Sunday, 21 July 2013

Nostalgia: Love Will Tear Us Apart

My housemate and I went to the Harry Wragg warehouse sale today. We were shown into the backroom where a pretty girl sat in a shin-high pile of old vintage clothes. We stuck to the fringes at first but suddenly I noticed I had progressed to the middle of the pile, crawling through satin shirts and patterns that never should have been born. Everything in the room was $3.50 and it was like being in a tale of op-shopping from one of the magazines I read, the ones where people who by now have had their turn at their 20's spurting nostalgia for the good old days of Lifeline ties for 50 cents and dead designers in bargain bins.

Imagine if the secondhand clothes we bought came with small brown envelopes with facts about their previous owners and one or two poorly developed photos of them wearing what you've bought. You wouldn't be allowed to open the envelope until you had brought the garment home and were alone in your room. It would be like opening up a secret. The Bargain Hunter's Reward.

Between the Edward Scissorhands negligees and paisley scarves were things which reminded me of my grandmother, who dressed like her art in globulous patterns of rich purples and greens.

The sun was out this morning, before the clouds scrabbled it back in again, eating up the blue to grow fat in its bilious grey cheeks. The wind is cutting through everything and spreading up the coast to where my family can sit in front of the fire. It smelled like sparklers in the street this evening.

I've been reading The Virgin Suicides and it affects me in a way not much else does. I don't get the melancholy with it I was expecting - though that could be due to post-period lack of emotional turmoil - and instead certain passages fill me with an intense momentary despair. The book must be a death sentence for anyone with depression because it is almost killing me, but it is so, so beautiful and one of those books I want to give to everyone I meet. Some bits make my skin crawl because he is a man writing about teenage girls, but not as many parts as I had thought.
I wonder what would have happened if I had read it as a teenager, if it would have altered the way I was back then. Now, it just makes me happy to read, to put down and pick up again. I want to re-read it at a time when I can devour it all in one sitting. It makes me want to write like poetry, and I make myself cat-like content with pale imitation because some things are meant to be perfect on their own.

The photo above was taken last year, when I was cutting my own hair. Things are so much better now, but I still miss that haircut. It was the closest I've come to looking like Karen O. I have too many style icons, too many heroes.

I'm seeing Tavi Gevinson in August, and Amanda Palmer the month after that. I am always inspired to do more, to do better. I feel in a good place now, like I'm always moving forward and getting closer to the life I want, so I can look back and say not just that I've changed, but that I am where I wanted to be. It's nice to look at myself and see a person I wanted to be, even if only for a little while, and not that long ago.

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