The Pet Shop Boys and Brian Bress “Invisible” – a reverie

“After being for so many years, the life and soul of the party it’s weird…”

“I remember going to Pride after my long time partner died in 1992. He and I had gone to Pride together often, and with friends. We were quite the scene. Haha we’d be on roller skates in nylon running  shorts, carrying cocktails and doing poppers, or in some kind of drag – modestly slutty or extravagant as suited the person. We were fabulous. Now my partner had been gone for a year and here I was, forty and going out thinking I was still twenty-eight.”

The figure, clothed in anonymity, strikes a familiar pose. Once effective, embodying irony to separate him from the common crowd, now his clever angularity blends him into the furniture. At first unaware, slowly he comprehends the disinterest of his audience. If he is noticed at all it is with disdain. “Look at that troll cruising me.” He changes his strategy as though this were a matter of fashion. Hah.

“Good-bye. Is it magic or the truth, strange psychology or justified by the end of youth?”

“I parked my car near Santa Monica. Walking to the boulevard I felt good, there were people streaming down the streets, it was sunny, the guys were beautiful. And young. I got a tingling at the back of my neck. Something felt off. No one looked my way.”

“I got down there and walked around, looking. The street was full. Summery boys in all their glory. A sea of them. Nobody that I recognized, no one that I knew. Oh, right.”

“Once in a while I would see a familiar face and their eyes stared hollowly. Old eyes, and confused. Even those I didn’t know, I knew. I thought of the years we spent partying as though  it was a right and not a luxury afforded by youth, I thought of our dead friends and partners; we couldn’t anymore be the life of the party – we brought death with us. We brought history.”

“Can you hear me, can you see me, am I really even here? I’m invisible. (I’m invisible.)”

“It’s too late to find an excuse, the party’s over and I’m not much use tonight.”

The patterned figure is not sleek or lithe – its costume is rumpled. It is that thing which stands out against its background, in this case of youth. In some cultures such a mark is made to signify the target, and the other. In the space of the screen it is alone.

Quoted are the Pet Shop Boys and several friends.

The album Elysium will be released by EMI this September.

Brian Bress is represented by Cherry and Martin:

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