Friday, January 11, 2013

Charlotte Issyvoo: Private Dick

Boots: Jessica
I had a lot of fun with this outfit and, therefore, with this post. Basically, this is me in butch drag. I am so irrevocably femme that any time I dress butch, it's a costume for me, so it's fun, playful, almost like a game.

But merely costuming butch is not enough for me. I had to go all out and create a whole imaginary persona for myself.

The decade was easy: the 1970s, obviously. That polyester, button-down shirt, and cheesy pendant couldn't be from any other decade. The persona? Street tough. I was an urban street tough, making my way on the mean streets of ... well, some urban place. I would photograph... urban stuff.

Now I was rolling. I was on the lam, see... Okay, I was mixing up my decades but how could I be a street tough without immediately falling into Raymond Chandler's lingo? It can't be done! At least, it can't if you're read as much Raymond Chandler as I have. Plus, in the first year of my back injury, I was almost entirely bedridden so I listened to a lot of old time radio plays. Chandler (and Dashiell Hammett) virtually invented the vernacular for radio play street toughs and private dicks and, slightly later, film noir.

Okay, so I was a private dick, circa 1976, the last of a dying breed of Chandleresque tough guys. And, having a slight gambling problem, I was on the lam from my bookie. Yeah, that was it. Yeah.

So: In which tough guy and private dick, Charlotte Issyvoo, sets forth on her day.

Leather jacket was an ex's; Jeans: Reitmans
I got up late, my head pounding like a headboard in a two-bit hotel. I hadn't had a job in weeks, not unless you count the dame who hired me to tail her no goodnik husband pawing his bottle blond secretary in his pathetic attempt at a second youth.

It was all so sad, I'd needed a drink. Okay, a few drinks. So sue me. Scratch that.

I felt like a dog's breakfast, like something that crawled under a dumpster to die. I needed dough, lots of dough. I needed it bad.

I figured I'd try my luck at pool. My luck was bound to turn around some time. I could just feel it.

Pendant and gold chain: vintage; Shirt: Reitmans
Besides, I was wearing my good luck charm, see? What could go wrong when I wearing my lucky charm?

Okay, so today turned out to be an exception. So sue me. On second thought, scratch that again.
What? I'm just scratching my ear here. I did not flip you the bird. Can't a guy scratch her ear here without it being a national emergency?
I got myself in a spot of trouble, see, over a little misunderstanding in the pool hall.

(Fashion note: a tough guy never wears big earrings. She could lose them in a fight, or in a lousy game of cards.)

Ring: vintage; Earrings: from a dodgy little hole in the wall jewelry store in a strip mall
So I beat it to the john and scanned the place for an escape. No dice. Since when did they start putting bars in johns?

What ya lookin' at? You lookin' at me? Drive on. There's nothing here to see.
I managed to sweet talk my way out of there. What can I say? I've got the gift of the gab.

Lucky for me, I've got a friend in Mark, at a little joint called Mark's Pet Stop. He don't take no guff from nobody. He's also built like the side of a barn. Nobody, and I mean nobody,  messes with Mark, so I cooled it there until I figured it was safe to go home.

Why does everything have bars on it these days? It reminds me of the clinker and the last thing a guy wants as a lullaby is a reminder of the clinker.

Awww, skip it. Tomorrow's another day and my luck's bound to turn around some time, right? I can just feel it.

(I'm linking this up with Spy Girl.)


  1. LOL! Great narrative! And I LOOOVE the close up shot of the sleeve zipper and ear ring! Great shot!

  2. This is THE BEST! So glad that you linked it! Don't scratch that.
    I read a lot of Nordic crime fiction when I was going through chemo. The darkness of it suited my mood.

    1. So glad you like it. It was fun to write too. I was thinking of Raymond Chandler mostly, and old radio shows with "hard boiled" detectives and their hilarious similes.