Tucson, darling. It’s been almost three glorious years, and this is really hard to say, but I just have to come right out with it: I’m leaving you.
Wait. Stop. I can’t take it when you look at me that way. Listen baby, Its not what you think. I still love you. I don’t want to leave, it’s just… I want to see other cities for a while. Hey no, hold on. Don’t be jealous. Lord knows you have more amazing women at any given time than any other city of your size, and I’ve been loyal to you this whole time. What? No, that’s not what I meant. Size doesn’t matter anyway, you know that.
Please, I need you to understand. It’s not you. Its just that I haven’t really spent quality time with very many cities, and I can’t really be sure I’m ready to settle down if I’ve got this itch to see other places, you know? I’d always be wondering what else was out there. You wouldn’t want that would you?
We both know I’ll be back one day, but until then, here’s something for us to remember each other by. I took a farewell walk through your oldest streets last evening in my favorite boots, in a dress I just made for my last fashion show as your resident.
The Dreamer Boots by Nicole are not only super comfy, but they go with everything and make me feel like a gazelle. I’m about to fully embrace a nomadic lifestyle, and in preparation, have gotten rid of all my possessions, excepting what I can carry. Admittedly, these boots are a bit bulkier than the average traveler would recommend. And okay sure, they don’t pack easily, but what that says to me is I should never take them off.
Baby, when I look down at my feet I’ll always think of you. And one day, the boots will come striding back through your dusty desert streets again. You can take the girl out of the desert, but you can’t take the desert out of the girl.
After all, we’re obviously sole mates.
And with a bad pun, I exit.
Photos by Ciaran Harman
A reoccurring daydream of mine has been to have too much time to myself, isolated from the world for several months with nothing but my sewing machine, a large iTunes library, and enough super healthy food that I wouldn’t have to venture into the world at all.
It’s a reverie that has calmed me when overwhelmed, hungover or sick to death of my job. I would plan my escape, figuring how much I would have to save up, where I would go, who I would tell (very few), and what I would do if somebody tried to break into this hypothetical house while I was sleeping and murder me for no reason I know this is an absurd thing to stress myself out about but I can’t help it and I have done it since I was a kid and nothing remotely like that has ever happened to me but I still freak out about it and on a similar note camping is terrifying.
When my friend Monique asked me to dog/cat/veggie garden/house sit for most of July, I jumped at the chance. A perfect opportunity to cash in on some much needed alone time and prepare for the fashion show I agreed to do July 20th, my first in over a year. So I moved my few belongings in, bought a ton a healthy food, turned on some Moonface and sat down to sketch…
Everything I drew looked contrived and amateurish. And boring. I concentrated on the theme. I looked at magazines. I finally joined Pinterest. I had long phone conversations with my mom on the topic(s) of art vs. business vs. selling out vs. no one cares vs. blah blah blah and had countless revelations which I immediately forgot.
After a week and a half spent hunkered down, trying to concentrate, cursing my lack of vision/motivation/a flat stomach, I had a little facebook chat with my friend Michael Lopez. A fellow designer, he seems to be constantly producing things, updating his etsy store, doing photoshoots…he displays a level of excitement and productivity I haven’t felt since I was 22 or so (not counting a few little spurts coinciding with wanting to impress someone, or that little known internet gem called Concrete and Cashmere).
Michael explained that when he didn’t feel inspired to sew, he’d screen print, or just make basic crop tops, just make something. Slowly I began to remember what it’s like to sew. Most of the time when I end up with a piece I really love, it was one that continuously morphed as I made it. Sure, I’d have a basic sketch, but since I rarely work from patterns, I’d always be compensating, changing it from the shape I originally intended and into something new and beautiful that I didn’t expect. (<<< check out that sick metaphor 4 life, bro.)
So instead of sitting around watching the first two seasons of Louie and getting more and more depressed, (well, not instead. I should have said, after watching the first two seasons of Louie and the Joan Rivers episode totally punching me in the revelation gut, and the duckling episode making me cry) I made a decision.
I decided to stop thinking.
Specifically, thinking about the future. My mind had been occupied with so many career-related what-ifs and if-I-can’t-make-clothes-then-what-is-my-purpose-in-lifes, that my hands had become immobile. All I had to do was pick up the fucking scissors and get to work. And so I did. And I made a couple of really shitty pieces of clothing.
But it was either actively try to create, or give up and slump into a lethargic Netflix globule, whining to the dogs about how pathetic I am.
Two days later, things started to turn around. Tonight I finished a fourth gorgeous dress and I couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming show. As I stated in my last post, the evening’s theme is Future Primitive, something that at first didn’t resonate with me. Now, however, I can confidently see where this collection is going and pinpoint its main themes. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready. The designs in their essence:
Lascaux cave paintings -meets- Juggalo babes going to the opera.
(I’d like to note for the record: I just spent twenty minutes photoshopping hatchetmen** onto a cave wall for you and then said aloud “What the fuck am I doing?”)
*I am fully aware of my absurdity here, and have talked my heart out of exploding countless times: What are the chances that there is a guy with an axe/revovler/candlestick just wandering through these woods right now? It’s raining anyway, he’d be too damp and uncomfortable to be in the mood to kill me, and besides he doesn’t know me. Most murders are committed by someone the victim knows, right? Or am I thinking of rapes? Or am I thinking of most car crashes occurring within five miles of your house? Whatever. There would be no motive, is what I’m getting at. And if this imaginary calculating brute is for some reason an acquaintance of mine, why me? I’m so nice! And I’m poor! I have literally nothing this creep could want. He couldn’t even want my identity, since I have somehow managed to achieve a terrible credit score, despite the fact that I didn’t go to college and I’ve never had a credit card. To conclude, there is no chance that anyone is trying to kill me. That sound I heard was probably just a bear.
**The irony of this post involving potential “axe wielding” individuals AND hatchetmen just now hit me.
Homeless, aimless and unemployed, I appear to be in gypsy mode once again. But that doesn’t mean I’m going go overboard with baubles (overbauble?) and dress like a schizophrenic costume shop refugee a like I did in 2009. This time I’m taking the high road (well, only clothing-wise. The low road has WAY better bars).
For the past six months or so, I’ve cooled it with my accessory obsession (obsessory? accession?) (sorry) (not sorry) and stuck to a look comprised mostly of dresses and shoes. There is a get-up-and-go simplicity about it, and it’s given me the opportunity to downsize my wardrobe into a travel-friendly two-bag affair. However, I seem to have only collected a variety of short floral dresses and cowboy boots and now I look like I’m wearing a Jamaica costume.
Something must be done, lest I end up an action figure. I can see it now: a displeased plastic frown from juggling my miniature suitcases while trying to find my tiny boarding pass. My haircut comes pre-experimented on by little kid scissors, and if you look in my luggage, there are seven more outfits exactly like the one I’m wearing.
I have approximately one more month in Tucson before I’m truly floating in the wind. Now is the time for reinvention! So stylistically, I’ve decided to embrace the vagabond life in a Kathleen-Turner-in Body-Heat homage to the 1930′s via the 1980′s.
Confused? Good. So am I.
Whilst thrifting in Flagstaff, AZ with my mom, I came across this pattern:
Want to embody a modern, monochrome Carmen Sandiego, but avoid the Polly Esther Fabrique? If you’re not me, you could try the actual high road and achieve this look with new clothes!
And if you want to get just crazy high on the high road (at least as far as scoring points with yours truly is concerned), be sure to check out what may very well be my last Tucson fashion show on July 20th. The theme of the night is “future primitive”, and even though I appear to be doing “vintage modern”, I’m sure I can rationalize it all somehow. In keeping with my current approach toward life in general, the best plan is…no plan?
I wonder how I’ll manage to pull this one off.
Alas! Catastrophe has struck, wholly and without mercy.
Amber and I have been forced to abandon ship and fly home.
Our darling Taco Yacht is still being held hostage in Satan’s Transmission Shop. We’ve had to crash in various cheap motels and camp in leaky tents during Bible Belt downpours. We’ve been taken in by distant relatives and sustained ourselves on beans and rice and cheap beer.
Somehow we managed to preserve most of our dignity, in the form of wardrobes that oddly caused the locals to assume we were foreigners. (Last week a helpful forest ranger directed us to a campsite that “never gets overcrowded, even on the Fourth of–our holidays”.)
As Morale Officer, I tried to keep spirits high by pointing out the bright side of any given situation, beginning every other sentence with, “Well, at least” but as the days flew by and we hovered there as Smoky Mountain ghosts, the open road seemed further and further out of our spectral grasp.
Finally we received word that two weeks later, the yacht still had another week in “repair”. With dwindling savings and heavy hearts, our gentlemen sent us off to safety as they prepared to face whatever lay ahead.
And what lay ahead, you ask? What lay ahead two hours after Amber and I said our goodbyes at the airport in Nashville?
THE YACHT WILL BE FIXED THIS AFTERNOON. That’s right. It seems that Lucifer’s Trannies is only able to fix your vehicle by the time it could be considered bad news. It’s possible, of course, that the old myth of women being bad luck aboard ships is true. Or perhaps the Taco Yacht was jealous of us? Or perhaps Rian and Ryan meticulously planned every detail of this fiasco in order to finally star in their own buddy comedy, and Amber and I somehow missed the little winks they exchanged as everything fell into place? We may never know.
As I look back on our humble beginnings, I remember the hope we once had, the glorious optimism. It seems ages ago that we dipped our toes in the Atlantic. I was a different girl then.