Hoodies Don’t Last Forever

Darcy looked down at her hoodie, dismayed that the zipper had suddenly broken.

She muttered a curse to the air in frustration. This hoodie was her absolute favorite one to wear. It was black, with sturdily constructed pockets, that had pyramid studs on the edges. She loved to dip her hands into the pockets, when the autumn chill nipped at her fingertips.

The oversized sleeves of the hoodie, made a repeating pattern of black and white stripes, with thumb holes. It was perfect. It was her favorite. Now, it was broken beyond repair. She didn’t want to replace it just yet. Perhaps a funeral would be in order.

She could see it now. She pictured her friends Gabby and Eva at her side, joining her in a solemn tearful farewell, as they laid the hoodie to rest. Dramatics were a necessary order for this hoodie. She had survived 2 years of school, while wearing her signature and most perfect hoodie as her fashionable armor. Darcy fingered the pins attached to her hoodie lovingly.

There was a sweet little cartoon rabbit pin, from her favorite toy designer Carrot Ties. Another pin, she collected from a book signing by a graphic novel writer she adored. Lastly, at a punk art swap event, she scooped up a funny little pin with an adorable monster face on it. This hoodie was part of her life story. It contained a rich collection of memories, from dodging scrapes, sipping bubble tea with her friends, and curling up with comics and magazines in secret corners and on fire escapes.

Darcy sighed, as she folded the hoodie and placed it on the corner of her bed. Looking over the hoodie sadly, she was lost in thought until a knock at the door broke the silence.

“Hey Darcy, your mom said it was cool if we came by.” Gabby said smiling as she entered the room.

“Who died?” Eva asked with an air of concern? She always seemed to notice when something was up with Darcy, almost immediately.

“My precious hoodie is no more. The zipper broke.” Darcy replied, pointing weakly at the hoodie.

“Well, maybe we can find a way to upcycle it?” Gabby suggested warmly.

“Upcycle?” Darcy asked, with a mix of hopefulness and curiosity in her face.

“Yeah, Darcy.” Gabby continued.“I signed up to this art and green life workshop. We’re learning about using old things that are still precious to us, or found objects. It’s about giving them new life.”

Darcy perked up. “Is there still room in the workshop?”

“Yeah. You should come too Eva.” Gabby answered smiling coolly. “Let me show you something I’m working on now.” Gabby began rummaging through her backpack. She pulled out a thick block of wood with some splatters and stains on it.

“See look, I rescued this wood from an alleyway, and I’m using it to make a block print. Pretty wicked, huh?” Gabby held up the block so that Darcy and Eva could get a closer look.

Passing the block around, an idea struck Darcy. “When do they meet, people for the workshop?”

“It’s two times a week, on Thursday and Saturdays. Sometimes on Fridays, there’s open studio space too. That’s when there’s a community free-for-all for creating all sorts of stuff.” Gabby answered. “You want to show up around 3pm. You two will like it, I’m sure.”

“I’m in.” Eva replied. She had dreams of making some more bracelets to stack on her arms.

“Me too.” Darcy said with a smile. She was looking at the hoodie, now confident that she had a solution to her problems.

Thursday came around, and the girls all met up at the workshop. Darcy was excited. There were people of different ages around, but mostly students like themselves. Everyone had a very laid back vibe, and were very friendly. Only a few seriously older people looked a bit stern and possibly grouchy, but that was because they were deep in focus, carving or painting very large found items.

Darcy took a seat next to Eva, Gabby, and three other people at their table.

“Hi, I’m Julie.” A friendly girl with freckles, braces, and vibrant magenta bangs with a skull hair clip held out her hand for a shake.

“I’m Darcy, and these are my friends Eva and Gabby.” Darcy said as she gave Julie a handshake.

“Yeah, Gabby told us about you and Eva. These two are Donald and Sand.”

Donald was a quiet type, but smiled and gave a short wave. Sand looked like he was the brooding leader of the bunch. He just gave a head nod, without taking out his headphones.

Soon, the workshop began. Wynn, an amiable artist-in residence and instructor came to each table. As she introduced herself, Darcy explained to her what she wanted to accomplish.

Darcy pulled out her block of thick styrofoam padding. This had been rescued from the alley of the old electronics store, which she would pass on her way to school. She quickly got the hang of learning to carve out a design. When she was finished, she ended up with the image of a swallow tail bird. Encircling the bird, Darcy carved some flowers and lightening bolts, to give it more edge.

Everyone oohed over her emerging skill with carving. “I’m not done yet. Just wait.” Darcy picked out her inks, and rolled up the block carefully. Next, she pulled out a black piece of cloth. She placed the cloth lovingly on the table, and imprinted her print onto the fabric.

“What are you going to do with the patch?” Gabby asked excitedly.

“Yeah, it looks really cool.” Julie commented. Eva and Donald nodded in agreement. Even Sand seemed to look up from his work, to investigate.

“Well, this patch I made from my old favorite hoodie. I didn’t know what to do when the zipper broke. So, I decided to give it a new life as a patch.” Darcy answered proudly. She later stitched the patch to her backpack. The spirit of her hoodie lived on, never to be lost again.

 

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