Friday, October 07, 2005

the completely frivolous day

I was too tired when I got home last night to put this into any sort of order, but yesterday was the sort of day that makes me wonder if I could ever hold down a "real" job again.

And the defining image has to be my sitting in Dragonfly's chair for nearly three hours, with his Yorkie wriggling around in my lap. As befits a stylist's dog, Laney had a little tiny butterfly clip holding his hair off of his face. He kept dropping the chewed-up bits of fake green bone on me. And at one point I had to throw the smock over him so only my hair got dyed, and not his.

Meanwhile Dragonfly, who belongs to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was describing how he got tied up in a rope harness at the Folsom Street Fair. I got to see a photo, and admire his cool makeup job (each Sister has to develop a look of her own; Dragonfly is going with yellow and green eyeshadow and Nagel-esque cheekbones marked in red. Being a Sister seems to make him happier and more settled within himself than I've ever seen him, in the years I've known him. I love talking to him about it.

Then modeling to good music at an animation studio where one of the artists remembers me from when I dated BowlCut; we always gossip about the scene, and I always marvel at how wonderful these guys' drawings are. For about a third of the night I was facing a corkboard covered with concept drawings by this artist, which made me itch to go home and draw. I wore my shiny boots and the artists made me look like an action hero. I came home and read Everything is Illuminated (much funnier than expected, and I'm glad I waited until I got back from Ukraine to read it) until I couldn't see straight.

Sometimes I feel like my life is completely off-track. My mother's friends ask her when I'm going to "settle down" and "get a real job", and she fiercely defends me, but the point's been made: I'm on a tightrope. I'm going to be 36 in a couple of months, and according to the annual note from the Social Security Administration, at the rate I'm going I will never be able to retire; the world's oldest artist's model, teachers will call me in when they need their students to meet the challenge of rendering wrinkles on top of wrinkles. Sometimes I think it would be nice to not wake up every morning wondering where the hell I'm supposed to be that day, and in what costume--tux? Theater-going clothes? My skin? I envy friends who don't have to calculate how much ramen a hair appointment equals.

But damn. I get to help and hang out with some talented people. I have moments like last night where I love my work so much I wonder that it's not illegal. And I have more freedom than a lot of people I know.

Days like yesterday are valuable reminders of that.