Who Hangs Up T-shirts?

Who Hangs Up T-shirts?

A Story by Caryn Renée

     I'm packing up everything that could possibly remind you of how easy I was not. The empty cardboard box sitting in front of me has ‘JUNK’ written and underlined in my handwriting on three of its six sides. I’m holding that silk burgundy dress that you once liked to see me in. You said a few weeks ago that it made my dyed red hair look ‘almost real.’ I don’t want to fold it because I can already see the unironable creases that will form in the delicate fabric. So I lay it across the foot of the bed where you’re pretending to sleep- I was always better at that than you. Neither of us wanted to be the first to wake up so I would pretend to be in the midst of a tumultuous dream while you laid in perfect rigor mortis.

      I wrap my cashmere scarves in tissue- to preserve their integrity- and I lay them next to your too perfectly still head. Whatever fake dream you are pretending to have must be relatively calm. Maybe your revelling over the excess closet space you will have for band t-shirts.

      I relieve a hanger of the boucle coat it was carrying. This should go on top. It’s almost winter and I’ll need it soon. I lay the coat next to the burgundy dress that hits my legs just below the knee and doesn’t show any cleavage, but you said that just added to the mystery of what was underneath. We were both a little drunk and you said, “Hell, judging from your abnormal height you could well be hiding a penis and a stuffed bra under there.”


     But you found out soon enough that that wasn’t the case. I tried to seem nonchalant as I crossed my arms, reached to my knees, pulled the dress up over my head, and allowed it to fall to the floor, but the whole time I kept thinking about creases and folds and how you probably spilled beer in that exact spot the night before. I woke up the next morning and you and the dress were gone. I walked naked to your closet and flipped through its contents" who hangs up band t-shirts anyways? I heard the front door opening and I jumped back into your bed. While drifting into fake sleep I saw you hang my unwrinkled dress covered in plastic from ‘Sunshine Dry Cleaners’ next to a factory-distressed Bob Dylan baseball shirt.

     This sundress never fit me quite right and I hate seersucker. I throw it to its furrowed death at the bottom of the cardboard chasm. You stir in your pseudo-sleep as I place a canary yellow merino cardigan across your knee caps. I tried to make you dress nicely that time we went to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. You begrudgingly wore the grey wool blazer I bought atop a Belle & Sebastian shirt. When I disapproved you said, ‘What? This is my finest American Apparel tri-blend.”

      I don’t think I’ve owned a t-shirt since high school. You now have a robin’s egg blue challis blouse across your torso and a pale pink angora sweater on your shins. I carelessly throw denim and tweed into the abyss. You expel a bored-sounding sigh so I cross my arms, grab the hem of your Belle and Sebastian shirt that rests on my hips, pull it over my head, throw it into the box, pile the boucle, the angora, the chiffon, the pashmina on top of your finest garment, except the burgundy shift dress which slides effortlessly over my body. All the noise I’ve made seems to be waking you from your perfect slumber so I grab a corner of the box and drag it to my car.

© 2010 Caryn Renée

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Added on December 1, 2010
Last Updated on December 1, 2010
Tags: clothes, flash fiction, break up, second person pov, second person


Caryn Renée
Caryn Renée

Atlanta, GA

I don't like writing about myself and that's why I write about other people more..