By Chris Loveland
Another aimless day of classes has come to a merciful close. You pack your backpack, pop in your AirPods, turn on some of the angelic stylings of Vanderbilt’s own Ben Kessler, and begin the 10 minute trek back to your dorm.
These small 10 minute walks are a welcome relief. For these 10 minutes, you don’t have to worry about your mountainous course load or your crippling fear of reading. For these 10 minutes you don’t have to think about all the baseball games your dad missed while “travelling.” Or all the 11 years your mom missed while “divorced.”
For these 10 minutes you don’t have to worry about any of that nonsense. For these 10 minutes it’s just you, these beautiful tunes, and your weird walking stride that your father once said “looked like a giraffe, if a giraffe was a short, fat, mouth-breathing disappointment.”
Then, the bliss comes to a horrific end.
You walk back through your door, stare daggers at your sack-of-shit roommate (take out your fucking yogurt-laced trash, Matt), and flop your backpack onto the ground. Only, something is amiss—your backpack didn’t peel off your back like velcro. Normally, your backpack is stuck to your disgusting, sweat-soaked back like Winnie the Pooh and public indecency charges.
Today, though, today is different. You open your phone, blissfully ignoring the litany of reminders that haunt your lock screen, and see the weather app. It was only 69 degrees outside. The sun beating down on your back must’ve disguised this. Also, it’s hard to notice the weather when your crippling need to be liked forces you to focus so intensely on making sure you don’t walk weird. Thanks, Dad, am I right?
Then you hear something beautiful. Out of your closet a small sound pokes out, “Get in me. It’s time.” You flick your eyes over and see your sweet prince hanging on the bare metal bar. Could it be he that spoke to you so gently?
He’s a dashing dark grey, tight, fine-knit Chaps sweater. His voice is far more gravelly than you’d imagine, the kind of gravelly that says, “I’m chill enough to smoke cigs, but I choose not to.” He’s everything you could ever want and more.
“I think it is time, my old friend,” you say back in a trance. You float to the closet and slip him on. He fits like Cinderella’s slipper, perfectly cloaking the effects of endless Rand cookies and vicious fits of binge drinking. His sweet, taut, tender mesh hugs you tight—tighter than your dad ever would. You take a long, hard sniff. His scent is a beautiful bouquet of Bounce and bonfires. You take a small, soft shimmy, and he dances with you.
“Do you like this?” You ask your sweater as you twirl around, his loose ends flowing along with you. What’s next you wonder? Where is this all headed?
Then a horrid sound cuts through the air.
“Hey man, are you talking to your sweater?” asks your scumsucking roommate from his Jabba the Hutt stance on his tiny, non-blackstar bed. What a pissant he is. He speaks up again, “You’ve been my best-friend for 11 days and all but your relationship with sweaters is frankly, unhealthy. It’s been like this for as long as I’ve known you. I mean you’re rock-hard right now—”
You stop listening. He doesn’t matter, after all. All that matters is you and your sweater; and it’s autumn—it’s finally autumn, baby.