In the Altered States of America, warped perceptions are king and melodrama runs high. In this original series from Brooklyn-based illustrator Mike Reddy and writer Matthew Newton, a new short story is published each day throughout the month of July.
Edgar Fink never cared for button-down shirts or pleated pants. He preferred a T-shirt with a pocket and a sensible pair of heavily-starched trousers. “Comfort,” Edgar often said, “is for women and babies.” No amount of coaxing could convince the stubborn 64-year-old bricklayer that men were permitted to wear shorts, let alone a shirt with a floral pattern. “Children air out their legs,” he would say, “men sweat.” Last summer, however, Edgar began receiving vouchers in the mail from the Federal Bureau of Unclaimed Patterned Garments, and something changed. His stance on acceptable clothing became more lenient. First, Edgar began wearing plaid shirts. Then, as his affinity for the pattern grew, he introduced plaid socks into his wardrobe. Soon plaid curtains shaded his third-floor apartment, and he was giving plaid skirts and ties as gifts to family and friends. But when the vouchers stopped arriving in his mailbox on the first Tuesday of each month, Edgar’s enthusiasm began to wane. As the unexpected garment funding drained from his life, so too did the color.