Just a little T time

I sometimes wonder if this man exists only in my imagination. Yet, he looks distinctly fierce, walks briskly, always barefoot, avoids eye contact and never exchanges even mundane pleasant greetings with the fellow walkers. He is unperturbed by the sound blaring from the gym across the park and, with unfailing regularity, he wears the same black T-shirt every day. More likely he owns more than one of the same T-shirt which says ‘I talk therefore I am’.

In the quiet, unrecorded, but not unsung battle of the attires, the humble T-shirt appears to have won. It may be because it is unisex and cuts across class and age. It may be because they are picked randomly and worn with little sensitivity to place and time. Or it may simply be that they speak the lines their owners cannot.

The chubby young teenager comes perched precariously on her father’s two-wheeler. She looks happy to exercise while her T-shirt registers its protest. ‘Everyone must have a choice,’ it groans. She alternates it with a happier one which says ‘I am ready for the weekend.’ The morose young man sits on a bench in the corner. His ear phones are part of his attire. His T-shirt proclaims, ‘I run’.

The young lady is graceful and demure. It is difficult to imagine her as part of any conspiracy. But drug companies are ruthless and willing to try anything, particularly before the terms of patents end. Is that why she innocently wears the T-shirt which declares ‘I aspire to inspire before I expire’?

The septuagenarian looks the proud grandmother she probably is. Perhaps, in solidarity with the grandchild who lives in some distant land and with whom she communicates only on a screen, she wears a warm T-shirt which simply says ‘Baseball Camp’.

The wiry young man is a bit of an enigma. He runs, does vigorous push-ups on the park bench, feeds two faithful puppies, even shares water with them and wears a T-shirt which says, ‘I like nonsense because it clears up the brain cells,’ just in case you thought the running and push-ups did it.

The one-year-old has no choice, but his parents rightly think he is ‘Captain Adorable’. When he grows up, he may just have to make do like the surprisingly well-groomed young man’s saffron T-shirt which says ‘Dirty, stinking rich’, only to add in small letters, ‘Two out of three is not bad’.

In the midst of these battles between the wearer and what is worn, there are some T-shirts that seem to speak the wearer’s mind loud and clear. Such as the one worn by the serious young woman, which leaves no doubt about what she is serious about: ‘Wanted a good man, able to support a family, must shop, own a car and a Gold card’. In a box below is a rather romantic request for a photograph of the Gold card.

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