Back when I lived down below, when, during one of my urban walkabouts, I happened into a wealthier district, I’d say I was slumming. There are those who would say-quite baselessly, I might add-that I am paradoxical and otherwise contrary, which is a bunch of who shot john. See, I don’t have a contrary bone in my body. My daughter agrees, although, she went on to say I had two-hundred six such bones. Contemptuous fucking child.
She gets that from her mother…
It really wasn't my fault how I ended up slumming amongst some of the local glitterati. In fact, having just got home from obligations, I was beginning to contemplate a Sri Lankan beer. It was going to be pizza night at the House of Owls and Bats.
Then my phone buzzed. The message in a digital bottle was from a friend whom was at the holiday shin-dig for the Hamill House. Initially, she'd contacted Sabina, under the auspice of a girls night out playing pretty-pretty princesses, but Sabina had her own obligations she was still engaged in. So I was asked to be a date. Apparently there were snacks and a free! bar.
That's how I ended up at the historic mansion of a mine owner in the getup I normally reserve for marryings, buryings, and the summer melodrama. I'd dug out my Hungarian wool-cashmere blend overcoat, with a skull and crossbones pin on one lapel and my Scottish clan crest on the other and the multi-colored Doctor Who scarf the bruja made for me several birthdays ago. I'd told my date I'd be looking like a bohemian version of the help.
This event was put on by one of the historical groups. One of which is kissing-with tongue-cousins with the organization of which I receive my patronage from to bankroll my adventures and pay my mortgage. There's a certain sense of incest here-cue the banjos-because the memberships are to both groups and many of these cats are my volunteers. There's also my affiliation with my town's historical group and being on our museum board, not to mention living within a small aggregate of communities within a narrow rift-like valley in the mountains.
Despite my misanthropy, I know people...
It was queer to turn heads. I've never liked that kind of attention. Both the magistrate and matron gave me compliments. My date said she'd never seen me so dressed up, and I told her unless we were seeing someone to the altar or into the ground, she'd not see me that way again.
"You clean up really well," one of my acquaintances/volunteers said, taking in my raiment.
"What? This old thing? This rag I picked up off my closet floor?" I said. "I only wear this when I don't give a fuck what I look like."
I chuckled at her eye-roll, trying to think of when I give a fuck what I look like...
There were Christmas carols and the lighting of a tree in the grand old Victorian style. Mulled wine and a host of toasts. Moments of simple humanity, those moments, which I'm a sucker for, but maybe I just suck.
Sabina got a brief second to catch me in playing-dress-up-clothes when she first got home. I was all but cutting myself out of them in favor of some cotton Nepali-style cargo pants with Buddhist symbology on them, a Live t-shirt, and what I call my grandpa sweater. Quite soon I felt more at ease within my own skin instead of wanting to flay it off, playing dress-up does that to me, despite how well I can do it. I relaxed. There was pizza to make. The whole time, since when I'd received the initial invite, I had a Ministry song playing within the walls of my skull;
Albeit more rocking....