As the fire that illuminated the darkest parts of 2017 burns to a guttering close, it’s a safe guess to make that you’re exhausted, right? Each day in the last 365 brought with it a mid-to-high-level crisis, outdone only by what was inevitably coming the day after. Staying bodily alert enough to remain vigilant, or at the very least conscious, to absorb by osmosis the psychic terror of friends, coworkers, and the people you just know online felt like being put through the ringer anew with every blow to the world as we know (knew?) it.
There was one positive, however, and that was the rampant scourge of the overblown mantras extoling self-care taking a backseat. It didn’t make much sense to put face masks front and centre when it seemed possible we would have an atmosphere that did the work of a chemical peel all on its own in fifty years. And it’s not like the New Year is looking any better. If chaos reigned in 2017 then it’s going to be torrential in 2018. That’s why I’m taking guesswork out of what it is you should resolve to do, change, or be in the coming year. I’m offering up ready-made personas to adopt, outfits to wear, and modes of thought to embrace that can be shed and swapped like so much clothing from Zara with every new week, depending on what the projected social, political and economic situation calls for. Here they are, radical self-care in a randomized order to match all the curveballs coming at us in this new Thunderdome where we are all trapped.
- A club-footed, slightly right of centre leftist with a bad case of vertigo dressed as the new, hot cast of Star Wars lost on a remote desert planet (rags, layered), dressed as someone getting right into precious gems dressed as a surefire way to get work in the gig economy, so, a giant USB stick.
- An octopus dressed like an octogenarian dressed like a becalmed Georges St-Pierre reading The Hunt For Red October in the octagon grappling with the concept that even someone as prolific as Tom Clancy will have their legacy eventually fade from memory, but still extremely tough and bleeding freely from the head.
- A Proud Boy dressed as dat boi dressed as Adam Sandler in The Waterboy dressed as Cthulhu made out of Chihuly glass emerging from a giant tub of Kozy Shack Rice Pudding as the grand finale of your own show on the old pirate ship outside the Señor Frog’s on the Las Vegas strip.
- A head-to-toe toe shoe taking a casual stroll down the promenade.
- Your most sincere hopes and dreams in exchange for Ben Affleck’s under-eye bags and Matt Damon’s remorse stuffed in an astronaut suit and launched into space on a rocket with MR. ME TOO scrawled on the side in bubblegum pink bubble letters as the final proof of centrifugal force and the necessity of investing more in our space program.
- All the hair you’re going to lose untangling the knots made by scarves from now through to March woven into wreaths and laid upon the caskets of remorse and regret because we don’t have time for that shit in 2018.
- A giant, enamel pin of yourself worn on the back of a jacket made of fabric befitting of this spring’s assured trend—florals—so that everyone can find you when the brimstone begins to rain down.
- A flirtier version of you dressed as an even flirtier roughneck serving a 10-tiered-terrine meant to replicate the layers of earth, chilled, as we watch our nations’ leaders tear the planet apart in what has to be some kind of phallic, over-compensatory gesture but wait, is there gluten in this?
- A bust of Brendan Fraser made out of the imagined likeness of bitcoin carved entirely from rare, exotic softwoods (camphor, massaranduba, pau marfim, etc.) and you just keep it in your bathtub where it repeatedly swells and dries and molds and rots as a reminder that time comes for us all.
- What you would normally wear to brunch but if brunch was an Ironman race through the Bornrieth Moor bog in northern Germany and feral boars were about to overcome you unless you were prepared to turn on them and take the largest down so it could be cooked as the side of bacon you insisted on even though you aren’t really that hungry.
- Simon Cowell wearing an enormous cowl reading all your muted words on Twitter back to you as you stand onstage under blistering spotlights as a thing you picture to get yourself fired-up enough to make a single phone call.
- How good you are going to feel when the NBA overthrows the American presidency dressed as an Avatar (a scuba suit is fine in a pinch), a little sullen but encouraged that those now leading the free world at least know what it feels like to dunk on someone as you are dunked into the rising seawater overtaking all coasts.
- The ultimate in day-to-night dressing: a bodysuit that can be worn when all the things that don’t impress Shania Twain much are offered to you spilling from a golden cornucopia at the end of an 100-foot-long Crocodile Mile slide, but the slide is covered in creamed corn and even if they don’t impress you much, either, there’s a Babadook that might just be Jack White stumbling toward you.
- The intense regret you’ll feel when American Apparel gold lamé becomes a currency and Uniqlo comes out with HEATTECH human skin puffer jackets that you can’t afford. You scour through your cached MySpace profile, dreading the laughingstock you’ll be at the apocalypse ball when you’re struck with a make-it-work moment so strong that you pull off a fascinator made of human teeth to compliment your suit/gown of Clif Bar wrappers—the only uncontaminated food left. The world ends and you look fantastic.