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2004-08-25 - 5:00 p.m.

Can someone wink through sunglasses?

Walking down fifth today, I had the unfortunate experience of having my eyes get caught in the netting of one particular woman’s peculiar necklace. Looking like a lattice work of pearls, it didn’t seem to sway according to the laws of physics I’ve been accustomed to, rather the strings seemed to offer counter supports, the archway’s of Notre Dame.

While studying said accessory, and trying to determine what forces of momentum and torque pulled it into such a shape, the woman around whose neck it draped turned quickly and pointedly at me. A little grin curled into her lips and her right cheek seemed to pinch, as if somewhere behind those pitch black Channel sunglasses there were eyelids winking at me.

Some people could try and twist these facts into a flirtation, but considering all the evidence, it doesn’t appear that way to me, primarily because that necklace I was staring so intently at happened to be in the same general area as a pair of breasts.


In all honesty, they were quite nice, and it was their appeal that led my eye in that direction in the first place, but I decided to further investigate because of the attire, though I’m sure there isn’t a single jury across this great land of ours that would buy that story.

I’ve yet to understand exactly what it is about certain pieces of clothing that immediately attracts attention and possible attraction, even in my own likings. I know I hate those half pleated skirts that only start to flare after they pass half the butt, but I also know I have absolutely no reason for hating them, other than their apparent bi-polar nature. The short short micro mini types just make me feel embarrassed, even more so after I had to sit at a tiny table calmly drinking my beer, standing guard while one of my friends danced on said tiny table in said tiny skirt. She was afraid she might fall. The contrast of wearing pearls with jeans just strikes me as odd, and my feelings about trucker caps have a long and storied history.

That is the total sum of my feelings on style, so when it comes to picking my ensemble out of the closet in the morning, I’m completely at a loss for what’s going to garner the attention of those special ladies who refrain from those above travesties.

Coming into college, I was still riding the Sub-Pop train, wrapped in flannel and dark henleys from J. Crew that my mom seemed to purchase more readily than toilet paper. My freshman year roommate, Dwayne, ever acting as my pimp, tried with futile desperation to explain the weaknesses in my wardrobe.

“Brighten it up, man. The ladies aren’t going to notice you in all that drab shit. Get something with some flare, and shit. And, man, I got an Iron, Jay-Dawg.”

Dwayne was a large man from Chicago, who often tooled around our room, hallway, and most parts of the dorm in a pair of bright yellow basketball shorts, and little else. He was cut and had the gift of a silver tongue, so I never really figured his accoutrement really mattered. If he had walked into a room wearing a tutu, I’m sure he would have still done quite well. Considering his pecs, the ladies would probably have decided the tutu was actually a sign of confidence and quirkiness, rather than something no one attesting to the possession of testosterone should ever slip into.

Minutes after the wink, I strolled into a high-class tobacco joint by Bryant Park. The cigarettes there are without equal, and somehow, despite the rising taxes our beloved mayor has leveled, their prices have remained constant and are now on level with the Parliaments and Camels in this town. In a place with a walk in humidor you do expect a certain level of fancy, but the gentleman behind the counter may have gone over board on Dwayne’s “Bright and Shiny” theory.

Light blue shimmery suit jacket, dark blue shirt, and a silver tie. Add to this his hairstyle: your standard spiky over gell, but just below the threads thrust skyward, a small thin mustache running down into his sideburns and then finally in his goatee. He perfectly outlined his face with a thin circle of hair. The gloss of all this might not have made as much of an impact had each hand gesture he made not seemed pulled from the choreography of FAME.

Smoking my way down the block, in my dark brown khakis and black shirt, I settled happily into the knowledge that I would not be noticed for such things. My winks may be sarcastic, but I don’t look like Cab Calloway in a PCP nightmare.

This is enough for me.

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