This is the story of my favourite sweat shirt. (Oops, almost wrote sh**) This shirt is 10 years old this year. I think. It might be eleven, it's not like I've been throwing little parties for it annually. Okay, I have. But only because it likes little hats and balloon animals.
Back to the story.
This is my favourite sweat shirt. I was 20 years old and had moved away from home. Most everything sucked. I hated school and every class I had. I could go for weeks and, while attending every class, not speak to a soul. I was lonely and miserable and failing a second year English in Shakespeare. Can you imagine??
There were some bright spots in my other wise bleak existence. Outside of school, I had friends to spend time with. My cousin and his roommate lived on the next street over. To get there, all you had to do was walk through my apartment building that smelled faintly of cat urine, walk across the street past the half-way house and over to their apartment. I spent a lot of time there pretending that I was one of the guys and sucking up all the human contact I could.
As desperate as I felt during those times, my cousin's life was tougher. He couldn't really afford school or a place to live, so he worked numerous jobs to support himself and hardly ate. He did however, in a moment of weakness or optimism, buy himself a sweat shirt. An over sized purple sweat shirt with the U of S Husky logo on it in leather. A few months later, when he needed money, I bought it from him.
The sweat shirt hangs down to my mid thigh. (Considering I'm built like a brick outhouse, that is quite a feat.) It's material is soft and warm and it reminds me of my old friends, my confusion and my youth. It is purple. Which was likely all the rage in 1996, I don't know. But it's the sort of purple that lulls you into comfort and peacefulness. I think that was part of it's charm.
The leather wore off after years of being subjected to absent minded caressing of it's soft material and due to the numerous washings it endured. It tore from the shirt in little pieces and though I did my best to sew each hole, it was a losing battle from which I soon surrendered.
Each armpit has holes in it. The cuffs are missing from both sleeves after repeated games of tug-of-war with my black lab. Parts of the elbows are worn thin and the applique in the centre is holding on by three threads and sheer willpower.
I probably cheated my cousin out of money when I bought the sweat shirt, I can't remember. I was very unaware in those days and never would have thought to figure out if the money I gave him ever equalled the sweat shirt's worth. Considering how much I wore it, and still do when the occasion calls for it, I probably still owe him.