Feed on

Stray Clothes

Todd and I met with Feckalyn and her husband Walter (whose LJ-nick, I can’t remember) on Sunday for lunch/brunch down in Westport. Shout-outs to Bell Street Mama’s. Excellent bagel-wich…red onion, guac, swiss, plus a generous side of cole-slaw started my day right!

Anyway, we all had our diner breakfasts and bullshit session, and ramped up on satisfactory food and pleased-to-meetcha chit-chat, we were best primed to enjoy the absurd. First things first, wanted to meet the Tax Man Uncle Sam, who was dressed in a ludicrous mylar Uncle Sam suit, standing in front of one of those dodgy tax-preparation places, hollering “Tax tiiiime! at passing motorists.

Uncle Sam was pleased to pose for a photo op, and therefore has the silliness documented. After hobnobbing with such greatness, we all might otherwise have been somewhat cowed and deflated, but as we were crossing State Line east toward where our various vehicles were parked, somebody spotted something suspicious and black waving on the 39th & State Line street sign post. Waving languorously in the wind was a lacey black brassiere. We all stared in amazement and something only short of mesmerization. Feckalyn took a picture of me pointing incredulously at the brassiere. Then, somehow, one or another of us got the hot idea that we should try to retrieve the bra, but the pole proved awfully slick for shinnying. I looked around for a stick, and then Monkeyboy himself, Todd, took a mighty leap at the sign pole grabbed on, and managed to shinny up to the level where he could unhook the bra strap from the bolt it was stuck on.

The bra proved to be a 40C, and thus too large for anyone in the party, and frankly, it’s a bit creepy to handle a strange brassiere, let me tell you. More photos were taken of the trophy, then came the quandary…what to do with the damn thing. I tried to huck it back up onto the pole, but the wind kept blowing it off course. Walter eventually hit upon the notion to wrap it twice around the pole, latch the back hooks and call it a day.

Uncle Sam witnessed this entire production, aghast. He even shouted admonitions to us not to put the bra back up there, and to be honest, I felt a bit rotten about leaving this random bra out there…I mean, it is kind of like littering. At the end of the day, though, it is Westport, and pretty much everyone who lives or traverses through there sees similar or worse fairly regularly. Better a rather pretty, well made brassiere than a used rubber, with which some of the streets are fairly paved.

Down near the Art Institute, there was a student installation a couple of years ago, where a large and highly climbable burr-oak was fitted on many of its branch ends with old athletic shoes. That was satisfyingly absurd and a sight well worth stopping for. I was rather sad to see that one go away, but shoes must weather, students must graduate, and it mightn’t have been particularly good for the tree come springtime.

Then, of course, there’s the ubiquitous pair of old shoes, hung by its laces, over a power line or phone line. You get these in pretty much any neighborhood, and I could lead you to two pair right now within biking distance of my house.

Back when we lived in Westport, I found a really cute little cardi/shrug/coverup thingy made out of sheer, black stretch fabric, with three faceted black buttons closing up the neckline and a band of seam binding lace around the neck, cuffs, and fronts. It was just laying on the sidewalk in front of our apartment building, so I picked it up, took it inside, and washed it up. I had meant to do some beadwork on it, and packed it away somewhere, and now, three years and two moves later, I’ll be damned if I know where it is.

Back during the turn of the century/millennium, when we were walking home from the party with the SciFi crew, I found a really gorgeous, crinkly goldtone scarf/shawl thing which I still have. It is very heavy, and seems to actually have significant metallic content. It frequently feels rather cold to the touch.

I look very stoned, but you can see my marvelous found-item scarf.

I guess the moral of this story is that I’m liable to claim stray clothes, if they’re not underwear, disgusting, or part of an artistic installation.

Leave a Reply