The train rumbles its rhythm this morning, transporting passengers from where they get on to where they get off. I'm sitting here in a tux. Yes I do look like a bloody idiot, especially as I have all my work stuff with me - including my pass and bag. The reason? It's a dress up day, and this is the closest I can get to the 1920s at short notice; although I was tempted by the idea representing the Wall Street Crash, and dressing as the masses of unemployed and destitute - alas I am am cursed by my natural aristocracy.
I hate costume, which is weird, given my delight for art and drama; and it fairness I like it on others, and appreciate the design aspect, but wearing it, no, not so much. I've always felt that costume limits the opportunity for play and movement, it - like all clothes really, makes me more self conscious rather than less. Bizarrely I'd rather act, or be, in neutral clothes, as then I feel I have the freedom to explore and mess about. A costume, a uniform - these define and assign roles to you; they tell you to be this or that, they increase tension and expectation; whereas when there are no expectations, even from yourself, then you find ideas take shape and catch hold.
In contrast to my overdressed and resentful frame opposite me there is a man with a puppy on a lead. The puppy is bright eyed, inquisitive and excited; it runs towards people, takes in the sights and smells around it, goes to say hello and receives warmth back in return. I wrinkle my nose at it, another stops to stroke and pet it. The owner is slightly uncomfortable with this positive response, and apologises in case friendliness is just too much.
I consider how much the dog's simplicity and openness dwarves my panic about what I am wearing; I am quick to assume l am being judged, expected to be something I am not - because of how I am perceived; whilst the dog looks openly to find out about other people. Now I am not one of those who considers life better as a dog, I am attached to many qualities of being HomoSapiens: I like thought, culture and our capacity for exploration; but along with complex thought comes the ability to put barriers in our way. Equally I am not naïve enough to believe that if I embrace the world it will cease to judge me, alas no. Yet if I embrace the world I will care less about that judgement, and demand that I am take more on my own terms, as who I am; which is generally a okay human being