“Havana”…a memoriam of disdain for my doom shirt


This shirt. This shirt is doom shirt.







I bought it in April of 2009 from somewhere.


I hated the first time I wore it which was quite amazing. In the store, when I plucked it happily from the rack, I actually liked it.


Shirts are like appendages. Some are an auspicious extension of your being and they suit you well. These are the shirts that make you feel good. They provide a mental cloak of well-being. Wearing these shirts lightens your mood and injects a confident bounce in your step. Shirts can be magic. They can exude light and strength into your daily life. Such power is dispersed fairly, however, and other shirts bring only gloom and misery. Doom. This shirt is my doom shirt.


I gauge shirts by how much self-confidence they bleed through my skin when I wear them. Self-confidence is very important to me. I realize I have little, aesthetic-wise, to offer the standard issue chick, so the next step, the default self-comfort I allow myself in the face of such rejection, is a dose of self-confidence. When I am self-confident, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me and I am truly enraptured of my wonderful existence. Some shirts are more “cooperative” in facilitating this mindset. Granted, a shirt is just a matrix of threads and colors and my psyche is much more complex than this (or it should be), but never underestimate the power of a shirt!


Owing to the fact that I’m extremely cheap, I refuse to get rid of a shirt simply for the reason it has a tendency to wreck my self-esteem, such as the “Havana” shirt pictured above. I spent good money for this shirt and I will not simply throw it out. I must get my money’s worth and if I feel like utter crap when donning it, so be it.


I remember the first time I wore Havana (I name all my shirts, and this one is naturally named this). The instant I walked out of the house, I felt like crap. Havana never had a chance. It’s not an unusual shirt. It fits well, perhaps a little too loose around the middle and the sleeves aren’t as fitted as I prefer, but it’s nevertheless a good shirt. If anything, it should have a purely neutral effect on my state. Maybe it’s that shit-brown color. Perhaps it’s the loose fit. Or maybe it’s the horrible feedback (self-fulfilling prophecy?) I receive out in public when I wear it. The shirt does not like me and it lays a trail of rejection and invisibility before me when I wear it.


Today I wore Havana and I was resolved to feeling like crap for the day. This shirt is a commitment to doom. It’s an austere devotion to self-disgust. Before I put the shirt on, it occurred to me that I already felt like crap in the morning. I haven’t shaved in a week and I also decided to wear my worst pair of old 501s. They are old and style tragedies; when worn in combination with Havana, the combo is my unspoken gesture of throwing the towel in for the day. It’s as if I’m proclaiming, “I don’t care what I look like today, so in keeping with this downtrodden state of mind, I will further exacerbate my crummy mood by wearing the worst clothes in my closet!”


And it worked. At times, I secretly hope that the shirt rips or gets irreparably stained so I have a reason to throw it out. But until then, I am slave to my stinginess and muddled self-image.