Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tartan Tedium, Rhinestone Rut

Unlike my love for piano jazz, foie gras, Spanish red wines, Anne Carson, John Cheever, rich physical and intellectual sustenance, my sartorial style, in some respects, is inconstant, temperamental, vulnerable to whim and fancy and long cycles of comfortable monotony. Inspiration can easily be garnered from typical sources, catalogs, digital look books, editorials obvious and obscure, from the heavy racks of boutiques or consignment shops, one laden with a contrived floral perfume, the other with the aroma of the boudoir of a strange and dead aunt. Unlike those intricate neuronal pathways, fired, formed, forged by persistent brain chemicals, my exterior can be readily molted, abandoned, changed, evolved. This clothing-skin, this shield of nakedness, can be removed forever, or can be shed quickly, cleaned, donned once more. Bending new brain coils, thinking, this takes further effort.

Lately, I almost exclusively embrace wool tartans and other plaid patterns, once belonging to men, some from my own life, some from the lives of others, then, in furious contradiction, slathered with costume rhinestone and pearls, with a red lip stain. Though redundant, perhaps, I could choose a less comely or less classic rut; heavy wool and bits that sparkle seem never to fade from consumerist envy. Overall, I feel captured, caught in some mental whirlpool of stagnation, manifesting in this refusal to browse my extensive wardrobe, in a perpetual return to familiar fiction by John Updike or Raymond Carver, reliance like an old but faraway and distant friends. Each night, I stare at my copy of The Dream Songs, shudder, wrap myself in a childhood quilt, attempt to burrow my shoulders into the mattress, passed down from my grandmother. Maybe I will begin tomorrow. 

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