Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"dry clean only." pt. 2

He hated the summer because it kept him from his coat. Or out of his coat, rather; regardless of season, it hung like a superhero costume in his closet from a hanger that was visibly on the verge of breaking underneath the weight of the heaviest article of clothing he had ever come across.

The tag indicated that the exterior was composed of 100% wool, while the inner lining was 60% cotton and 40% polyester. He didn't mind the blend. The blend kept him protected from the scratch of the wool and kept the coat protected from internal damage. Wearing it even halfway through last April's sunshine--more out of aesthetic than necessity, obviously--caused sweat to gather beneath tired arms and perhaps a lesser coat would've absorbed it, leaving sunflower stains inside summered sleeves.

But not this coat. It protected him from the elements and hid him from the oncoming winter.

Even though he liked winter. And not just because of the coat, either. A deep draw of of icy 40° was better than electro-shock therapy. It sent caffeinated jolts through atrophied limbs and made the sun shine twice as bright against what would soon be banks of snow but were now just sprinklers, chunk chunk chunk chunnnnnnnnnnking out their last sprays of hydrosolidarity onto grass that wouldn't remain green for much longer.

But things changed with the seasons. Leaves fell hand-in-hand with static and the wind blew away the debris. Sidewalks found themselves wearing shedded leaves as he found himself in his coat, walks taken out and views taken in. He could see the whole valley from up here--high enough to give nosebleeds to the unacclimatized--and he wondered how people were spending their evenings.

Surely others were taking walks. The air was too Perrier crisp for terminally indoors. Although he had the advantage of roughly a thousand feet of additional altitude on his side, there was no possible way that it wasn't good enough down there. But he was curious. Not curious enough to go back down there, mind you--human interaction down there was sisyphean at best, and not just because he couldn't use references like that without having to explain their meaning--but curious enough to let scenarios play out in his head as his shoes crunched leaves like broken glass against the freshly paved concrete sidewalk.

But nothing he could come up with was particularly interesting. People down there had the same problems that he did up here. They were just...warmer. Not the people or their problems, but just the setting. He didn't envy them that warmth, either. Warmth wasn't a problem. At home lay an electric blanket that had been on for five hours, warming in anticipation for his return and subsequent sleep beneath it. He turned around at the last corner of the street and made his way back.

A few blocks later, he had arrived. He retracted his arms from the sleeves and tossed the garment onto the dining room table five feet from his front door, wondering just how long it took all of those sheep to grow back all of the wool that had been shorn in order to make this coat.

We all lose our cover at least once a season, he thought, wondering when his would return.

1 comment:

Meg said...

brrrriilliant. Like a brand new leopard skin pillbox hat. :) Will I get to see this coat?