Of course you can come along, Eddie. Your sleeves will come in handy on a cool day like this, but I hope you don’t mind if I cover you with this flannel. The ladies like them tight across the chest these days, and you’re too frumpy to make the grade. I suppose I’ll let you peek out a little, but try to avoid looking saggy around the collar. And should any girls happen by, I’m gonna need you to keep low.

You came to me at my mom’s insistence last Christmas, and I’ve had a hard time getting rid of you ever since. You’re somehow always there in my top drawer, offering a comfortable if dull counterpoint to whatever else I might wear. You agree with everything I own. Jesus, Eddie, try playing a little hard to get every once in a while.

I wore you once on a hiking trip to Summit Ridge. It was the perfect temperature for short sleeves, but that didn’t keep you from popping up at just the right time and somehow making me take you along. We had a great time. You didn’t complain when I used you to wipe my brow, and you even helped me twist off the cap of my Gatorade. By the end I was ready to call you my favorite, but then I went home and two brand new Ts were waiting for me at my front door, an order I’d placed and forgotten about. Come on, Eddie. It’s cotton-hybrid. You can’t expect me to pass that up.

It’s strange how easily I can forget about you. Sometimes I purposefully ignore you there in my drawer. You want me more than I want you, and it breeds resentment. I believe in my heart I should have better: a pro sports jersey, a cool button-up, a designer something-or-other from some boutique downtown. But I don’t. I have you, and on most days, Eddie, you’ll have to do.

So, my begrudged companion, it looks like it’s you and me for another trip out into the world. Do remember to keep low if the ladies come by, or if I see someone I know. Of course we’re friends, Eddie, but let’s let that be our little secret.

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ART EDWARDS's third novel, Badge (2014), was named a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's Literary Contest for 2011. His second novel, Ghost Notes, released on his own imprint Defunct Press in 2008, won the 2009 PODBRAM Award for best work of contemporary fiction. His first novel, Stuck Outside of Phoenix, has been made into a feature film. His writing has or will appear in The Writer, Writers' Journal and Pear Noir!, and online at Salon, The Los Angeles Review, Word Riot, The Collagist, PANK, JMWW, Bartleby Snopes, The Rumpus and The Weeklings. In the 1990s he was co-founder, co-songwriter and bass player with the Refreshments.

22 responses to “To My Eddie Bauer Long-Sleeved T-Shirt, Embarrassing Friend”

  1. Joe Daly says:

    Wait- what was up with the two t-shirts that arrived at your door? You order your t-shirts in the mail, or are we talking about some cool/hip/vintage type ts that look good in late night diners and dive bars?

  2. Gloria says:

    I have three shirts just like this. Maybe I could introduce them to Eddie so that none feel alone or rejected. Let me know. Feel free to give Eddie my number.

    • Art Edwards says:

      Eddie will be thrilled, G, but I’m not going to tell him. He already likes me too much. I’ll never get rid of him!

    • Quenby Moone says:

      (For some reason I can’t reply to the comment about photos. It’s weird. So I’m inappropriately replying here.)

      There is one lone photo Sean put on FB. That actually might be the sum total of photos, because my brother’s camera punked. There is very little physical evidence that any of us, much like Nessie or the Abominable Snowman, exist.

      • Gloria says:

        Well, fresh up in the Phone Pics section of TNB is the one picture I snapped with my craptacular cell phone – of Jonathan reading.

  3. At least Eddie’s not a marathon shirt. That’s what always comes to mind when I think of long-sleeve Ts.

    You made me anxious to dig out some warm clothes next week, something I’ve not felt for a while!

  4. SAA says:

    I have this same conversation with a Black Sabbath t-shirt.

  5. sheree says:

    Beers to ya!

  6. The long sleeved t-shirts are the ones that always remain at the bottom of my drawer. I never buy them, but people see my short sleeved ones and buy my the long sleeved versions. They just make me sweat too much… I don’t know why; it’s weird. But I fucking hate long sleeved t-shirts. Unwearable.

    • Art Edwards says:

      I think everyone should take the item that never leaves the bottom of their drawer and give it to their neighbor. One man’s trash, and all that.

      Thanks again for reading, David

      • The problem is, I can never bring myself to give away something that was given to me as a gift. Well, not until a few years have passed, at least. Those stupid shirts will sit at the bottom of my drawer until the guilt leaves.

        • Art Edwards says:

          Gifts have high risks and rewards. Every once in a while–maybe once at Christmas–someone hits a home run with me. It’s always something I wouldn’t buy for myself, isn’t expensive, but I wind up dedicating my life to it.

          The Eddie Bauer T was not such an item.

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