Saturday, February 9, 2008

Staring At Strangers

There was this kid on the subway today who was just really exceptionally stylish. I think. Or maybe not.

What made him exceptionally stylish was that he looked so strange for a kid. He was maybe twelve, and he was with his dad and his sister and he was wearing this lime green, bright pale lime green Lacoste polo shirt and kind of architect-ish glasses, and a grey sweater tied around his waist. And he was kind of a burly kid.

I don't know how to say it. He looked so much like a kid -- he wasn't one of the kids you tend to see around my part of town who are smaller scale adults, by which I don't mean to say anything bad because I think of that as part of being a kid too. But this kid looked like he could totally get into trading Star Wars cards or laughing way too loud about something stupid. Nerdy, and not in the way that we have totally debased nerdiness by using it to refer to 22 year old Echo Park clubgoers who got really good grades in chemistry when they were in high school, but that deep-rooted nerdiness that we all go through at one stage or another in our lives when we totally don't even see the social conventions that bind us and if someone tries to tell us about them we laugh in their face. "What do you mean, other people shave their armpits?" Or whatever, choose your own goddamn example.

So I could totally see him being that kid, but maybe not. The whole ensemble was jarring, but it was also totally appealing in this way. It made me want a lime green polo. And it seemed deliberate -- the bottoms of his jeans were cut up in some kind of creative way. So it could have been the opposite, it could have been deliberate and strategized and put together in a way that took into account social conventions and transcended them. Or maybe that's what all the kids are wearing these days. I don't have a clue.

It's just interesting, looking at people. And mostly you file them away pretty rapidly, with some respect for the things that you don't actually know about them, but still. Then your radar gets slightly jammed; you can't really put together who those people are and what category they fall into. It's cool, especially if the effect itself is pleasing.


Noko Marie said...

"It made me want a lime green polo." Dude! That is, like, the essence of fashion and style: you see something you never thought of it, and immediately you think, "That, I want that, I want to look like that."

It's always exciting when you're not sure how intentional it is, or whether it's just one of those things someone stumbled into. Yeah.

jackpot said...

that kid was me. I look younger since the botox. I knew cause you said I was burly.