We agreed to sell his likeness to any and all interested parties, provided they maintain his likeness’s upkeep. This, to us, was key. We had had our fill of ill-maintained likenesses—they were, in fact, entirely unlike anything we liked. And now his likeness was aging at a rate some dummy in our office calculated as half the half-life of his person, such that even though it took on a life of its own, as likenesses are wont to do, his couldn’t take up, say, tango without an adjustment, and the last thing any likeness proprietor needs is logistical complaints to the effect of, Well, we mean no disrespect, sirs, it’s just, you know, clients get curious, if he’s using the ADA rampway for early event access, how is he also winning dance-offs at the neighborhood rave?
Likely what these new-blood proprietors overlooked—what we well knew from years in the business—was that all the other personalities were at the rave, too, perpetually, at every age, carpe noctem, ad mortem, ab hinc, et cetera. Have the clients look into that, hmm? Anyhow, thankfully I’ve restricted my list to losers, upset only when excluded, comforted even upon finding a too-late two-step invitation in the post.
Liza St. James's fiction has recently appeared in Wigleaf, NY Tyrant, Heavy Feather Review, The Collagist, Tin House, and other publications. She is editor-at-large of Transit Books and a senior editor of the literary annual NOON.
Art, with gratitude, from:
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Model No. 702. Young men's two-button notch lapel style." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1942 - 1942.