Jan 7, 2013

My Red Shirt

   The best, longest lasting, most comfortable shirt I own was 25¢. I bought used ten years it out of absolute necessity brought on by unplanned cold weather. It was dawn and I needed something fast. And there is nothing in the world quicker or more convenient than a yard sale across the street. I also needed something I could wear in a mountain bike race. What better than a solid red St. John's Bay chamois shirt size large tall? It got me through Single Speed World Championships and we bonded.
   The shirt was missing two buttons on the front when I got it, but it's such a good shirt that it had sewn-on spare buttons. Move the very top button down, use the spare and I am good to go. Just yesterday another button came off. Since it was quite literally hanging on by a thread I was able to save this one. The shirt has other more obvious problems so I'm not worried about the button for now and the button is safe next to my bed.
   I have never once thought about what it looks like. It hasn't been beyond my yard in years and only my family every sees it. In addition to the missing button it has several sizable latex paint stains from painting the house, a ripped hem on the front and a few other forgotten stains. And it is red. Solid red-red. Not exactly a real looker. Technically, it would be super fashionable with hipsters. But what is a hipster doing in the yard with a rake? They have cooler shit to do so the neighbors know that I am just wearing a ratty shirt.
   But I love that shirt. Lighter than a jacket, it is the perfect weight and has pockets on the chest for my iPhone. I thread the headphones cord through the button front and it's almost a "technical garment." It's not. Made of 100% cotton it is far and away from a technical garment. The fit. The weight. The fact that I don't care if it gets dirty, torn, stained, ripped or even abraded. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.