Standing proudly in our winter coats

9 02 2009

He was wearing a jacket which reminded me of my dad’s old canvas Air Force coat, the one I took with me to and wore regularly at BigTenU.

Just the sight of that jacket took me back twenty-odd years—I mean, warped-backward-swoosh to the mall, in front of the library, on a light-gray autumn day, crisp and open and accentuating the features of every builidng and every person, the sharp smell of impending cold, possibility everywhere.

My god, middle-aged on a train at midnight in Manhattan I was eighteen or nineteen and revelling in the midwestern collegiate air. I could see myself grinning, striding toward. . . something. And there was something there, I’m sure of it.

A second glance at a stranger’s coat and I’m sent reeling into my past.

It wasn’t a bad reel.