Ceci n’est pas une cravate

“Dude. That’s a lot of fucking ties,” my roommate Alex ‘AG’ says, “What’re you doing?”

“Just organizing,” because up until last night they were amassed in a dresser drawer despite Tony’s tsk-tsking that I needed to press them or—for God’s sake—at least ROLL them, and what with it being the Father’s Day sales at the Bins–ties for $1-$3 apiece save for the Dolces and the Hugos and the Armanis–I’ve been compiling them like so many Medusa heads—albeit colorful ones–with sartorial fervor.

What can I say: I like ties.

AG remarks this, and I explain: “It’s kinduv a calling card and besides—you know how I don’t wear jeans anymore? but, like PANTS pants and in all different colors: I got merlot, saffron, taupe, black of course—”(and God forbid I call a ‘terracotta’ pair ‘bordeaux’ lest Tony correct me, fashionista that he is, and how fun to have a veritable Yves St. Laurent running around the House, just less bitchy, and without the 10 pack a day nicotine habit)—Well it’s fun tying together a top and a bottom with a third element, y’know, like a haiku.”

That needs further explication. (Here I go again, all writerly and shit).

“Cuz a haiku isn’t just stringing together 17 syllables and calling it a haiku, k?—there’s good haikus and bad ones. A good haiku? The second line is the fucking bridge, right? It builds off the first line but leaves a subtle tension. The third line is usually unexpected—it’s relative to the preceding two—but it ‘kicks’. It’s the satori, the punch in the eye. I mean, you could write three tidy sentences about a cherry blossom tree, but somehow relate that to ‘lying drunk in its petals’ or relating it to the passing Season, and you get a better poem.”

I go on: “It’s the same in cooking. You got your traditional flavor pairings—let’s say lime and cilantro. You got lime and cilantro for an aguachile but then you remember that lime and maple are this weirdly good combo—totally unexpected, kinduv a sweet and tart thing—so you throw some syrup in the mix, and suddenly you got the lime bridging the cilantro and maple and—in the end–it totally fucking works.”

(AG is cool—he allows me my weird tangents).

“Um, so that’s why I wear ties?” I say, stringing my neckpieces onto some newly purchased hangers.

“They’re the bridge.”


“Y’know when you’ve burned plenty of bridges in your life, AG, build ‘em where you can,” and I tidily unknot a stubborn Windsor from its noose and the night continues.

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