19 October 2010

Limping and Poorly-Dressed

As I walk back from the bathroom I watch myself in the mirror on the wall of the meeting room to gauge how well I am hiding my limp. Pretty well. It’s the kind of injury you’re a little embarrassed to explain: last night at the library I stepped onto an escalator and badly twisted my ankle, the one that’s always been weak from a fifteen-year-old rollerblading injury. (That was also a little embarrassing to explain, though I was a kid at the time -- I was doing a jump off this really “fun” (bad) section of sidewalk across the street and just landed wrong.) Okay. I might get through the day without comment.

I take a look at my outfit too -- a little bit better than usual, today. Sartorially I am not my best self at work. I’ve mentioned my use of chance operations to guide me in the otherwise-formless tasks of life; same goes for getting dressed on weekday mornings. For instance I’ll start at the left of the shirt section of my closet. If the first in line won’t work I’ll go to the far right, then back again if that one’s no good, and so on, making allowances for weather and a minimal level of matching.  

It is possibly a little obsessive-compulsive, this controlled relinquishing of control. Sure, maybe. A funny thing: I like to dress. I have many more clothes than I need; in my free time and especially on stage I give plenty of thought to how I look. Refusing to use my own taste and style to put together outfits for work is perhaps just one tactic among many for deflecting responsibility, another way in which I am always saying: this is not where my real life is happening. If anyone wants to know where the real life is, they might guess (and might even guess correctly, though I don’t think anyone generally is interested), but I am not providing any maps.

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