If you’ve ever seen me, you’ve probably seen me in these pants. I’ve been everywhere in them: bars and restaurants, Europe and North America, the beach and jail. I think they’re called cargo pants (at least, that’s what the arresting officer wrote down). They are fairly long for shorts, but fit loosely and work well with boxers. They are covered with pockets, and most of the pockets button shut. They have a drawstring that has allowed the pants to expand even as I have.
Triska bought them for me years ago at a thrift store in Pacific Beach. Two bucks, or something like that. (She’ll remember the exact price she paid for them, even after all these years. She never forgets a bargain.) Sometimes I would be annoyed when she would buy me clothes I didn’t need (my definition of need and hers were very different), but these I took to right away. You can do anything in these pants, from fishing to dancing.
The fact that I have done so much in these pants is also a testament to their durability. Scrambling over rocks, mucking through mud, hauling a halyard on the open sea, or just kicking back on the sofa, these pants have come through with glory. By now a lesser pair would have holes in the pockets where my keys have been driven through the fabric. Other pants would have worn through the seat. Lesser trousers would have lost buttons, but not these. These are the Iron Man of pants, endurance gear harkening back to an era when men were real men, women were real women, and pants were real pants.
Alas, durable and eternal are as different as the Earth and the Universe, and soon it will be time to put these pants out to pasture. The drawstring is frayed; if I’m not careful about how I tie and untie the knot I could find myself having to cut my way out. I’ve already had some pretty close calls in the men’s room. The fabric is getting thin in places and the cuffs are starting to look ragged. While we (my pants and I) were in Catalina things really started to let go. They are still merely scruffy rather than indecent, but it’s only a matter of time now. Hopefully Old Navy still makes this model, and makes them as well as they used to. I like them so much, I’d even buy them new.