Boyoboy--I need to start drinking tea or elixirs of some sort at night rather than whiskey. And I do, sometimes. I did last night. I switched, anyway, from whiskey to chai (which led to the unfortunate circumstance of not having enough whole milk for my coffee this morning). I thought it would be prudent. I made a big pot of it that lasted through a several big mugs. I may have switched too late, though. I can't remember. All I have this morning is the evidence.
I just went back and checked some text messages I sent last night. I must have made the chai around nine. I had just put on a documentary about Gaugin (link) having just finished watching one on Vincent Van Gogh (link) (pronounced Goff by everyone in each of the docs). I was all jazzed up with art and whiskey, I guess, and then the exotic brew which apparently came too late. According to all evidence, I texted links of the documentary to friends with the message, "You need only watch the first 2:38 to understand why I like it."
I'm that way sometimes. Often, really.
Well. . . it didn't take long for me to become enamored of the Breton fisherman's shirt that Gaugin liked to sport to make himself seem more "authentic." Indeed, it was much like the one Picasso wore when out. As did Fitzgerald and even Hemingway when they was slumming with the Murphy's in the South of France. And I had one, too, once. I had purchased it from one of those romantic companies of old that sold you merchandise based on drawings and paintings rather than on photographs. Oh. . . I was early into that. I was all over Banana Republic when it was run by the Mel and Patricia Ziegler (link) and later became enamored J. Peterman, too long before it became a running gag on "Seinfeld" (link). Of course the clothing never lived up to the impressionistic appeal of the watercolors and drawings, but I wasn't buying clothing, was I? Oh, I've confessed a thousand times here that I am a fatuous and silly boy. I lived for adventure from childhood on fed by a steady diet of tales from my father. And, indeed, as soon as I could, I headed out for adventures on my own. Later, I fell in with a group of like-minded people, Brando being the chief instigator for a group of nefarious would-be adventurers. And indeed, anything I did with Brando became an adventure due to our various ineptitudes. But I also travelled with someone unlike myself, my climbing buddy out in California.
And here's the thing I came to realize. He loved doing the adventurous thing. He loved the actual thing itself, the figuring out how to use the crampons or how to place protective gear on a big wall, the actual climbing through some deadly high altitude ice field, of sleeping out in a blizzard, etc.
Me? I just wanted to have done that. He enjoyed the process. I suffered through it.
Why? So I could wear the fucking clothes!
So, yea. . . I felt I earned the right.
Once in Peru, having hiked the Inca Trail, Brando and I met an outdoor adventure guide. We had beers with him in a cafe in the high mountain plains. He had just finished taking the Zieglers through Peru including the same hike to Machu Pichu. Later, I would read about it in their catalog illustrated with those lovely little water colors. I think I ended up buying one of the shirts.
But I wander. At some point in my life, I bought this.
Sure. . . you recognize it. It was really something. . . that I could never wear outside the house without looking like a fey '20s wannabe. Which maybe didn't stop me from time to time. Eventually, however, Ili absconded with it. She may still have it, or she may have burned it or given it to the Salvation Army. But I don't have it any longer and you can no longer purchase one in the appropriate size.
So last night, all cranked up on whiskey and chai and art. . . I looked online for a Breton Fisherman's shirt. And what I stumbled on was this.
Sweet. Trouble was. . . the price. Being a retiree on a fixed income and all, I have to watch my rubles. So I left the computer and went back to watching the Gaugin documentary. Oh. . . you know Gaugin was so wrong. . . painting young girls and all. . . and he needs to be cancelled because he was worse than other people who couldn't make beautiful paintings, who hadn't the artistic talent nor the guts to travel to far off lands. No, the sonofabitch should have been beaten to death for his escapades rather than being left to die of drug addiction and syphilis at the age of fifty-four.
But he wasn't. And he painted so much more than young Tahitian girls. Much, much more, so many beautiful paintings.
Fuck it. I was getting sleepy. I was only halfway through the documentary, but I needed to go to bed. I took my vitamins and my various compounds, brushed my teeth and made my toilet as they once said, and then. . . I went back to the computer and ordered the shirt!
Way too much money, and I know it will not fit me and I will never wear it, but if I can't paint like Gaugin, I can buy the freaking shirt, right?
Yea, yea, yea. . . feel superior. Look down your silly nose. You've never done anything embarrassing or shameful. At least you don't speak of it. But who knows? Maybe I'll look terrific in the shirt and I'll sit in cafes with beautiful women who would die to have me photograph them. Perhaps I'll publish my own journal of exotic tales and photographs so that I, too, can be despised and cancelled.
You will envy me then.
Having just spent my monthly food allowance, I folded myself into slumber. And all night, strangely enough, I dreamed of a Chilean carnival with some brutish but noble savage. Nothing happened in the dream, but over and over again, I would wake up having been there.
A man must take some pleasures in life if he can, I think, and these silly things will be mine for the moment as I am about to isolate myself completely once again. Three of my friends have just had breakthrough cases of Covid. I've decided I need to forego the gym for awhile once again. It is a difficult decision, but I certainly don't want Covid again and I couldn't stand it if I passed it on to my mother. No, I will stay out of the gym and away from others until after the new year. I get my booster shot tomorrow, but that doesn't seem to be doing anybody any good. For those of you who are my conservative friends, you'll be fine. Apparently it doesn't effect you the way it does those who bend liberal. Even if you get it, it will seem like no more than a mild cold. I think the virus was genetically engineered to kill liberal romantics. So far, they are the only ones who have gotten it that I know.
But hey--I'll look fine sitting in front of the television alone in my new fisherman/sailor shirt. You bet.
In truth, however, I'm already considering sending it back.
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