none of you are overly waiting by the phone but as in previous years january 1 is a season of wanting to write more, of meaning to write more. you’d think someone who is presently enrolled in a school entirely predicated on the idea of writing if not more at least enough to fill certain vessels would not have to make promises to self/dead media about writing more, but.
i decline to autopsy 2017 like it was a crop of grapes or a superhero movie/licensing opportunity. it was just days, stacked up, just a tree ring without the glory of seeing the whole tree. today has as much to do with yesterday as it does with tomorrow. we have to hunt/butcher/cook our own poignancy and ought to stop looking for it in abstractions and autotexts. even though it sometimes visits those precincts. but (patiently) whatever. i’m not here to have (more) allergic reactions to myself (again)
some notes about underpants: for the past three-plus years, i have been wearing the same 12-15 pairs of duluth trading company underpants. they are as you might imagine a little ragged by now. i ordered a test pair of duluth trading company underpants because they have a commercial that features a little naked fat man and i relate to little naked fat men. this was during a season of my life when i had more (any) disposable income, so the idea of buying a $17 single pair of underpants seemed a permissable extravagance. the first time i wore them was on a one day business trip to boston that happened to be the same day of the manhunt for the marathon bomber. all my appointments were canceled and i just walked around boston for ten hours, looking for open dunkin donuts to get coffee from and pee at, because not much else was open, and there was no way for me to leave boston. i left my hotel early and kind of in one of those rushes that when you stop to consider why you are rushing you realize there is actually no reason for haste but you didn’t actually stop during the rush, you only realized after that there was no reason for you to rush. anyway.
i was in a tizzy so i happened to put my underpants on backwards, and i wore them all day, walking around pretty much the entire time, and i didn’t even notice any discomfort or even like vague backwardness. so i says to myself, these underpants are clearly worth $17 a pair, i ought to invest in more and so i did. from that time, with the sole exception of travel when i forgot to pack underpants and had to buy replacements, i only wore duluth trading company $17 underpants. i bargain-hunted a little and sometimes they were on sale for like $12 a pair if you took advantage of certain discounts but mostly i paid $17 for these underpants. i probably had all told 20ish pairs of them, considering i discarded ones that got ratty and cycled in some new ones in exciting colors (i am quite fond of the kelly green pair and the several merlot pairs).
that is, by my fuzzy math, something like $500 in underpants considering shipping and opportunity costs not withstanding the ecological footprints and truck miles that it took to grow cotton and invent various synthetic fibers and pay the artist for drawing the little naked fat man cartoon. i cannot believe that i spent $500 on underpants over the course of three years but it seems to be the case. if i ever come to you and ask you why i am or have been or will be broke or headed for broke, please remind me about my priorities as i have variously expressed them to you.
ultimately they are fine underpants. i needed to wear underpants every single day, and they were there for me, almost every single day. i have weirdly fond memories for this particular brand of underpants (the naked guy, discussions of the naked guy with interested parties, the story about the boston manhunt day, the weird self-narrativizing as a person who has a mock-occult preference in underwears which somehow produced meaning in my life). i also helped my dear friend paint what was to become my godson’s nursery and got a little smudge of off white paint on the back waistband of one of the blue pairs of the underpants and i’ll be god damned if i haven’t found that particular pair of underpants to contain if not good luck, something akin to spiritual advil that reduces swelling in my sense of self and my own need to control the affairs of the world. i am actively preemptively upset about the day that i don’t have those underpants and i kind of want to make artwork out of them but i feel like i’d be wakeboarding pretty close to jagged rocks of self-regard masquerading as expression, says the guy who is 850 words into a story about his underwear
anyway, i have been lately and pretty much since achieving my majority sort of cloistered inside my own skull and heart and genitals more often than i ought to be, and so it is not any surprise to you or to myself that i have vested the outer upholsteries of said skull etc with disposable sanctitude, which is how we wound up here. in an effort to honor these cloisters by demolishing them, i have decided to in stages decommission my fleet of duluth trading co underpants and replace them with just like normal, republican cloth coat underpants, but not even that sanctimonious, not trying to clothe myself in camels hair and eat locusts (protein source of the future).
also, and this paragraph here is really closer to my small bruised heart than i was prepared to let you go when i started writing this, I read this article about how people are getting rich writing mattress reviews so i jokingly said to myself what if i got rich writing underpants reviews and there is nothing i like so much as taking jokes too far to the point of spiting myself and others and so, here is the first installment of my underpants reviews.
- regular old fruit of the loom underpants purchased from kmart in middleburg hts ohio november 2017 because i forgot to pack my regular underwear while traveling:
four pairs for $12 or something like that. the royal blue and the gray pairs are totally good underpants and i like that they have this little thin band of thread that keeps the little stubby legs of the boxer brief from getting all blown out. the two pairs that are print patterned are definitely, inexplicably smaller than their two siblings or at least fit differently or my body mutates into a different size when confronted with my mind’s decision to wear patterned underwear. i get the distinct sense that these guys, all four of them, are going to age poorly and get all nubby and fall apart way sooner than i might like given my modest investment in them.
- uniqlo underpants purchased in santa monica california december 2017 because i got excited about the idea of a more activist underpants consumption profile
they were $5 each and they are AMAZING. it’s like wearing the really nice sheets you might get to sleep in if you stayed at a nice hotel or were a guest in the home of a rich person. salient critique: they’re almost too smooth to the point of they slip off my ass a little, no matter how tightly i cinch my belt and purposefully tuck my t-shirt in concert. this might be a criticism more of the shape of my ass than the underpants themselves. i wasn’t fond of the colors. i wish they were brighter and i wouldn’t have been mad at some contrast piping on the pee flap/elastic etc. they’re boxer briefs (maybe i should have said earlier, all of these underpants are boxer briefs) but there’s no elastic on the leg hole, which i think was the right move here. the fabric verges on too smooth at times, but i forgive these underpants for not real-time monitoring my changing moods about fabric texture.
- TK “pact” lifestyle brand underwear purchased off an instagram ad i saw right after i got my monthly paycheck and i (incorrectly) felt rich enough to buy two pairs of underpants for $20
I literally am wearing these for the first time right now so I will have to get back to you
i’m not sure what (more) i need to do to monetize this idea but i think you can probably safely bet your IRA account that i will never come anywhere near doing it. but the journey is the destination, even if you start the journey by explicitly forsaking the idea of reaching anywhere.