Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Stories…

The Stories…
I’ll probably never write. I mean my head is full of them—and good ones, too. But I don’t think they’ll make it to daylight anytime soon.
Ennui by Walter Richard Sickert circa 1914
Why not? Ennui came to mind but that’s not it. Not at all. Ennui to me denotes waiting for something—a protracted, slow moving state of simmer—with a barely fueled yearn for something, even if you don’t quite know what that something should be or is going to be upon arrival. And I’m so settled on this rather comprehensive definition of ennui that even if it’s miles off the mark, my definition stands.

Writer’s block would indicate that I’m a writer so that one’s out too. Boredom? Not so much. Inability to concentrate, to hold a thought long enough for it to morph into a cogent flurry of words? Now we are getting somewhere. Inertia.

My blessings outweigh my challenges and my decades old strategy of taking the proverbial plusses and minuses inventory to reground me remains a decent technique. But one thing I’ve learned in the last year and a half is that pain and suffering are unique and the degree to which anyone suffers should never be discounted, regardless of how their pluses and minuses exercise nets out. I’ll never again trivialize anyone’s pain just because I view it as comparatively trifling.

Bottom line is that I think I’m still grieving. And I’m trying hard to step into it, to participate in its coursing through, yet not wallow. But it’s cold here and flannel sheets and lush robes and shearling lined bedroom slippers are conducive to a bit of wallowing. Shut up.
So if I could write I’d finally do the promised story on this shirt from the nice people at Sebastian Ward. 
I don’t shill so you know that if I agree to write about a product, it’s gonna be unvarnished. And  I’ve already got the title. Quirky Shirts. Because they are. And of course that suits the hell out of my fuzzy-diced, “give me one of everything that you can possibly add to a garment, please” proclivities. 
I asked for a third sleeve with holes for three cufflinks and the narrow thinking, unimaginative bastards at Sebastian Ward shut me down. Thank you.
And then there’s the story that if I did write it, I’d title it Miracle Mark. About my might as well be blood brother Mark Rykken and the fact that back when I was solvent, I had Puerto make an updated version of my favorite W. Bills brown houndstooth jacket.
Rykken and I are both getting a wee bit long in the tooth. I honestly could afford to gain eight to ten pounds; Rykken?
I had a bulletproof, go-to version of this baby that my sartorial daddy, Alan Flusser in concert with Rykken, made for me a zillion years ago. You can read all about that one here. And we did that one faithful to the old Brooks Brothers model…open patch breast, patch and flap side pockets, welt seams and my ADG 3/2 tweak. Just fuzzy enough, right? But times change, and gorge, button stance nuances, and other impertanalia redefine themselves. Redefinitions be damned because W.Bill was out of this houndstooth for several years. You couldn’t make, or remake one if you wanted to.
 But then a bolt miraculously emerged. So I transferred the old jacket to a faithful buyer who takes almost any and everything ADG bespoke off of my hands for win-win prices and put a down payment on the new one. And it took me a over year to finally get it finished. Both payment and fitting.
I've always had a thing for brown/tan houndstooth. Here I am in London twenty years ago with my other daddy R.E.B. Read more about him here. I'd just discovered the vintage clothing shop, Bertie Wooster in the Fulham Road earlier that day and pounced on the 3/2 peak number that I'm sporting for the photo opp.
Then a few years later, here's R.E.B. and me again. This time its October in Ponte Vedra and I'm to be married the next day. This houndstoothian version was wool and silk. I wore it to death. Alas.
Rykken didn't seem too chafed by my dilatory-essence. He offered that the jacket spawned a few additional sales when others gandered it. And after W.Bill ran out of the wool bolt, Rykken simply offered a one-hundred percent cashmere version to his more moneyed masses. 
And there’s the story that I never did on my friend Nick Hilton I titled Nick of Time. And it was going to be a good one too. About his kindness and renaissance man-ifestations and how his wife is as lovely as she is nice, too. Nick made a couple of jackets for me a zillion eons ago and I have things to say about them but also about his dad, Norman. And the mantle Nick bears and the Ralph connection and all of the other stuff that’s been rehashed along these lines. But not by me.
How could I not ideate on a story about my good friend Hetom at Sky Shoes? The Sky’s The Limit is the working title of that one. Hetom is a trained shoemaker who, given the right circumstances, could turn out bespoke shoes right here in D.C. He won’t do that for you but he is the go to oasis of shodding knowledge inside the Beltway and I don’t know why others don’t seek his counsel as often as I do. Crocket and Jones and Alden and other unique tasty goods are there for the having.
So the blue suede C&J bluchers don’t come with suede tassels? Not a problem. When your shoe supplier is also a shoemaker, he emails C&J and requests enough blue suede to make tassels and add them to my shoddings. Aftermarket fuzzy dice on demand. Bam!
Sky's new line of almost Belgians are off the hook.
And they are almost not as expensive as the NYC originals that I’m such a sycophant about. Shut.
SteinMart and Daddy Flusser would be in the queue for round two of Alan Flusser and MyMama or vice damn versa. Why? Because the Flusser goods at SteinMart continue to be tasty, fun and just fuzzy enough to have me pounce on them.
The nylon quilted goods this season are strong and at south of forty bucks, I now own three of these quilted vests.
The FlussMart collection, for the money, is the tastiest thing in the store.

I’d also tell you about Alan ringing my phone one morning. “I’m in a car, headed to Florence to do an appearance at your hometown SteinMart. What’s the name of that barbecue place that you always talk about? And your mom…” Alan asked about going to visit my mom. I demurred, knowing full-well that my hospital bed in the middle of the den, mama would be too embarrassed to receive strangers without me there. But I’ll never forget the gesture.
My baby’s too old for me to revel you with twee little stories about our daddy-daughter vacations and silly antics. But she’s still my baby and I’m so proud of her I could just bust. Burst? Whatever.
And last night she and her dance company sisters did an open house, pre-recital “let’s give the parents an update” kind of revue thing. 
She no longer a little ballerina prancing about on stage. She’s a serious dancer and she has chops.
She was just transitioning out of believing in Santa when I first shared her with you. Thirty-six months from now and, if the Lord tarries, LFG will be off to college.

Onward. 80-G-2


Anonymous said...

Delighted to see you blogging again and thanks for the card! I almost sent you the Shaw book instead of that fruitcake, but figured, no he MUST already have that one! Meeting with Marvelous Mark next week to spend more money I don't have. BUT I am counting on a big Pick6 Lotto win, so all will be well.
Your pal,
New York Slim

Gail, in northern California said...

You have no idea how much I've missed you.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Max,

What a surprise and a delight to see you pop into the dashboard today.

Such a collection of sartorial elegance, where else can this be found in the Blogosphere we ask ourselves? We covet almost everything but it would be the socks which we should steal......

And, how your daughter has developed into a fiery young woman. She looks to be very much her own person so you have done a good job in giving her the wings to fly!

But, there is a bittersweet tenderness running through this post. We trust that all will be well and that we shall see you again soon.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back- the boys at the Shell station were giving 2 to 1 that you'd had your AOL account cut off. The folks at the feed and seed said no, you were probably detained in some hostile environment. Who would have guessed you were required to purchase your way out of a Stein Mart? You never do know...

Take Care and All Appropriate Supportive Comments from Here
Eng and Eeg

Claire M. Johnson said...

Glad to hear from you. Just as bizarre aside, the mystery writer Patricia Cornwall believes that Sickert was Jack the Ripper and wrote a nonfiction treatment in support of her theory.

ilovelimegreen said...

I am very happy you are back to posting. It will be good for you to get everything swimming around in your mind on paper (more or less).

Pigtown*Design said...

Happy to see you back. Thinking of you!

LPC said...

I miss you too and celebrate your showing up. Also, nice leap Miss L.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Hang in there brother; we're all pulling for you.

LFG, Nice line!!

Gail, in northern California said...

Forgive me; without a doubt this is selfish but I've seen how quickly life can change, and I'm afraid your stories will be lost forever should anything happen to you. Think of them as a wonderful legacy meant for your little golden-haired girl.

Love from your favorite nosy old biddy.

Anonymous said...

Did you kill the Tumblr account?

Anonymous said...

Ain't got no way to contact you, baby Max. But you need to see this. Compliments of your fellow blogger Bloomsbury Life: