It’s the middle of summer, and I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop in an old oversized hoodie.
It dawns on me that I haven’t actually worn this hoodie in about two years.
It’s pretty ragged, actually. It is one of those hoodies that was made to already look sort of worn, so some of the edges aren’t hemmed and the fleece from underneath sticks out of the sleeves and out of the bottom, right before the elastic bits.
On the front of the hoodie is the letters of the university my brother went to. I was pretty young when he went off to college: maybe fifth grade. He was and still is everything to me, and it was hard adjusting to being alone when he left. Then we moved to California, and the adjusting was even harder: for both of us, I presume. I became pretty secluded. I remember one Christmas when I watched him play and beat Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door. I beat it a couple days after him, I think. He didn’t watch me win against the final boss. He had to take a phone call.
That was ok though. I felt like he was proud of me. It was just a video game, but still.
There’s a hole in what is now the stretched-out elastic part of the left sleeve. I remember I would bite on the sleeve when I was nervous or bored or sad, or a combination of all three.
I wore this hoodie throughout pretty much all of high school. It was an object of comfort, both literally and figuratively. I would stick my head down so my nose would barely peek out of the top of the hoodie when I was extra cold or extra overwhelmed. I would let the sleeves hang down—they were (are) just a little too long for my arms—and curl up into the sweatshirt, or playfully smack at my friends with the loose flapping fabric. I would dry my face with edge of the sleeves, or bite at the strings that tighten the hood.
I was probably wearing this hoodie when I discovered the first band that I loved. I was probably wearing this hoodie as I listened to the first album that made me feel so many things, that made my cry while sitting on the floor of my room in a denim beanbag chair, that gave me hope during the roller-coaster of hell that is high school.
The nice thing about roller-coasters is that at least you know you’ll probably get off safely after it’s over.
I kind of have a problem with hoodies and sweatshirts in that I own way too many of them. But none of them are like this one.
The hoodie doesn’t really smell like anything because I wash my clothes and stuff. It just smells clean. It just feels safe.
Sometimes you just need that.