March 3, 2008 It started with a trip to the downtown Utica Salvation Army. I was told to meet with some chums to pick up costumes for a highly-anticipated party. Across the street was a pile of totaled police cars; inside, the wardrobe wreckage of people's attics, basements, and abandonment. Walking down the left wall, angling toward a row of belts, I heard a sultry whisper from the changing room on my side. The whisper asked, "how do I look?" in a tone freighted with more lurid intentions. I turned to confront my temptress, only to find the leering head of Winston, a man who has never before asked me how I thought he looked. While his bird's nest tuft of hair was intact, his chin was noticeably clean. Two days ago there had been a brambly, Amish-type beard where now stood the ivory jut of his stripped chin. I noticed this before i saw the dress. I don't remember the print exactly, but it was quite fetching. Before the end of the day I would hear this same grizzled young man questioning the value of removing an elastic waist-band from his dress in pursuit of the most flattering figure.
The costumes were for the Rocky Horror Party thrown by the Emerson Literary Society. Because of the Emerson Literary Society, half a dozen men were wearing dresses in my room on Saturday night. Eventually their enthusiasm wore down my wardrobe. Soon I found myself walking down Martin's Way in tights, eyeliner, and knee-high socks. The funny thing: I've never even seen Rocky Horror Picture Show.