Dear Jedd Evan,
You know I’ve never claimed to have a firm grasp of domesticity. I own an iron but it’s only used to seal shit that I screenprint. I am mentally incapable of stocking up on toilet paper so every couple weeks I have a panic-stricken three minutes where I almost pee myself scrambling around in search of any forgotten stack of Christmas-themed dinner disposables or piles of Wendy’s napkins. Every time I pay a utility bill, it comes laden with a reconnect fee. And there’s that famous oven-hole in my kitchen, and we all know that holes in the wall don’t bake shit, but at least I have somewhere to store my hundreds of dollars worth of unopened Tupperware Party trappings.
I am very good at laundry.
I love doing laundry. I love doing my laundry, I love doing other people’s laundry. I love folding people’s clothes, I love how washing machines are basically magic. When my dryer broke, I spiraled into a fit of debilitating depression at the thought of having to spend Laundry Time at a laundromat. I somehow passively finagled my parents’ dryer away from them when they were divvying things up after their separation, and this is very telling because if I had been presented with some other appliance, say, their crockpot or their can opener to store in my house as a constant reminder of the demise of the only relationship I held sacred in my life, I would have rejected it with a fervor. But a dryer? There was no question it would be mine.
Since my epic firing from my stupid burrito shop job has left me with only a part-time position at the local ArtsCenter and my very own bar that belongs to me and only needs to be tended to at night, I have plenty of time during the day to play Boz Scaggs as loud as possible while I parade around in my underthings with a fifth of whiskey and several craft projects in progress. I don’t usually get drunk during the day but as an adult, I’m allowed to say, “Fuck it,” and do what I want, which, last Thursday, was to get smashed and clean the five sets of filthy clothes I’d been collecting on my bedroom floor.
So imagine the thrill I got when I went to go put in the first load and I found the washing machine full of someone else’s shirts and socks. There was a whole wardrobe in there for me to clean and dry and fold! On closer inspection it was revealed that you were the one who had unintentionally abandoned your duds and unwittingly left them for me to handle. This made more sense than if they had been Idaho Billy’s clothes, because Idaho Billy takes all his things to the dry cleaners, which is a mysterious and grown-up place, the inner workings of which I can’t quite fathom.
I got to work immediately, putting your clothes in the dryer, trying to decide what things I was going to fold first when they were done. “Should I start with socks? Or work from the biggest to smallest and tackle the hoodies and pants first,” I asked myself in my growing whiskey haze. My plan was interrupted when I grabbed your favorite slacks, the ones with a rip that starts at the crotch and ends somewhere six inches down so that your naughty bits are constantly threatening to free themselves with every step you take. I know by now you have no intention of repairing the pants, though you constantly want to discuss the fact that they are unraveling at an alarming rate. Even though I know you wouldn’t give a flying fuck if the pants propelled you into the realm of indecency in the middle of the grocery store, Jack Daniels insisted that I could save the day by sewing the peep-hole shut.
I ran, RAN into the craft area and started wildly digging through my sewing drawers, holding all different shades of navy embroidery floss up to the ruin to find an appropriate color match. I pricked myself with four different needles in my haste to find the right one. I located my teensy, tiny thread scissors and my red plastic thimble. I found my needle threader, which was quite a feat. The fervor with which I was tackling this project shot some sort of adrenaline rush into my brain, where it mingled with the alcohol and together, they convinced me that this was the best idea EVER. I was so ready. There was only one problem.
I can’t sew worth a SHIT.
Doesn’t matter! I brought all my treasures onto the front porch and the stray neighbor cat jumped into my lap and started playing with my thread. Matt was across the street letting his dogs out and plodded over to the porch when he saw me. Wonderful! Now I had something ELSE to distract me from the delicate surgical procedure I was about to inflict upon your poor clothes.
Once Matt and I started talking and the cat started rolling around on the pants in my lap, I started sewing with abandon. I felt good about it. I felt so confident I even stopped watching what I was doing. I was creating intricate patterns with the navy floss. I was pioneering new sewing techniques, namely the one where you sew like a deranged spider weaving a web while on some serious hallucinogenics. “Whatever!,” I told myself. “it does not need to be beautiful! It only has to hold Jedd’s weenis in his pants!”
After about twenty-three minutes I looked down and realized I had been connecting two flaps of fabric that were definitely already connected with a sturdy machine-made overlock in a brilliant angry orange. Okay, so I reinforced it I guess. I pretended not to panic as I righted myself and started from a different angle. I swigged some more whiskey and furiously attacked the pants with the jankiest, most retarded-looking whipstitch I could muster. I sewed the rest of the rip this way, then doubled back on it “just to be sure.” The result, when I turned the pants right-side-in, was a half-closed hole with a gaping area that would have lined up perfectly with exactly what it should not have once the pants were being worn. I tried again.
It was during this third attempt that I was struck with a very distinct sinking realization that I had not ever bothered to ask you if you could sew. Perhaps you preferred your pants this way. Maybe they lent easier access at times when you only had four seconds to pee. It was possible that you like your clothes a little beat up. It was also possible that you are a brilliant seamster, a secret tailor, even, and that my plebeian foray into the world of crotch mending was, while well-intentioned, decidedly ill-advised. I pushed these thoughts out of my head with another shot of whiskey, finished the job, and surveyed the damage. The pants actually looked worse than when I started. I folded them carefully, and discreetly hid them under the detritus of your half-unpacked bedroom.
It has been almost a week and they are still there; I check on them once or twice a day. I can only hope that when you finally discover them, you will not notice the lack of refreshing breeze traveling past your nether regions, and if you do, please realize that everything I do in the name of domesticity, I do it with a full heart and good intentions, and if there’s a problem, I’ll be waiting in the next room, seam ripper in hand, at the beck-and-call of the pants I accidentally destroyed.