Delicately sifting through my closet, the pads of my fingertips recognize a garment before my eyes do, and I allow myself to remember. The clothes are color-coded, but that’s wrong – they should be sorted chronologically.
I’m spring cleaning; passing forward those items I don’t make use of as much as I used to. Both cleansing and reflective, it allows me to relive so many glorious moments experienced in the garments I contemplate keeping.
Vintage Red Chinese Inspired Jacket: Red lipstick smeared across my lips, and baguette clutched in my hand, I wait outside the coffee shop. Gazing down the street, my meandering eyes catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I wrap my jacket around myself a little tighter, but electricity continues to vibrate across my skin as I relive the memories of the previous hour; Paris served me all of my fashion idols on a silver platter, as we stumbled upon the aftermath of a fashion show I hope to one day attend. My wistful flashback is interrupted by an elderly local man asking me in his frail French where two streets I’ve never heard of intersect, and I politely respond, “Je suis désolés, je ne parle pas français!” as Thea meets me on the street.
Label-less Peasant Dress: We come here often, to Haight-Ashbury. My mom had to drive us here, but, even just for the day, it makes us feel a little older than just 14. Seemingly forever on the hunt, we find ourselves in a dusty record store, pursuing some classics of the rock variety. Naivety and a thirst for knowledge abound as we excitedly unearth records by bands we’ve definitely heard of, but aren’t nearly familiar enough with, from the piles of hundreds.
Black Urban Outfitters Jeans: A late summer night in August, Mercury is in retrograde and the air is still warm through the night. I’m laughing with friends, feverishly exchanging stories after far too much time spent apart, and the air is thick with both moisture and excitement for the weeks to come. Just as we’re stumbling out of one friend’s party on our way to the next, I lock eyes with him.
Levi’s Denim Shorts: There’s sand everywhere; it’s found its way to the depths of my pockets, making a home for months to come. Waves kiss the sand, and I quietly tune out a heated argument between friends. It’s days until our high school graduation, and I make note that I may never cross paths with these souls again in the years that follow this greatly anticipated event. I observe as the sun beats down onto schoolmates tossing a football, and wonder about the journeys we have yet to face. Where will we go? What will we do? Will we ever find ourselves on this beach again?
Vintage Pink Grandpa Sweater: Shared laughter erupts as I hold up yet another questionable item, suggesting she purchase it immediately. We’ve been at this for hours, rifling through piles of clothing long forgotten by their former owners in search of the quintessentially perfect vintage item. Finally, a sliver of berry pink shines out from behind something completely unmemorable. It’s cozy, it’s feminine, it reminds me of home.
Many of these pieces are not worn anymore, and they won’t make it through this round of selection. Making the final call often feels as though I’m being forced to decide the fate of some item’s associated memory – is that moment worthy of being remembered, or is it disposable? But each time I’m faced with something I don’t use at all anymore, but only keep for the remembrances, I remind myself that memories are filled with sensory triggers – if not the piece of clothing I was wearing in that instant, then a smell or simply a feeling will provide the same reminder. Memories that matter won’t fade away just yet.
I make note that I’m different now, and this shirt, or jacket, or whatever it is, has served its purpose through and through. It’s just not mine to wear anymore. So I pass it on, willing it to have the pleasure of witnessing beautiful memories being made once again.
Words and Photography by Megan Munroe.
© 2017 Reef Magazine