Added: Janika Dingle - Date: 09.06.2021 18:56 - Views: 47367 - Clicks: 5384
This two-piece fits me nice and slim. The sleeves flash a bit of French cuff. Black, classy. It could buy me enough kush to get me lifted twice a week for three months. But I bought this suit right here to go cheer hard for some friends who are being celebrated at the National Book Awards. My seat at the table costs me almost two and a half times the price of my thre.
I pay up because I want to be in the room to dap my brothers and sisters up. Get it? The crystal and silver is set over the clean white cloth. The hippest music is rocking Cipriani. Hundreds of glasses clink under the ceilings vaulted by these dramatic columns. And you—sitting at a table not far from where my homeboy is sitting—stand up too.
Surely, by the way you crane your neck forward and to the side, stepping slightly left into my path just enough to intercept me, I must know you from somewhere else, right? I lift my chin a little to see if I can link a name to your face. All the festive shimmering in the space. These eyes. This face. You need a knife for the beef cheeks.
A refill of your cabernet. Maybe you need me to kneel down and shim one of the table legs to keep it from bobbing. I twist the whole thing—top right eyebrow to bottom left lip. I crinkle the bridge of my nose and suck my teeth once before I blow out a pffffh! I want to show you this photo of an old man walking out of a building into the street with his hands full. He seems to lean to his right-hand side, which holds the bigger piece of luggage. In his left hand he holds a slightly more compact suitcase whose handle he hooks with his three smallest fingers so his thumb and forefinger can pinch some kind of stick—a broom maybe or baston.
I love his bright panama hat with its clean flat brim and dark band. His pants are black, with a straight crease pressed down the front. For this man, it is still They were poor, working-class folks and this was their home since the s, the one place they could afford. Four days after the midnight raid and eviction, the manongs were allowed to go back and retrieve their belongings—like this gentleman in the photo—though their units had been ransacked and vandalized.
Too easy to say he could be uncle or cousin. You know when some third-grade kid is giving his mom grief in a store, hanging all his weight from the strap of her handbag or hiding behind the curtains or climbing into the metal shelves to lie down? Yeah, that was me. Once every couple months my mom dragged me to the Rag Shop, a fabric store on Route 18, just south of the entrance to Exit 9 on the Jersey Turnpike.
The store was housed in a huge space with giant windows and so much light it made me want to puke. It was always so quiet. With no one home to keep me from setting fires or flinging steak knives at walls or passersby, my mother coaxed me into the car and had me tag along. I was bored as soon as I stepped in. I remember the tables and tables of damask and trefoil, houndstooth and herringbone, floral and geometric, madras and lattice and paisley. I once found the whitest, most expensive bolt and ran my grimy hands and forearms all over it, and even wiped my cheek still greasy from fast-food fries.
My mother would spend my precious child-time sliding her palm slow under one sheet and holding another against the light. The Mistake has billions of instances and archetypes and variations. Just a few weeks before awards night, I was striding down Bergenline Ave.
It would just take a little frugal craft to make formal evening wear out of a simple but slick black suit bought from a dusty shop in northern New Jersey. Did they not acknowledge my chivalry? Did they not grace me with their affections by calling me caballero?
Gracias, caballero! I grew up around the corner from the old Fedders factory and the Revlon warehouse and the Ford auto plant which is now a series of strip malls along a six-lane stretch of US 1. When I was in grammar school, the other kids at St. Francis of Assisi came back from Christmas break with brand-new ski-lift tags still attached to their zippers. Sometimes my parents missed the monthly on the piano in our living room.
Sometimes Ma Bell cut our phone line for a while. Sometimes my mom had to rush a check so we could get the electricity turned back on. If you flipped the light in the kitchen late at night the roaches would scatter. It was my mother who taught me to sew. It was the early s, a brief few years when punk rock kids, b-boys, new wave freaks, and disco fiends might all get down on the same dance floor: this one in moccasin boots, this one in a track suit with three side-stripes down the sleeves and legs, this one in a baggy neon sweater and extra eyeliner.
I got just enough instruction from my mom that I could buy an eight-buck pair of black pants three sizes too big and hem the bottoms and taper the inseam so the ankle just barely let my skinny foot squeeze through. I even learned to finesse the thread through a bobbin and control the fabric through her machine.
I remember the music of her Singer. I loved how her heavy scissors grunted like a pig against the old oak dining table that my dad stained too dark and which she converted to a space to sketch and tuck, measure and fold, stitch and seam. Yeah, it was my mom who showed me how to select the needle from her tomato, snip the bit of string, and find the eye.
I got a couple college degrees. I have an office, tiny as it is. My checking has been overdrawn four times in the last six weeks. And now my landlord is selling this house whose third floor I rent. This summer I might be moving again. I keep thinking about those manongs of the I Hotel, kicked out in the middle of the night, the police and deputies barging through the double doors with a steel trunk. Cops in riot gear spill in from the street to clear the old men from their homes, some of them residents for half the 20th century.
There is footage of those manongs gathered in the barbershop downstairs, the diner, the pool hall. This one is slender, this one has a paunch. They are slightly grumpy and all beautiful. Woven into their manner is both gravity and play—an affect you might get real good at answering to minor tyrants for the 10 or 14 hours you work under the surveillance of some other underpaid grunt. I can imagine the body at work in the field. I can imagine men on their various long ro home.
Right now, I can imagine one man pushing a narrow wood door that opens onto his small room with a small bed and a good-enough window. At this hour, he probably stinks pretty bad. He might rinse his face and scrub his armpits twice. The clear water in the basin will cloud with dirt, salt, maybe a touch of blood from a cut in the thumb reopened.
The man comes clean. Maybe he gets lyrics to the American standard wrong. How that wince is held back, pulled in. Can you see the body getting older? Can you see the unburdening? The sloughing off of the more dangerous self? Can you see the man slip each leg into his boxers and a clean white T-shirt? A style is not a category or season. It is not a box or bracelet or coat. Style is a perplexity.Lf a lady for some help
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