Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Alex Frank talks the Electric Green shorts by Lightning Bolt.
I went to Florida a couple of weeks ago but didn’t make it to the beach. It was my birthday weekend, but I was there for some more important family shit, a funeral, and so I was stuck indoors all day, barely even seeing the sun. Anytime I could, I’d sneak outside, sit on the front porch drinking Diet Cokes out of a straw and bathe in the satisfying and balmy discomfort of Sarasota humidity. When the day ended and I had a moment of freedom, it was already late and I was back at my shitty motel near a 7-11 and a Chik-Fil-A. At midnight, I turned 25.
The motel pool was closed, but I grabbed some towels from the bathroom, put on my Electric Green Lightning Bolt shorts and jumped the fence. The pool was lit incandescent blue and when I jumped in, the motel was so sleepy quiet that everyone in their smoky, air-conditioned rooms must have heard the splash. I did the backstroke, looked at the stars.
The next day, my birthday, was the actual funeral. People told happy stories about the deceased. She was in her 90s! They read from letters she had written that were dated from 1940. Everybody ate turkey sandwiches afterwards. When the service was over, I was driven to the Tampa airport in my funeral garb (a button down shirt and some slacks) where I had a four-hour wait time for my flight. I drank margaritas and got tipsy at an airport T.G.I. Fridays. Some flamboyant gentlemen were having a party brunch, ordering Bloody Marys and wearing their sunglasses indoors.
Right before we boarded the plane, I went to the bathroom and changed into my Electric Green shorts. I don’t know exactly why. It was actually pretty cold in my terminal and I knew the plane would be frigid. And they were even still a little damp from my midnight swim. But I guess when you’ve just turned 25 and you’re stuck in the Tampa Bay airport after going to a funeral, you’ve got to do what you can to remember that there will be more swimming pools and beach days and hot weather to come in your life. That’s what these shorts are for me. Hopefully I’ll get to use them under sunnier circumstances.