Thomas Disch & Dressing Well
The Great HallI love this poem.
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.
There's a rather simple, bordering on shallow message to it: look good, be smart and you will live long multiple lives through the memories of those who have met you.
I don't know how else to read it. That's it for me!
I love it because it expresses the whole motivation in everything I do. All this preoccupation with writing, publishing, documentation, and now podcasting. It's for others' eyes — and ears; that it will be seen, heard, and remembered past my own lifetime. A legacy of sorts.
Speaking of clothes, I wouldn't claim to be fashionable; but I do like to literally dress well as one form of courtesy to the public. And I expect the same from those around me.
I don't read much about fashion as well, but a voice that I really enjoy is Elizabeth Hawes'. This is what she has to say about dressing up, and these words have stayed with me up to now:
If you've solved your dressing problems satisfactorily for yourself, you are bound to attract the people you want to attract and for the reasons you want to attract them: a better job, a new mate, a competent lover, a fresh friend.We're not going out much as we're still under the pandemic, but it doesn't mean that we're completely hidden from the public eye. Nor does it mean our ambitions have diminished. Some friends have bought statement necklaces and blouses with eye-catching sleeves and collars because they still interact with people, sometimes strangers on Zoom and other similar platforms.
As for me, this is my not so clever way of forcing a connection between dressing up and building a site for this podcast. Well, let me just go ahead with it. For this New Year I'm pleased to announce that The Stunner now has this dedicated blog, where you can find transcripts, photos, and other relevant content.
I hope it will attract the people I want to attract, which is you. I hope it makes a good impression and I hope you will come back.