Sunday, March 29, 2009

Every Shirt: An Introduction

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That is a stack of t-shirts. It is more than four feet high, not counting the box it's sitting on. If you figure that each shirt, folded, is on average about half an inch thick (though in the process of piling up this stack, I found numerous shirts that had been compressed by the weight of others to a quarter-inch or less), it stands to reason that there are somewhere between 90 and 100 shirts in this pile, potentially more.

This pile exists because I support bands. Most of the shirts in this stack are less than 3 years old and were bought out of some band's merch tub, or off a merch table somewhere, though some were not. For whatever reason, heavy metal t-shirts for, by weight and by volume, the dominant share of my wardrobe; what will follow at the pace of one shirt per day, interspersed with real show reviews and other stuff, is a cataloguing of every shirt in this pile: where it came from, where it fits into my history, and anything else the delusion needed to embark on something like this, much less publish it, might consider interesting or relevant.

Most metalheads will probably have the ability to build a stack like this; we all pick up shirts at a pretty steady pace, year by year, because the designs are cool or the band played an especially good set, or whatever, and they tend to stick around; not often destroyed, less often still donated, sold, or just thrown out. Like CDs, patches, and other detritus of being a metalhead, the shirts you have and choose to wear become in some ways an extension of yourself; this is mine, and over the next three months or so, modulo the normal rate of shirt acquisition, I'm going to go through in in stupidly excruciating depth.

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