Stealing Mike’s Shorts.
This is a confession, and it is probably going to wander around a little. In tense, and purpose and what not, but overall, this is a confession, followed by some diatribe, ending with an apology. The entire thing revolves around a pair of shorts that I stole one day. It was not intentional. There were a lot of trappings. No traps, actual traps, and that is nice. Because we were shooting a historic film about Giacamo Beltrami. I was playing Beltrami, and I had to fall out of a canoe into some water, and there were things. A trunk of things. It was all pretty hilarious, and part of a larger effort to raise historic awareness of the Mississippi, and the interesting heritage that is shares with both indigenous and immigrant Americans. So I got these shorts. They are not nice shorts. They are black, stop just above my knees, and have a huge hole in the seat. The hole does not actually poke through, though, because there is a secondary layer of material. They are unique in my wardrobe for a couple of reasons, the first being that it is the only article that I have knowingly kept after finding out it was not mine, and is also the only pair of shorts I happen to own at the moment.
I could go on a really long tangent about my wardrobe, but if I am going to do that, then I need to bring it back to Mike. Mike Bredon. He’s this guy, and maybe you know him, maybe you only know of him, maybe he is a stranger to you. But, listen, I am wearing his shorts, and honestly, he probably stole the shorts from one of his brothers? You know? Not even stole, just intended to borrow. Because the Bredon men don’t wear shorts often, that I’ve seen. But. Mike had to be in the water, you see? My wardrobe, and I have sort of seen Mikes, is an eclectic mix of hobo-vintage and mad-scientist costumes. Every piece of clothing has a value. Speaks of a character, or at the least, an attribute. It has a story, sometimes, if it is old enough. Not all clothing. The kids, they have always loved the name brands that can scream at people in large, easy to read letters from across the cafeteria. But there was an age when clothing could speak for itself. These shorts are happier, here, with me, Mike. I am sorry that I stole them, but they are happier here.
Mike is a filmmaker and artist that has lived, and fought, and worked for a very long time to find fulfillment as an artist, and as a human. Watching his journey is an interesting task. For most of us, we don’t see him in his private life. We see the images and sounds that he provides. It is his voice that rises above the white noise of our failed culture. He does it largely alone. There is an elite and dedicated collective of allies that he can draw upon, but he does not, often. Because beyond and above the bravado that he waves as a brutal sword, there is a humility, and a grace that few are allowed to see. There is a generosity and honesty to his character that burns bright and clear amid the chaos and fear that surrounds and binds us. It is for this, and many other, less bromantic reasons, that I consider Mike a dear friend.
I am sorry I stole your shorts. I am also sorry that you will never see them again. I hope that this wordy and overly complex apology goes some way to recoup your personal loss. Some day you may find that you need some pants, and on that day seek me out. You shall not find me wanting.