I’ll never forget the day. Winter was coming and you were on sale. Despite the approaching cold I couldn’t pass up such a bargain. At first, I was attracted by the famous logo on your chest, but it wasn’t long before I discovered that you were so much more than that. The way you retained your bright blue color wash after wash. The way you kept your shape, even after being stretched. Your tag didn’t even scratch the back of my neck. You brought brightness and colour to my life in a time of darkness.
In the early days I only wore you on special occasions like dinners with friends and picnics in the countryside. Time and again we were immortalised together in photos. After every one of those days you were washed and hung on the clothesline in a special spot where you were protected from the full sun by other, less important clothes.
That was all before the incident with the bleach. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be doing laundry while I wore you but, on that day, I was running late to meet friends for a day at the races and had to wash my clothes for work the next day. In my hurry I grabbed the bleach, there was a small splash as I poured it, and the rest is history.
Sure, you were still a great shirt, and I loved wearing you and feeling your soft cotton on my skin. But when the big occasions came around, I simply couldn’t wear you. I had to relegate you to shopping trips and family visits. You went from an A grade shirt to the B grade.
When I hung you out to dry, you no longer had the prime position and sometimes felt the full strength of the sun. It remains my hope that one day someone will design a clothesline where all clothes are treated equally.
You started to fade, and through wear, a tiny hole gradually got bigger.
Then one day, after three days straight at the gym I found myself short of gym shirts. You were always there for me and on that day, you huffed and puffed and stretched and sweated with me at the gym. C grade.
If you thought that was bad, D grade was yet to come. Shoved into a drawer, never folded, and often stained with coffee, wine, or chocolate. You became a bed shirt.
And here we are. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t regret one moment of it. I’ll be the first to admit that we both made mistakes like the bleach and today I think we both must take some of the responsibility for getting caught on the door handle and the tear along your seam. But we need to let go of the past and open the door to a new future. It’s been a blast.
I must go because I need to polish my car. Now where can I find myself a polishing rag?
Martin Hadfield has been meandering aimlessly through the suburbs for many years wondering why he is not quite like the other children. Finally, he has realised that his often-topsy-turvy perspectives can be entertaining. He is now on a journey to share these thoughts and ideas in an adventure that makes its progress by simply placing one word in front of the other.