Here's a Thing I Didn't Buy: Silk Shirt

Here's a Thing I Didn't Buy: Silk Shirt


I wake around 9 and lazily make a breakfast of yogurt, jam, and what I call my “bird food”: rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and pumpkin seeds.

I don’t cook the oats at all, I just like everything crunchy but not too crunchy all mixed up in the yogurt with a spoonful of jam.

I spend the morning in my PJs in and out of bed, reading a novel I plucked off the shelf of Orphan Books I Meant To Finish Reading A Year Ago. It’s The Unravelling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen.



The cats set up shop with me, stretching belly up on the soft wool rug as the sun dapples across the room all morning. Then, taking turns at the foot of the bed, they keep me company as I read through the afternoon. R comes and goes. At some point, he heads out on an errand. It’s late but I’m still in my PJs and don’t want to leave the house, so I don’t go.

When he returns, I’ve finished the book and suddenly feel the weight of having stayed inside all weekend. I’m craving the sun as it cuts in from the west, so we decide to go on a walk. R just bought a new pair of New Balances and wears those, except he forgets to take off the tag and we don’t notice until we’ve already walked outside. Close call, ha.

New Balance shoes, I learned, have been made in USA for 75 years.

Normally, we'd wander through Inman Park and idly pass time guessing how much we think the big victorians lining the neighborhood streets are worth, but today we head south through the Krog Tunnel and follow the Beltline east, then south.

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It’s one of those glorious 70 degree days when the sun just bakes you but you don’t mind because you’ve missed the sun so much. You welcome the glow on your skin. We stroll beneath a budding canopy of crepe myrtles and marvel at how deserted this section of Beltline is. So wonderfully deserted compared to the rest of the Eastside Trail, which is always buzzing with activity.

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When the Beltline ends, we wind through Cabbagetown’s narrow streets, past yards erupting with coral pink azalea blooms and jasmine spilling over stone walls. Past the busy commercial stretch of Carroll Street, up Wylie along the wall of murals hiding the industry of Hulsey Yard, all the way until we’ve looped back up to the tunnel again.

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There at the corner of Krog and Wylie, Estoria Bar is hosting a pop-up vintage flea market in their back parking lot. So of course we zig zag through there, just to see. The sun has passed below the trees now and surely folks will be packing up soon. But not yet — there’s still small crowds of people milling about and a soft din of conversation. We all seem to want to hold on to the day.

The market’s mostly bins of vinyl records and racks of secondhand clothes, heavy on the 90s. As we wander through, I scan for floral and zero in on a colorful rack packed with vintage clothing. When I spot flowers, I the scrunch the other hangers out of the way to get a better look, running my fingers across the fabric as I assess the pattern. Everything I touch feels like polyester or scratchy cotton. But on the fourth or so pick, I spy a promising blouse and pull it out to inspect. It feels like silk. And on the tag — confirmation.

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I hold it long enough to consider carefully the scale and arrangement of the flowers, the variety and vibrancy of the colors. Long enough to take a photo.

It’s lovely. It’s not for me. I squeeze it back among the other garments on the rack and we continue home.

I didn’t even see the price.