Happy Birthday William Eggleston

by rosalyster

  1. You share with Leonard Cohen a disdain for blue jeans.
  2. It is a detail often mentioned in profiles of you, always with a kind of awe: He has never owned a pair of blue jeans.
  3. I appreciate everything about this: calling them “blue jeans” instead of just “jeans”, the slight ambiguity which settles on the choice of “owned” rather than “worn”, the fact itself.
  4. My girlfriend recently found an envelope with pictures of herself when she was a very small girl, in California.
  5. As well as the pictures themselves, she was pleased with what she had written on the envelope, all those years ago: DO NOT TUCH.
  6. That’s how you must feel about blue jeans, to have spent a whole life shunning them: DO NOT TUCH. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TUCHING THEM.
  7. You married a girl called Rosa, who I bet never wore blue jeans either. She is described, always, as a princess from Mississippi.
  8. Before you were married, the two of you used to drive around town in matching baby-blue Cadillacs. This is another detail that journalists cannot let go: you and the Mississippi princess with the tops down and your feet on the gas.
  9. That’s not Rosa though, lying down in the grass or standing at the counter with a dollar.
  10. That is Unknown Woman, and I would like very much to know whether you guys had sex.
  11. Is that bad to say? Is it exactly the wrong thing to ask of a man who has never let a pair of blue jeans touch his aristocratic Southern legs?
  12. William_Eggleston_Untitled_Biloxi-Mississippi1