Last week, as I was rummaging around in my dresser, I discovered something I’d never encountered before: a shirt that fit me perfectly. Immediately upon seeing it, I knew two things for sure: 1) This shirt fit me like a fucking glove and 2) I was absolutely going to cut it up.
Was this impulse driven perhaps by my assumption that something so perfect must be the work of the Devil? Maybe. Was this shirt so at odds with my typical “toddler wearing a grown-man’s suit” aesthetic that I felt fundamentally compelled to alter it? It’s conceivable. Did I have a dull pair of paper scissors, one too many cups of coffee, and 12 minutes to kill? Absolutely.
Right away, the bottom had to go. If this shirt wasn’t going to be too big, then, goddammit, it was going to be way too fucking small. Next, the sleeves. Just a few slight alterations to make them what my mom would call “lumpy and uneven” and what the tailoring community called “a deliberate act of violence.”
At first, I was pleased with my handiwork. Then, as the fog of my caffeine-fueled impulse began to lift, the changes I’d originally thought were “chic” and “inventive” became “sloppy” and “obviously done with dull scissors.” I quickly began to doubt my reasons for creating this sinful atrocity. As all doubters and sinners know, there’s only one place to turn when you’re looking for answers: the house of God. Also, I wanted a reason to wear my new shirt out, atrocity or not.
So, as I walked into church for the first time in my life, I had only one question in mind: “Why did I cut up this perfectly good shirt?” Well, that, and “Is it weird that my midriff is exposed right now?” And, I guess, “Does Hell exist?” while we’re at it.
“To create is to destroy” is something I’m pretty sure I read in the priest’s personal copy of the Bible while I waited for him in his office. He also wrote “be courageous” in one of the margins, which is super embarrassing.
It made me wonder – to “create” this demented little crop top, did I have to “destroy” a good-quality shirt that may or may not have actually been my roommate’s, now that I’m thinking about it?
After speaking with Father Harold, I was more confident than ever that the answer was, in fact, yes. I also learned that my new shirt “wasn’t church appropriate,” and that “no, it wouldn’t look better with one of those big priest hats,” and that “yes, Hell exists, that’s like the whole point of Christianity.”
So, in short, I chopped up this shirt because, like God, I am a Creator with a capital “C.” The fact that I destroyed something objectively better in the process doesn’t matter – all that matters is the act of creation itself.
As a bonus, I never have to go back to church again because all of my earthly questions have been answered and, also, Father Harold explicitly told me not to come back after I tried to gently rib him about the whole “be courageous” thing.
Now, all there’s left to do is grapple with the existence of Hell, panic-cut my favorite jeans into jorts, and hope my roommate doesn’t come asking around about their shirt. Wish me luck!