My Clothes Lament: Murmurs to Moans by Maggie Maize

I’m not special. Like everybody else I’ve been stuck inside for a few months. But I’m hoping that other people also hear voices coming from their closets. My fancy clothes are now quite vocal and mean because they don’t see the action they used to.

At first they whispered: ‘Can’t believe it… I miss that girl’s slouchy shoulders.’

I flung open the door. Yellow cardigan fell off its hanger; blue turtleneck shrieked; pinstripe blazer shushed them all. Their shame wore off, and they soon grew tired of waiting for me to leave the apartment. So now, they openly berate me.

‘Stitch my rip. It’ll take you five minutes.’

‘Doubt you’ll be able to button me now.’

‘Check my tag again. My elastic count should please you.’

My polka dot jammies are more mindful of my ego. But even they’re getting irritable, claiming they’re overworked. I once tried reasoning with them. After all, what’s particularly straining about lounging around all day?

‘You tell me,’ said the polka dot pants. ‘Dingy blouse is bored, sending me sympathy for how often you skip shower-day.’

It was time to clean up that attitude – that’s right, laundry day.

I sometimes wonder what the shy ones think about. Why are they quiet? Is my favorite pair of underwear honored or just traumatized?

On the rare occasion that I pull a particularly desperate article of clothing into the rotation, all of its urges overcome me: I miss lying on the floor, the smell of my social anxiety sweat, and being part of something bigger – like a planned outfit.

I treat these newcomers well so that they’ll have positive things to bring back to the closet.

As much as my clothes enjoy comparing pit stains in the hamper or the taste of cookie crumbs, they yearn most for the attention of strangers, for grass, bird droppings, and fresh air. I hope their manners shape up before they meet you.

Maggie Maize is interested in capturing the oddity of life through child-like wonder. Her writing has appeared in Port City Review, Harness Magazine, and SCAD District.