i buy most of my clothes at thrift stores, not only because i’m thrifty and comprehensively pro-recycling, but also because i hate fashion. i hate the concept of “so-and-so is fashionable this season.” i accidentally walked into an h&m store today at the domain (for non-austinites, the upscale outdoor shopping mall). i felt instantly claustrophobic and mildly horrified by the stuffed and bloated racks of clothes, some of which proclaimed to be “fashion finds.” i about-faced and exited at the same moment i realized i was wearing a tank top i bought for a quarter last month which has marijuana plants hanging from a string to dry and says “hanging with my buds.” i bought the tank top because it was soft, it fit, and it cost a quarter, not because i smoke weed. (i’m pro-legalization of all illicit drugs, but i don’t smoke dope because it makes me stupid and i hate feeling stupid as much as i hate “fashion.”) i wasn’t wearing a bra, because i’d rather not ever wear a bra, and besides, what’s the point of wearing a soft tank top if i can’t feel its softness on my soft bits because they’re armored inside a bra? if you’re paying attention, you might be wondering why i was at the domain in the first place. i live a half-mile from the domain. i’ve lived here since before the domain existed. the domain contains the microsoft store where i bought a new tablet because last week my laptop began making a distressing grinding sound that rumbles quietly in the background. i depart for a writing retreat in eight and a half hours. a writing retreat on an island ten miles from the coast of mainland maine would be an inconvenient place for one’s latptop’s sudden death. therefore, i was at the domain wearing what is soft and cost a quarter with my headlights blasting in order to buy a new computer. except computers aren’t in my division of labor, they belong to wizard’s expertise. so in real life, wizard was inside the microsoft store buying my new computer while i kept myself out of every techie’s way, which included a dizzying descent into the h&m store across the street. luckily, the purchase of my computer concluded quickly and after calming myself by massaging hand crème into my fingers, palms, and on up to my elbows at l’occitane a few doors north, i met wizard walking down the sidewalk with my new tablet.
the story ends here or begins here, depending on whether you prefer beginnings or endings. the unwritten part of this story continues next week. next week begins at 4am tomorrow when i get out of bed (if i bother going to bed tonight) to go to the airport. i’ve been anticipating this trip since last december and now that the hourly countdown has begun, i’m packing clothes i bought at quarter sales from my favorite thrift store, wizard is configuring my new tablet, and papi is searching for a flashlight for me because he knows i’ll be walking next to the ocean in the middle of the night (and he figures i won’t wear his middle-aged-man headlamp). i’m a little afraid of what i’ve been anticipating, because i might be expecting too much from myself. (i often do.) i’d like to begin writing a book while retreating on an island without roads or streetlamps during a new moon. but a new moon means that all the stars that can possibly be seen from the northeastern united states will be available to my non-sleeping eyes. stargazing might bring me more joy than writing or sleeping while i’m on retreat. i’m committed to joy more than i’m committed to writing. besides, i’ve already written this book in my head, although i haven’t tried to type it. words shift from head to screen. the story changes. the story mutates. i don’t know how the story ends. endings have always buggered me. i prefer beginnings.