Hey Violet, I’m collecting clothing for a sidewalk homeless event, won’t you drop stuff off at this address. Anything you don’t wear.
I have a ton I don’t wear.
The jeans that I try on every morning but then throw over the chair. The dress that’s just a teeny bit tight but I love so much and maybe one day I’ll get the zip up. And the red velvet bell-bottoms that I wore daily when I was sixteen. There’s no way I’m giving those away.
They’re me. They’re my hippieness.
My Janis Joplin Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz days.
I went through my cupboards anyway. Well, mostly I went through my chair. It felt like a good opportunity to clean up.
I found a lot.
I found the shirt that’s enormous, white and not mine. It has HIS smell. It is him.
It’s not going anywhere.
I found the fake fur jacket that I thought okay, this is really awful, it can go. But then I went through the pockets and there was a R 20 note and a half smoked joint and OH MY GOD I REMEMBER THAT CONCERT, and actually, let me wear the jacket. Even if just to the dog park.
It felt so good I wore it for three days in a row.
There are old t-shirts that are stretched and full of holes, but dammit they’re so soft and perfect for bed, also sometimes sex, how can I ever give those up?
Shoes? I’ve had a few bad buys. The black leather high heeled boots that are stunning and sexy but make me look like a hooker. No homeless person would want them, and anyway, I may want to use them for role-play. They’ll be useful if I become a Domanatrix.
I decided to let go of the glitter tackies though. They were possibly not my best buy.
And then I found my wedding dress. It’s old, French lace, vintage, Gatsby style and incredibly beautiful. I’ve thought of giving it away for years. And I’ve thought of making it into a tunic or a skirt or even kitchen curtains. But I can’t.
Each time I find it I look at it, feel it, and then fold it away again.
It’s about memory.
It’s about emotion. My clothes are part of me.
So yeah. I’ll make soup for the homeless. But bury me in my red bell-bottoms. Place that old striped cosy blanket next to me.
My clothing tells a story.
And I’m very attached to my stories.