Monday, September 17, 2012

The Shirt

He left his shirt; a white one that I had worn only once before. I had always wanted to wear a man’s shirt and pull it off. I put it on again today but it felt more like a shroud of sadness than a fashion statement hinting towards the sexual revolution and living in this “man’s world.” My mother wondered what I had dressed up for. I told her nothing. It is so simple, white with a single line of buttons down the front. I paired it with cuffed and torn jeans and a pair of hammered metal earrings. So independent, so ready and excited to be on my own, but spent the majority of the day wearing something of his. It looks good on me. It looked good on him. I close my eyes and pretend he is holding me from behind. Then I open my eyes again and he isn’t here. It is my body in this shirt, in this abandoned shell of his. It was just left there, hanging alone in his closet. Several dozen hangers, of varied colors and materials, and the shirt, hanging there alone. Had he thought it was mine? I wore it only that once, washed it and returned it to his closet. Or did he leave it for me – to remember him, a gift and a burden of the memory of him? Nearly seven years knowing this person I can’t determine the meaning of this shirt. So I wore it. The apartment is huge. It is so much larger than I remember it being – even when we moved in, before the movers brought in our three couches, two arm chairs, one dining room table with two removable leaves and six chairs, twenty seven boxes, two beds, two toothbrushes and thirty six shirts (twenty five of which were mine). Now, only my things remain, and his shirt. And they do not fill up this space. They sit awkwardly, uncertain of themselves without their mates and partners in carpet sitting and teeth cleaning. They stand in corners uncertain of whom they are supposed to talk to now that their dance partners have left the auditorium. They have left school completely. Dropped out. Moved on. It is so quiet. He took the TV. It was his and I said that I didn’t want one. Now, I’m not so sure being left alone with my thoughts. This vaulted space on the second floor leaves me craving the sound of Jon Stewart’s voice or even the recorded Rom-Com’s he so consistently mocked me for. I would give anything to be mocked right now. The loneliness is crippling. Before, I had a person waiting at home for me, or someone that would be returning home to me. I had a date. I had a person to go to eat with. I had a person that would watch TV with me and tell me jokes and do the dishes. There are so fewer dishes now. Trying not cry has me clenching my jaw. The hurt reaches to the back of my throat and then travels down to land somewhere between my shoulder blades. I make resolutions to run every day. Eat better. You know, really focus on ME. But that’s such bullshit.

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