I came across this photo in my files while I was look for something else. It’s a crop of a street scene in lower Manhattan in New York. I am on the pavement and two men are walking across the street towards me on the crossing. Both wore hats and one was Asian. I couldn’t see the other man because he had dark glasses on, but maybe Hispanic. The trilby that the Asian man was wearing was a fashion statement. All their clothes were, and looking at it when I came across the photo took me back to think about when I was still at school.
I had a pair of Hush Puppies, brown suede. I think I wore that brand from my mid to late teens. I thought they were cool. I wonder what word I used to describe them, because I doubt whether it was ‘cool’. Then I developed a whole thing about revolting against looking cool and that included not cutting my hair or my beard. The idea was not to be or to look artificial or the product of artifice in any way. It’s a forlorn hope, but the intent was there.
I know I took this photo because I thought the men looked both cool and at the same time slightly ridiculous. Just a little bit, because it is a free world and maybe it is fun to dress up. As long as it doesn’t become a straight-jacket that controls thought and experience.
Here is my big thought. Hair styles are what set human beings apart from the animals. Start with the hair style and everything else flows out from them.
Tamara and I knew a woman (she is dead now, G-d rest her soul) and she had a great French cut, hair shaped and tapered in on the back of her neck. She had a very experience-filled life, fleeing countries and ending up in arty England. Despite her age she looked great with that well-cut style.
Bottom line – Tamara keeps telling me to buy some clothes – get rid of my mall-man fleece and buy some decent clothes. And I don’t know what to get.