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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

January 13, 2006

Boden Rage

I was just glancing through the Boden Spring 2006 catalogue, wondering idly how long it would be before the red mist descended. On page 7 I asked myself, was there ever a time I could have pulled it off, the herringbone jacket, the pinstripe linen jacket?

I think not. Clothes are uncomfortable for me, an endless battle against things riding up and sticking out. Jackets are a great source of puzzlement. I leave the house in the morning: no jacket required, as Mr Collins once said. A jacket in the car is an encumbrance, bound to be uncomfortable, bound to get horribly creased against the seat back. I get to work: no jacket required. Too fucking hot, for a start, the dull thudding heat of Chinese air conditioning, the temperature of the office regulated by the most insufferable moaning old bat, the one who ejects a machine-gun laugh at the end of every sentence.

Walking around the streets of a city with a friend, you might wear a jacket, depending on the time of year. Something to hold your keys and wallet. But what time of year? Oh, yes, Spring. And of course, the models in the Boden catalogue are all the kind of people who have loads of time to walk around city streets with friends. Work? What's that? Is that what my great-great-great-to=the=power-of-grandfather did before we got lucky?

Page 9. Red mist descends. Tirian. Is that a name? In science fiction, perhaps. Tirian. How is it pronounced? Like something off the Shipping Forecast, or like a newly-discovered planet? It could be the name of a new Toyota model, yet another thing you don't know how to pronounce. Toyota Celica: is is Selika, Kelika, Kelisa, or Selisa?

Page 11. Tirian sits in a deck chair that looks too small for him, holding a newspaper upside-down, wondering if his fingers are getting all inky, wondering which moisturiser will be best to remove the ink stains. He looks into the lens of the camera, loving it, loving himself, fallen leaves blowing through the space between his ears. In the background: a country house. Beside him on the floor: a pristine clean, empty, unused coffee cup. Tirian can't stand: rude people. How fucking original, you worthless dog-egg on the face of this world.

Page 21. Robert (no! is that a name? etc). Looking like Tirian's heavier-browed brother, showing the camera the crow's feet round his eyes, the lines that read: knows how to have a good time. Robert can't stand: queues. You know, it never occurred to me, how awful it is to have to wait your turn behind people who haven't taken any handsome lessons. Robert is wearing a shirt with a pattern of vine leaves and looks like a plonker, which is exactly how I'd feel in this shirt.

Page 33. Kevin, who doesn't understand the question, leans awkwardly away from the breath of Carrie, who is wearing a selection of Boden womenswear. You'll have to take their word for it though, because she could be buck naked for all you can see: her right arm and left hand, her face. Kevin is looking at the camera with the same fixed grin he has on pages 24, 28, 31, 35, 39, 47, 51, and 55. But his expression speaks volumes: are we done yet? On page 24, he and Carrie sit together on a fence in a middle of a field. They have with them a hurricane lamp and a tea-light candle in a glass orb, just in case. One page 31, he stands, barefoot, hands in pockets, while Carrie sits, pretending to laugh, holding an empty and clean coffee cup. On the wall between them are three clocks, all telling a different time.

Robert. (I wish I could shag: Carrie.)


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