Thursday, 11 March 2010

what the well-dressed boy is wearing ...

One of my favorite high school friends was a guy we called Crazy John. He wasn't athletic or school smart, not artistic or good with girls -- but he had weird ideas and didn't care what anyone thought. He made me laugh. One day he wore all his clothes inside out, for no reason at all. I just wanted to, he said. He took True and False tests according to his own mood, marking every question the same way -- When I'm feeling good I believe everything, he said.

I haven't thought about John in a long time. I don't know if he went on to become a circus performer, or an accountant, or a manufacturer of prosthetic limbs (I don't know how that became the middle path - it just popped into my head). Whichever road he took, I hope he is treading it with the same fine disregard for convention. I hope he is still making people laugh.

What brings him to mind now Ed's friend Drake. Drake seems to have the same kind of kind of what-the-hell attitude as Crazy John. Most of the Drake stories have to do with fashion -- always a key question for teens. He loves wearing unlikely things, just because. I've heard about mullets and dress hankies and wing tips -- but the latest is the weirdest. Guess what Drake is going to wear this summer? Ed asked me yesterday. He's found a look and he's going to rock it as soon as the weather gets better.

I tried to think of the most outre thing.
Knee socks? I said. Sandals and knee socks and Bermuda shorts? (Flashback to grandpa at the beach 1979: add zinc sunblock and a porkie hate and a roll-your-own cigarette. Who knew the old guy was so cool! )
Even better,
said Ed.
I shook my head. I gave up.
Baggy shorts, said Ed, flip flops, cheap sunglasses and ... he paused ... a bullet-proof vest.
I had to laugh.
What? How did he --
I don't know,
said Ed. But somehow he scored a bullet-proof vest , and he is going to keep it on all summer long. No shirt, just the vest.
I laughed some more.
Does he think girls will like it? I asked. Or boys? Or anyone?
He doesn't care,
said Ed. He's Drake.
So he is.


Marilyn said...

That vest will be really sweaty. He might lose some friends over it.

Richard Scrimger said...

But he won't care. That's the essence of the Drakes and Crazy Johns of the world.

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Richard Scrimger said...

You betcha.