Tonight, I am thinking about the geography of my clothes.
As I look down, everything is a reflection—no, an artifact
really—of where I have been.
My jeans from the little Levi store off Columbus Circle from when I
had my concert at Lincoln Center in New York. They are getting loose. I
have been eating less and exercising more.
My tee shirt is from the Predagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference
I attended in Los Angeles last spring. I cut the neck out. I
always cut the neck on my tee shirts.
There seems to be a lot of Los Angeles.
My papers are stuffed into a red canvas knapsack they were giving away
at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival there last summer. I
don’t like the Avis logo but the bag is so well designed, I pretend
not to notice it.
Back to New York.
Today, I am wearing an oversized man’s watch that I bought on
the street for $5 when I took my cousin to see “Fiddler on the
Roof” with Harvey Fierstein. I buy a lot of watches in
New York. I am very hard on them. Bang them up, take
them off while I am writing. Forget and leave them places.
This one is red and it seems funny to me, like a tweak on its serious
masculine presentation. I wonder how long I will hold onto it.
It is a casual day. So I am wearing a hooded sweat shirt that
I bought on the board walk in Venice when the weather took a sudden
turn last summer.
There is a lot of L.A. And a lot of New York.
Hmmm. That is telling.
Well, I got my underwear in St. Louis. At Target on Hampton.
But my bras were ordered over the internet. I don’t
like shopping for bras in department stores, walking past the
make up counters where highly made up women offer to spritz some fragrance
on my wrist . Even if I have been feeling good, I suddenly feel like
I have something in my teeth. And when you go to a department
store, you usually have to ride the escalator and walk through
house wares and electronics to get to ladies lingerie where there
are just too many choices.
I am grateful for the internet. And how fun are packages that come
in the mail. Even if it is just bras from Bali.
I like to wear my history on my back, like a turtle. To think
about when I bought what I am wearing and where I was. Sometimes
I like to think about the journey of the clothes before they came to
me. Where were they? What did they see on their trip?
Looking down, I suddenly realize I am wearing my sister’s shoes. The
last time I was in Chicago, I didn’t pack properly and she lent
me a pair of black faux crocodile flats with a flexible rubber heel.
“Keep them,” she said. “I have plenty.”
I close my eyes and imagine her long elegant feet in the shoes and
the steps she took. I try to imagine where she went in the shoes. What
construction sites she visited or lunches she might have had
with friends. What walks she took with Lilly and what appointments
she might have had with her doctors.
And I think, I never want to take these shoes off.
Thursday, Jan 11, 2006