I don’t remember in which year or in which Target I bought these pajama pants. Either place, they are at most 8 years old and at least 6. Yet, it’s just in these last few weeks, seeing them through some sort of new lens, that the shabbiness seems, rather than evidence of my sentimentality and fiscal and ecological responsibility, a sort of tragic expression of neglect. Why would I not have made them into rags by now? Especially now that each spot in the fabric where the white shows through elicits an unattributable sob that’s so much deeper than it really needs to be.

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