"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

security blanket:home :: ex-boyfriend's t-shirt:love

this series of portraits documents women wearing their ex-lovers' shirts and talking about the experience of love (and love lost). i feel like i'm looking into a mirror on my own experience. it helps to know i'm not alone and i'm not a weirdo for doing this too. so much comfort in the feel of that soft fabric against my cheek, even if there isn't a person behind it any more.

i sleep with my ex-partner's shirt beside my pillow. i nuzzle into it at night when i start to feel sad, when my awareness shakes me awake and reminds me again that i'm alone. for some reason just the smell of him helps me feel better, puts me in a place of calm and comfort, makes me think of being in california with nothing but his old shirt in bed with me. he started it; the first time he went away to Turkey, he hid it under my pillow for me to find later, and i slept in bed every night with it wrapped around me, the sleeves around my waist or draped over my shoulders, and somehow through all of that it never stopped smelling like ben, maybe it smelled even better over time because it smelled like us. even though the shirt i have isn't one he left for me, i keep it close by as a reminder: you weren't dreaming, he loved you once, he lived here with you and now he's gone. you were a we once. you loved each other. this is all that remains.

"It feels like a flag I can’t stop flying. It comforts me in the meantime between the spaces. It’s just a rag I turned into a promise that he would never leave. Some sort of common thread between us. Part of me wants to rip it off. So many what-ifs and could’ve-beens and should’ve-beens and never-weres. It’s just a shirt. It’s been there for me when people haven’t. It makes me feel childish and taken care of. It makes me look a little stronger than I am. As long as I hold onto the shirt she is never completely out of my life. I’d wear it every day if I could. As much as you build a house around it or put a ring on it it’s all still temporary and dissolving so all you can do is love it. Even if it’s painful we need to hold onto something. Proof that we did it. That we went through it. That we learned something. That our hearts were broken. That we were loved. That we weren’t loved enough. For someone I won’t be something that will be so easily shed."

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