Essay 11 Rosa Lyster

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The problem with my clothes is that they still have me inside them. Whatever effect I am striving for, I think, is marred by just the raw fact of myself. I will get dressed thinking “Kennedy in Martha’s vineyard in early autumn, late 60s” and then I will look in the mirror and it’s just me. Same old hair, same old face. I will choose my clothes to transmit a clear sense of “Nicole Diver when she is having fun”, or “Talitha Getty on a boat”, or “happy and confident member of a cult”, and then there is something wrong with my fingernails. Or else my one eye is extremely bloodshot. Or else I see that my boots are really the boots of a sweet little penguin. My other boots are suddenly the boots of a woman who made everyone read The Help at the most recent meeting of her book club. My last and final boots are, now that I think about it, the boots of a girl who once used to be a serious Goth, and is now trying to dress more professional at work. Her hair is black, and badly dyed. She has three different red cardigans. She writes a lot of startlingly erotic fan fiction. She describes herself as a “bluestocking”, which is funny, since the real stockings she wears have floral patterns on them. She wears shoes with a little buckle and a little heel. She has a hat called a cloche hat, made of felt, and she keeps asking everyone if they like it. Do you like my cloche hat, she says. It’s made of pure felt. I see all this when I look at my previously beloved pair of boots, and then I must give them a rest in the back of my cupboard for a little while.