AZ: LXII

No, not Linguistics 2, though LX, Lx, or lx often serves as an abbreviation for linguistics. (Meanwhile, when I was a lad at Princeton, the Lx / Ling 1 course — whatever its actual number was — was the Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics (taught by Samuel Atkins, a linguist in the Department of Classics), and the Lx / Ling 2 course was the Introduction to Historical Linguistics (taught by Henry Hoenigswald, commuting from the University of Pennsylvania for the semester).) But in any case, not the second linguistics course (or, for that matter Lx.2, the 2nd release of the field of Linguistics: only the second?).

Instead, Roman numerals for ’62, my class at Princeton. From my 2/11/22 posting “A note of pedagogical pleasure”:

I’m working on a silly photo for the 60th reunion of my Princeton class [May 19-22] — wearing a LXII class cap (provided by the class for this purpose), plus (as per instructions) “some orange and black” (and, because it’s me, a bit of rainbow Pride). Stay tuned for the visual.

Well, the request came in January, and I didn’t get around to fussing about the photo until well into February — my life is constantly fraught (‘affected by anxiety or stress’ (NOAD)) — and then, as I’ll detail below, I did a piss-poor job of it, so here I am reporting on the whole affair in March, well past the time when the photo might be useful, and anyway I’m not going to Reunions.

Wearing the hat was no problem (it’s a very nice, sturdy hat, by the way), but wearing some orange and black, that was something else.

I don’t have a lot of clothes. My shirts are all t-shirts or tank tops, in various solid colors, many with gay-themed designs on them (covering the territory from the subtle and modest — a rainbow heart, a rainbow tyrannosaurus — to the ragingly flagrant: GAY AS FUCK, BIG FAG, both in giant letters).

I did, however, have one solid orange, and messageless, t-shirt. I like the color and wear it a lot, so over a few years it’s faded gradually to something more like salmon than orange. But it would do. As for black, I had a very dark (technically, dark navy blue) tank top with only a modest gay proclamation — that heart — on it, which might not overly offend my classmates from 60 years ago. Photos were taken (by Kim Darnell), of me in front of a backdrop of  cymbidium leaves and ivied walls.

Then Kim and I invested hours in trying to make the colors work. The first shots had a clearly blue tank top in them. We got that adjusted to look flat black, but then the t-shirt was no longer plausibly orange. (Oddly, the rainbow stripes on the heart survived all this tinkering pretty much unharmed.) We eventually settled on a salmon that could pass for orange in the dark, with the light behind it:


(#1) AZ LXII: his heart is old and gay

Then I saw that the orange in the LXII on the hat had faded to obscurity. But I was caught up in a carousel of lab tests and doctor’s appointments, plus feeling respiratorily crappy and exhausted from what might be a Long Covid thing. And just abandoned the project.

So it’s mostly a failure, and it’s too late anyway. But you, good readers, have it to appreciate.

An unviable, but totally fabulous, alternative. On 2/28 Facebook brought me a posting by this studly model — an old friend — who was “absurdly excited” by his new Octopussy (label courtesy of another friend) robe:


(#2) The Black Octo Robe (100% cotton) from the OAS Co. (a Swedish resortwear company based in Stockholm), displaying tentacular pleasures (as I put it)

So near and yet so far. That robe is, alas, gold (verging on plain yellow) and black, not orange and black, so not Princeton muster. No William of Orange for these octopuses.

But I love the pattern. Here it is in swim trunks:


(#3) OAS: “tailored swim shorts made in a fast drying material” — even more towards yellow

Orange, salmon, gold, yellow, let’s all just go swim with the cephalopods.

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