I'm at my coolest when we haven't
been introduced yet.
Years later people tell me that when
we first met they thought I was distant, disinterested, attractive....
a bitch. "Uh, huh -- why attractive?"
I'm one of those people who is actually distressed knowing that Paul was the friendly Beatle but everyone liked John better -- because he loathed them. So, right. I have a long history with cool, made urgent by the fact that my grandmother dressed me until grade 8. It's hard to be cool with one pair of sensible brown oxfords and one pair black patent party shoes. It's hard to be cool when you grow up in a house without a radio and you don't know any bands.
I have an 8 track player. Frank Zappa and Procal Harem. It's only cool in the re-telling. You'll understand now why I had to take up smoking, helped by my friend V. who was genuinely cool, with hot pants, a three-way make-up mirror and a hickey in grade 6. Cool is about keeping your mouth shut -- which, at the time, I do.
At my coolest I guess I'm silent. With beautiful retro oxfords. If I have a hickey or two no one knows where it is. There are whispers in the crowd that I've listened to Zappa since I was 8 and that I refuse on principle to buy his tribute album. “What a bitch,” people murmur appreciatively. Someone offers me a cigarette which I can coolly decline. And I'm cool right up to the point I open my mouth, like Paul...