command, the curve - it was heavily encoded and ineluctably erotic. Her hair was the black from which all other parts of the image keyed. It was labeled with her name.
Page led to Musafar, who led to Willie, who led to Japan... all of which began the toppling that is still my life. Musafar spoke to me of worship within the bodily temple and I modified myself accordingly, becoming one of Bear's first clients (his second actual PA) at Forbidden Fruit in Austin, Texas, at the old North Lamar location, next to the Hole. Bear knew about Bettie. He said I was on the right track, a good one. He gave me leads. I began to get an idea.
For the past many months I had removed and parked the substantial ring I had sported for so long. No reason. Yesterday, the 11th, I put it back in upon the completion of my morning ablutions, again, for no reason. The whole was tight, but still open. I took note of the doing of it.
Twelve hours later the mother of all perverts had passed her legacy to us. Like all the most effective avatars for world-ending change she scarcely understood her own importance, she simply stayed open and let the world show her what was missing that she could fill. She suffered mightily for it, but one has the impression that she was not unhappy until abuses of the law and the spirit blandly wore her into the madness from which she eventually rallied to part from us gracefully, and, I'd like to think, happy again.
That the world was missing much she sought to do nothing about, and in seeking nothing did much, fulfilled much, gave everything.
The New York Times appreciation is here.