I was wasting time on the internets and I decided to look for advice on how to pare down my overflowing closet. I figure that this whole pregnancy thing is a great time to get rid of the clothes I don’t need, seeing how I don’t fit in them in the moment anyways. This is everything that this woman left out for the season. Instead of being impressed by the minimalism of it I was struck by the second shirt from the left- the blue striped fisherman’s shirt.

Immediately, I was swept into memories of high school, specifically of reading The Garden of Eden. Sometimes it seems like the only really important thing I ever did in high school was to read that book. There were a few days, towards the end of my junior year, when all I wanted was to live in that book. Spring had caught up with me and I was itching to be outdoors. That book expressed a certain feeling of freedom and lightness, and I carried the story in my heart as I walked down the ever-enclosing halls of my high school. Surprisingly, my obsession with the book had little to do with the sexuality of the characters. Although it was supposedly risqué, I found it completely normal. Nor did I care too much about the insanity of the main characters. (Although that was much more significant to me than the sexuality). Instead, it had everything to do with the writing. I was sucked into the story, roaming around the Spanish countryside, swimming in the sea, drinking cold beer, and living my entire life in a fisherman’s shirt. Of course, I didn’t have a fisherman’s shirt back then, and I was too frightened to cut my hair so instead I pinned it up. But now I think about the rough texture of the shirts when they bought them, and how they washed them until they were soft, and then wore them everywhere, and it makes me indescribably happy. Interestingly, what I thought was a minor detail that I had latched onto is a common theme discussed when people review the book… apparently I wasn’t the only one caught up in the story of that fabric.

I like alternative writing. I really do. I like things to get a bit descriptive and experimental. But the thing is that I constantly come back to Hemingway- a writer who did not rely on tricks or flowery language to make an emotion felt. He wrote so simply and just let his work be a sounding board for the human soul to resonate with. I always come back to him… when reading, when writing… when living. Can it be healthy to be so influenced? 

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