September 19th, 2004


I am wearing my new dress tonight

When I am lost and low and alone I buy myself new clothes. I buy pretty clothes, bright patterns and colours. Sometimes I never even wear them; I try them on, though, and see them in the mirror, a magic web with colours gay. Mostly they just pile up on the horizon of my room, quietly accusing me of squandering my money on dreams. Often I have to dig through three or four layers of pretty clothes to get to the sensible things I wear for work: a patchwork of shadows, a muted symphony in grey and black.

From here where I am sitting I can see a silver satin skirt, a lilac blouse with ruffled front, a psychedelic patterned velvet suit, a hundred clothes I have never worn. Every day it takes me longer and longer to decide what to wear. Who will she be today? Cut out the paper dress and turn down the tabs.

Today I am wearing a purple cotton embroidered top and soft black corduroy trousers. I have had this top since the days when Debbie told me that purple and black were the essence of goth, and I trusted her on this, just as I trusted her to shape my tastes in music away from mazurkas and musicals, and towards fey boys with guitars who understood how it felt to be sixteen, clumsy and shy. For a while, she was my muse, and I believed that I would have trusted her with my life. But still the hardest part for you / To put your trust in me. I bought the corduroy trousers yesterday. They cost £2.50 from a charity shop, and like most of my trousers they are too long for me. I haven't grown since I was 16. I am wearing trainers, because they are comfortable; my many pairs of black Doc Martens are gathering dust upstairs. Some things change, some stay the same.

The purple top was overpriced hippy chic that I could ill afford on a 14-year-old's pocket money. I am 26 now, and I earn money of my own. I have mountains and mountains of things.

Look at all the pretty colours.

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