Saturday, January 16, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to My Blog

The closest I got to black people as a child was as an avid Dodgers fan. I thought when I was an adult that I would like to have centerfielder Willie Davis’s long, lean physique. (And just missed. Willie stood 6-2 and weighed 180. Johnny, 2010: 6-1, 182.) I had a black (I realized later) classmate in fifth and sixth grades, Sandra Lucas, who claimed to be Spanish, and was really beautiful, so the alpha boys intent on wooing her would have bloodied the nose of anyone who gave her shit. Not so the lone black kid at Orville Wright Junior High School, Walter Daniels, who might have had it really bad but for the presence of the spastic Billy Snyder, whose neurological problems the school’s sadists seems to find more offensive than even Walter’s negritude.

The segregation at Santa Monica High School in my day was de facto. White kids, automatically assumed to be bright and ambitious, were put in college preparatory classes, while kids of color were consigned, along with white trash from the wrong side of Olympic Blvd., to normal or remedial classes. Aside from chipper Chris Allen, who I understand went on to own his own janitorial business, my only black classmates were in PE. They never passed me the basketball; I wouldn’t have either.

(Blacks were generally perceived as a cut above Mexicans, we anglos’ contempt for whom was perfectly understandable. They’d had the courage and resolve to leave their own country to try to better themselves in ours, where they worked very hard for rotten pay, doing jobs for which we were too good. Of course we disdained ‘em!)

The summer before junior year, I worked at Zuma Beach, collecting 50¢ from people seeking access to the parking lot. My fellow employees’ favorite recreation was bitching about the man they referred to only as Martin Luther Coon. Billy Davis thought he really had me cornered rhetorically when he demanded, “Well, how would you like to live next door to one?” Better that, I mused, than him, and the boss, a Malibu sheriff who bragged about pulling over and ticketing any [black person] who dared drive on Pacific Coast Highway during his shift, had to step — reluctantly! — between us.

The summer before senior year, I got a job as a busboy. To the infinite chagrin of the redneck existing cook at Ted’s Rancho Restaurant, dishwasher Collins Hall was promoted to cook beside him, and then had the effrontery to work really hard. He was the first black person with whom I'd ever chatted at length. I liked him, and worked up the courage to try to ingratiate myself by revealing that I didn’t hate him because of his color. Only years later did I realize he’d been mocking me when he replied, with the utmost earnestness, “Well, thank you, suh.” I'd deserved to be mocked.

The night after the Watts riots broke out, their apoplectic next door neighbor burst into my girlfriend's parents’ house wanting to know if her dad wanted to go shoot a few of the uppity [black] bastards with him. Meanwhile, at lunchtime in the outdoor free speech area of my university, young black student rabble-rousers were forever bellowing lists of non-negotiable demands. I honestly suspect their primary ambition was the same as every male student’s — to get laid. It seemed to work.

Over time in adulthood, I came to have a couple of short-term black girlfriends, the more beautiful of whom was my worst lover ever, and some black bosses, and lots of black coworkers. Some, in about the same proportion as whites, were assholes, and others angels.

Billy Davis at Zuma Beach had wanted to know how I’d feel living next door to black people. I live next door to black people now. We and Deborah and her adult daughter don’t have worlds in common — Deborah’s a committed Christian, and Claire and I equally committed pantheists — but we have no complaints with each other. It isn’t as though they’re Republicans.

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Proudly Support the Homosexual Agenda

I commonly torture myself wondering if I’d have repudiated homophobia if I’d lived in less enlightened times, like my dad’s, and concluding that I might very well not have.

I didn’t know a “queer” from a box of cornflakes when I was first exposed to one, or, more accurately, a couple. I was around six, and my parents had taken me to a public park in the San Fernando Valley to watch 4th of July fireworks. I remember the local, uh, menfolk seeming very exorcised about the presence of what I infer retroactively was a gay couple that dared display its mutual affection.

In junior high school, my former SS officer (I suspect) PE teacher, Mr. Heydenreich, warned us emphatically against the sort of “bushy, bushy blond hairdo” of which the Beach Boys later sang in “Surfin’ USA”, as it was clearly indicative of…queers. These vile creatures also apparently loved to watch one another work out; we were advised to stay on our toes in weight rooms. Coach H seemed to love intimidating timid, modest little souls such as I by referring to changing for PE as stripping, and I can well imagine him having been a gay sadist behind closed doors. But of course that’s true of every PE teacher I ever had.

I was universally (except by my girlfriend) assumed by my classmates at Santa Monica High School to be…queer because even on non-performance days I occasionally wore to school the blue velour turtleneck and winklepicker boots my first band had bought to try to evoke The Beatles. That summer, when I was working as a parking lot attendant at Ted’s Rancho Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway, Johnny Mathis and a carful of what looked like hairdressers came in wearing exactly the same sort of turtleneck and smelling too good, and I thought maybe I’d better stop tempting fate.

Or maybe not. Within months, my hair was long enough to get the football team braying, “Which one’s the girl?” when I walked past with my girlfriend.

In college, I worked up what I was assured was an hilarious imitation of lispy steretotypical gay speech, but nearly regretted it one night when one of a group of fellow scholars with whom I’d gotten high — a lapsed football player — mused, “You do that a little too good,” while squinting at me menacingly. I am filled with shame to remember later doing my impression around a dear friend who I didn’t realize was gay, and of his feigning great amusement.

Ward, my (straight) best friend right after college, had a gay roommate, whose extremely flamboyant love interest, Fifi, wept and wailed in falsetto so as to depopulate Santa Monica after Ward’s roommate dumped him. It seems to me people commonly behave in arbitrary ways they think are expected of them. I wonder if, 15 years later, Fifi wasn’t muscular, mustachioed, and closed-cropped; it obviously wasn’t being gay that made you wear ruffled Technicolor blouses and wail in falsetto, but the society’s expectation that you probably would, in much the same way that in 1967 the same guy who 15 years earlier might have felt duty-bound to hold up a liquor store after smoking a reefer instead gobbled corn chips and pretended to really enjoy the music of Ravi Shankar.

I was slow to try LSD. I’d heard stories of men discovering under its influence that they were queer, and that was a chance I was hesitant to take; it wasn’t as though I’d never noticed particular male classmates’ charisma, after all. One of the many, many psychotherapists I’ve consulted over the years speculated that my depressiveness owed to repressed homosexuality, but I could see he was just trying to hit on me.

When a famous male record company talent scout, without whom the last three decades of rock and roll would have been very much less interesting, found himself unable to seduce me, he made me feel a rube. What we all were deep down, he scoffed, beneath the inhibitions in which the culture encases us, is pansexual, capable of expressing affection or attraction physically with either sex. I’ve never acted on it, not even after Mr. Bowie made bisexuality terribly chic for a while, but I suspect he was right.

In the course of researching my famous NWA piece for Playboy, I interviewed an LA rapper who called himself Tweety Bird, presumably so that someone, in taunting him, would give him an excuse for mayhem; he was as malevolent as huge, and very huge. When he started talking about his contempt for faggots, though, didn’t brave Johnny get right in his face, telling him he should be ashamed of himself? One of my finest hours!

Nowadays, I’m not only fervently anti-homophobia, but also outspoken on behalf of the consensually kinky, who come by their sexuality exactly as gays do — and exactly as you did.

For having discomfited my friend with my “faggot” imitation, it was only fair that I should be the victim of heterophobia at the big fascist law firm where I worked 17 years later, after my daughter was born. I was one of a very small number of straight male “support staff”, and several of my gay supervisors and others made no secret of their antipathy. Naturally (he said cynically), it was the non-heterophobic one with whom I became friends who didn’t make it through the first years of AIDS. This one’s for you, Bob.

See the line of homophobic-baiting products I designed in 2006 here. Facebookers: Read lots more of my wee essays and subscribe here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Little Brit

In the beginning, my and Claire’s was very much a romance of the times. I contacted her, neither knowing the other from Adam, via her Website, which I had encountered entirely by chance while inviting women entrepreneurs of a particular sort throughout the English-speaking world to reveal their secrets on a Website I’d invented primarily as a showcase for my design skills. She was both more articulate and more candid than anyone who’d participated before, and we remained in touch. The longer we remained digital penpals, the more I liked her. Even via email and instant message, I could see that she wasn’t only bright and funny — she not only got all my jokes, but in many cases improved them — but remarkably kind as well. We started to love each other even as my decade-long relationship with my fourth major girlfriend began to feel doomed.

I lost the fifth of the progressively better-paying Web design jobs I’d gotten over the course of the year before the Internet bubble burst, and flew to her native London to meet her in person. After I retrieved my luggage, she put her hand on the handle of the cart on which I’d stacked it, as though to help with the pushing — a small, unconscious gesture that confirmed my impression of her kindness.

We did a lot of flying back and forth to each other’s countries, and finally wed in London before around 30 of her friends and relatives and one of my own. We honeymooned in Italy; I have photographic proof. My daughter had ceased to speak to me, and was about to leave for college anyway, and I’d gone 18 months without being invited in for a job interview, so I moved to London, a city I’d once adored, to live with my new bride. I discovered the London I’d adored no longer existed, having been supplanted by one I liked less and less the longer I lived in it, but adored the missus enough to make up for it.

We invented whole companies of characters to play for each other’s amusement – the Wallingtons, an aristocratic couple with a combined IQ of well over 100. The shy little boy and his sadistic caretaker, Yoko Ono sitting in with the Moody Blues. And what adventures we had. We went to Spain, and were shown investment properties by a gruff English expat who couldn’t stop raving about Spanish restaurant prices. “Last night at dinner, we had four courses, with wine, and the bill for 27 of us was nine euros!” We went to the Canary Islands, looking down at the clouds from Tenerife’s Mt. Teide, beholding Lanzarote’s lunar landscape. In Portugal, we enjoyed aperitifs in a bar run by a Dutchman who worshipped Status Quo, whose rhythm guitarist was our personal friend. We saw an old tourist woman literally shitting herself in Cyprus, and nearly fainted from the heat in Budapest. We nearly fainted from the heat in Kuching, Malaysia, too, but nearly froze in Prague and Bruges and Biarritz, and went out for a French meal with new Norwegian friends in Hua Hin, Thailand.

We watched the sunset in the Sahara from atop camels, she in rented native garb. We went to Barcelona, and celebrated her birthday in Dublin, having earlier flown to Boston on Aer Lingus, the fabric on whose headrests reproduces James Joyce manuscripts. We tried in vain to doze beside the moving sidewalk in the airport in Dubai. We cured breast cancer by circumnavigating one of the decks of the Carnival Victory, and hid from the Jamaicans who, apparently expecting that it would make us want to buy their trinkets, brayed, “Bob Marley!” at us when we docked in Ocho Rios. Everywhere we bought fridge magnets for her remarkable collection. Everywhere we sang karaoke. Everywhere we had glorious fun.

By the time she met my mother, my mother was far gone with Alzheimer’s, but Claire was touchingly tender with her. She’s from a race that prides itself on its aloofness, but she initiated a warm embrace with my sister on first meeting. I wish I’d treated my own parents with a thousandth the kindness I’ve seen her show her own. If she’s an absolute nightmare to work with on music, she’s also my favorite female singer. No one on earth fries a more delicious onion.

If you define charm as the ability to make others feel good about themselves, she is the most charming person on earth. She listens without complaint to what I suspect may be the most tedious people in the English-speaking world, never hinting that she finds them less fascinating than they seem to find themselves. She’s a bottomless well of encouragement and comfort to all. The day I was literally paralyzed and the Queen Mum was laid to rest, she bought me a plastic beverage bottle to pee into. She didn't allow her terror (the English drive on the left), to keep her from driving me home the day of my latest surgery.

As gentle as she is — and no one on earth is gentler — she’s got pluck to spare. Early in our relationship, we decided to get even better acquainted in the dressing room of a London boutique. When one of the sales staff pounded indignantly on the door, and then, when we opened it, demanded an explanation, I reverted to 12 years old. Claire, though, looked our would-be prosecutor right in the eye and defied her to say or do anything about the fact that “we were having a private conversation.”

We’ve probably had fewer shouting matches over the past decade than I’d been used to having in a month; we both pride ourselves on being quick to apologize. She’s had a vast array of boyfriends, and even a previous husband. She remains fond of nearly all of them, even those who done her wrong, as they are of her. She’s pretty much without vindictiveness. She’s the kindest person I’ve ever known, and the one who’s made me feel most loved.

How blessed I’ve been to have her in my life.

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some of My Best Friends Are Negroes

Halfway through the 90s, in a rare fit of altruism, I went through training to become a CASA, a court-appointed special advocate, as which I would try to keep abused and neglected children from slipping between the cracks of the legal and social service systems, or being consigned to unsuitable foster homes. Part of our training, inevitably, was to learn Racial Sensitivity. The person who came in to enlighten us on the subject was a goateed black guy in a lurid dashiki and an Afro in which all five of the original Jackson 5 could have hidden. He cited as evidence of lingering American racism that when he walked down the street in white suburban neighborhoods, old ladies reflexively crossed to the other side. I bit my lip until it nearly bled, and then, while my rigorously PC classmates gasped in horror, asserted that this was in fact evidence of a natural human response to outlandishness. If he’d walked down the same street clean-shaven, I said, in Dockers and a polo shirt, and with a coiffure of more conventional proportions, it was entirely possible that no one would give him a second glance.

This observation, of course, was clear evidence of my own insensitivity and racism.

I’m reminded of all this by the current Harry Reid shitstorm. For having apparently uttered the word Negro and speculated that Barack Obama might be electable because he’s light-skinned and well-spoken, in the conventional, educated sense, Reid is being denounced as racist. Forgive me, but WTF?

Reid’s remarks sound nothing but pragmatic to me. I am no more offended than I would be to hear that the unspeakable Palin was chosen to run with McCain over other women prospects because she was prettier, or that some Republicans regarded the unspeakable Mitt Romney as more electable than the unspeakable Rudy Giuliani because he was prettier. It would have been one thing if Reid’s comments suggested an endorsement of white antipathy toward black culture, but they simply acknowledge that American voters like their candidates bland and unthreatening. (Yes, yes: Palin as unthreatening is indeed a strenuous stretch, but that's for another essay.)

That great national embarrassment Michael Steele, among many others, has been trying to equate Reid’s remarks with those for which Trent Lott had to resign his leadership of Senate Republicans in 2002; you may recall that Lott's downfall was lamenting the vile segregationist Strom Thurmond’s not having been elected president in 1948. I think we can all agree that Joan Walsh summed this whole thing up best: One guy is talking, perhaps inelegantly, about why he's wholeheartedly supporting our first black president; the other is wishing the country had elected a racist. That's exactly the same thing!

I might be a lot more outraged about Negro if I weren't old enough to remember when that was the favored term of respect for black people, having replaced “colored” decades before at the urging of that shameless Uncle Tom (he said sarcastically) W. E. B. DuBois, the most venerated black intellectual leader and civil rights activist of the first half of the last century. It was only after Stokley Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee managed to rebrand the word as one invented by white racists (unlike the Swahili word black) that it began to lose favor. It was roughly akin to teenagers condemning as corny and antiquated the excellent music their parents loved just for the brattish joy of it, and the parents capitulating.

Dr. King referred to himself as a Negro. I find disgraceful that the sensibility of Stokley Carmichael -- who, soon after rebranding that word, renamed himself in honor of Guinea dictator Sekou Toure, a notorious torturer -- should have come to be accorded more respect than that of the greatest of all American heroes.

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For Ron(n), in Memoriam

I am celebrated on multiple continents (or at least in my own imagination, and probably not even there) for having suspected, when I first met him, under the influence of hallucinogens, that The Kiddo was the Angel of Death. I was under the influence of nothing more potent than the exhilaration of having moved recently out of my parents’ house for the first time when I first encountered Ron(n) Reinberg, and thought him to be Jesus Christ, as envisioned by Renaissance painters. He had the flowing auburn hair. He had the beard. He had the wise, kindly aspect. We resided in the same college dormitory, and were after the same girl, but soon became friends and then, ill-advisedly, roommates.

He was a person of multiple passions. He took photographs, such as the best known ones of the seminal Christopher Milk. He revealed without embarrassment that the playing of Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee reduced him to tears. He wanted to learn to play the guitar himself, and didn’t allow his lack of natural aptitude to keep him out of the dormitory stairwell at night, at least until he began going to art films with his new filmmaker girlfriend instead.

He knew how to play the angles. When summer came, and I had to cut my hair to get a job parking cars for a pittance, Ron(n) blithely continued to resemble the Renaissance Jesus and settled into a much better-paying job at the university. He had his own car, a late-model yellow Chevrolet, in which he drove a crew of us up to San Francisco to see Cream and Bloomfield’s Electric Flag at the Fillmore.

When the girl we’d both been after broke my heart, he was generous with his time and consolation. But we later came, living together in a cramped dorm room, to detest each other. We had a brief rapprochement, during which I discovered that he was paying less than I for the much nicer apartment he inhabited during our mutual senior year. Always with that knack! I heard he was going to law school, and had no doubt he’d finish at the top of his class.

We hadn’t spoken in 36 years when I heard from him again, via email. He revealed that he’d left the law fairly early on: I returned from India (1980) after nearly dying from the microbes that invaded my kidneys, I apprenticed with a lighting designer creating lights for modern dance companies. 28 years later, I’m the most sought after lighting designer in Santa Cruz, CA (small pond, but nonetheless large enough to support a handful of competent designers). I am beginning to tire of production work and am slowly transitioning into teaching so I can just sit and talk about how to do it rather than carrying 15-pound lights up 20-foot ladders myself. I find that I am now enjoying teaching in a high school. Fortunately, I have excellent self-restraint and so far they can’t bring you up on charges for what you are thinking.

Ron(n) died suddenly this past weekend. I have always believed that those who die suddenly are actually blessed; a quick death, with neither extended pain nor the humiliation of helplessness, seems much to be preferred. I anticipate thinking in not too many years, to whatever extent I’m able to think at all, that Ron(n) always did play the angles with enviable finesse.

I can’t imagine God not smiling on the person who was once the kind, gentle young man I was privileged to call my friend.

[Hear my new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

Monday, January 11, 2010

Colt McCoy Confesses

A lot of people have been wondering about the mysterious injury that sidelined me in last week's Rose Bowl national college football championship game. After I was tackled by Alabama’s Marcelle Dareus on our fifth offensive play of the game, I was replaced by true freshman Garrett Gilbert, even though I hadn’t been carried off the field on a stretcher, and wasn’t even in apparent agony. It was later explained that I’d sustained a nerve injury that caused numbness and weakness in my throwing arm; You may have heard that in the locker room, I was unable to throw the ball seven yards to my dad (and high school coach), even though he was doing his utmost to encourage me, shouting, “Grow a pair of balls and toss me the fucking ball, you whimpering little mama’s-boy faggot.”

My inability to oblige him actually owed to no nerve injury, or resulting numbness. Rather, it was because I had, in the weeks leading up to the big game, seen my future with increasing clarity, and been terrified by it. I saw myself winning the Rose Bowl game in the closing seconds with a remarkable touchdown pass to Jordan Shipley, and then being carried off the field on my adoring teammates’ shoulders while our cheerleaders hurriedly changed into “something more comfortable” and arranged themselves in a semicircle around my locker. I saw myself going on to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League, not spectacularly, but well enough to make countless millions on endorsements because corporate America loves bland white Christian quarterbacks who are able to feign aw-shucks humility, and I had the numbers of a couple of highly rated acting coaches.

I would “write” an autobiography (that is, would allow a ghostwriter chosen by my agent to tape several conversations with me) in which I would attribute all my success to my faith in Jesus, and it would make the New York Times’ nonfiction bestseller list, peaking at No. 3, behind co-Presidents Palin’s and Limbaugh’s most recent memoirs. I would, in the meantime, have married my extremely blonde college girlfriend Rachel Glandorf, and sired three attractive blond children with alliterative first names, the male first-born of whom would be expected from infancy to become a quarterback in his own right.

Once having retired, ostensibly To Spend More Time With My Family even though me and Rachel haven’t had anything to say to each other since maybe our third date, the various companies for which I’d shilled over the years would continue to pay me megabucks to occasionally play golf with this senator or that foreign tycoon.

None of that sounded very fun to me. What I wanted, and want, is to embody an entirely different constellation of clichés. I am learning the guitar, shaving irregularly and inattentively, and trying to learn to enjoy the taste of Jack Daniels, all with the intention of parlaying my football fame into a recording contract. As a country music superstar. I will write songs harshly condemning those who disdain the time-honored American values that I myself will mock by becoming addicted to amphetamines, drinking too much, and regularly being found unconscious in gutters with pockmarked crack addict African-American prostitutes, many of them transvestites. I will set a really horrible example for American youth, but what fun I’ll have.

Or maybe I’ll marry Jordan. My favorite receiver (no pun intended!) and I have been lovers since sophomore year; Rachel is a beard. We have spoken of moving together to Iowa, where we can legally wed, and where Jordan can work the fields manfully while I bake cornbread and keep the farmhouse tidy. We will coach a local Pop Warner team together, and maybe even be Scoutmasters.

In closing, I would like to reveal that I am not the sanctimonious Christian the University of Texas asked me to pretend to be, but a member of the Church of the Beast. I am called Colt, but my real given name is Occult.

Get over it.

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thrown Stones, Ghosts, and Crushed Velvet

From the window of my first home in Hollywood, at 8082 Selma Avenue, I could, if I’d had a stronger arm, have thrown a stone and hit:

* Schwab’s Drugstore, at whose lunch counter Lana Turner wasn’t discovered, but was widely thought to have been;
* The Chateau Marmont, the famous hotel in which John Belushi would later perish;
* The hallowed ground on which had stood Pandora’s Box, Ground Zero for the famous Sunset Strip riots of late 1966;
* John-and-Yoko’s famous War Is Over billboard.

I occupied the whole third floor of an ancient house. The original owner’s daughter was said to have hanged herself out my front window, and phenomenologists had apparently been studying the place for years. Had they asked, I’d have told them that I woke up alone one night with someone’s hand on my face. It was sufficiently terrifying to inspire me to buy enough salt to sprinkle around the entire periphery of the flat. Someone had told me that would keep ghosts away, and it seemed to do so.

Right beneath me, on the second floor, we had Franco, a waiter at Frascati (today the apparently posh XIV), which I could have reached out and touched from the window of my bedroom had my arms been very much longer, and a rare-for-the-time middleaged interracial couple, the black male half of which abundantly amused me by never failing to greet poor Franco as “you little fistfucker”. To this day I am uncertain whether he meant to suggest that poor Franco masturbated too much, or enjoyed putting his little hand in forbidden places. The ground floor was home to the Family Bissell, who seemed not to know what to make of the rest of us. I wasn’t worldly enough in those days to feel supremely complimented when Daughter called me the Pauline Kael of rock.

Next door, on Sunset Blvd., to Greenblatt’s Deli, which is still there, was a boutique popular with gay men. It was the only place I knew where you could get skintight crushed velvet trousers of the sort Keith Richards and other fashionplates were wearing, and a drawstring, well...blouse of the sort Robert Plant wore in the first Led Zeppelin publicity photographs. I may have hated Led Zeppelin, but still recognized that the garment in question might make me look like an exotic rock star.

Much of late-60s English rock fashion was inspired by the fact that many of the most powerful managers of the day were gay, and dressed their protégés as their own personal wet dreams. Then fervently heterosexual American musicians would copy the Brits’ gay-inspired fashions to make themselves more irresistible to girls. In the big American cities, you had snake-hipped young studs with bouffant hair traipsing around looking for all the world like Kensington hairdressers called Mr. Kenneth, and girls wanting to fellate them because of it. And then the same thing worked for Prince 15 years later. Let no one tell you it isn’t a wacky world we inhabit.

I think I may have worn the lime-green crushed velvet trousers in public only once, at Christopher Milk’s ill-fated showcase performance at the studios of KPFK. That was better than I’d done with the plaid trousers I’d bought after getting an eyeful of the Rolling Stones’. In both cases, it wasn’t so much a case of actually wearing them as knowing I’d bought them.

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]