On Love and Afterlove. Lasse’s Side of the Story.

Hi, this is not Signe, I am Lasse, Signes x-husband and I will write this piece with a heavy Swedish accent.
Recently, here on this very spot, on 12 different posts, I have enjoyed reading my private memories from crucial 1993-1994, from a different, or you might say opposite perspective. Signe has generously given me this space to “give my side of the story” and try to answer “why didn´t you tell me?”( which in full should be red: “Why didn´t you tell me that you occasionally like to dress and act like a women?” ).
Memories are selective, most of the events from “On Love and Afterlove” 1-12 I recall differently and some not at all.  Sometimes Signe hit the nail on the head and suddenly I get a taste of a Madeleine cookie on my tongue and I am back in 93/94. Some awful memories comes back and quite a few extraordinary wonderful.
 I met Signe in the small Danish town Viborg on a film festival where our first films were invited and we were keeping them company. I think we both felt that our films were big enough to be on their own for a while and left them for a look at the big wide unframed world for a change. We happened to see each other and somehow a couple of hours later ended up making love on a couch in an hotel lobby.
Then we took a walk in the fresh summer morning air and talked. I cannot recall the exact moment but it was during this stroll it happened – I got totally pixilated by this girl from the East. It was her face with a bit mysterious but gentle smile framed in a shiny red shawl that intoxicated me and I had to know everything about her. It was an overwhelming feeling I had met my soul mate and we could communicate everything. I am so surprised that Signe on this blog claim that she couldn´t speak English at that time. I don´t remember that, maybe because of the pixilation.

The girl from the east – but she is not smiling

We kept communicating for the rest of the festival but that was far from enough as the careful reader of this blog knows. It was a time of extraordinary intensity, lust and love – a fairytale (appropriate for kids over 18). Soon after our first meeting I crossed the Baltic Sea and went to Riga and from there we took a train through Lithuania and Belarus to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, where we attended a film festival on a boat going to Odessa at the Black Sea.
On the boat I found out that Derek Lamb and Kaj Pindal offered me a job in Toronto for a year. It felt like the right continuation of this love story and marriage preparations started to make sure Signe could follow me over the Atlantic. And so she did after a quick fix wedding in the medieval cathedral in Lund.
The dimensions of self-delusion were carefully hidden by pink clouds of passion. At the time, in the presence of Signe, I felt I was a new wonderful person and everything was possible. I was unable to see any signs of dishonesty…eh… Maybe there was a noticeable  sign.. One time on the boat in Ukraine…
One late evening, after lovemaking, we looked deep into each other’s eyes and Signe told me a very personal secret and I was about to tell her about, what I at the time considered my biggest secret – my abuse of dresses – my female side. But I didn´t. I couldn´t. I chickened out.
At that time, in 1993, I had told nobody, except for a few fellow cross dressers at a club. Now, in 2011, my cross dressing part is something I am proud of so I want to stress that cross dressing and having live long lasting love is by no means incompatible. But hiding a big part of yourself in an happy long term relationship is, I believe, impossible.
 Maybe I should make an effort to explain what cross dressing means for me. It´s totally o.k. for me to be a man – as long as I am allowed and I allow myself to be a woman now and then. Why do I occasionally like to dress and act like woman?  It is all because of the rigid line. It is because I am uncomfortable with the borderline, which divides humanity in two different categories depending upon how we are shaped between our legs. I am talking about the borderline of gender which gives us two different roles to play either a female role or a male role.
Those roles determine how we are supposed to think, how we move, how we should speak, what we are supposed to be interested in. You can say my personality doesn´t fit in any of those categories or you can say that my personality fits in both those categories. In a way like most people – I mean it is a difference in degree. There are people who are extremely masculine and there are people who are extremely feminine. But most people are somewhere in between or on different places on this scale from time to time.  Most people do not pay a lot of attention to this and some like me are obsessed by it.
Being a cross dresser is a strategy for me to handle this. In this way I can express a bigger part of myself sometimes taking the male role and sometimes the female. But from the very start I am not crossing the line – it is the line that crosses me.
I am a cross dresser because it fulfills my needs and pleases me personally. But I am also glad that being this openly, my appearance questions what is supposed to be the natural way for a person who is shaped like me to dress and act. In this way I might contribute to make the gender borderline a bit more flexible in benefit of everyone.
The fact that I was unable to tell Signe about my secret, in the then state of affairs, doesn´t fully explain why we broke up but is a crucial piece. My attempt to be honest at the same time as I tried to hide something I at time considered shameful did grow in proportion. Unconsciously my hand started to cover my mouth as soon as we started to speak about inner feelings.
There were many obstacles for our mutual understanding in spite of my initial feeling that we were in the deepest connection with each other. We came from different cultures and had different native languages. It was a lot to overcome and we were talking at cross-purposes more and more.
Another obstacle is most certainly the general impossibility to maintain a relationship that has started with the overwhelming amount of knock out passion that here was the case. In our blue room in Toronto the feeling that something was wrong did grow inside me and I couldn´t sleep at night. The blue room anxiety got worse when Signe left for Latvia and I spent some of the worst days of my life in that room.

The blue room in Toronto

Two weeks ago I went to Toronto for the first time in 17 years and was curios if it was possible to sense a scent of crushed hopes and abandonment from the past. Yes maybe on certain streets close to certain building there was a very weak but noticeable scent but on the other hand it could have been the hot, humid and polluted town air.
Looking back on mine and Signe’s short but intensive time together I could speak about valuable experiences that have taught me this and that to go on in life, but actually even if there were no lesson learned, it would have been worth it. To dive into this ecstatic feeling under the drug of passion and the harmony of bodies was the best thing to do. There are times for hesitation, analyzing and reflection and there are times to just jump.
As I said before I have enjoyed reading “On Love and Afterlove“ a lot.  When it comes to accuracy, I have one big protest concerning to the portrait of Lasse . Here is the quote from “Love and Afterlove, Story 6” which I have objections to: ” he would look at my food as if he was looking at a roach on a table”.  No way!  Never happened! Except for the porridge ( that most certainly should be boiled with water and salt ) I have only great memories of Signes cooking!!!.
Another surprising thing is that before reading “On love and Afterlove” I wasn´t aware of my third identity. If I ever do a remake of “Honey-Bunny”, the three dishes of temptation would be “The Beautiful Woman”, “The Beautiful Man” and “The Ondatra Zibethicus”. I have seen this creature on zoo and find it likable.

The holy trinity – The Beautiful Woman, The Beautiful Man and The Ondatra Zibethicus



About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Depression. Personal Stories, Hazards of being an artist, Uncategorized, Women, Men and Animation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to On Love and Afterlove. Lasse’s Side of the Story.

  1. paolo says:

    Signe in that photo looks like a Vermeer’s painting

    • Lasse says:

      “The Vermeer-qualities” of this photo is due to an old fashioned analog camera with manual focus and a near-sighted photographer. Maybe the 17 years also have contributed to make the colors on the paper copy a bit more Vermeerish. I always had problems to get pictures sharp in those days. Optimally the pictures turned out with soft edges and colors surrounded with a pale aura – like here.
      A sweet picture with great proportions of melancholy. In this context it is supposed to illustrate Signe when I had first met her and got pixilated by her ….but it is actually taken on her last hour in the blue room in Toronto.

      • I love your comment, Lasse. Maybe Vermeer was near sighted, too?

      • paolo says:

        I would like to add also Signe’s look to the camera and her posture towards the window to the side, her shawl and hands keeping it and her blonde hair in the dark. That, together with the pale aura, makes the whole vermeerish. sweet picture, indeed.
        And maybe Vermeer’s was near-sighted, too, what would an art historian say about that?

    • People had said in the past that my face looked Medieval. I don’t know if that is exactly a compliment, but time to time when am peacefully sitting by myself in a subway in New York a person comes up to me and asks: – Where are you from?
      Next time it happens I’ll tell them am from a Vermeer painting. And now they don’t have to go to Museum to look at me.

  2. Pingback: Women Film Festivals: Do We need Them? | Signe Baumane

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