Review: Bargain Hunterz Sienna Cage Bra

Content note: there are boobs in this post! It is, therefore, NSFW – so don’t scroll down if you’re at work. Unless your workplace is unusually boob-friendly, in which case, kudos to the administration!

looove the aesthetic of cage bras. For me, they conjure up visions of modern-day witches: hard-nosed millennial babes in smudgy eyeliner and quartz point necklaces, sketching pentagrams in the margins of their journals and leaving vampiric lip prints on bone-white coffee mugs. It’s a look I adore, so when Bargain Hunterz offered me my choice of item from their cage bra collection, I was on-board.

The one I chose, after much deliberation, was the Sienna Cage Bralette. I liked that its design is ornate but not excessive, and that it evokes that mild witchiness I enjoy so much without being a literal pentagram.

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to put on my new bralette. Looking at the product image online, I was able to figure out where each of the two circles go, one on my upper chest and one between my breasts. From there, I slipped my arms under the right straps and did up the two clasps on the bralette: one in the back-centre, like a regular bra, and one under my right arm.

I custom-ordered this bralette in my size, 34DD, so it fits me well – but I don’t think customization is strictly necessary for a product this stretchy. The entire bra is made of an elastic material with a lot of stretch. You’ll be disappointed with this if you want a chest harness with more practical applications – i.e. one by which a dominant partner can grab you and throw you around – but if you just want the cage bra aesthetic without the kink possibilities, this will work fine.

That said, I think this product was designed for someone thinner and less busty than I. The two straps that go under each breast look clearly defined and cool on the mannequin in the product image, but on me, they tend to bunch together uncomfortably, like how the extra fabric under the bust of a longline bralette usually rides up.

Those two straps also create a strange situation on my sides and back, gathering the fat there into squishable mounds that look weird under clothes (and even not under clothes). The angles in which I feel babely in this bralette are few and far between.

My main issue with this thing is the shape into which it funnels my breasts. Though the straps under and beside each breast should theoretically push them inward and upward to create a pleasing, curvy shape, I actually just feel like this bralette squishes my boobs into flabby triangular pancakes. It looks odd when I’m naked and even odder under clothes: the effect reminds me of Madonna’s famous pointy bras in the ’80s.

However, if you’re cool with pointy boobs – or have boobs small enough that a bralette like this wouldn’t corral yours into a strange shape – you might nonetheless like the effect you get from this piece. I have to admit I find it sexy-looking from the front, if not from the sides.

The elastic material is soft-ish but does get a bit chafey if I wear it for more than an hour at a time. It’s definitely more comfortable to me than a typical bra underwire, but it’s also much less supportive.

Overall, at $15, I think the Sienna Cage Bralette would be a reasonable purchase if you want to give the cage bra aesthetic a try. It’s far less expensive than a lot of higher-quality versions of a similar idea, so it’ll give you a taste of what you could look like and feel like if you dive deeper into the world of cage bras.

I wish this one didn’t squish my boobs into such an odd shape or emphasize the fat rolls on my sides and back, but I still think it looks cute as hell peeking out of a tank top – so I’ll probably wear it to sexy events now and again. I just want to feel like a sexy millennial witch, okay?!

Thanks to Bargain Hunterz for sponsoring this review and for providing me with this product to review! As always, all writing and opinions are my own.

Links & Hijinks: Boners, Biting, & Rolled-Up Sleeves

• Hey. You can find meaning without monogamy. “People will accept or reject you for reasons that have nothing to do with you at all,” writes Alana Hope Levinson. “I know that sounds depressing, but it can also be liberating.”

• It’s okay if you don’t like making out! You just have to find partners who feel similarly, or are willing to compromise on this issue.

• This post is from 2013 but I only just discovered it: Sinclair Sexsmith shared tons of helpful info about biting during sex.

• Here’s the only article about Rachel Dolezal worth reading.

• My friend Caitlin wrote about her experiences with mindful masturbation and made me want to do some too!

Why do some people fake their orgasms?

• “A woman’s orgasm shouldn’t be the goal of sex,” argues Jessica Schreindl, because defining orgasm as a goal makes sex into a high-pressure, patriarchal performance for everyone involved. I agree that orgasm shouldn’t be demanded or pushed for, if the person or people involved don’t want to have one – but for me personally, orgasm is an important part of sex and I very much appreciate partners who’ll give me one when I want one!

• This article about piss play is beautifully written. I adore Katie Sly’s work!

• “I want you to consider the possibility that the more chill you seem to guys, the less likely you are to find a guy who loves you for exactly who you are right now,” suggests Heather Havrilesky in an Ask Polly column that tugged at my utterly un-chill heartstrings.

• You can help relieve a partner’s PMS symptoms by talking to them and being supportive.

• Here’s the always-charming John McDermott talking about why dating-related slang like “ghosting” and “cushioning” normalizes bad behavior. I’m not sure how I feel about his argument – I think it’s useful to name behaviors like this so we can identify them, call people out on them, and explain why they’re unacceptable – but it’s nonetheless an interesting thought experiment in how language shapes our actions.

• Katie Tandy wrote a stunning piece about using kink to heal from trauma and it made me cry a whole bunch.

• The ever-clever Alana Massey on One Direction, non-toxic masculinity, and why teen girls love boy bands as deeply as they do. “When you’re part of a fandom, you’re never really alone if you don’t want to be,” she writes, reminding me of so so so many life-affirming experiences I have had in the throes of various obsessions with bands, movies, TV shows, musicals, books, and actors.

Should boners be frowned on at nudist colonies?

• Yo, Planned Parenthood isn’t just for women. I am tired of the anti-feminist rhetoric which says any effort that only benefits women isn’t worth undertaking (women are people! women are valuable! women are a huge percentage of the population!) but it is nonetheless worth noting that Planned Parenthood helps a broad range of people.

• There are still people using Craigslist to find sexual partners, apparently.

Forearms are hot and therefore rolled-up sleeves are hot. (I have been saying this for years!)

• My friend Tynan wrote about how sex doesn’t have to be a priority in your relationship, so long as your priorities line up with your partner’s.

• Fuck “stealthing.” WHY ARE (some) MEN LIKE THIS??

Science misunderstands female desire and this contributes to our cultural idea that women are less libidinous than men. The truth is much more complicated! (In summation: “Women like having sex. They don’t like being socially punished for it.”)

• Suzannah Weiss went to a nudist resort and it helped her learn better boundary-setting skills. Amaze!

• Consensual non-monogamy has its own unique benefits that you can’t get to the same degree from monogamous relationships. Interesting!

• Here’s why some straight men have sex with other straight men.

• Alana Massey wrote about consumerism as a coping mechanism in the era of Trump. Yikes.

• “I’m sitting covered in cum on Christmas Eve in my mom’s basement with a wire hanging out of my ass; I’m a pervert.” Gotta love a good story of masturbation gone awry.

• I love writing that combines sex, gender, and fashion! Here’s a piece on the iconic imagery of a woman wearing a man’s dress shirt after sex.

• Here’s a primer on tentacle porn, incase you were wondering.

The history of artificial insemination is a long and storied one.

• Why do men like to have sex with the lights on? Gosh, I have such a crush on John McDermott: “I’ve done it in all grades of lighting… Blazing morning sun, a pitch-black cave, beneath the soft glow of a streetlamp…” (Incidentally, one time I was making out pre-sex with a Tinder hookup while my bedroom’s overhead light was on, and he said, “Is there a lamp you could turn on instead? It feels like a hospital in here.” Thanks, pal.)

Can a robot be a pickup artist?

• Gala wrote about why her divorce was a blessing. I’ve never been married but this reminded me lots of the final ~4 months of my last serious relationship: the crushing certainty that I needed to end things, but the absolute terror every time I contemplated doing so. In retrospect, I wish I’d bucked up and done it earlier!

• Let’s replace the dick pic with the dick code. (There’s also a vulva code. Here’s mine.)

Top Toronto Spots For… Femmes

my friend Cadence's back with "queer femme" written on it

Gosh, I love when fellow femmes visit my city. I get to take them to all the cool places. We coo over sequinned fabrics together, weigh in one another’s dressing-room successes, and window-shop for pricey makeup we’ll never own. It’s always a rollicking good time.

Here are some of my absolute favorite femme haunts in this city o’ mine. You should check ’em out if you’re femme-inclined and are visiting T.O. for the Toronto International Porn Festival in April, or for any other reason!

me wearing a blue polka-dotted dress and sunglasses in a busy New York square
Rocking a Loveless dress in New York.

Retro clothing: Loveless BoutiqueThis splashy little shop on College Street is a rockabilly babe’s wet dream. They stock 1950s reproduction clothes in a blessedly wide range of sizes. I always stop by Loveless if I have a fancy event coming up that I want to look pretty for, because nothin’ makes me feel quite so foxy as a good fit-and-flare dress. The salespeople are also relentlessly nice and encouraging, in a way that feels closer to femme solidarity than ruthless salesmanship. So much love!

Vintage shopping: King of Kensington and Flash BackToronto’s Kensington Market is rife with terrific vintage shops, but these two are my faves. They stock plentiful vintage goods in categories that matter to me: pretty dresses, tough leather jackets, badass boots, gorgeous handbags, and a veritable rainbow of cashmere sweaters. Some of my most prized possessions from these places include a pair of red sparkly boxers, a periwinkle and lavender striped cashmere sweater, the most perfect red bag, and another cashmere that’s by Ralph Lauren and was in perfect condition when I bought it vintage for $40. Swooooon.

Alterations and repairs: JB Cleaner & TailorIf you need a button or zipper fixed, a piece of clothing taken in or let out, or any dry-cleaning done, this is the place I would loudly recommend! As far as I know, it’s owned and run by one lady, Tuyet, and she’s awesome. Every time I come in with a piece of clothing that needs fixin’ up, she has me try it on in her little changing room, and then she stands me in front of a mirror and whirlwinds around me, pinning and pinning until I somehow look hotter and shapelier than I did when I walked in. My alterations are typically done about a week later, and are always flawless. I don’t trust anyone else with my clothes, honestly.

me modeling some black patent leather Dr. Martens boots
I have had a lifelong love affair with Doc Martens.

Kickass boots: Dr. MartensWe are lucky, us Torontonians, to have an actual brick-and-mortar Dr. Martens shop on our Queen Street West. It’s a nifty little shop: the decor is colorful and punchy, there are comfy leather benches to sit on while trying on boots, and the sales counter is (inexplicably) an upright piano. Even if you don’t have a spare $120–250 to drop on a pair of nice boots, it’s worth dropping by the store just to screech at the tiny, adorable Doc Martens for toddlers. And a hint: if you’re ever in Toronto on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and you’re on the hunt for some new boots, come here; they always have terrific Boxing Day sales. (I got my knee-high black Docs and metallic blue ones for about $200 total on Boxing Day once…!)

Lingerie: Secrets From Your SisterThis cozy shop in the Annex is a “boutique” and has prices to match, but hey, good bras are always gonna be expensive. I once accompanied a friend to her fitting here and I was impressed with the process: she was assigned a salesperson to work with, who measured her, asked her about her aesthetic preferences for bras, and brought her a whole bunch of options. After several rounds of accepting and rejecting various bras for various reasons, my friend ended up with two high-quality bras she loved. The whole vibe was relaxed, fun, and low-pressure. I don’t really wear bras, but if I did, this is where I’d get ’em!

beautiful blonde blogger Mia Moore trying on some skull-shaped sunglasses
Mia trying on strange sunglasses for my amusement at the Black Market.

Weird finds: Black MarketNot just for femmes: I usually take Bex here when they’re in town, and they’re a mostly-masc nonbinary queerdo! The Black Market carries a strange mixture of vintage clothes, eccentric deadstock, novelty T-shirts, and quirky accessories. I have some glittery dancewear from there, and I also love to pick up handkerchiefs there for flagging purposes. If your wardrobe needs a dose of fresh eclecticism, the Black Market is the place to go.

Hair: Avalon Hair Design. I have been getting my hair done by Paul for at least a decade. He always, always makes me feel like a queen. He’s pricey, yeah, but holy moses, what a pro. Fun fact: when I was ~13, an unfortunate incident involving chlorine caused my super-curly, thick hair to get irretrievably tangled in one section at the back of my head. My mom made a literal emergency appointment with Paul and he soaked my hair in leave-in conditioner and went to work with a comb. Not too long later, my hair was not only detangled but also more gorgeous than before. Paul’s official title is “Master Stylist” and that shit is no joke!

one of my thigh tattoos: a pink bow with the word "girl" above it
My “good girl” tattoos were done at Adrenaline.

Body mods: AdrenalineI got my thigh tattoos done here, on the advice on several friends, and I’m so glad I did! The staff are polite and professional, the waiting area is sunny and comfy, and I felt well taken care of throughout the process. They do tattoos and piercings, take walk-ins, and are right on Queen West (one of the trendiest shopping areas in the city), so if you’re in the mood for an impulsive body mod, Adrenaline’s a great choice.

Makeup and perfume: Sephora Yorkville. Do not bother with the Sephora at the Eaton Centre; it’s always a crowded nightmare. I find that the salespeople at this location are nicer and the vibe is more relaxed, so I can take my time perusing lipsticks, sampling perfumes, and so on. When you’re done here, you can trot down the street to MAC or Holt Renfrew for even more cosmetic funtimes.

Fellow femmes ‘n’ fancypeople: what are your favorite Toronto spots for gettin’ yer pretty on?

Farewell, American Apparel: A Love Letter

You can feel about a company the way you’d feel about a person. You can hold its flaws and its virtues in your mind simultaneously. You can love it and hate it, both together, more intensely every day. You can halfheartedly explain away its mistakes because you want, so badly, to believe in its goodness, its honor. You can, and I do.

American Apparel is shutting its doors after a years-long battle with bankruptcy, scandal, and cultural insensitivity. Let me be exceedingly clear: this post is a love letter, but there are many things about American Apparel I do not love and cannot condone. The sexual harassment, the sizeism, the snotty atmosphere that causes several of my queer, trans, plus-size, and disabled friends to feel uncomfortable in AA stores… None of this is excusable. I myself boycotted AA for years, for these reasons and more. There are those who would say I am problematic for having supported this company. That’s fair.

Setting aside the things about AA that are actually good – like its labor practices and occasional feminist collaborations – what really made me an American Apparel devotee is the products themselves. The products are what I will miss, when the last remaining dregs of AA in this world are extinguished. The clothes, and how they made me feel.

me trying on a blue dress in an AA dressing roomFor years now, when I have an upcoming occasion for which I need to look slutty and cute, American Apparel has been my one-stop shop. This was especially true during the last couple years, when I had a friend who worked as a sales assistant at the Yonge-Dundas location – I’d text him, “I need some new slutty clothes. Are you working today?” and then I’d come in and he’d bring me things to try. A black pleather bustier. A tight gold skirt. A low-cut dress and the best bandeau bra to wear under it. Whatever my slutty needs might be, AA would have ’em covered. (Or just-barely covered, as the case may be.)

I own three of their “figure skater dress,” because it makes me feel like a fucking glorious bombshell, and that feeling is well worth the price of the dress. I own their ponte pencil skirt in two different colors, and have worn them to job interviews, conferences, and presentations, because nothing else puts me in a foxy-businesslady headspace quite so quickly. I own four of their ribbed racerback dresses and two of their jersey racerback dresses, because nothing else is so easy to throw on, style up, and accessorize. Their basics are indispensable simply because they are indeed so basic, and so well-made.

When dressing for a porn shoot or a sex-positive party, I always consider my AA clothes first. My tiny booty shorts, my fetishistic thigh-high socks, my form-fitting fuck-me dresses. They always do me right.

When I need to transport large quantities of sex toys – to, say, a porn shoot, a hotel sex date, or an out-of-country threesome – my bright yellow American Apparel leather clutch is my favorite vessel. It can comfortably fit my Magic Wand, Eleven, a few more toys, and a plethora of safer-sex supplies. Whenever I take it anywhere, people ask me where I got it. It looks so cute tucked under my arm, and it looks even cuter when I open it and you realize it’s stuffed with sexual accoutrements.

me wearing a shiny gold bodysuitWhen I received an invite to the Smut in the 6ix gala and was told to dress “as smutty as possible” in a black/white/gold color scheme, I knew exactly where to shop. It took me less than fifteen minutes to find the perfect thing on the American Apparel website: a deep-V gold lamé bodysuit. At the gala, I rocked it with a black pencil skirt over top, which I then stripped off when I got up on stage and found I wanted to show more skin. On my chubby frame, the bodysuit looked quite different from how it did on the AA model’s slim body, but I still felt like a luminescent vixen in it. It stretched to skim my curves and made me feel like I could live in gold lamé.

But AA isn’t all party clothes and mega-cleavage. Their hoodies – part of the line of basics which made them famous – are among my go-to loungewear when I’m sad, sick, or depressed. Lined with cozy fleece, they keep me warm and comfortable even when my brainspace feels cold and harsh. I can zip up the zipper, pull up the hood, and tuck my hands into the kangaroo pockets, and it makes me feel snugly, safely bundled up. Insulated from the world by polyester and cotton.

The AA stores in my city – and probably yours too – are currently plastered with sale signs: “75% OFF!” “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” Inside, they’re practically barren. Everything is on sale, even the furniture. It’s a sad sight. But recently, I ventured into one with my friend Suz, determined to find some final souvenirs to take home with me.

One thing I bought is a dark red hoodie, unisex size small to fit my ladies’-size-large body. I’ve barely taken it off since I bought it; in fact, I’m swaddled in it now as I write this. Like all my AA acquisitions, it’s well-made, dependable, reliable. I feel effortlessly put-together in it; I feel at home. It’s a feeling I’ll miss, as American Apparel shuts its stores, takes down its website, and recedes into history. I will wear these clothes until they disintegrate. I will wear these clothes until I find ones I like better. Maybe I never will.

Pieces You Left Behind


Girl with the purple hair, I’m sad we didn’t date for longer. I know we’re 15, and 15-year-olds are fickle. I know you said the break-up wasn’t about me, that you’re just “not in a good place to have a girlfriend right now,” that you feel “trapped” by labels and that our views on drugs are incompatible. I know all of this. But still I want you.

I daydream about you in class, so flagrantly that stern teachers chastise me and kind teachers ask me if I’m feeling alright. I know which hallways you walk down in between classes, and sometimes I walk where you’ll be, and sometimes I avoid you because you make me feel things that scare me.

I write in my journal, “I could marry that girl.” I put down my pen, stare at the page, and sigh. Because it’s melodramatic and it’s also true.

A contingent of twelfth-graders have organized a clothing swap. It’s one of the minor events written in my calendar; everything that isn’t you feels minor to me lately. Nonetheless, I show up at our school’s sunny, sprawling art room at the appointed time, bag of unwanted clothes in tow to trade away.

I spot you instantly. My eyes are attuned to you, like how cheetahs must have gazelle-dar. (Cheetahs need gazelle meat to live. I don’t know what I need from you, exactly.) You’ve brought some old clothes too, and you’re laying them out on the table to be picked through by intrepid art-school fashionistas.

I say hi to you, because I have to. There isn’t another option. But then I slip away into the throng of girls. I have blushed and giggled in front of you too many times. It feels redundant to do it again, especially now that you don’t want me.

2537272455_c90e77cb96_oExamining the sartorial offerings on the table, I find, long minutes later, a jacket I’ve seen you wear. It’s brown, with pinstripes, and big masculine shoulderpads. It looks like something Oliver Twist might wear if he was a character in The Breakfast Club. I would never, ever, ever wear this jacket. It offends my femme sensibilities on every level there is.

But it’s yours. So I take it. I make sure you’re not looking my way, and I tuck your jacket under my arm, and then I get the hell out of there. My cheeks burn with shame. Look at you, always making me blush in a million different ways.

Almost a decade later, a friend helps me excavate my closet, harshly insisting I expunge anything I haven’t worn in six months or more. I appreciate her authoritarian approach – but when we get to that brown pinstriped monstrosity, I feel icy fear rush into my veins. I beg. I plead. I clutch the jacket to my chest. I even cry a little. I just can’t give this damn thing away.

My friend lets me keep your jacket, and my sick secret is still safe. From you, at least.

4102861067_39e2f2429b_oFemmey friend-with-benefits, you are too too sweet. There are limited ways for 16-year-olds to give each other expensive presents, but you have found one. In my lap there is a plastic grocery bag containing two cashmere sweaters your grandmother gave you, which you insist you won’t wear and don’t want.

“Are you sure?” I ask, lipsticked pout gaping with surprise. “Aren’t these, like, really expensive?”

You rake a hand through your hot pink pixie cut. You’re like if Mia Farrow and James Dean had a baby who grew up to be Ramona Flowers. “I want you to have them,” you say. “They’ll look better on you anyway.”

This is a bald-faced lie. You are slim and slight, and I am ample and curvy. If these sweaters have a certain baggy, laissez-faire, Kate Moss-esque charm on you, they’ll cling to me like woollen skin. And indeed, when I try them on in front of you, the one that’s supposed to be a sweaterdress scarcely conceals my hips and ass. But you tell me, “You look hot,” and then we fuck on my twin bed while your sweater’s still hugging me tight.

Grandma, I’m sorry we’re pillaging your house. You always kept it so neat and sparse when you were alive, and now it looks a fright. But we’re doing this with the best of intentions. We need to clean your house up, clear it out, get it ready to be sold. We won’t be here much longer, I promise.

Toward the end of a long, hard-working day, mum says to us: “If there’s anything you guys want to take, you can do that now.” Max and I both bolt. He heads for the basement; maybe there’s a board game or stuffed animal he wants. As for me, I beeline to your bedroom.

I know exactly what I want to take, and I find it sooner than I expect to: the knitted shawl in autumnal tones. It used to cloak your shoulders through falls and winters, but now it’s draped over the headboard of your bed. It was painstakingly crafted by your brother-in-law, my great-uncle, who passed away mere months after you did. I saw this shawl on you so often, warming your cold bones. It looks like a Mondrian painting in sepia tones. When I bury my face in it, it smells like you: fruity soap, hearty dinners, the vaguest hint of a feminine perfume.

When I leave the house carrying your shawl, I wonder if mum will stop me, tell me she wants it instead, or tell me there’s someone else who deserves it more. But she doesn’t. It’s mine now, and I never ever wear it because I want it to always smell like you.

First love, I don’t know how I managed to plan so poorly for this break-up, considering I’ve wanted to bite the bullet for months. I should have given you back all your things before I tearfully told you on a bustling street corner that we shouldn’t be together anymore. Now I’m sitting numbly in my room with a cardboard box full of three and a half years’ worth of love’s detritus.

A graphic novel you lent me ’cause you said I would like it (you were right). A few sex toys you tested so I could review them on my blog. A stuffed doll of my favorite Pokémon, Ampharos, that you scouted out for me on eBay. A pair of your boxers, printed with black-and-white comic strip panels, found under my bed from a passionate moment somewhere along the way.

For weeks and then months, I think about delivering this box to you – leaving it on your doorstep and fleeing. But I don’t want to risk seeing you, even if the risk is small. This wound still feels fresh, this deep sense of failure, like I fucked up something that ought to have lasted.

As 2014 slips away and 2015 fades into view, I decide it’s time to unpack the box. It’s been sitting in my room taking up physical and psychic space, and I want it gone, along with the illusion that I will ever be completely rid of you. I put the graphic novel on my bookshelf, hide the toys in my toy drawers, set the Ampharos next to my Mudkip – and put the boxers on.

Years later, they’ve interwoven with my life the way any beloved item of lounge clothing does – just something to throw on when I’m lazy or sad or sleepy. I rarely remember their romantic origins; it’s only when another boy tells me, “Cool boxers!” in hazy post-coital lamplight that I feel embarrassed to be wearing them. I’m not a comic nerd; the men I date are. “They were my ex’s, and I kept them,” I explain sheepishly. He ruffles my hair and says, “Well, they’re still cool.” Yeah, I guess they are.

imageTragically unfeminist ex-boyfriend, you were right: I look better in your green-and-blue plaid shirt than you did. I spot it in your closet and want it it not because it’s yours but because it’s bright, beautiful, cozy and cute. That should be a warning sign that you’re not as perfect for me as I think, but I don’t see it that way yet.

We’ve been lying around naked in the morning light, in your filthy bachelor apartment perched high above the city. Well, I’m naked; you’re almost always clothed around me, guarded, distant, clinical. Your constant sexual rejections and occasional body-shaming barbs have pricked my heart and I feel depleted, but I haven’t noticed that yet. All I know is it feels weird being naked around you. So I put your shirt on.

When you tell me to keep it, I skip home in it, vibrating from the familiar glee of wearing a reminder that somebody likes me.

Weeks later, when your charm has unraveled, I sit in the window of a café with a friend. “I have to break up with him,” I realize aloud, capping off a torrent of complaints. “I have to. Like, today.” I grab my phone and text to ask if you can meet me after your show later. My eyes fall on the shirt I’m wearing, and it’s yours. “Guess I should go home and change out of this before I go break up with him, huh?” I ask my pal, a bitter laugh breaking my voice.

Days after the deed is done, you text me. A post-break-up text: that rarest of things. “Hey you! Hope you have fun on your trip,” you tell me (I am reading your words in a car on a highway, two days deep into a nine-day road trip with friends). “Oh, and keep the shirt!”

It had not even occurred to me to give the shirt back. I’ve earned it, after that shitshow of a relationship. “Haha, thanks,” I text back, and roll my eyes.