Note: None of this happened.
You see me at a party. I know that you need me. You are surrounded by thin men, four of them. Three of them are wearing vests. They are all wearing shoes that look like golf shoes, but aren’t. They are Italian shoes. They are showing you their shoes. They are pulling up the legs of pastel jeans to show you pastel socks. But you are not interested. You see only me. I am standing by the foldable table where all the booze bottles are and the one cheese plate is. I am eating cheese. I can smell the cheese on my breath and feel it on my fingers, so I wipe my fingers on my jeans. You see that as you walk over. You say, “Hey, I don’t even see the cheese stains on those jeans.” I say, “That’s what jeans are for, wiping off your hands.” You quiver. You say, “Where did you get the jeans,” but I won’t tell. You say you’re a junior buyer at Barneys, and also a blogger, and then you guess where. I say, “Nuh uh.” You say, “They’re not intentionally baggy, but they’re not skinny.” I smile. I say, “They used to be baggy, but then I gained weight. Also, I haven’t washed them for a while, so they hang.” You like that. You lean in close and whisper into my ear, “How long is a while?” I make you wait a second. I say, “About a month.” You are bursting. You want to get out of this apartment. You want me to take you somewhere, take you where I got the jeans. You put your hand in my back pocket to lead me out the door. You say, “Is that gum?” I don’t answer and I grab some cheese for the road and put it in my front right pocket. You glance down at my waistband as we leave. My underpants are showing because when I peed earlier I got my shirt stuck in the elastic. You read my waistband slowly: “Tom-my Hill-fig—”. You stop. You say, “Oh my god, the first guy I ever frenched wore these same things.” I say, “Uh huh.” We’re out on the street now, walking through SoHo. You say, “Oh my God, why would anybody make a waistband so thick.” I stop and grab your shoulders. I say, “It’s the mystery that’s beautiful.” You lean forward to kiss me, but I pull away. You give a moan of ecstatic disappointment. “Come on,” I say, and take your hand. We pass the Michael Kors store, and Marc Jacobs, and Paul Smith, and a boutique that sells 1990s basketball jerseys with bow ties sewn onto them. You want to stop. You are pulling at my oversized Tommy Hilfiger elastic to stop me, but I keep moving. You point out that the cheap elastic leaves nasty red grooves in my waist fat. I say I don’t even feel it anymore. We get to Old Navy and I say, “Here.” You are silent. You are in awe. It is so bright. It is so noisy. We push through the doors and into the crush. A mother with New Balance sneakers and five kids in tow grabs five pairs of cargo pants, never stopping. You say, “But—” to nobody. We watch a tween trying on three polo shirts at the same time, each a different shade of red. Your face is flushed. You say, “Why?” I say “Why not?” and then I say, “Popped collars” and then I say, “twelve dollars a shirt” and then I kiss you hard, our bodies spilling into the jeans section. You look up to take a breath and you have to brace yourself on me, knock-kneed at the denim wall that goes so high. Relaxed Fit, Classic Fit, Skinny Fit, Comfort Plus. I grab you around the waist and whisper into your ear, wet, “It’s really all the same fit.” That’s it. You are overcome with all of it—the choices, the hurried mothers, me in my Old Navy jeans, the ones I’ve had since I stopped growing. You run around the store, grabbing at everything. Sweatshirts with no hoods. Boy-cut underwear. T-shirts, all the same, with “Old Navy” written in white across the chest. Shower sandals, two for five dollars. You yank me into a changing room, hungry, cutting the line, and then you jump on me with more passion then you’ve ever done anything. You go for the top button on my jeans, but I tell you to stop. “They’re loose enough to just pull down,” I say, and you say, “God that gets me so hot.” We try on clothes together, pulling things off and on, not caring if they rip. You put on my jeans and, say, “I remember now. I remember my mom bought me Old Navy jeans at the mall in White Plains when I was twelve. I wasn’t even embarrassed. They fit really well.” You begin to weep. You are weeping from the erotic nostalgia, and the deals. Soon, you can’t take it anymore and you have to have me. You mount me wearing just a hoodless sweatshirt, tube socks and green shower sandals. “Am I hot like this, baby?” you cry. “The hottest,” I tell you. As we hump, you look in the mirror. You say, “Jesus Christ, the mirror makes everything looks boxy.” I say, “I know.” You say, “The florescent lights, the boxy mirrors, none of this makes sense. It’s like nobody is supposed to care.” I hold my finger to your lips and you bite it in a good way. We hear sneakers squeaking as mothers drag boys away from our groans. We are going faster. You have never had a better moment in your life than this one, with me, in the Old Navy changing room, my jeans crumpled on the floor. “Is this all just irony?” you ask in between your last, breathless pants. “What’s irony?” I say and then we collapse on the floor, satisfied. You are thanking me right away, and clinging. You look closely at the clothes we’re lying on. “God, this is almost like Hollister stuff,” you say. I stand up and pull my jeans back on. “Hollister is too expensive for me,” I say. You want something more than this night, of course. You say we could come here again, me and you, we could cut coupons beforehand, you could give up your old life. I shake my head and pull my sweatshirt on and I leave the changing room. My work here is done. I hear you call after me, “Promise me, at least, that you’ll never wash those jeans.” I don’t answer, but baby, you know I won’t.