I don't do fashion. Not interesting. I go to stores with sales, but my favorite clothes seem to be discards left in the laundry room. I can't find shoes that fit anyway. I used to wear black, but in SoHo everyone wears black, to prove they're nonconformists, and I'm rather fond of colors, so I am the only conformist in SoHo.
But I have one whimsy: soccer scarves. They are colorful, they are inexpensive, you can find them anyplace on earth except in the U.S. I buy them whenever I travel outside the U.S. and I wear them according to the nationality of the opera I am going to hear, or the restaurant I am going to eat at, or whatever doesn't clash with my jacket. (Mario, in Herzegovina, tells me there's a store where I can get them all. Unfortunately, it's in China, near the factory where they are all made.) Anyway, they're great for inspiring conversations in waiters and tourists who think I am a fan (or double-dyed enemy) of their home team, and I get jolly conversations out of it, which are among my great soul-soothers in any case.
Today I was wearing - for no good reason but the colors are pretty: blue, red, yellow - the Prague scarf. I was dizzy from copy editing in the Vandam Diner (and having a brainstorm I wanted to run home and write down for my novella), and I did not know what to make of the three big bruisers staring at me and saying, "Porto?" Obviously they had mistaken me for someone else (who else might I logically be?), so I hurried around the corner and there were four more guys - big bruisers in similar colors and caps - "Czech" prominently ran a (checkered) lapel - who stared and grinned at me: "Porto?" they said. By this time I looked down and found I was indeed wearing the Czech national scarf (I can't be sure until I look), and then I grinned self-consciously (for having led them on) and then I hurried up the block - not quite fast enough to miss three more great big footballer types - the team? or just fans? is there a game on? where do soccer teams play in New York? I had no idea they even bothered. I thought they just sort of hung out in bars with 24-hour cable hookups to watch the games in Ankara and Sydney and Valparaiso. I don't even know the proper drink for such excursions. ("Beer," Nora advises - she was in Berlin, doing grad work on Gluck, while the Cup was in contention, and had a blast.)
You will be surprised to hear I made it home without a soccer player in tow. It does make me sigh - slightly.
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