This idea was originally conceived for film but I may also write it as a novel.
The beginning scene shows a line of women waiting to enter a bathroom in a public facility like a library. All of the women in line are wearing untucked tops: shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, cardigans etc. They are also wearing belted pants, either jeans or slacks or corduroys, etc. A woman walks in the bathroom and later, maybe ten or twenty seconds later, she walks out and her shirt (or other top) is tucked in. Without proving an explanation, the scene shows the change between when a woman is wearing a top not tucked in and when she wears it tucked in. A variety of tops will be displayed. For instance, a college sweatshirt worn long and loose over jeans will change to a college sweatshirt tucked tightly into belted jeans. The bathroom is The Changing Room.

As a short experimental film, it could consist of that scene only. As a novel or story, there could be different parts, not necessarily in this consecutive order but existent nevertheless. The whole thing may not be a conventional story in chronological form but could be different pieces of an allegorical puzzle and all of the pieces help define the whole. Here are other possible scenes/parts:
Individual women are explained with each woman’s history and her specific reason for now ticking in her shirt/top. One woman could have been overweight and needs the discipline of always wearing her shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets tucked in so she can tell herself to keep at a weight where she can comfortably wear that style. Another woman might be rebelling against her family who taught her that women should wear dresses only and that shirts worn not tucked in are almost like dresses. She now tucks in her shirts and wears pants exclusively to show her family she is not wearing dresses. Another woman might have tucked in her shirt after going in the bathroom because she noticed other women doing so and she figured it was something that needed to be done, without her knowing why. Another woman might be wanting to hide a ketchup stain on the bottom of her sweater.

Another scene/part may explain why the difference between tucked in tops and tops not tucked in is as relevant as the difference between poverty and wealth, freedom and oppression, fiction and non-fiction, acoustic music and electric music, etc. In other words, any subject may be relevant or irrelevant, depending on the person’s viewpoint and interpretation.
Another scene/part could describe a group of men who want to look attractive to the women shirt tuckers. The men now tuck in their shirts so they will be noticed by the women. In the process, each man becomes attracted to himself because he thinks he looks like a woman.

Another scene can be a group of undefined people talking randomly about whatever subjects come to mind. The conversation can be like the literary equivalent of a musical composition by, for example, John Cage. One example of this type of literature can be found in the cut-up narrative method William Burroughs used in parts of his novel The Ticket That Exploded.

Another part can consist of a man and a woman who meet each other. The woman shakes the man’s hand and refuses to let go. When the man tries to pull free, the woman keeps holding on. This represents another type of consistency. Instead of clothes, the consistency involves touch, in extreme absurdity.

Another part can explain that some of the women tuckers are consistent, always tucking in their shirts. Other women tuck only sometimes, to show variety in their appearances. Others tuck rarely, perhaps only once. Some tuck voluntarily. Others are doing so under advisement or orders. 

One part/scene can be the pamphlet written by a professor about the correlation between tucked in shirt outfits and mathematics. He explains the sexiness of an effort to put clothes in proportion with balance so the belt line is the middle number. Perhaps all of the women who use The Changing Room are students of his.

These are all potential parts of what I plan to be an experimental novel. I would gladly appreciate feedback. If you have any ideas or suggestions or questions or criticisms, feel free to email me. I would like to know if you think this idea is interesting. 

Lee Gerstmann

email: gerstmannlee@yahoo.com

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