.

 

Vest

I still need a few years.

“No, go ahead. I can take it.”

“It's that leather vest. That was unfortunate.”

“I don't wear it any more. Maybe for a year I haven't.”

“It had big buttons.”

“Yep.”

“It gave you that Village People look that girls like so much.”

“There was some really bad hair, too. I've never found anyone who can cut it. I try to tell them what to do but they think I'm stupid. Like doctors. I spend $40 and look like a 12-year-old boy with a cowlick who's run away from a home for the retarded. It's better just to do it myself once every few weeks.”

“I like that. I like your widow's peak. And the T-shirt with the shirt blousing over. You stopped that.”

“Ah, ouch. Yes. I just saw a picture of that from a few months ago. I figured out that was wrong on my own. So I button all shirts to the second-to-top button. I wear jeans or slacks and a button shirt untucked and open at the collar. Nothing else. I don't own anything else. Everything has a collar.”

“No more vests. No more bloused button shirts.”

“Yes, no more of any of it. Just straight buttoned up. Jeans. Black shoes. Black socks. Shaved head.”

“I'm glad to hear that. It makes me feel a lot better. For you.”

“Sometimes I still wear a black T with a black shirt. But only on weekends. To Home Depot, like that.”

“Okay.”

“I still need a few years. Then I'll get it.”


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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