Thursday, August 5, 2010

The sewing kit

I pick up a Waldorf Hotel branded sewing kit from the table, for two reasons. One, because I like the idea of the Waldorf hotel. But also, because I was intriguingly lacking confidence about what the words “repair kit” would reveal, inside the closed envelope. Maybe it’d be a tube of super glue and a swatch of scotch tape. Maybe the answers to life’s great problems lay within. I should put it back down.

Then again, I could use a sewing repair kit. I have many needs for sewing, and stitching, and repairing, or just kitting. Just kidding. There are lots of uses for it. But I don’t recommend using it for the punch line of too many jokes. There’s a needle inside of it, and some might not see the point.

The sewing kit reminds me of holes in clothes, holes in fabric, and the span of time between when something is new and when it is used, on the verge of used up. All my favorite clothes are in need of a repair kit. But that’s what defines them. If they weren’t in need of repair, they wouldn’t be my favorite clothes. And if they weren't my favorites, chances are they wouldn't be in need of repair. I have a dresser upstairs in the guest room, nearly full of old t-shirts that I want to save, or for some reason just can't throw away. And I have a closet full of clothes that I'm supposed to wear every day, that when they do need a needle and thread, I am supposed to just throw away, instead. Because dress shirts with frayed collars, worn dress clothes, soiled ties in need of stitching at the back, and pants with a fray at the back of the cuff offer the wrong professional impression. Even though that impression is more accurate. I would rather be in my old Marvel t-shirt with the frayed collar and discolored front from an unfortunate use of bleach, and in my Mickey Mouse hat with the torn brim, and my favorite shorts with the inauspicious hole near the groin that offers a hint at the color of my underwear. It just isn't done.

If only a sewing kit were magical, and could fix all the problems in a world that seems to be coming apart. We could've sent one down to the Gulf to stitch up the pipeline. We could use it to sew up old friends, or fractured families, or broken hearts, or splitting headaches, or to stitch together generally rambling thoughts that seem disconnected and too free-flowing, or just to wrap up run-on sentences that seem to be fraying at the ends. But in the end, I put the sewing kit back down. I can’t be trusted with a sewing kit. Again, there’s needles inside.