The Liquid Sweater
Scoff at the pretension of opening a piece with a Whitman quote, then do it anyway as applicable.
Whitman said that we contain multitudes. What’s more, what we wear contains multitudes of multitudes. That exponential stuff that accumulates when we walk around and do life.
It’s simple to imagine we’re all the same and simpler yet to suppose we’re all individually complex. Look to different religious scripture and see how we’re all one soul or kinship or cut of flesh from some cosmic cloth. A wry observation is that we’re all uniquely similar and similarly different. I’m guarded and yet post unabashedly publicly, confident that whoever cares to read me will share some salt-shake of sentiment. You may say you have no secrets, all the while conveniently omitting this or that facet of your infinite personality. This is to say, as I must say for lack of care to say without saying, that we do contain multitudes, but that we only contain them.
What universes are within us are wrapped up within us, within that wrapping paper cosmic flesh cloth from which we’re cut.
But our clothes are exposed. They’re the artificial skin that skims the world we float through. The dust-collectors. Shoes more literally, but have you ever thought about the shit that gets on your sweater. It’s great. It’s a great big filter what whacks at the wind you part with the bow of your bodice. You’re a grand ship careening messily through a mass of air. And that air ain’t clean. Not in a pollution sense, not chiefly, anyway, but in the way that it’s indifferent to what else weasels through it. Spit, shit, and all matter of all else. The world’s toward you and you’re a sprung racket whizzing toward it. Particle collision of the most mundane sense. Super small sensually insignificant smashings together. Molecular sex.
I’ll bet the last thing you cleaned off your material likeness was sticky. Some amount of something got stuck on your somewhere and you had to up and wipe it off. Maybe that made the wiping instrument leave bits of itself where it tried to remove bits of the other and you ended up with less of one thing but more things than one.
I’m traveling on holiday and traveling light. That means one sweater. It avoids direct sweat as a proud outer layer. It’s brown and big and built of synthetics. Found in a pile at a place of piles peaked with sale signs at the last stop of the metro on the left bank. If time is money, it cost a sneeze.
It’s said that sundries from that market should be washed thrice with salt to oust the demons who crept in while the various garments withered there in heaps. Sulking, separated socks; sleepy, slapped ass of the past stockings; burnt, blood-clot bent-back brandy-stained blouses; crust caps; grave-digger dirt-nail dog-chewed gloves. My sweater is from such a place. It’s been washed and iodized. Exorcised. It’s okay now.
When’s the last time you got your clothes off and got off. Maybe you were with someone. Maybe they smiled between writhes and then it was done and you sat twisted flush and fresh. Happened to me recently. Except the clothes hadn’t been entirely removed and had taken artillery fire.
I found a corner of hell to write in on this holiday and I don’t smoke but they do here, illegally, and I’m fine with it. Means generally calm people and the absence of small children. Trading transitive lung hits for peace. The walls are peeled, lights are low, liquor is liquor and there are two holes in the wall to sap energy into my keyboard. My brown breastplate can’t shield the windpipes ’neath but breathes a bit of tobacco for the both of us.
I love curry. It’s so goddamn good. Nothing has flavor compared to curry. It’s potent, tastes like tiger fur and ocean current. Can’t dodge the smell and stain and don’t want to. I’m a clean man and it still gets around. Pour me a bowl and paint me a grin. Satisfied boy.
Sweat. Capillarity works its scientific wonder and it breaches cloth. Time’s the accomplice.
Sickness. Like the Passover plagues, name it next. There was a bug in the bag on this trip and it drained me dry. Count some cough on the fabric because it’s there cozied up ’cross from the rest. Fluid lineup. Residual residence.
Bean juice and hare hair. Coffee’s decent but I hate the word. This century’s done with the stuff, least I am, yet my throat ain’t. And she bought me a new winter hat quiff with rabbit coat. Don’t eat meat and feel a bit for the bun that bade farewell to footsteps to keep my forehead aflame. It’s on me now. It all is.
A mural made for no one
Got distracted, forgot how this should end. It doesn’t, really. Should wash that fucking sweater.