Wandering in my underwear

I was out with the dogs for their last pee before bed in a tank top, panties, and my motorcycle riding boots — no, don’t ask me why I was dressed that way. I was standing outside picking up dog poop in my panties thinking to myself, there are some advantages to living remotely. We have one direct neighbor — a family of 5, soon to be 6, and their front door is probably at least half a mile from our front door — going up our driveway, down the street briefly, and then down their driveway. And there are lots of trees giving each of us privacy in our respective yards.

It reminded of a night that we were having a dinner party at our old place and my girlfriend came over early to help, and told me I was wearing the strangest outfit ever. I’d thrown some stuff together to stay warm — I dress indiscriminately when I’m at home, and especially when I’m cold. And I remember feeling warm about that comment because it reminded me of my mom and how strangely she dressed around the house at times (and sometimes out). I remember thinking at the time how funny it was that I was turning into her. When my mom got into her accident, she was dressed in layers of clothing. I don’t know why — she must’ve been so cold to have so much clothing on. She was such a tiny little thing, too — I bet the extra clothes filled her out.

We kept those clothes for a long time. At the funeral home, I wanted everything. We got one shoe, and later one got the rest of her clothes. But not the other shoe — that ended up being in the car. There was something disturbing about the fact that her shoes were separated like that. It bothered me for a long time.

I don’t know what I thought I’d do with the clothes — I just wanted anything and everything that was hers, that was near her during the accident. The worst thing in the packet of personal items that the coroner’s office sent over was a bloody fabric eyeglass chain in a little tiny plastic baggy that said “soiled” on it. When I laid out the clothes finally, they were covered in mold from being tied up in a plastic bag wet and left to rot, and soiled with dried blood. Layers of clothes, and I imagined her wearing them, imagined her putting those clothes on her last morning. They smelled so awful and were horrifying to look at. We eventually ended up throwing them away. Some things shouldn’t be saved.

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