Today at the shop a person was designated to teach me the most efficient way to cut patches.
Patches. The items I spent the entire nineties, printing cutting and sewing to jackets. Rows of days lost themselves in cutting things up, days I'll never get back, and here's a guy whose presence exposes the raw reality that I still spend some of my time cutting patches to be sewn, only now they're for other people's garments and there's no drugs involved. I want to run screaming. I should have. I used to.
"Always start from the bottom right hand corner and move upward, stabilizing with the ruler."
I started from the left because I'm left-handed. Nothing else makes sense.
"If you don't start from the bottom right it aint gonna work on these."
"The bottom left is the same, look." I cut. Nothing changed, it was just backwards, my upside-down patch urging a mumble from my mentor. "...nttt gnnna wrrrk..."
It did too work.
He looked over at my crunched posture. "Also, you want to use your whole body, not just your fingers and blade."
"I always stand like this," I said, all defensive. I'm holding my ligaments together with cortisol, winding one leg around the other and throwing my shoulders at themselves. My pelvis is twisted a good forty degrees from my abdomen.
"Well, ya wanna use your back leg. Shift your weight."
Shift my weight to my back leg? It's not like I was punching someone in the jaw. Shift my weight, I thought. Stupid.