mardi, septembre 14, 2004

Everything but the Girl

So, an 8 hour drive later, I am safely perched right on the funky line between Texas and Arkansas, in a town appropriately named Texarkana. (The 'ph' is silent.) My room has a fridge, an internet connection and K_sra's rebel dog.

Despite the fine company, I am tired and the cable news is freaking me out. Talking some smack about a category 3 hurricane that hit Nawlins in the mid-60's and left the entire downtown area under 7 feet of water for a few weeks. Ivan is a category four, people. We're talking destroyed property, potential loss of life, serious flooding, and contaminated water that may take a looooong time to clean up. I don't know when I will be able to go home. I don't know what will be there when I do.

And that was the trippy thing this morning. I had to look around at all my favorite stuff and separate the wheat from the chaff. The questions that needed to be answered, for me anyway, were these: What would I be okay with losing? And what loss would fill me with a tearing regret for the rest of my life?

And I know you're probably saying to me quietly inside your head, "It's just stuff, girl. People are the important thing." And if you're saying it, you're right. Of course, you're right. But if anything happens to my art and design books, art supplies, computer, all of my yummy illustrator and photoshop and pattern design software I will really feel that loss. And my dressmaking form. Damn it to crap, I do not want to have to do without her.

I wanted to be a fashion designer from the time I was thirteen. I think it was the fabrics that did me in, back in the '80's. The fabrics and the piled on jewelry, crude makeup (by today's standards), and just general over-the-top fun I found in fashion magazines. You know, back in the days of "body conscious" knits and huge, swimming, Japanese inspired clothes that didn't know what a human body looked like and never wanted to find out. The days of Amazon super models- with muscle tone and the first really famous fake breasts. (I am distracted momentarily by this thought- why is it that some parents buy fake breasts for their teenage daughters nowadays? C'est quoi le fuck?! Back to milder musings...) Whatever did it for me, I do know that my Inner Drag Queen woke up, hollered, "Honey, I'm home!", and gave me a never ending kiss. I haven't been right since. Even during the times in my life when, because I have been unhappy and have not been actively doing something about it, I have retreated into little brown sparrow mode. (Just on my way out that door, if you wondered.) Love being human. Hate to blend in.

Anyway, I ordered my dress form (with its clever collapsible shoulders) from a company in Chicago that has been making them forever and a day. This was years before I found my voice and insisted on my calling and finally fucking well went to design school. During years of hi-fi love where fashion was concerned. Years of strange experiments (the best kind) and much ruined fabric. (I am not sorry.) Years and years of grabbing like a pervert at material in department stores and boutiques and high end fabric stores. Years of scribbling words and pictures about this love of mine. This love that covers psychology and commerce and history and society and culture and art and fear and desire as well as the body of every single person reading this right now. (Most of the time.)

And when I'd finally sent in the measurements (which were a bitch to take because I still didn't know all the things you need to know to take accurate measurements correctly, easily) some guy called me from the factory and urged me to rethink the shoulders. I had, he explained, obviously made a mistake. I was confused. He sorted me out. Sort of. "According to these measurements," he said patiently, "you have a petite torso and the shoulders of a very obese woman." Oh. Right. I see. By the time I'd finished explaining to him that those were my shoulders (no matter what the standard measurement charts might say) and that there was nothing mistaken or obese about it, he was ready to take my word- and my money- for it.

And she's there in my house, all alone, waiting for Ivan to show up. Her white fabric is streaked with grime from many movers' hands. (It's my fault for forgetting to cover her up during some of these moves I've made. White just calls out for dirt, doesn't it?) And I can feel right now while I'm writing this what it's like to put my arms around her petite torso and dance with her. Even though she can't really dance. Not on that heavy metal base. But to lean her and spin her in place...

Tell me I'm silly. I am not ready to let her go.

17 commentaires:

  1. Hold, me, hold me like there is no hurricane...

  2. You know I will. (Danke for the laugh, Fids.)

  3. If she's okay when all this madness is over...can I dance with her? I swear I'll wash my hands first.

  4. Aww, I'm in tears for a dress form. It's gonna be a good Wednesday.

  5. You know, it's funny. Through all the ups and downs, ins and outs, and the many et ceteras of our lives, I am continually struck by all the things you and I have in common. I personally related to everything you wrote, and I can't BELEIVE you had to leave that stuff. If I ever had to start my art and hobby supply collection over from scratch I would weep for days. However, if worse comes to worst, I will winnow select items from my extensive textile collection and send them your way to help you get started again. It IS just stuff, but it is the stuff of dreams, baby! I, too, have a love of fiber that borders on fetish, and so I understand.

    At least you have a complicated and professionally made dress form. Me, I'm going to put on a T-shirt, have someone mummify me in duct tape, cut a seam up the back, grommet and lace it, put it on a pole lashed to a crosspiece, stuff it firmly with fiberfill, cover it with batting and muslin, and call it Lydia Too. I'd hate to think what that guy in Chicago would say about my measurements. "Ma'am, there is a 25 inch difference between your waist and hips. That can't be right."

    Oh, it's right. It's so right.

  6. DJ, you may, but fair warning, if you use the bathroom soap dispenser that thing may tag your clothes.

    S_ra, honey, I like to tell myself that it's not just your mood today, but that you like me and my writing enough to tear up. (Remember that s-t-upid country song about the guy dying in a little while who was determined to get the most out of his remaining time that had you, me and Fids acting like emOtional cookies while I drove us around the city? Did't even like that song! Damn eyeballs start watering at the dumbest times. Embarrassing. Way too cute.) Anyway, for me, Wednesday just got better.

    Lyds, thanks for getting it. You're killing me with an offer of fabric. (I'm almost hoping my stuff will drown.) I think that's one of the sweetest damn things anybody's ever said to me. I looooooove your dressform idea. Flipped thru pix (which I did bring with me) last night and have to say again- you're damn skippy those measurements are right. You are a seriously gorgeous woman.

    You people (that's right, I said "you people") comfort me like you just don't know. I send you a squeeze and kissah you face.

  7. Sweet!

    And just so you know, if I gave a crap about my clothing, I'd likely own my own err..."dress form for gentlemen" or something... or, that sounds... nevermind.

  8. Probably just as well, Big D. Dressmaker pins and inflatable dress forms don't go well together at all. :)

  9. They make inflatable ones? Wow!

    Not that I'm interested in owning one or anything...

  10. I wouldn't imagine you'd want to rent something like that.

  11. The dress form keeps asking me what all of these comments mean and I find that I don't have the heart to tell her. (She's so young and impressionable!) I made something up- something convoluted which will cause her friends to mock her when she repeats it to them. I am a good mother.

  12. Yes, yes, lying is always a good idea.So do I get that dance or what? My hands are spotless.

  13. *snort!* A white unicorn...on MY blog, no less. You know you are the only one in the world, right?

    You're spotless. I'm jealous.

    (Read up 8 or so.)

  14. ...from a happier time, or something like that, right?

    I keep thinking that I will go to her, I will be by her side as soon as I can, as soon as they tell me I can go. And I keep thinking that it will be too late.

    I keep worrying about all of those starving dogs. (No one said grief was rational.)

  15. If you need help with the "her"s here, the first one (in the post and comments) is me/ my dress form. The one in that last comment is my city, my home.

    You, of course, are terribly clever but I, for one, needed help with the "her"s. Speaking of not rational...

  16. I watched a video of rescuers searching a gutted home for a cat. They didn't find her yet. She woke up her owner with howling before the flood waters could drown him in his sleep. He stood on a chair with her in his arm for three days. Then the rescuers took him away but refused the cat (I know they have to, but still..) He just really wants to see his cat again.