« Feeling The Cold? Try Mammoth Blood | Main | Someone Is Not Stupid For Seeking An Answer »

Over Here: 111 - Red Jacket

...I had seen this bright red, satin-like thing, with incredible white piping, hanging on a rack at the sporting goods store up on the city square...

Ron Pataky recalls the inglorious days of the red jacket.

It was a few months later, and my cantaloupe fiasco had long-since been set aside. Shit happened, and was best, I now knew, when quickly shovelled out of the way to make room
for the new. Autumn was in the air, nuts filled the bushels under the green awning in front of the market, and golden peaches looked as if they'd arrived only moments ago, freshly picked from the very trees of Heaven itself, and absolutely bulging with the liquid blessings of countless angels. The beginning of a new school year was mere days away.

With melons now a mere wispy plume in my flaky memory bank, I decided I needed a new jacket. No, make that one specific new jacket. I had seen this bright red, satin-like thing, with incredible white piping, hanging on a rack at the sporting goods store up on the city square; and I had decided that no boy other than me would ever sport those colours at John Simpson Junior High School. The guys, I knew, would oooh and ahhh as if on cue, and GIRLS would be absolutely gaga with delight, not only at my spectacular jib, but by the fact that the stunning appearance had been made possible by the rare excellence of my selective sartorial processes.

Happy, happy day!

The eight bucks and I parted company swiftly and smoothly. The cash register went cha-ching, and I walked out wearing my new bright-red jacket, ready to stop cars, torment bulls,
or simply to stagger the fresh-faced womenfolk at John Simpson and elsewhere. I had by then heard of Beau Brummel. And, you know, I actually felt kinda sorry for the poor gerbil!

You didn't see many bright red sateen jackets in those days. Not even bright blue.. .or bright green. I don't know what the problem was, but some of the junior high students might have
even thought they looked ridiculous or something. Let's just say that those kinds of colours never really "caught on."

I decided, despite some puzzling reactions on the parts of sundry friends and acquaintances, that I was going to wear that damned thing until it fell right off my body. And I almost did.

Mom would take one look at me as I came down the stairs in the morning, and quickly turn away, as if she might break into hysterical laughter at any moment. I even saw Gordie
occasionally sneaking the kind of sideward glance a kid generally reserves for a really ugly baby in a passing stroller. I might have cared; but I was damned if I was ever going to show it.

Dissolve. I was reminiscing with another Simpson alum a few years later, when she laughingly remarked, "Oh Ronnie, I'll never forget that awful red jacket you had!"

"Yeh," I answered, shaking my head and chuckling, "kids are really something, aren't they?"


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.