I got on a train today to go to Seattle and was reminded again that I like leaving. Leaving anywhere. It’s not personal. It’s my nature. I also like leaving alone. For some reason, I have to be completely unfettered by company to enjoy it. Which made me realize that I have a deep, deep antisocial streak running through my other territories: Land of Chatty Overtures, Lake of Occasional Need, Archipelago of New Friends.
But my personality is a pretty uninteresting subject. I mention it because today I was on a train, alone, heading somewhere to meet new people, so it was my kind of day.
One of those new people was Jonathan Evison who wrote a book called West of Here, which is great.
And leaving town is always cause for reflection…I have been thinking about a comment I made recently. I said Portland was like one big Japanese Tea Ceremony.
The person I said it to seemed to know what I meant. I know what I meant so that makes it dialect, right? I meant– everything in Portland is beautiful, exacting, particular, has unspoken rules, and is based on performance of roles. Tea Ceremony. It is the town that the term “commodity fetishism” was invented to describe.
But then yesterday Stefan Jecusco was describing a silver-haired, well-pressed… (I search for a word less dismissive and haggard than hipster and fail)…and he said, “You could see the transparent wig hovering an few inches over his head. That’s what people really mean when they say ‘douchebag,’ that guy in the wig.”
I have always been confused by the wig-wearing trends of the enlightenment because a) it’s weird b) it lasted a LONG time and c) there seemed to be no adequate explanation for its hairhold on European nations. Looking around Portland (to be fair a city I love), I began to see them, the invisible wigs. Wigland. Once you see it, you see the shoes too. You see the particularity. I went back to language and dialect. It seems there is more range to Wig vernacular than what Stefan saw. For instance:
You got your wig on? An update.
Make sure you got your wig on. A warning.
Man, take your wig off! Come down off the thrown, bro, we need the chair.