Monologue: I’m the Shirt You’re Too Scared to Wear

man standing while wearing orange crew neck shirt near tree
Photo by Aasil Shaikh on

It’s me, the outlandish shirt you splurged on the other week. Every other shopper touched my sleeve, smiled, then furrowed their brow while trying in vain to think of the right occasion to wear me. Now it’s month two in your closet, and you still haven’t grown enough of a spine to wear me out.

Listen, I’m a tight-fitting polo with a zipper instead of buttons. My collar mimics a cycling jersey. My color palette can only be described as lightning striking a gelateria. I knew something was awry the moment you hung me between a navy Brooks Brothers blazer and a muted grey dress shirt. I’m not a practical top. But you, like a consignment store Icarus, scooped me right up without considering whether you even had the confidence to pull me off.

You were undaunted by my low cut and tight fit around the shoulders, but that’s not worth much now, is it you clown? I bet your friends must think you’re a real cosmopolitan now. The proud owner of one decent shirt you don’t even have the guts to wear out. I spit on you.

I’m not a bad guy. I want to be on your side; I’m the kind of shirt that people find love while wearing. Someone else could have bought me, maybe someone who goes out to explore the world and have new experiences. Instead, I’m stuck with you, the man who would rather watch Friends reruns than find joy.

I feel less like a shirt than I do a subtle piece of decor; my mint stripes are the brightest thing in your room. I’m abandoned. I feel like a dowager staring at the sea, waiting in the world’s drabbest cupola.

It’s Friday night, are you going to make a move? Are you motherfucker? I’m right here, I’ve got all the time in the world.

I didn’t think so, punk.

I’m hanging in your closet now, staring daggers at you. Getting ready for a night with the boys? I wonder if they all know how much of a damn coward you are.


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