Some days, I wake up feeling gross and no amount of showering or make-up will fix it. It’s a deep kind of gross, deeper than my skin and my bones, held in my thighs and stomach and chin. I’ll look twice at that donut, hesitate reaching for the sugar, and spend the whole day fretting about my reflection. The only thing that fixes it are my favourite pair of jeans.
They’re old and starting to fray, but they’re still dark, still slim, still flattering. As good as new, really. The only problem with them is the pockets. They’re there, but barely. It’s generous calling them pockets really. Nothing fits in them – my wallet, my phone, even my smallest lipstick are practically giants when facing these pockets. Wearing them can be an absolute pain, but I look damn good when I do, and they can fit some things. Useless things really; that dollar coin that won’t stay put in my purse, the wristband from last night’s concert, or your little post-it note telling me not to wait up because you’ll be late. Or the one about having to dash off early. Or that we’re out of milk and could I grab some when I get up?
I’ll pick up that note and read it – maybe while I’m rushing off, or waiting up, or before grabbing my handbag and my phone and my wallet and my keys and ducking down to the shops because you drank the last of the milk and my tea’s going cold. I’ll fold it up and tuck it in the little pocket of my favourite jeans – your favourite jeans too. Then, because why not while I’m at it, I’ll fold up my disappointment or annoyance and tuck that away too, in that little, dark pocket.
Because my tea’s going cold and I’m feeling gross and the jeans are starting to feel a little tight around the band but that’s okay. I’m working out while you’re out somewhere and I won’t check that pocket again. Why would I? It won’t hold anything worthwhile.
At some point the jeans come off, go through the wash, and I’ll wake up feeling gross all over again. Stomach and thigh-deep gross. I’ll put my favourite jeans back on, a little less dark and a little more worn, but still as good as new. Your little post-it note will fall out of my pocket, mangled beyond saving, the ink washed off and the paper moulded shut. Sometimes I’ll try to remember what it said, sometimes I won’t even look before I toss it out, too busy rushing off somewhere, too busy trying not to feel gross.
Until you leave another note. Another disappointment. Happy birthday. Don’t forget dinner. Need bread. And I’ll sit in the kitchen, milk in my tea but my plate empty, feeling gross but looking good. I’ll watch the clock and try to remember if you said you were going somewhere, if you were getting coffee down the road or out with Courtney again. Or Keri. Or Molly. I’ll trace your awful handwriting and wonder if it was getting worse at work too or if the quick scrawls were just for me. My little birthday present.
And I’ll sit there, picking off the frayed ends of my jeans, cleaning up the cut-up denim. I’ll grab my bag and my wallet and my keys and my phone so I can go get bread. And I’ll take my disappointment and anger and the tears that want to ruin my make-up and I’ll fold them up in that little note and pocket them into those worn, scuffed jeans.
Ready to be forgotten all over again.