Lucky Sweater

“Lucky Sweater” is the third entry from A January Diary, which is very much an experiment in writing.  Each of the entries from Diary is meant to stand alone, to evoke impressions much the same way as a poem does.  When the entries are taken together, as a whole, they tell a story — of sorts — in the way a gallery show of visual art tells a story, without the connections being explicitly drawn. Well, we’ll see how it goes…

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It’s not like I chose. More like it chose me. I didn’t even have the idea, wasn’t walking around on the constant outlook, scanning the landscape of my life in a perpetual hunt.

But when it caught my eye, something made me look again. And with that simple second glance, I knew. This was it. Truly it. The critical armament. The charm that could tip the balance of the scales.

I ordered it. It wasn’t something that I would wear, ordinarily. Though I do tend to be a fan of Anthropologie’s boho uber chic extravagant exorbitant tatters, the fashion sense can tend towards the jejuene and seem to be designed for those size 0 and under. Still, the deep emerald green. The sparkling brooch that held the two sides together; it perfectly teetered the line between vintage treasure and cheap trash. The refined softness of the lambs wool. The three cotton flowers, in muted earth tones, appliqued across the cardigan’s front, sequins randomly strewn onto them.

“I am exactly what you need,” this sweater shouted at me. And I believed it. “I will carry your water, give your weary head a strong shoulder to lean on, rock your weary body and sing you a lullabye. ” Yes, it said all that and more. ” I will wrap you in soft warmth. I will be with you every moment. I will hear the beat of your heart, and I will know all that it feels. I will keep your child safe. All that time that you wait, I will keep her safe.”

I wore the sweater only one other time after that. A group of friends from the neighborhood wanted me to join them at a local Irish bar on St. Patrick’s Day. And since that marked a far cry from my usual, I figured it made sense to wear a sweater that fit the same description. Besides, it was the only item in my wardrobe that was sort-of green. And even though a dramatically over-served bar patron spilled an entire pint of beer on it while becoming increasingly overly friendly, compelling the bartender to leap over the bar, hoist said patron over his shoulder and deposit him on the curb; well, I didn’t really think the sweater was a factor. That’s not luck, good or bad, that’s just St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.

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