I love my closet. Just as an action-movie hero has their secret compartment filled with guns, I have my closet. It is, after all, nearly the same thing if you dress to kill.
I was going through some old clothes recently and came upon an interesting flanel shirt. It matches literally nothing else in my wardrobe, but I keep it around anyway.
My little brother, Max, has always looked out for me. Whenever I need him, he’s there. One night, when I was 18, I was hideously manic. I was that kind of no-longer-in-control manic episodes. It was just a la-dee-da, “do whatever comes to mind” type of night. It was spring, but it was still a cold night, and the rain made it feel even colder. This next part’s where the mania comes in.
Buzzing high up in mania, I decided that I wanted to walk through the woods behind my parent’s house, just to feel the rain against my skin. Needless to say, I was soaked and freezing before long.
Wandering around in between the trees in nothing but jeans and a t-shirt, I became aware of a voice calling my name. It was my brother. When he came up to me I was shivering violently – my lips nearly purple and my skin completely white and pale. I began to get upset, just as much with the rain as I was with myself.
My brother, wearing the flanel shirt, took it off and put it around me. It was soaked in seconds but the gesture seemed to calm me a bit.
These days, seeing it in my closet is a reminder of how unstable things used to be, how well things are going now, and the bond that Max and I share. That’s why I keep the shirt.