"Dressed for Success"
“Cash is the standard Wasp behavioral-management tool”
Tad Friend, CHEERFUL MONEY
Little, Brown and Co., NY, 2009, pg. 111.
“The money was folded by her (Helen’s) fingers.”
“That (Hiram’s) hand closes over the dollar.”
Emphasis is on ‘cash’. It is not ‘just money’. It is cash. Passed... from:
NOT QUITE anyone can do this... pass. It is a closed room... with a closed door.
WHO CLOSES THAT DOOR?
I WASP it closed because I CAN WASP it closed. I, credentials... folded in MY FINGERS... without a word (including ‘that word’ “Cash”) close a door... to a room.
“WHAT DOOR? WHAT ROOM?”.
“You didn’t see it?”
That’s of little surprise to I.
Hiram will not fall for that tawdry rubbish. No. He will not sell his soul for “Cash”? No; never. But ...treasure; buried treasure...: He could not resist that fortune... found.
A silver coin.
And passed it off
As Tad Friend titles...; both cash passings are... cheerful money.
Cheerful WASP money “HOW PASSED?”
There passed; right before the eyes
In a closed room
With a closed door.
“You didn’t see that?”
Then you don’t know what cheerful money is?
Cheerful WASP money
And ALL of this started back at the Holiday Fairs (Part Twenty-Six) with their ‘donation’ ‘drop box’ of little coins. Little cash. Little... cheerful... moneys.
But that is behind me now. I am dressed... for success.
I never say a word.
No one ever says a word
TWENY YEARS before I had my first contact with the Savage Estate... contents distribution... I ...saw something one day... and then heard something... that day too. It was 1976 and the ...Bicentennial was winding down. Woodstock Nation was winding down. Retreating to the rural realm discovery (‘back to the land’) was... well... ‘still fluid’ “but”: “The pipes froze and the well did too.”
“I’ve... applied to graduate school”.
“To law school.”
“I will... I have and I just... well, yeah.. I SAW THAT SO I already KNEW that I had to DRESS UP IF I’m going to DO THAT SO
I bought this BOOK... and it’s REALLY QUITE INTERESTING WHAT IT SAYS about
HOW I SHOULD DRESS”.
That’s the first time I saw it. The first time I heard about this ‘this’. But I already ‘had’ all that because... well... MY AUNT had always kept giving me these SHIRTS from Brooks Brothers ALL THE TIME FOR DECADES ALREADY.
So...like... I already wore that “anyway”.
“So... LIKE... your READING THAT” (book)?
“Yeah... like... I AM.”
But I was already IN that closed room with that ...closed door. I mean... where the book said “Or they let their own backgrounds choose their clothing.” on the DUST JACKET... it was FUNNY because not only did I do that (let my background choose) but INSIDE the book it said that to NOT do that (‘let my own background choose) I had to dress like ...MY ... ‘own background’ had already ‘choose my clothing’ because THAT is what the ‘inside the book’ said (with color illustrations) IS the ‘wardrobe engineer’ to prevent “men dress for failure”. AND... the book never says ANYTHING about the shirts “your aunt always gives you”. Too.
“A partner in a law firm? On Wall Street? In New York?”
“Well I gonna KEEP the farm”.
“Yeah I know: YOU LIVE HERE so, like, you don’t want to do that, do you.”
“No. I never even thought of that.”
But I did end up picking (being an antiques picker) “in New York” for... well... I guess its... like... almost forty years now. “Huh”.
So I wear a tie.
“It’s really that stupid isn’t it?”
And Helen was ON THAT in the FIRST MOMENTS of the FIRST DAY “you (I) showed up here” (Part Two).
AND NOW... four years later when... “The money was folded by her (Helen’s) fingers”.
I was wearing a tie.
That’s when Helen and I went into a closed room... and I closed the door... on my active participation in the distribution of the contents of the Savage Estate using ‘cheerful money’
These days... I’m around Helen dressed in my “CLEAN OUT THE CELLAR” clothes... all the time.
But I never show up in jeans, a parka / fleece jacket, ball cap, funky facial hair, bunch of keys clinking...: “NORTH FACE? THAT’S THE COLD SIDE. OVER THERE. BY THE ICE HOUSE”.
Smoking a cigarette.
Booze, cigarettes, cheap frozen ‘prepared meals’ and ‘lunch with friends’. That last is where the ‘folded by her fingers’ cash “IS NICE”. It is
“During the SUMMERS when we’re CLEANING IT OUT.” The old Savage Estate... is being ‘cleaned out’.
When I show up in the EARLY MORNING in ‘the truck’ (empty) I ...ALWAYS meet and greet with Hiram “AGAIN” and we...
To the SHED or “THIS TIME SHE WANTS YOU TO SEE IF” ... in the “OTHER BUILDINGS”.
“FIRE HAZARD THEY’RE TELLING HER”.
Then I ‘put together’ a MENTAL lot of ONE HUNDRED (‘here and there’) cheerful moneys and I
Am wearing one of the shirts my aunt gave me in High School with the requisite tie and jacket and... work boots (“YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR FROM MAINE.”) with Hiram and I marching right up to the front door that opens and I say CHEERFUL MONEY and she ... “the money was folded by her fingers”.
So then I change clothes beside the passenger door of the truck while Hiram ...asks what kind of sandwich I have for lunch and I
“MY WIFE MADE ONE FOR YOU TOO”.
With him never... ever... failing to ‘tag on’ a ‘do YOU think WE’D FIND a SILVER DOLLAR (‘in there’) TODAY?”
The closed room with the closed door is so ... God damn simple... that even if I very neatly fold my jacket, shirt and tie in the passengers cab I still know that it is
That’s what happened one morning at the front door at about a half plus decade ago: “WE’RE GOING TO wallpaper the FRONT ROOM. COME AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.”
Hiram came... in... too. He was a perfect walking stick. His sandwich was ‘being delayed’
“BUCK UP HIRAM.”
“Maybe there’s a Silver Dollar in the room somewhere: LOOK AROUND.”
Hiram didn’t. He stood there like a ...perfect walking stick... with a growling stomach.
“AHHHH... yeah.” I heard myself saying to Helen as I ...surveyed the WALLS of the “we’re FINISHED CLEANING OUT THIS ONE” ...first room that I was ever in (Part Two) that... had changed VERY LITTLE except to have... the boxes of old letters “PUT” in the “LIBRARY”.
The WALLPAPER on the WALLS of this room was the ...same wallpaper Aunt Winnie “PUT” there when SHE... put it ON TOP OF the... original 1850’s VICTORIAN wallpaper (“THERE STILL SOME OLD WALLPAPER IN THAT CLOSET WHERE SHE DIDN’T PAPER THERE”). (“Holly SHIT” I said to myself when I saw the stylized Rococo white and gold on pastel BLUE that had never had sun shine on it ‘in there’; the closet. But “SHUT-UP STUPID”.
OK... and I hear myself saying: “You REALLY don’t need to PAPER OVER that closet do you because it DOES SHOW the original OLD wall PAPER in there IF SOMEONE WANTS to see it?’
Helen gave me a ‘the quizzical look’.
“SAVE a lot of WORK TOO.”
Ok so wallpaper is ART and has a design heritage that is STUDIED and CARED ABOUT so I APPLIED THAT here ...with passive dexterity:
The old wallpaper in the closet was NICE but not THAT nice (‘of fine design’)... SO I could tell that the WOMEN who ‘picked that paper’ did not go an ‘art and design’ whole hog back then (1850’s) so KNOW that they (the women picking) did not KNOW very much about the then current design heritage (1850) of wall paper because WHY WOULD THEY being Maine sea captain women at home in their new Maine sea captain mansion and the... ‘picking out paper’ was, ah... ‘new to them’.
But they did ok with ‘what they had’ and that was ‘going into town’ to ‘the store’ and looking at ‘that’; what that store has selected to offer as wallpaper for sale that they (the store)...usually helped by a traveling salesman from ...a bigger place in the world... BELIEVE they ‘can sell’ “THAT” “wallpaper” “IS WHAT WE GOT”... so... the women “PICK” “THAT ONE” and... it is ordered and... comes on a train. Then ‘in a wagon’ ‘there’ where it ...goes in the buggy “BACK” to the Savage Mansion. It is “wallpapering” “ISN’T IT (the room) BEAUTIFUL!”
So when Aunt Winnie ‘repapers” she... gets the paper the same way except she SAYS she wants “GOOD PAPER” “FROM NEW YORK”. She PICKS from a BOOK of slips of wallpaper and what she picks comes on a TRAIN TO THE VILLAGE and then ‘comes home’ ‘in the trunk”... of ... whose car? “SHE’S DRIVING?” (Part Six [D])
THAT PAPER is ‘hung’ OVER the first paper. And “IS BEAUTIFUL”.
So... IF Helen picks out “PAPER” with help from three or four local friends and is “GOING TO DO THIS ROOM OVER”... what that is...
The historically correct way wallpaper ‘has always been done’ “IN” the Savage Estate Mansion... anyway... so...
EVEN IF IT IS GOD AWFUL WALLPAPER...:
So Hiram and I were back outside by my truck “HERE THIS ONE’S FOR YOU.” With our sandwiches ...
Before ‘we knew it’.
As I write; the ‘currently’, the new wallpaper is not ‘hung’ and is ‘still in rolls’ in boxes on the floor of the room. No one seems to want to ‘hang it’. Some of the local women friends ‘have done that before’ so ...shied off. Hiram “can’t be trusted to do that”. Helen doesn’t seem to get around to “HIRING” “SOMEONE” (traditional WASP behavior).
I say nothing.
I’m not going to do it.
“No one cares anyway”.
Said Helen to me one morning when SHE brought it up when we were walking through that room.
That paper will be sitting there; in the rolls, in the boxes
When Helen’s dead.