363. July 15th….Cool is relative…as long as you’re not frozen solid……

“All Good Promises”  2010

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have never been a very cool person….in high school…while “Hair Stylists” were where people got their hair made into something out of “Boogie Nights”….not cut…..I’d get my haircuts across the border in a small town in Mexico…..Zaragosa….where for 65 cents I could get a relatively bad haircut…my wing-tipped shoes shined….to a mirror finish….and look at the cleavage of the woman shaving “white walls” into the sides of my head….with a straight razor and hot shaving cream….you can only imagine what ran through my pubescent mind…….I was plagued with bad skin….a fashion sense that was well below …..the “hip” mentality of the 1970’s and a personality that was so reserved…I spent most of my time talking to people …looking down…and kicking the dirt at my feet….to go out on a date was a major production…..as overweight…un-stylish…shy….clear skinned challenged boys were close to the last choice…..but the few I did go on was proof that the level of cool I possesed…..was minimal…..and something I greatly needed to work on…..

Perhaps it was west Texas….and cool just didn’t have a good foothold there…yet there were guys in my school that were the definition of the word “Cool”…they had the right clothes….especially the right boots….”Dingo Boots” with a small antiqued brass buckles…they certainly had the right girls…drove the right cars….had flawless complextions….worked at the places where all of the other cool people congrigated…unlike myself that worked at a parking garage in a hotel right….on the border…..whose client base was primarily call girls and people engaged illegal activities…..but it was a job…..nevertheless……

But one thing I noticed…..the cool guys wore checkered shirts…..something I always had trouble with….unless it was an elaborate western shirt with all of the real pearl snaps and roping scenes on the yolk…and the curly two-toned stitching all over….stuff like that was okay….and since I took gym with them…they also all wore “Superman” underware….me…I am and have always been a boxer sort of guy….and they all had the exact same haircut for the most part…..wore the same cologne…Brut…or Old Spice…..and all dated girls whose names ended in “Y”…..wore the same Letterman’s jacket…. had names that ended in…. “Junior and “the III” …..they all drank the same beer at parties…..never smoked pot…because it was illegal…you know…were all pretty religious….but made exceptions if Mandy was feeling frisky one night….and generally even though they were the “Cool People”…they were almost exactly alike…a little hard to tell one from another……

After awhile I began thinking of them….as a herd of wildebeests…even though my friends and I didn’t weigh an ounce on the “Cool Scale”….we were unique….we were endangered…snow leopards….or the last 10 Tasmanian devils on the planet…everything about us was different from each other…..maybe we didn’t know that striped shirts and checkered pants didn’t go well together….but we’d wear them anyway….I remember…realizing being different…made us maybe not the coolest……but I could sure feel the temperature drop….

I recall a party at the school…my best friend and I walked to  (since we weren’t cool….we had no car)…he was dressed somewhat like a pirate…with a billowy white shirt and a suede vest with skin-tight pants and pirate looking boots…with giant buckles…..I was wearing a double-breasted 3 piece GREEN suit…a purple shirt…highly polished wing-tipped shoes..and a brown tie with a hideous pattern that belonged to my father…..and when we walked through those double doors……Coincidentally the spot light lite us up…..

we….were….as cool as cucumbers……..

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