I often think about life as a process of connecting dots. There’s only so much you can control. If you happen to fall from your intended path, or that path falls away before you, you will be redirected.
Upon returning to Prague, after my first trip to New York, a different kind of wasteland filled my eyes.
I hadn’t wanted to go in the beginning. I was in my final year of high school enduring wave after wave of impossible feelings, as so many young people do. Anyway, my friend insisted. Her father paid for the flights and the hotel and after all, I kind of felt like I had no choice. Next thing I know I’m walking down Bleecker street in a freezing rain. It was, perhaps the best thing that could’ve happened.
It was morning outside and she was still asleep as she was leaving.
I was in a strange mood.
“You know, right now I’m feeling somewhat like this” and I draw an infinite imaginary horizontal line in front of me coincidentally following the riverbank on my left side.
It was just the three of us, orange, blue and black.
That was all.
The beginnings of my search were rough, as I guess that all beginnings are.
It was about 2am somewhere in Brooklyn and I couldn’t find my way back to the hotel, which was in Midtown. Quite drunk still, I got into an unlicensed cab. It was the only option. The driver kept circling back to some unknown location, he kept talking about going back to his place and making up excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t drop me home. The conversation sobered me, and half panicked, half angry, I started talking. I came up with this elaborate story about how my father was some big-shot investor on Wall Street. How “he might as well have owned half of New York”. I conjured the image of his tall, strident figure, the rich effusive blues of his shirting and the wide, commanding descent of his pinstripes. I held it in my mind as I spoke.
After that it took 10 minutes for the driver to get me home.
Who could guess that one could hide behind a suit, as though it were chainmail, without ever even needing to wear one.
The ride of course was free of charge.
A suit, seemingly effortless and elegant, is simultaneously a highly complex social construction.
Bespoke versions are crafted using esoteric methods that barely change over centuries; all its components, from its style to its fabrication have to work together in perfect harmony, creating an imperious and most-enduring myth.
A breathing simulacrum of power and status.
And, at times, for those who need it, it can serve as the perfect camouflage.
In MoMa, 2010