Dead Man's Coats
fun, wasnt it? I asked as we hiked
through the airport, exhausted.
thats it. Get rid of the coats. Now, I mean
it, just toss them into the ladies room,
just got them yesterday, I answered,
puzzled. Theyre brand new.
They were brand new to the young man who bought
them who may or may not have recently died of old
age. What is true is they now reek like
concentrated urine and foot.
I had never
seen Pam this agitated. Shes so cool and
collected and kind. I should have seen a red flag
though when her computer bag disappeared at the
Louisville airport during which was supposedly my
watch. She had given me a look. It was understood
that if one of us was, say, taking the rental car
keys back to the counter, that the other one of
us would watch any miscellaneous bags left on the
floor by the rental key-returner. That was
Pams understanding. My understanding was
that you never ever leave unattended bags on the
You talked me into buying those coats. You
told me they were cool.
didnt know what I was saying, I was
delirious from the smell, Pam claimed.
have trusted you all these years. I only buy what
you tell me looks good on me, I whined.
youve been living a lie. The suede coat is
putrid and the leather coat is rank. The smell
has actually permeated my glasses.
this is your headache talking. Youre tense.
We had such a good time at the estate sale,
I have a
headache because Ive been sitting on a
plane for two hours with jacketed corpses missing
their bodies. And for two days leading up to that
I was stuck in a hotel room and a tiny rental car
with the damn things, which, for some secret
reason you would not let leave your side. I need
couldnt pass them up, not for that price.
You even said, Its sixteen dollars
total for cryin out loud, whats the
that because you were stymied over whether or not
to spend sixteen dollars when we were already
forty-five minutes late for a brunch that had our
jobs on the line.
are just exaggerating. Our jobs were only on the
line the next day when we were late for the
portfolio review. Honestly, I dont know
what on earth I was thinking when I went back
down to that bar. You know I cant hold my
liquor. And I dont even smoke! And I
already apologized for that.
coats are so old and mildewy that the only thing
holding them together is the smell.
A few moments
of silence gathered between us as we continued
our hike through the airport.
I broke the
silence with, It was fun, wasnt it?