The Grey Fuzz Buddy

September 10, 2014
The Grey Fuzz Buddy
Every year at Mingus Union High School, all of the sports teams receive their own personalized team t-shirts or jackets. My freshman year playing tennis for Mingus, I received mine. My tennis jacket is the color grey- the grey of a storm cloud soon before it rains. It’s as if the rain drops, which seep into the jacket, extract the spectrum from the sky and transfer it to the very fabrics draped across my upper body. There’s bold, eggshell white letters printed ‘Mingus’ across the chest. Then, there’s the image of a woman hitting a tennis ball silhouetted by those letters in a shade darker than that of the sky surrounding a full moon, presently before midnight. In that same proud white font is my own last name printed between the shoulder blades claiming the ownership of the jacket to me. In smaller, dainty white letters is printed with the very tacky, yet comical phrase, “you only live once, but you can serve twice” just peeking out above the waistline. There is a kangaroo pocket surrounding the belly, and then a very large, cozy hood hanging from the base of the neck. A jacket’s purpose is to keep the body warm, but this jacket has done much more than that; this jacket has been a symbol of my high school experience, my father, and my friendships; a symbol which I will hold with me all my life.
As students at Mingus Union High School have walked the halls on their first day for what feels to be an infinite number of years, a rite of passage, my time came on August 4th, 2011. I was among the freshman class of 2015 joining the high school world for the first time. Something that Mingus offers that my grade school didn’t is tennis. Which, tennis might be, to most people that live in Arizona, a little bit of a foreign concept. But my father played occasionally with me, as his father did with him. It was never an avid sport of mine, until the day I tried out. That became the first day of my teenage years that I made my father really proud. Trying out for tennis was the day I took a chance on something new, and I succeeded in my endeavors. By the end of freshman year, my dad watched with other proud parents as I walked over to my coach and received my first team jacket.
In my closet, there is one item that sticks out, the item that I wear the most; this makes my closet the most important closet in the world. My closet is special, because there is a key here. There is a key to my special item, which is hung with care and left waiting for my arrival as I wait for it. My jacket would have no importance to me, though, if it was just left in the closet. If this jacket did not journey with me, and venture onto great distances. If it was left at home on chilly, bare nights while I was exposed to the cool dark abyss on my journeys. My warm cloak follows me, shields me, wherever I go, and wherever I end up. A symbol of where I have been, or where I have come from, and what I have accomplished. Worn just as plain as the expression on my face to show my pride and pleasure in all I do.
In one trip I took to see my beloved brother, I had left my dear jacket with him as I traveled home. It was by no means intentional, because, of course, I went without that jacket until my senior year in high school. Eventually, the faithful had found its way back to me, all the way from Florida, in my last winter at Mingus. As I opened the box that the jacket had finally been shipped in, a smell wafted through the air; through my hair, between all my senses. This box had brought back Florida. My jacket had taken a tight hug of my brothers cologne and it had brought it back just for me. For my senses to be filled with