This one thing is true: everything I have ever done, good or bad, heartbreaking or mesmerizing, I have done in this one pair of Levi’s jean shorts. When I die, I’ve requested to be buried in them. When I travel, they are the first thing I pack. If I am home, they’re top of the rotation. If there is an adventure to be had, you can find me in these shorts. If they could talk, I’d pray to God they knew how to keep secrets.
I imagine everyone has something like this: a hat, a sweatshirt, a pair of shoes they ran their first marathon in, lucky underwear for football season. Sometimes I recognize these items on other people. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend might cease to exist without his jacket. It is a three piece combination of a hooded sweatshirt, wax canvas jacket, and denim vest that have melded together after circling the world a few times and riding a motorcycle through the Himalayas. In the picture of him I hold in my mind, he is twenty-five and wearing this jacket.
I find it amazing/odd/magical that some article of clothing could feel so ride-or-die and take on its own personality. After all, I pride myself on believing a thing is just a thing, in selling my belongings and moving, in not holding on to much. And yet these shorts have moved nine times with me to four different states, seen three great loves, weaseled their way backstage, hopped plane rides, kissed in courtyards, downed bottles of wine, attended birthdays parties, baby showers, and even a funeral. These shorts know me at my highest highs and no doubt have seen my lowest lows.
But, why this specific pair in a day and age where Levi jean shorts run rampant? Is it the fact that after eating my way across France they managed to still fit me? Or that I was wearing them at Warped Tour when I slept with that drummer? How about the fact that I was with my sister when I bought them, drinking iced teas in the basement of a thrift store in Minneapolis on one of the hottest days I can remember, and that the music literally stopped when I picked them up.
Maybe because I’m wearing them in those photographs he took of me when we met. And then again when we broke up and I walked home crying. Or because they helped me think of the right words when I was writing my thesis. Perhaps because I’m wearing them right now.