It was a dark night in October when I wrote a poem on the wall outside of Starbucks. There was a paper hanging from the wall and other people wrote poems on it too. My poem was the best poem. It went as follows:
“This school is killing my soul.
But I just bought a new jacket at forever 21.
So I can forget about death for 3-5 business days.”
The jacket was real, and I was wearing it as I wrote the poem on the wall. It was a blaze orange bomber made out of a slightly reflective material. I’ve always liked neon colors and this item was like a rare traffic cone in an ensemble of dayglo construction signs and those sticks that the people on the airplane landing strip hold above their heads.
On a curiously chilly night in November, my Forever 21 jacket was ruined forever. With it in ruin lay my very rare neon green Sadboys Season 1 Astroboy hoodie, which I could probably sell for $800 on eBay if it didn’t have some stains.
The reason these two garments of mine were destroyed is because I left them in the dryer for too long. The dryer at my house has a reputation for “not working.” I don’t know if this is true, but when I take my clothes out of it after a 70-minute interval of being in there, they are not dry.
It’s funny, the expression “out of sight and out of mind.” I discovered this afternoon that some spinach I had purchased about a week ago was getting wilted because I put too much water in the bag. I was not aware of this until it was too late, though, because I always put the spinach bag in the refrigerator without closing the bag tightly nor being cognizant of the pool of water that lies at the bottom of it. This anecdote is an instance of the meaning behind the phrase “out of sight and out of mind” biting me in the butt, because I was repressing my awareness of the spinach and it’s questionable containment once it entered the refrigerator.
It is with this human folly in mind that I had stuffed a haphazard entanglement of chinos and therma-fit tops into the dryer for a second period of 70 minutes on that fateful for night in November. After I put the clothes in the dryer a second time, I leaned against a counter eating peanut butter from a jar with a fork and moving items around on a table but not removing them from the table. When I got my Forever 21 jacket out of it, the fabric was so degraded you might as well have mistaken the garment for a light scarf you wear at West Palm Beach while driving a Buick LaCrosse to the sports bar at 6p.m. in February.
The inner layer of the jacket was the most devastated by the effects of 140 minutes of drying. From that fateful day onward, when I wore the jacket I wouldn’t even dare to move my arms in too rapid a direction because the inner material on the jacket had the papery and thin texture of a moth’s wings. I still wear the jacket as a fashion statement, but I still feel as though something is unsettled when I’m wearing it.
This is a reminder to do your research before you dry your clothes. It might seem like drying your clothes is not that big of a deal but for some garments it actually is. Don’t be like me and learn that lesson the hard way because now some of my favorite jackets and sweaters are too small for me, even though I still wear them. Make sure you do your research on drying clothes before you dry them. If you don’t, you will make the same mistake I made and it will already be too late.