(zara coat, vintage fuzzy sweater, risto city lights blouse, screen vinyl image button)
Bowery Electric - Lushlife
This theme of melancholic urban winters has been a recurring one through my young adult years, especially living through those in the Midwest, which are grey and cold on a scale of which are completely alien to outsiders. Perhaps you'd have to be from here to understand.
I remember when its desolation struck me for the very first time. I was a tadpole 20-year old who'd worked up the courage to move out of the wooden townhouse I shared with my ex (though as survivors all know, the first breakup is never the last). Battered but not bloodied, I carted my meager possessions into a traincar apartment that overlooked dumpsters and their vulturous flies. There was a perpetually darkened bedroom that I never used, because it was drafty and lonely and riddled with nothingness. Space heaters were strewn about the place because a gas bill was out of the question; sweaters never helped; I was always so. so. cold. My mattress held me in the modest living room because somehow, the (donated) television and (donated) Xbox sitting beside it made me feel more human. Human enough to sleep, at least, though I soon discovered that sleep would escape me too.
Those were days of desperate peanut butter sandwiches and malicious pineapples stuck inside my mixte's brakes. Poetic Ramen noodles and deeply paranoid bagels, spoiled milk and High Five french fries. And at night, when the snow fell and collected into tiny untouchable mounds outside my window, I heard my thoughts as clearly as a friend speaking them to me, right in front me, but perhaps more accurately inside me. Monologues in which I convinced myself that I was "alright", that I didn't love him anymore, that the blue body pillow I slept with each night was a perfectly able substitute for his arms. It wasn't, of course, but one can convince themselves of many things if they say it long enough.
Those were hungry days. I mean that in all of its variants. I craved many things, my stomach craved more, my heart craved it all. And everyday was a struggle in supplying my body's various demands. Dreams/nightmares were present in my waking hours, zombie Meagan strolled throughout bookstores and boutiques with no purpose other than to try (futilely) to connect to the sprawling metropolis around me. Have you ever felt as though your corporeal self was a vessel that you did not control? That life was some sort of picture book that you were gazing at from a different dimension? Try as I might, I was simply an automaton. It took a long time before the human feelings that had been beat out of me returned to a proper place.
That was all perhaps very abstract, but the words make sense to me. This post is a testament to the ability of a garment to act as a time travel device. This city lights shirt, by virtue of its associative design, takes me right back to the coldest days I've ever known. Were it up to me I'd squash that experience deep, deep down (where it belongs?) but at some point, one needs to open one's eyes to Hard Things. I'm thankful that this simple button-down can help me to start to process mine.