June 6, 2016:

I strutted into the dance wearing mile-wide white sailor pants, a white tshirt, a blue sweater open to the navel, and a silver-coated razor blade on a chain around my neck. It was Johnny Disco 1975 although I was not completely aware of that association. To me it was merely LOUD, where the razor blade symbolized suicide not cocaine, and the vibe I projected was confidence.

It worked. Every eye turned, even the adult chaperones seated in the bleachers, who all the way across the gym were clearly whispering of me, faces close behind screening hands, eyes twinkling.

A first lesson in dress the part.

I left with the sense that reinvention was possible, although when it came it would not be that particular persona, and it would be long years yet before complete change of context allowed it to stick.


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