Breaking down

Getting dressed to go to the gym, I grabbed a pair of shorts out of the drawer.

They were thick, gray sturdy athletic shorts that I’ve had forever … and I looked down to notice they had holes in a place you don’t want to have holes.

So much for those shorts. They certainly didn’t owe me anything.

I grabbed a different pair, threw on sweatpants over them … and noticed the sweatpants had a hole in the exact same spot. But since I only wear sweats around the house or over shorts, I figured it would still be OK to keep them around.

A few weeks ago, I had to retire a pair of work pants because after I got to work, I realized they had a hole … in the exact same spot. (Do I sit particularly aggressively or something?)

Fortunately, I didn’t leave the office all day, and if any of my coworkers noticed, no one said anything.

I recently had to put another pair of pants aside when the button that had literally been hanging by a thread released itself from said thread, probably because it was too tired of trying to hold me in. Plus one of the legs had worn to the point where there was a loop like a stirrup at the bottom.

And while we were at it, my winter coat had clearly seen better days.

I have a tendency to wear and use things until they wear out, and my definition of “wear out” is probably different than a lot of people’s. The barely hanging-on buttons, T-shirts where “no one will notice the hole in the armpit while I’m playing pickleball or at the gym” and the shirts that are too degraded to wear in public but might still be handy to wear to bed on hot nights are testament to that.

But for a time, it felt like everything was wearing out at once. Maybe that fit, because it felt like I was, too, between “we really should order small pizzas and not large,” the now-standard pain in my left heel and, yes, the occasional violent cramp while moving in bed. (It does feel like it will never end, even though it only lasts a few minutes.)

The immediate priority was to replace the pants, then the coat, so Suzi and I went shopping and bought some new ones.

As for the sweats and shorts, new ones can wait, but once upon a time, I might have headed down to the local Kmart, where I’m sure they would have had something perfectly acceptable and not particularly expensive.

But not only is it closed, it has been closed so long that when I was thinking about it the other day, I remembered wondering why the local school district — the main campus of which is right across the street — didn’t use it for extra classroom space during the pandemic.

That, of course, was three years ago.

It’s just sort of ingrained now that the store and parking lot are going to sit empty, except maybe as a staging area for cops or construction equipment working on other projects in that part of town.

I’ve become a big fan of Abandoned America, a website with photos and stories of abandoned buildings. The photos are beautiful in their own haunting way, but what really strikes me looking at them is that the people originally behind the buildings certainly never imagined they would fail.

And even when the mall, prison, church, resort or whatever it was closed, I imagine there was at least a little optimism that they’d reopen as something else. No one plans for a building to sit there and quietly deteriorate, right?

As far as I know, there are no plans for the Kmart site where I live. I can actually see it being a place where everyone has great ideas for it and wants in on the action, but nothing ever happens.

I hope not. Three years have gone by fast, but it could be a lot more than three years if we’re not careful.

A postscript

You may recall that a couple weeks ago I wrote something about my friend Renee’s birthday for which I was certain she would mock me relentlessly.

Not only did she not mock me, as much as she wanted to, she reminded me of something she did regarding my birthday that was not only much more mockable, but something that I gave her grief about for YEARS.

And I had forgotten all about. Aging brain is not fun.

And by the way, Renee is barely 5 feet tall and one of the kindest people you could ever meet, but if you come for Josh Allen, I’m pretty sure she’d f*!& you up real good.

Since we saw each other last …

Mari’s three favorite words right now are so simple, but work so well.

Renata is working on setting boundaries.

I think we can all be relieved that Austin doesn’t have any national secrets stashed away in his house.

If Bruce weren’t a friend, I’d probably be more jealous than I am that he both writes and takes photos really well. Pick one and leave the other for the rest of us!

Pea Green has learned more about herself.

Aside from the obvious, Graham has found the benefits of having a pacemaker.

See what Savannah has been up to.

Kristian attached words to some photos.

As she approaches 50, there’s advice that Katherin is no longer taking.

Ally is getting a new deck … eventually.

River has me thinking we should check in on the robots.

Can’t come soon enough.

This probably doesn’t work for Rosie, but it’s part of why I love the whole “pitchers and catchers” thing from above.

I’ve seen a few people tweet this. Methinks a boss somewhere didn’t contemplate the concept of “unintended consequences.”


If I ever tried to sit in one now, you’d need a crane and a crew of six to get me out.

I guess it’ll do for a walk.

Yes. Not a fan.

Agreed … all praise to whoever did this.


6 thoughts on “Breaking down

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s