Sunday, August 24, 2008

And finally... golden slumbers fill my eyes

When I was home a month ago, I tried to pre-emptively clean out my closet in preparation for the big room swap. While struggling to reach even more scrapbooks and clothes on the upper shelves, a dusty old t-shirt fell directly onto my head. I could tell immediately that it was supposed to be black, but it was mostly faded and dingy with bleach stains. Light from both my old window and my lamp shone through the many holes, one of which my fist could easily fit through.

Curiously, I uncrumpled it and realized that it was my favorite "nightgown" from when I was little. In hideous green cursive letters, the shirt says Downtown Girl across the front. My dad brought it home from a store when I was six or so and I wore it to bed for years, somehow thinking it was glamorous or special. As a little girl, I loved going downtown for Twins games or to the hospital to greet a new cousin in my ever-extending Catholic family. I thought this shirt was very representative of my downtown lifestyle.

I remember my mom laughing when it got the huge hole in the back, saying that it was probably time to get rid of "Downtown girl" and get some real pj's. My eight year old butt was flashing through it, no doubt. I kept it defiantly over the years, and when it fell on me something clicked into place that I can't possibly describe. It represents... nothing, really. I didn't do anything important in that shirt, as I thankfully never left the house in it. It's just a shirt that somehow made the cut every time my mom ransacked my drawers for things to give away. It represents nothing more than the blissful oblivion of childhood- the only time in life that you would be truly jazzed about a free sample tee shirt from a crappy drugstore perfume.

Does it go without saying that I am wearing the shirt right now? Well, I am. It is as glamorous as when my dad first bestowed it upon me seventeen years ago. I've decided it's as good a way as any to snap out of the funk that I've been in lately. Since I've returned home, I've been more foggy than anything, trying to figure out once and for all (ha!) what I want to do with this seemingly brand new life. Trying desperately to keep in contact with friends from Madison without holding onto them so tightly that I forget it's time to fully embrace Minnesota. For tonight, then, what better way to get back to my roots than to toss on this absurd t-shirt, the source of the most inextricable comfort I've felt since I came home?

My bedroom door is locked tonight. The "nightgown", while still much too large to ever wear as a regular shirt, is not anywhere near covering my now-adult body. If my mom was embarrassed by my attachment to this shirt fifteen years ago, she'd be horrified to see what sticks out of it now. Somehow, though, I know I'll rest easy tonight.


natalia marie said...

kudos, thelemann. so perfectly written and ever-fitting of our transitional struggles, wouldn't change a word!

Teresa said...

I'm really upset you just now located this beauty and never wore it in the apt. Having it on is probably of the equivelant of you on the bathroom floor in that towel....