10 August 2005

Denim's old age

When I pulled my favorite shorts out of the washer yesterday, I noticed they'd taken a substantial hit: a sizable string-covered hole had appeared below the right rear pocket. Aside from the large gaps on the legs, there have long been small holes by the pocket corners, belt loops trying to break free, and white strings all along the top of the frayed waistband, wild like untrimmed old man eyebrows. This most recent hole is a new level of deterioration: I should start paying more attention to my underwear.

Just a few days earlier, I'd been praising my Levi's to my dad since I'd had those shorts since the late 90s. Longer actually, now that I'm noticing the proof has been sitting on my desk for a couple weeks. Along with the faded denim, I purchased the same pair of shorts in navy. Not navy like dark jeans, but navy blue that happens to be denim. I bought them for grad school because Tallahassee is hot, but I still wanted something sturdy to wear when I was working on sets.

After my grandfather died, the family took what we wanted and then auctioned the rest off, including the house. It's been a few years, but my mom is still finding stuff in the paperwork she took to give me. A couple of weeks ago, she handed me a newspaper clipping I'd sent to my granddad. I know I have a copy of my own already, so this one's been resting here while I ponder sending it to a long absent friend whose address may no longer be current.

The article is really just a photo essay of a student film I shot in downtown Tallahassee, but it includes shots of me wearing my navy Levi shorts. Judging from the date on the paper, the life span of heavily worn pre-faded denim shorts is about a decade.

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