Days like yesterday begin on a regular note: coffee, fashion/newspaper, running errands, lunch. Feeling spring hitting you beneath a creased brown leather jacket and a loose turtleneck sweater, green like the grass you’ve been missing for a while. Passing by the street commerciants selling useless kitsch spring souvenirs and fragile flowers with what might pass on as a discreet smirk on your face (I insist, it’s merely an incontrollable facial expression that accounts for feeling happy or slightly satisfied; it happens to me a lot more often than I’d like to admit). Having a short break in a bathroom flooded with sunlight, chatting with your face in the mirror, this time with a peculiarly friendly tone, giving away ambivalent compliments and abashed smiles full of excitement, like a mother trying hard to be nice when she’s usually a proper bitch: ‘How’ve you been, dear? You look tired, though in a fresh, promising way, it suits you. Oh, those lines on your skin look rather interesting; your face seems to have more depth with these adornings; after all, you’ve looked older at seventeen. And that hair needs a dye and a cut, although it’s still wonderful as it is, you’re lucky we’ve got Kate Moss. Oh and you’re still very skinny, that one -or 2, who cares?! – kilo you put on doesn’t show at all! look at your chest bones and those peanut-breasts; you’d never think you actually breastfed your baby for as long as 15 months, dear, from the neck down, you look like a 12 year old. Lovely smile, you should show it more often! It makes you look happy. You are happy, aren’t you? Anyway, at least you are quite healthy, right? Sleep and health always come first. And water, lots and lots of water.’ Then you remember it’s noon and the only liquid you’ve had was a large cup of coffee. Damn you, dry skin! And then you focus to look again at the phone (it’s the third time you’ve checked it, but each time forgot what time it was, you’re in a hurry, as always) and it hits you. The date. And although the notion of ‘leap year’ tells you nothing more than the fact that there might be some more marketing scheming (aka sales on Asos, just to name one), at exactly 1.42 PM, you feel a touch of magic: you got an extra day, a gift! Like that ‘bonus’ hour you get when the clock turns back, only this time it is a 24 hour gift. You should cherish it, do stuff, feel amazing, make it happen, you know, all that crap slogans they throw at you on TV and everywhere else. And then that pressure drops on your shoulders again and it makes you nearly faint, there, on the bathroom floor. You have things to do, but you devour time and time devours you avidly, you’re constantly running in circles like a mad dumb person, dancing to the techno beats of multitasking, chasing small and smaller things on which you hope to somehow build greatness, or decent progress, the very least. But greatness doesn’t grow on the grounds of anxiety and self-sabotage. And you know that just too well, so you try to calm down, fight the voices of insanity with exemplary patience and indulgence towards both your real and made-up limits, and then head steadily to the closet that is every bit as untidy as your mind, and quickly put together an outfit for the shoot you’ve been planning to do for at least a couple of weeks.
A few dozens minutes later, you’re walking down the streets again, your mood superficially lifted by a pair of color block sandals and a quirky mix of clothes. You feel a bit out of place, as people stare at you and the lavish layers that dance around your body playfully. You’re used to those stares, they’re part of the daily routine, blame the shoes, if you like. You take a few shots at the corner of a church, wishing you were in any other place less provincial and dirty than this one. You try to pose in the window of your go-to pub, but you’re stiffer than ever. People stare now even more, like you were a hopeless mannequin, legs and arms all twisted uncannily, childish scared face with lips painted blood red and numb eyes. You’re done here.
Late in the evening, when I got into bed, I melted in the sweet exhaustion of a quite generous day, although it was not that different than any other day. I still can’t understand whether a wall must fall in order to glue one brick tightly, or is it that one brick crumbles as a stronger wall is built. I was planning to wrap up this article in more optimistic, still sort of insightful, way, but I can’t help describing whatever it is that hurts me or moves me in a disturbing way, when these are the first things to slip out of my memory, just as soon as something (or someone) smiles back at me. Bricks and walls and leap years aside.
(also wearing a Zara coat you’ve seen before, Next poncho, vintage shirt, Asos sandals, Topshop clutch, H&M gloves and vintage jewelry)
- Coat on
- London Fall 2012 highlights