This was sent to me by Rolfe, a dear friend over in the Granite State and as he thought it might offer some stimulation to my morning mind, I offer it to you as well in the same or similar hope for  your minds in whatever state they may be.

This evening, the sturdy Levi’s
I wore every day for over a year
& which seemed to the end
in perfect condition,
suddenly tore.
How or why I don’t know,
but there it was: a big rip at the crotch.
A month ago my friend Nick
walked off a racquetball court,
got into his street clothes,
& halfway home collapsed & died.
Take heed, you who read this,
& drop to your knees now & again
like the poet Christopher Smart,
& kiss the earth & be joyful,
& make much of your time,
& be kindly to everyone,
even to those who do not deserve it.
For although you may not believe 
it will happen,
you too will one day be gone,
I, whose Levi’s ripped at the crotch
for no reason,
assure you that such is the case.
Pass it on.

~ Steve Kowit ~  

Thank you Rolfe, and Steve for such a pointed reminder of our shared mortality.  What a fine and fragile thread connects us to light, breath and hope.

Nothing is forever.  Not even Levis.

But speaking of Levis and the uncertainty of our earthly experience – – –

I have, only recently, purchased a pair of “real” Levi” jeans.  I wore the LLBean brand for years as an employee, which at $29 were something of a bargain, specially with a 1/3 discount added.  They are good jeans but of a different design and style than that of real Levis.  I mean, similar but not the same, like Pepsi and Coke.  But at the price, who cared?  That deal is still available to me, but because of this afore mentioned uncertainty, I felt I would like to “revert”, for a while, to the jean I grew up with.  If, that is, I could find a pair of Levis that would fit.

Well, One day, while at the Mall, and seeing my 80th birthday approaching soon, and realizing suddenly how I hated the thought of being buried in denim without the Levi patch, I walked straight to the Levi section of Macy’s and found a pair of the jeans I used to wear exclusively that had room for my rather bulging butt and walked out with them under my arm.  

I am, furthermore, running an experiment I read about where this guy advocates not washing Levis.  Wash underwear, wash shirts and socks but not Levis.  He boasted a year in his unwashed Levis and then went into the ocean with them on and is now on his second year.  I intend to wear my Levis until they split at the crotch or elsewhere. 

I am not at all certain about this theory but as long as one can keep from wiping one’s hands on one’s jeans, or spilling motor oil or cheese grits on them it should be possible to make it work.  

Why, one would ask, would one want to do this?  Come on, think about it.  It’s to avoid the stress of the washing and drying process which is arguably the most destructive experience a pair of Levis can endure. Even worse than bull riding.  It’s pure economics.

I am, therefore, into my fourth week of not washing my Levis.  I did wash the jeans before wearing them, which doesn’t count, as anyone would agree.

The next thing is to find another pair perhaps of a different style.  For my first pair, I opted for the relaxed fit.  These are slightly too large, but then I have learned the hard way about buying pants that actually fit, only to find out later that they were too tight, so I tend to err on the loose side of things.  But perhaps a slimmer style would be more, shall we say, enhancing to my back yard barbecue type physique.  I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this may be a completely phantasmagorical expectation.  

But you see, if I had say, two pair of Levis, I can see the possibility of not having to buy pants for, well, lets just say, a very long time.  I could wear one pair while the other pair was sort of airing out, you see.

I’ll keep you posted.  And please – don’t let me catch you staring at my pants.

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