Monday, April 25, 2005

being cool

Today I met my friend E, who I haven't seen since Christmas, and before that for about two years. In those years, she married, moved to the States, started a piercing apprenticeship, divorced, moved back home, and started to work at a studio in Kent. My life in that same time has been approximately one-tenth that eventful.

I hadn't realised before how cool and laidback people in London like to appear. Back in Worcester in the day, we would be treated like borderline mental patients for simply having dyed hair. Today I walked round London with E and her boyfriend. both of whom are heavily tattooed and have really, really big earlobes. No-one batted an eyelid. Except some teenage goths, who looked gratifyingly peeved at having been upstaged.

The God of Cool might strike me down for saying this (or possibly the God of God for having worshipped a false idol) but I do miss the attention that looking very abnormal gets you. If I can compare it to anything, there's a great scene in Black Books where Fran so desperately wants to blank a guy that she runs out of a beauty parlor in a towelling robe just to walk past him with her eyes averted. When you are eye-catching, you can really pull off that whole 'What the hell are YOU looking at?' thing. And you can't really be hurt if someone should say you're ugly; after all, you've rejected the normal continuum of physical attractiveness, and can blame it on that.

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