An Obituary for the Unworn Clothes
Below, the winner of this week’s Writers Club prompt: write your own obituary
She lived a tumultuous, interesting and unexpectedly short life. A violinist from age five, her admiration of beautiful garments was cultivated while choosing performance garb. The purchase of the hot pink ombré sequin-laden gown provided the initial impetus behind her adoration of a new way of expression.
However, that very purchase, while monetarily significant, had a much more meaningful place in her reality: It was the first prisoner held captive in her armoire. To her, the dress was perfect. Because of this, no situation would ever live up to the expectations she had created in her curly-haired head of the occasion when the dress was to be worn.
And so it hung indefinitely.
Over the years, the collection of soulless, never-worn clothing grew steadily. Her obsession with finding the ideal outfit/occasion match far outweighed her desire to simply wear the item.
She’d imagine the perfect party: the air warm, but not hot; she’d sip expensive champagne from a crystal glass; the room’s color scheme would complement her even more than the gorgeous Spaniard standing with his hand on her bare shoulder.
But alas, black-tie-appropriate was hardly favored during her lifetime.
She dreamed of a life where situations would present themselves in such a way that the most perfect ensemble would be painfully obvious — there would be no choice involved. In some mystical realm the situation and the outfit had already been chosen to coexist; a destiny so riddled with fierce profundity, she knew to be wary.
As her stockpile grew, so did her delusion…until her last year of life.
She awoke one day and saw, out of the corner of her sleep-crusted eye, a new pair of Rachel Comey denim. Tag still attached, these jeans were special. They demanded a special occasion. But that day, she made a decision that neither her mind nor body was comfortable with. After showering at the gym, she would don the high waist, cropped, two-tone, wide-leg pants and do what always came next in her ordered life: drive home and change into more comfortable house clothes.
And that was it. The antithesis of an occasion, this was living the most mundane part of life decked in something that every part of her being was telling her to save. But no more. It was then that she realized: it was up to her to reclaim for herself the dignity that she had bestowed upon clothing — for what is clothing without a body in it? A negative space, a non-attendance of soul; fashion in absentia.
Collage by Emily Zirimis