As Greil Marcus points out so beautifully in the book, those lipstick traces (on a cigarette) can re-emerge decades or even centuries later in a new form, to re-energize or inspire. So it was, in microcosm today. We'd just finished several grueling days of storage weeding and moving, and decided to toss the mbanal reconstruction items from the 1999 shows, like the generic beatnik black turtleneck and the thriftshop black slip recreation of Holly Woodlawn's black strip.
When facing down a collection as formidable as ours has become, an entire bin of rare 80's Westwood, the Todd Tomarrow leather Victorian bustle (recently donated) and the Flawless Sabrina beaded gown from The Queen, these faux items no longer seem worth keeping.
So we piled them into this sad-sack piece of luggage that had been on many a DCI tour that still had the little plastic skeleton hand keychain that they give you on the New Orleans graveyard tour dangling off the side.
We left it by a dumpster and by the time we were getting into our cab, a wharf-rat old-school Avenue D wino was already going through it and then, as we pulled away, he had hoisted the bag and was carrying it off down the street, excited by his haul.
We imagined him setting up a little shop on the street, selling the slip and maybe the used metallic tights within to some new generation of JC drag performer buying the slip that we bought in a thrift shop to match the slip that the TRASH costume designer (if there was one) bought in a thrift shop almost thirty years ago to match the slip that Holly used to wear.
(Or maybe Holly just wore her own thrift-shop slip, we'll have to ask her when next we meet.)
Lipstick traces. And a beautiful end to the day.