24 May 2012

To always dress well

The Great Hall
Thomas Disch

You need only have noticed someone once,
and he will have an entree to your dreams
for the rest of your life. Or he may never
reappear at all. Who knows whose names
are there when the credits scroll? Who knows
how often one has passed one's someday spouse
before actually being introduced?
But as to dreams, just multiply
each single unnoticed noticing
by the number of sentient beings everywhere
you've ever lived and think how vast
an afterlife one stands to enjoy
in the world of dreams. That's one good reason
for dressing well (or at least memorably)
and making witty remarks: Strangers
will remember you. There are cats
who've been dead for decades who still
rest comfortably on cushions
in the dreamt apartments of those
who'd thought, “What a lovely cat.”
But alas for the creatures of darkness.
They lived unseen and will not live again.
The day had been a lesson in welcoming strangers and remaining your best self when no one is looking—because you are never certain that you are unseen.

In the morning I had an interview with Alex Carbonell of Studio Fix wherein he talked about the importance of performance backed up by appearance. The man spoke with that rare combination of humor, authority and ease. I was (I must admit, unexpectedly) charmed.

Then in the evening I met old friends and made new ones when I attended High Chair's book launch. I almost didn't go, considering my fears of the North (distance, traffic, crowd), but I sorely missed the company of friends and the company of poets. And I remembered vowing to stop being a recluse at the start of the year.

It was a great day, if only it weren't so short.

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