“My favorite t-shirt ever was the Ramones. It had Iggy Pop’s blood on it from slam dancing. Lost it during a frat party, oddly enough.”
“That’s a shame,” Gabe said, flipping through the clothing racks in the thrift store.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, joining him in thumbing through the old garments.
“I remember the blood stain was on the left sleeve, and the shirt was white so you could see it real well. It never washed out either,” I reminisced.
“Like this one?” Gabe pulled a white t-shirt from the rack and held it up. It had the Ramones logo. I snatched it and examined the left sleeve.
My jaw dropped.
“Gabe! Look at that!” There it was: that glorified splotch of red, just as I remembered it.
He laughed, “that’s incredible. You gotta buy it.”
I pulled out my wallet, and found a grand total of ten dollars. I looked at Gabe, who had his empty pockets outturned. He shrugged.
“Ah well, we still need money for the show tonight,” I put my wallet away.
“Maggie! Come on, you can’t just leave it here,” Gabe insisted.
“Nah it’s alright, I’m glad I just got to see it again. I’ll pass on my Ramones love to someone else.”
Gabe shook his head at me, grinning. “Let’s go,” he said.
I smiled, and stuck the shirt back on the rack.
We stepped out of the thrift store into the noisybusycrazy Saturday afternoon of New York City. I lit a cigarette and took a drag, as Gabe and I leaned against the building.
“Do you think Joan shops at thrift stores?”
“I bet she looks around. You can find really unique stuff in there, like Iggy Pop’s DNA,” Gabe joked.
I laughed and we started walking, “tonight’s gonna be awesome.”
Several hours later, Gabe and I found ourselves pressed up against the front of the stage. I was sticky with sweat and grime and God knows what else. I could hardly breathe in the hot, humid, smelly, sorry substitute for air, and I was happier than ever.
Joan Jett walked on stage and the cheers from the crowd escalated.
But Gabe and I went silent.
We shared a stunned, wide-eyed look, and then turned our gaze back to Joan…
and the red stain on the left sleeve of her white Ramones t-shirt.
- Claire Juozitis
Claire Juozitis is finishing up her senior year of high school and is soon to be heading on to bigger and better things at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been writing poetry, prose, and fiction for her entire life and will continue to do so in the future. She also loves singing, playing guitar and piano, and often finds herself wishing it were the 1980’s.
More of Claire’s creative musings can be found on her blog, Backlit Canopy
Congrats on winning the contest, Claire! This is the first time we have run a writing contest for a gift card ($25) and I am thrilled with the results! – Rebecca