Murphy Row: If The Shirt Fits

I don a staple of my wardrobe.

Complementary colors in plaid button in up the front

Retired from Saturday night duty, now familiar in the rotation like Sweet Caroline at Dueling Pianos.

Yet, an unfamiliar image looks back at me,

Faded through innumerable wash cycles, complementary colors now anything but.

The cotton fights around my shoulders and casts the silhouette of my belly button.

The string of each seam clenched, tasked to hold the line.

I lean slightly forward and the holes between each button open wide, impersonating the mouth that put the belly behind the shirt.

I turn to the side and take stock of how the shirt caresses the paunch over my belt.

Instead of a whole image, the tight cloth presents the sum of each flabby part.

People will wonder why I present myself this way.

Does he think he looks good in a tight shirt?

Is he too lazy and out of touch to buy clothes that fit him properly?

Or is he just a slob?

Convinced I am not a slob, I remember

The stress of adult life,

The joy and convenience of delicious food,

The strain of responsibilities on my exercise window,

all growth of stability and happiness.

I realize presenting the newest version of my in the shirt of a me long dead

Will only draw the eye to what does not fit.

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