Mister Burton, Closets
Mister Burton

What happens when as a young boy you are "different" (meaning sensitive), with a strong artistic streak (in James' case, "a Taurus, ruled by the goddess of love and beauty"), and is a misunderstood and solitary figure in his neighborhood? At fourteen, James found alot of inspiration from a superstar named Cyndi Lauper, who sang a song that said it's okay to be different (coincidentally, she and James grew up in the same town). As soon as James felt the confidence to step into his imagination, and implulses, instead of caving to the norms, he started ripping up his clothes and painting them. Fast-forward about twenty-five years, and welcome to James' "wildest dream," his life, filled with a cast of characters that do get him. There is his god and priest, the poet Oscar Wilde, his favorite lady of drama, Sarah Bernhardt, silent film stars and beauties Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow, French and American novelists Collette and Edith Wharton, and the dreamy females of a Dante Gabriel's Rossetti painting, among thousands of other period references that (along with his modern-day friends and treasures) he's pretty sure were meant to be in his life. If ever there were someone who is single-handedly bringing back glamour, romance, tradition, and an ultra-attunement to the endorphin rush of high aesthetics and its corollary of pride in one's appearance, it's James. I thought I loved cuff links, intaglia rings, antique men's vests, silk ascots, watch fobs, capes, and embroidered hundred-year-old anything, but I don't hold a candle or a hand-painted tea pot to James. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so when James failed English class because he argued that a poem, like a painting, could have more than just one meaning, maybe it was a blessing in disguise. He decided to prove his teacher and every other person of such limited thinking wrong by showing how someone as talented as himself can create and star in their own silent movie by tuning the followers and sheep out.

If you like Mister Burton, you might also like Michael Arenella and Ludwig Kuttner.

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