July 15, 2014

Rewind

...a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.
- Diana Vreeland


This is an outfit post.

Last week was a very good week for dressing. If I haven't been blogging lately, it's because I've been too busy dying. That one should show up regularly to their blog is the most persistent piece of Pinteresty advice proffered by those who have chosen to live professionally rather than live artfully—so I categorically disagree. I show up to a job, and this can never be that, not like that. Around the same time social media became a core curriculum of marketing programs, style blogging became a viable career option. Clients stopped merely asking if I was "good at Twitter" and starting asking for my credentials (they're my birth year, ass hat). The short window of opportunity for style blog pioneers who created their own conventions (and thus seem less implicated by the inscrutability of those conventions) has been closed for a while now. The Fashion Blog is broken and I don't think it can fix itself anytime soon. Disquietude is a miasma of boredom and anxiety, and the other way around. The dedicated hobbyists pop in every few months, over salting their paragraphs with profuse apologies for 'being lazy' and not 'showing up' to their blogs. Listen, unless your blog pays the mortgage you should never, ever apologize for having unmitigated, undocumented, un-shareable experiences. That's apologizing for living; women do that enough as it is.

Monday nights are my improv class and show. I wore a dress for the first time—a black rayon 90s shift sprinkled with little tan roses that look like beetles—which turned out to be see-through under the stage lights. I don't think I mind. Ironically, this a very personal outlet for me right now. I go alone and I leave alone, sipping a watery whiskey and coke in the back of the theater to loosen up, trusting that my bag won't get stolen when I leave it under the seat to perform. I don't invite family or friends. I take a Lyft home, responding to the driver's bemused inquiries with tipsy observations on why anyone would pay money to learn how to do this: life, comedy, art, etc. We say goodbye and I stumble into bed next to my already sleeping mister.

I had just taken my clothes off to get ready for bed on Tuesday when Andrew texted to see if I'd accompany him to Piero's Chalet. I stood by the bed in my underwear staring at the phone while fingering my belly scars to divine the direction the night's desires. I bought a new dress from Painted Bird earlier that day, a short, long-sleeved jersey thing made in off-register panels of stripes in royal blue and purple and green and black. This is good. I will say yes. This is the life I live in the dress. Life in a dimly lit corner of a members-only speakeasy / 'social sculpture'  comparing notes on your cancer with T. Kelly Mason because his cat has leukemia. Together you wonder aloud why cats and people use different feeding tubes.

Wednesday evening two of my favorite authors read together at the REDCAT theater in downtown LA. I wish I could say it was in the Heart of Downtown, but nothing is the Heart of Downtown just as nowhere is the Heart of Los Angeles and this is why we like it. REDCAT rests plaintively on the backside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall like a humanizing mole on a conventionally attractive person (who for some reason agreed to go to bed with you?) I kept referring to Bruce Hainley and Wayne Koestenbaum collectively as Bruce Wayne, which no one else found clever. I wore a grey silk Kelley Wearstler skirt with white painterly polka dots and a thrifted lavender gingham blouse. The hem of the skirt dips to a longish point in the back for architectural interest and ease of dipping in the toilet. Bruce Wayne read from Wayne's book Hotel Theory, which is actually two novels running alongside one another in two columns, which Wayne actually gets away with. His writing is virtuosic to the point of reverie, but I know others find it virtuosic to the pont of coldness. I disagree, but I understand. I too, once fell for the broken nose of a beautiful man.

Thursday night is dinner at Dominick's with a coterie of lovely people from ArtForum. Thursday is a black knit skirt with yellow and orange embroidery so toxic neon bright I pair it with only a plain black tank top. Thursday is whitefish picatta and roasted artichokes and ricotta fritters with sour cherry compote and a resolve to continue to belong where only you want to be.

Friday is balcony seats for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, wearing a dress cut down to there, leaning foward in your seat, speechless and weeping as the raised hands of the orchestra pit follow the movement of his crotch—the genius loci of that old Shiners hall, both spiritually and literally—like swaying tentacles of sea anemone.

You are immune to the charms of rock and roll, but not when god is in the house. 

Have a good week.

3 comments:

larkspurshoppe said...

you are great!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni Whitmer said...

I really enjoyed this post. I've been going through and analyzing blogs and interview transcripts for my dissertation, and I can't help feeling a little disheartened at how homogenized it's become. It's nice to see something that doesn't read like a feature in Lucky.