Well, I went back to the states earlier in the year for the workshop with Glennis in February and whatnot. I first arrived in New York and eventually found my way upstate , to the Capital District, where I am originally from. I had only been in the states a week or so, but found myself feeling somewhat fuzzy, so-to-speak, a bit out of sorts, hard to concentrate.
And when I am feeling stressed , I turn to dyeing to calm down. And I had what I needed with me, all except the plastic syringe with which i apply dye. So I was in search of syringes, quick, available syringes. I had ordered lots to Glennis’ place via Dharma Trading, and would be there in a week or two. But when you’ve gotta have it, you’ve gottahave it. Let’s say I was desperate…..
So, thinking I might find them at a local hardware/farm supply shop (for squirting stuff into animals etc), I stopped by the local Agway on rt. 50 between my parents places.
Well, I was wearing my “noragi”, which are Japanese peasant pants. My friend Ritarou makes these pants, his version normally completely from old Japanese indigo cotton fabrics. But we are making these ones which combine the old with the new, so to speak. His old cotton fabrics with my dyed psychedelic fabrics. Because of the construction of these pants , they get a second glance even here in Japan. The crotch area is merely a swath of cloth, not unlike a diaper. Old-timers here in Japan grin and say that these are the pants they associate with loin-cloths (old-style underwear), and they blush and giggle.( In fact, wearing said loincloths is hugely popular nowadays in Japan amongst various groups, hippies and natural folk and whatnot. ) When my mom saw these pants, she sarcastically congratulated me on producing pants from before the modern convenience we know as the zipper had been invented. Thanx mom….
And my head was wrapped with a tie-dye towel. Again, I guess you could say it is Japanese -style. Many working folk wrap their heads in towels thin and thick while working here, including people working in rice fields, gardens, and all sorts of construction and whatnot. And I am used to wrapping my head, especially since I usually shave the sides clean, winter or not. And when I shave my head in the winter, it is COLD!!!! And so I have to wrap it afterwards or freeze! So, my head was wrapped. And I believe I was wearing a t-shirt with Tibetan Buddhist images on it, kinda shocking big images.
So I walk into Agway. All three or four employees were gathered up front near the door and the registr, talking, it seems, as I walked in. All expressions went very blank as all naturally avoided eye contact (like scared dogs). I walked up to one woman, an older woman, and said “excuse me , I’m looking for syringes.” and everyone shuddered. At that I added ‘like plastic syringes, the type you might use in cooking or with a pet” to clarify. But the woman never smiled , and answered in a very uninterested tone “no, we don’t carry anything like that….” In my pure desperation to dye, I pressed “do you know anywhere around here that might carry such a product?” as i looked around at all employees, who were now listening. Again, no smiles, only the judgmental glares. “nope, sorry…..” Couldn’t have been more curt as their glances shot back and forth between each other in alarm. If there had been an emergency button to call the police in a stickup under the cashiers counter or something, it woulda been pushed. They all seemed freaked out……
I walked back out to my car and got in, and there it really sunk in. These people really thought I was looking for a syringe, like something to use drugs with. How bizarre! All I could think was, how bizarre…..
I was kinda half-dazed, thinking, how bizarre….as I drove another mile or so down rt. 50 and saw Checker-somethine-erother Farms on my left and swerved to pull in just in time. Pet food and pet supplies. these yahoos up the street had no ideas for me, but here, close by, was just the type of shop I had asked them to inform me of. There’s service for ya’……….
Walked in, asked the employee for syringes, the type you might use in administering medicine to a pet. She showed me just what i needed right away, bought it and left. Dyed that night.