What’s the Story Behind Your Favorite Item of Clothing?
How timely that Leandra should bring up Ray-Ban Clubmasters on the one year anniversary of my losing my favorite pair.
It was a sad moment when I realized an hour too late that I’d left them on the seat of a Brooklyn-bound cab. But I was strangely more prepared than devastated as I’d been waiting for quite some time to lose them.
I’d always known that these perfect tortoiseshell sunglasses weren’t really mine to begin with. A year-and-change earlier, my friends from college were visiting and I had just moved to Manhattan. We were single, rowdy and drunk on the idea of being awake at 3 AM in this city that never sleeps. We were also actually drunk, and while trying to hail a cab on the corner of god-knows-where and what-bar-were-we-at, we met a crazy, handsome boy who I will call Chad.
He was a year younger than we were, visiting his friend and staying in Brooklyn. He was from a very small town and had never been to New York before, and the poor guy’s friend ditched him for a girl. He had no keys, no credit card, and no common sense.
My friends were on a mission to set me up with this blonde stranger. I was more concerned with obtaining pizza, but the girls were determined. It took five blocks of a very cramped cab ride for me to realize that my friends actually offered to let this stranger stay at their hotel, that he had agreed, and that I was somehow locked into the plan.
We arrived at the hotel room and hung out for a while. One by one the girls started to head to bed, until I was left with this random STRANGER (who was very good looking but could have been a SERIAL KILLER). We were alone in the living room with one pull-out sofa bed. I told him that if he touched me, looked at me, sneezed on me or breathed near me, he was dead. Then I pulled a giant sweatshirt over my head and fell asleep.
When I woke up, Chad was gone.
After convincing my friends that nothing had happened and then our collective lament on his leaving “without so much as a goodbye,” I tugged at a sheet to begin making the bed.
A quarter fell to the floor.
“Money!” I yelled and picked it up. Then I pulled the whole sheet off and literally ten dollars worth of quarters rained down like I’d won the laundromat championship.
“Maybe Chad is a leprechaun,” my friend wondered.
Then, once the sheets were stripped and the money was collected, I lifted the pillows. There, in the empty space between couch and mattress, was a perfect pair of authentic, tortoiseshell, Ray-Ban Clubmasters.
I claimed them as my own because finders keepers, and because my friends basically made me share a bed with a potential ax-murder. I wore them for years. But because I found them under such strange circumstances, I always felt that at some point and time, they would leave me…just like Chad did, without so much as a goodbye.
And a year ago today, they did.
Now come one come all ye leprechauns and children of the night: what’s the story behind your favorite item of clothing or accessory?
Image shot by Tommy Ton