The enemy within


April 7, 1992

I’m worried about my mental health. Things are going reasonably well. The family is healthy. I’m not nursing a broken heart. I’m gainfully (albeit, unsatisfactorily) employed. Yet, I zone out and get these horrible, violent visions. I imagine terrible things happening to me or the family. Torture or disease or a fatal accident or crime. When I finally snap out of it, my teeth are clinched so tight that my jaw hurts and I have a tremendous headache. I project my angst onto others and assume anyone successful looks down on me and laughs behind my back. I hate people at work who are nothing but nice to me simply because they have a clear career path and I’m headed nowhere. I’m consumed with envy and uncertainty.

Poor Shannon wants to be friends in the worst way but she commits the unforgivable sin of being born into a wealthy family. Old wealth. Really old wealth, according to Ethan. [Note: Ethan was our boss.] I’m mean to her. She invited me to a spring party at her family’s estate. Ethan said it’s a rare opportunity and I should go, if for no other reason, just to see the mansion. It’s got a name. Like, Olde Crest Manor, or something like that. Of course, I told her I wouldn’t go. I don’t have the poise to spend an entire day with blue bloods.

I spoke to Jennifer. She sent some work down to us. I told her about my attending the pro-choice rally in D.C. and mentioned the chant I wrote for it. She laughed. It might be the two best lines I’ll ever write. She seemed genuinely happy to hear my voice. Towards the end of the evening, around 10:00, she came down to pick up her work. I kept my head down and shuffled pages like a news anchor. It’s so sad what happened. She seemed to like me well enough but I couldn’t get past her being a Yale graduate. It’s all I’d think about when we were together. I heard she’s got a boyfriend. Probably someone who isn’t ashamed of what he does for a living, but not as funny. I haven’t had a proper girlfriend in a long time. As soon as they see which way the wind is blowing, they bolt.

My wrist, arm, hand and shoulder are still cramping-up. I’m waiting for the pain to dissipate on its own but it’s not getting any better. I don’t know what to do.

We were in the Times the other day. We’re the #1, top dog PR firm in the city.  It’s because we take all the scummy clients. Those are the ones who pay the highest fees. Last night I worked on something related to the NHL strike. We’re representing the owners, of course. We have all the sin products. Liquor. Tobacco. It’s nauseating.

Today is Billie Holiday’s birthday. The college jazz station has been playing five solid hours of her music. Holy cow, is it depressing. But so good.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art discovered the power and profit of fashion when they mounted a career retrospective of Alexander McQueen in 2011. It proved to be so popular they had to keep the museum open 24/7 on the weekends so they could accommodate the masses. Since then, they’ve feasted on a steady diet of fashion exhibits. Who could blame them?

I can be sized-up in about two seconds as someone who doesn’t know a thing about fashion. But I found the current Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology exhibit satisfying from a design perspective. I also enjoyed its outrageousness. I don’t speak a word of French but I would guess that haute couture and pret-a-porter are synonymous to bizarre and strange.

Alexander McQueen
Hand- and machine-sewn nude silk organdy and net, hand-embroidered with red-orange glass beads, freshwater pearls, pieces of coral and dyed shells.


Pieces of coral?



Iris van Herpen
Hand-stitched strips of laser-cut nude silicone feathers, machine sewn white cotton twill, hand applied silicone-coated gull skulls with synthetic pearls and glass eyes


Gull skulls?



Gareth Pugh
Machine-sewn black silk-wool gazer with overlay of black mesh, hand-embroidered with black plastic drinking straws

Drinking straws?


Machine-sewn white silk-wool gazer with overlay of white mesh, hand-embroidered with clear plastic drinking straws