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Dime Stories: The Archer

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Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

Illustration: Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

I have so much fun making the White Canary Samurai Chicks that I may make my own little army of them. They were kind of based on the teenage girls I saw in Harajuku in Tokyo a couple of years ago, and then I realized they’re kind of like teenage girls everywhere. They don’t dress differently from the teenage girls I see at the five-corner asylum that is Damen-Milwaukee-North in Chicago, or Williamsburg in Brooklyn or any other hipster enclave in the world. I have a teenage daughter and know the many hours of grooming it requires to achieve the requisite style of “idiotic” before walking out the door. I love when they wear stockings, shorts, boots and slacker fedoras, complete with the raccoon make-up and teal-colored streaks in their hair. I love when my daughter rolls her eyes in conversation with me as if she is talking to a mental-defective and it requires her every last bit of patience.

For a bunch of individuals, they all kind of look alike. Lately they’ve been throwing a little bit of  “True Blood” wardrobe into the mix. The popular and campy vampire series is WAY big with teenage girls. Of course, they like the boys on that show, who are the most pussy vampires I’ve ever seen. I like my vampires like the ones in “Near Dark,” the Kathryn Bigelow masterpiece where they all ride around in a Winnebago and kill hicks. The ones on “True Blood” all look like underwear models in search of their first shave. As vampires go, these guys are a bunch of tampons.

I love that my daughter and her friends travel in packs dressed like this. They go to music festivals like Pitchfork and Lollapalooza where they can be among another 50,000 young girls all dressed like them. When one of them goes to a different stage, they all go. When one of them gets a bubble tea (whatever the fuck that is), they all get one. When one of them lights up an American Spirit, they all do. They are all vegans. Of course they’re vegans.  On occasion, I take her and her posse out for “vegetarian sushi” and they eat like a pack of fucking timber wolves; nothing dainty about the vegan appetite at all, Bunky. It’s like “Lord of the Flies” with chopsticks.

On occasion, I walk around the city with my iPod listening to music stupid loud. I like to do this in New Orleans, New York, Tokyo… places I don’t live. I love soul music and R&B and particularly New Orleans music. It is one of those things I can do for nothing and it makes me happy. The loud music makes me feel oddly invisible and as if I’m supplying my own soundtrack to the world around me. In fact, I’m doing it right now; listening to the great Dr. John’s “Creole Moon” from some years ago.

I think a lot about my daughter lately and young women like her. I’m kind of jealous of their courage to foster a look of their own, about how much she has in front of her in the world, that she is at the beginning and how I wish I could do a lot of it over myself. I think about the ridiculous articles of clothing I treasured at her age: my pointy-toed, square-heeled greaser shoes, my white wife-beater (we called them “dago tees”), my black-leather jacket, my shades. When I was a young man, this stuff was my armor—my way of telling the world I was my own man.

My daughter is becoming a young woman and she doesn’t need me to tell her what’s cool, and I guess I don’t like it—not one damn bit.

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