Some shirts are like the mountains or the forests or the deserts. They faithfully withstand the ravages of time and destruction and environmental upheaval and all they have to show for it are extra rings or a shiny buffed surfaced of aged erosion. These shirts remind me of that oddball centenarian who the news reported just celebrated their 108th birthday. Some shirts are like this. I don’t know how many people keep shirts this long. I suspect most just throw shirts away or donate them once they’ve gone out of style or they grow tired of the garment. In my life, so many shirts have come and gone. So many, so many styles I tired of or shirts which tired of me. Some whose color became intolerable or whose tightness turned embarrassing or style devolved to puzzling. Some shirts still sit in my closet after I removed them from my regular rotation, but they are still too new or relevant to get rid of. Still, I won’t wear them again. You can never go back when it comes to shirts. Once you have been so wickedly bold as to relegate a perfectly useful shirt to the dusty hinterlands of the rear closet, you can never wear it again in good conscience for it will tighten and suffocate your ass when you least expect it. Shirts are spiteful this way. Don’t ever wrong a shirt that has been good to you! If you must, just burn the shirt and never give it another thought and if you’re lucky, it will not startle you awake in the middle the night with furious demon eyes imploring you to explain your casual disregard of such a fine fabric.
The other day I was examining the shirts in my normal rotation. “Normal rotation” meaning shirts that I wear to work. I began an informal survey of non-carbon dating in order to date all the shirts I wear. The oldest shirt I have in my rotation is a black t-shirt I bought at the end of 2004 or beginning of 2005. Anyone familiar with my sordid life chronicles is aware that my 2004-2005 period was one of utmost mortal depravity. I almost died in July, 2005, after drunkenly wrapping my car around a tree. After my divorce, I moved back out on my own in the Autumn of 2004 and commenced to live the most dissolute existence imaginable. During that whirlpool-like moral descent, this shirt fell into my hands. It was a Guess shirt, a black t-shirt that had the words “electric” painted in red with a thunder bolt embroidered over the word electric. I have no recollection of when or where I bought the shirt, but it clearly symbolized some of the worst, most self-destructive periods of my life. All other shirts I wore then are gone, gone, gone. Except Electric. That’s the name of my shirt in my own demented mind where I name such things. “Electric.” I am in love with “electric” by attrition. It’s like that grudging love that arranged spouses must come to feel over time for their non-choiced partner. Electric outlived all my other shirts and still hangs on (literally) to this day. It is a little worse for wear, but still makes a proud and noble appearance every time I call upon it to march me through another day.
I wore it today and made a ridiculous music video to accompany The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Super Fucked,” an awesome psychedelic rock tune that I’ve been playing in my car for the past month or so. Super Fucked. So great. Grab your popcorn.
Words to live and die by, my friends.
I would feel much worse about my life if it wasn’t for the realization (with a nice dose of sick vicariousness) that everyone else feels just as bad about their own, if not more, than me! And the one’s who believe their life is good are so delusional that the day truth comes crashing down on their little glass menagerie it will be worth the satisfaction and price of admission to witness as their demolished fantasies turn to shit. This is why I am happy! We are super fucked, but those of us who relish and drown in the realization are the winners. Tell me you are not super fucked. I might believe you but I don’t trust anyone who claims otherwise.
You’ll get fucked, spit on, pounded, pummeled, humiliated, tortured, lashed, whipped, flagellated, raped, eviscerated…all in the flicker of a moment it takes you to fill out that loan application so you can soothe the pain with an exaggerated enslaving commitment to the rest of your super fucked life.
Enjoy this ride and don’t try to act like you won. And just learn to love your shirt.
You, I, them…we are super fucked.