Leggings - c/o Motel Rocks, Jewelry - Konstantino + Unearthen + Flea Market, Everything Else - Vintage
The cowboy hat was not purchased on a whim.
It was an elusive, hunted thing, over which I lusted for months. In the weeks leading up to its acquisition, the sheer quantity of remarks affirming this desire seemed to grow exponentially. At the peak of their fervor, these daily annunciations included expletives; I would announce, to nobody in particular but to whomever was unfortunate enough to be in my proximity, "I NEED A MOTHERFUCKING COWBOY HAT." This assertion was punctuated with a furrowing of my brow and a determined squint of both eyes.
The cowboy hat was at last acquired at an antique market in Long Beach. I spied it from half an aisle away, sitting upon a stack of old records at an elderly couple's booth. Poker face. I sped towards it. Poker face. Surely such a fine accessory would carry a high price tag. Poker face. This would be a process of bartering, a game of cat-and-mouse, a game of John-Wayne-and-anything-unfortunate-enough-not-to-be-John-Wayne. Poker face.
I approached the hat with cool composure. I feigned interest in knicknackery on the table before lifting the hat up off of the records. "How much?" I asked the couple. Poker face. Let the bidding war begin. The woman cocked her head and chewed at an invisible substance, sucking on her own teeth. "Oh, that one?" she asked. Yes, that one. Very clearly, that one. The finest cowboy hat to have ever graced me with its presence. "Ohhh...I'd say how about $10?"
I purchased it hastily and placed it in the oversized fur satchel that I reserve for such weekend outdoor markets. I carried it around the market with me, randomly patting the fur satchel as if invoking its power. "Cowboy hat," I whispered.
I wore the cowboy hat around my apartment for the better part of a week. It wobbled around like an ill-fitted false appendage, attached to my head at an unstable angle. I decided that the cowboy hat's simple rope band did not adequately pay tribute to its prestige and instead, affixed a broken belt around its crown as a hatband. "Cowboy hat."
The more I wore the cowboy hat, the more I realized the depth of its expansive personality. The typical denim and boot routine would hardly pay it justice. No, this cowboy hat would lend an unexpected grandeur to anything with which it was fortunate enough to cross paths. Sweatshirts. Crop tops. Floor-length dresses. My closet became grounds for an epic stage of dress-up, in which the cowboy hat played the lead.
I bounced around the house one day in an old Southern Rock tee shirt and psychedelic butterfly-printed leggings. I practiced releves while waiting for my microwavable popcorn to finish popping. "I am a butterfly," I informed the popcorn. Plie. Releve. Flap. Flap. I leapt from the kitchen into the living room. From on top of a bookshelf, the cowboy hat watched my broken ballet. I clumsily fell through a pirouet. Focal point: cowboy hat. I gasped. "Cowboy hat," I whispered. I ran to the shelf and pulled the hat down, rushing it over to a full length mirror. I pulled it down over my head, slowly, ceremoniously, and caught my boyfriend's reflection behind me in the mirror.
"Okay," he said with a sigh. "This is getting weird, even for you. What do you call this?"
I turned to face him, eyes alit.
Recommended shopping for all of your Acid Cowboy/Psychedelic Butterfly printed garment needs: Motel Rocks