I came across it by accident, or so I thought.
I was out walking when I saw it on the road. It was crumpled and dirty in a puddle and normally I would ignore such a thing but the sight of the red tartan and silver brocade caught my attention.
It looked like quite a decent shirt. As grubby as it was I took it home and washed it. When I hung it on the line I was fascinated by the colours and the silver brocade across the shoulder blades. I sat and looked at it thinking ‘I bet this shirt could tell a few tales’, and it did.
The next day was Saturday, a day in my community, anyone who was anyone would dress up in their finest and parade along the High Street. The rev heads would cruise the street in their hot cars, the sod turners in their snappiest overalls, the socially challenged in whatever fashion they deemed fashionable and the parents in manicured family groups did all they could to draw attention to themselves.
For me in my new shirt it meant walking along and every so often finding myself pirouetting in front of various shops in the street. The butchers, the bakers and the candle stick makers all received a flourish and pirouette resulting in looks of admiration from those nearby. It was in front of the hardware shop where they did a double take as if the shirt had some sort of attraction to the shop but I couldn’t see what it might be.
What I did discover was how exhausting the whole process was. I began to understand why the shirt might have been discarded. By lunch time I was feeling fatigued and settled myself into Madam Cheery’s Pancake Palace to attempt to revive my sinking spirit.
But, there is, as they say, no rest for the wicked, and in no short time I was up and posing once again.
I decided there had to be an end to all this. The shirt was ruling my life and I’d had enough. So in front of the town’s park I made my attempt to remove the shirt. This was no easy task. I found the buttons refused to co-operate, the shirt kept insisting I pose then pirouette and finally I lifted it up over my head and disposed of it in a council waste bin much to the shirt’s disgust. It physically squirmed and reverted to its crumpled state leaving me feeling an unwarranted sense of abandonment.
The next day feeling guilt at having disposed of the shirt I went back to see if it was still there, but it had gone, no doubt having found another unwilling person to wear it.
Across the park I saw a woman playing guitar and singing and wearing the shirt in front of a crowd and I thought it lives for attention and had found another sucker to satisfy its urges. The girl was a good singer and maybe she and the shirt both received what they wanted.