Saying goodbye can be extremely difficult, especially when you know that it’s forever, and it’s to something that’s been in your life for so long that you don’t really have a sense of living without it.
But such times are inevitable; try as we might to pretend that things can last for all eternity, there comes a day when we must face facts and accept that all things are fleeting on the grand stage, and try to carry on with naught but the memories of them that we hold so dear, treasure more valuable than any earthly holding.
Such a day was yesterday. I had let the laundry duties slip a bit, and had become perilously close to not having a clean Hawaiian shirt to wear. Wanting to avoid a fashion crisis, I did several loads, and was preparing to restock my closet – I had a huge stack of bright colors and complex patterns, my favorite clothes hangers polished up and waiting to serve, a frosty cold tallboy, and maybe just the slightest bit of sinful pride, knowing that I was the best dressed guy in the room (Indy, while certainly stunning in her purple collar, does not technically count as a "guy").
And so I began, happily whistling “Aloha `Oe” as I untangled and smoothed each shirt, making sure the sleeves were all right-side out and the collars all creased just so.
It was at about the third shirt that I noticed the first tear … just a small rip, where the fabric around a button had worn thin. I thought nothing of it, at first … but then I noticed some fraying around the shoulder seam on the next one, and on the arm on the next. Panic welled inside of me as I realized just how few of my beloved Hawaiian shirts were nothing more than tattered rags, long past the point where even the homeless shelter would welcome them.
How could I have not seen this? Was I so blind to what had been before my very eyes, so deaf to the words of well-meaning others*, that I literally could not perceive the decay that had taken place? Am I clinging so vigorously to the past, a past likely constructed out of whole cloth and bearing little resemblance to reality, that I’ve kept myself surrounded with ancient relics to support my delusions? Are these decades-old shirts simply serving to prop up this façade, this self-deception, this refusal to let go?
Probably not … it’s more likely that I’m just not very observant about the state of my crappy clothes. That, and the fact that my relatively high level of laziness has kept me from going to all the work of throwing them away.
But on with the purge! Even tossing half of my wardrobe will still leave me with enough to go a couple of weeks without wearing the same shirt twice, and who knows? Maybe this endeavor will lead to a general life cleansing in which I shed all sorts of things I’ve been dragging around for all these years.
(No, P*77 & N*88, the Colnago isn’t going anywhere.)
* Believe it or not, I've had more than one significant other make less-than-flattering comments about my fashion sense. Crazy, I know!
6 months ago