Today, I have on my “I Love the 80’s” t-shirt. I don’t wear it out in public anymore because it’s too tight and too faded. It is covered in nits from excessive wear and washing. But, it’s soft and thin, perfect for wearing on hot days.
Just a bit ago, I pulled it up to dangle around my neck so I could pump breastmilk, and the aroma of sunscreen, long soaked into the fabric, hit me. Pool and beach clothes get that way. Even after many washes, if sunscreen ever touched the fabric, it leaves its scent there forever. This shirt smells like Coppertone.
Before today, the last time I wore this t-shirt was on my last trip to Vegas. When it comes to Vegas, I am a tourist through and through. Every time I go, I walk around in a giant straw hat, sunglasses, and good shoes with my camera out and my mouth open. But when I last wore this t-shirt was the day I coated myself and Fluffy in Coppertone, and we walked from the Treasure island to the Stratosphere. I snapped this along the way:
We rode the world’s fastest elevator to the top, took pictures of The Strip from the observation deck, and paid $0.25 to make commemorative pressed pennies. I felt like a child again.
This shirt carries that memory in its scent. And the memory reminds me of a more carefree, selfish time that I miss terribly. I want to go back to Vegas. I want to go back to that time. I want to see “O” again, pig out on shrimp and prime rib at Harrah’s, sleep and fuck all day, take three baths and use all the towels. I think I’ll have to wait about 20 years before I can do that again, and by then, I will probably just want to sit in front of a video poker machine for five hours and zone out.
I think I’m going to go out back and burn this shirt now.