Early last fall, one of my resale retail therapy excursions yielded this shirt.
It’s a perfectly serviceable shirt. A cotton thermal waffle-weavy affair, the sort of thing I own in various colors of the rainbow and wear all the time. It sports an attractive print of black on gray—two of my go-to clothing colors. And it’s long enough to fit down over my expanding hips and possibly even cover the vexing old-age camel-toe I’ve developed because most of my pants are at least a half-size too tight but I’m determined to lose ten pounds rather than go out and buy all new pants.
The morning of November 8, 2016, dawned sunny and bright, perfect weather for wildlife photos. I donned this shirt and a pair of old jeans, grabbed my new camera and headed over to Sauvie Island for a practice session. The ulterior motive behind this being to take myself away from the tedious, soul-killing hype of election day media coverage.
On that day over on the island, the Universe gifted me with a unique one-on-one encounter with a perfectly obliging little barred owl, who patiently posed on a limb at the edge of a stand of trees only a few yards from the road…practically right above my head. There she sat, turning her head one way and then the other, fixing her soft black eyes on me with a steady gaze, but showing no sign of fear or flight as I moved closer and closer. I must have taken fifty shots or more of her. I was enchanted.
The enchantment, however, was not nearly enough to buoy me through the rest of the day’s happenings.
Later that evening, my head nearly exploded as I watched the Cheeto Jesus—beyond all reason, logic, and credibility—elected the 45th President of the United States.
I have a thing about clothes. I tend to think of them as talismans…charms. Carriers of juju. If something really good or really bad happens when I’m wearing some particular item, it’s forever marked with the energy of that occurrence.
So. This shirt.
While wearing it, I experienced an amazingly beautiful and loving gift from the Universe.
On the same day, that shirt covered my body as one of the illest winds ever to blow across this continent crawled from east to west and trapped us in this hell which we now inhabit. Maybe in terms of what it says about the state of our national character and our place among the nations of the world, this was a disaster well beyond the scale of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. November 8, 2016 was the event that very possibly has signaled the beginning of the end of our Republic.
I’m afraid the encounter with Ms Owl just doesn’t contain enough positive energy to erase or even begin to counteract the negative stench that piece of clothing absorbed later that fateful day. The stink of Trump’s victory forever taints everything; everything about that day and the days that have followed.
The shirt has sat in my drawer for four months. I look at it, I reach for it, I just about convince myself that I’m being ridiculous, silly, insane…it’s just a shirt, and a nice shirt at that.
But I just can’t put it on. I can’t.
Back to the Goodwill it goes.
Or maybe I should burn it…?