A “beautiful” object

This story was written for my Creative Writing class at Delaware County Community College.
The Danny Briere jersey carries the signatures of 35 Philadelphia Flyers, both past and present. (Candice Monhollan)

The Danny Briere jersey carries the signatures of 35 Philadelphia Flyers, both past and present. (Candice Monhollan)

When I first looked at this exercise, I figured it would be easy.  But then I sat down to start working on it and realized it was not going to be as easy as I first thought.  Who or what determines when something is beautiful?  Webster’s defines beauty as “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”

So I sat down on my bed and began looking around my room.  To anyone who would walk in here, all they would see is a bunch of posters, pictures and jerseys covering almost every inch of my walls.  But when I looked around, my eyes suddenly stopped on one object in particular.  Then it dawned on me that this is the thing that I thought was beautiful.  It is my Danny Briere jersey.

At first glance, I think that it is perfect.  When I took it down from the wall to look at it closer, I began to notice the flaws.  On the left shoulder is a sharpie mark, just above the numbers.  The stitching on the letters and numbers are fraying.  The white of the jersey that was once as bright as the ice Briere skates on has since faded and lost it vibrancy from wash and wear.

However, when I take a step back from it, the little flaws make no difference to me.  I may own seven different Philadelphia Flyers jerseys, but this one means the most to me.  It was my first Flyers jersey.  And not only that, but it is also unique.  There isn’t another jersey like it anywhere in the world.  How is that possible?  Because my jersey carries the signatures of 35 former and current Flyers, from the great Bernie Parent, Bob Kelly and Dave Schultz to the current stars of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux.  But above all, Danny Briere himself.  Past and present collide on every inch of the numbers 4 and 8 on the back of the jersey.

So to answer the question of a beautiful object, it all depends on the person.  To someone else, it is just a jersey.  To me, as Webster said, it is pleasurable to my eyes when I look at it to see all the signatures and to my mind when I recall all the times I met the players.  Almost every signature on the jersey has a funny story to go alongside of it that can always make me smile.  To me, it is the most beautiful thing I own.  It is something I cannot ever live without.


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Short Stories, Sports

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