Sunday, July 8, 2012

The jacket

A few months ago I was on my  way to grab  a drink (I believe I was meeting some friends) when a familiar face stopped me. The man was scratched up and had blood on his face. You could easily tell that he had his share of alcohol for the night already. I didn’t know him too well, but I recognized him. He worked at one of the local bars, either as a bouncer, a server or a bartender and he was always nice and helpful. He told me he just got beaten up, but he was too afraid to talk to the police. The attackers, he explained, took his clothes and walking around half naked he would only attract unwanted attention. I’m not going back to jail- he vowed. You could understand his concerns a bit- he was in an awful shape and being covered with tattoos of flames, skulls and daggers clearly didn’t help. He asked me if he could hold my jacket and have me walk with him to his bar. ‘You know me, I helped you so many times’ he said. While that never actually happened it was December, we expected for temperature to drop that night and the wind was picking up. I was more concerned about the guy than the jacket and I knew that although I had a pretty good idea  were he worked and who he was chances were I would never see my jacket again. I liked it too. It was unique, my mother got it as a souvenir back when she was working on the Polish production of Big Brother. ‘I’m not going to  walk with you to that bar, because I have other plans’ I explained. But  why don’t you borrow my jacket and  meet me on the corner of University and Main at one?  He didn’t show up. Still, I was happy I helped a guy out. He was a good kid and he was in trouble. It was more of an impulse and he wasn’t a stranger either. I lived across the street, he needed it more than I did. But I

He no longer worked at the place I knew him from, still I was told he comes by. I asked his co-workers to tell him I still want my jacket back. That was in December. I didn’t see him again until tonight. I decided to  chat with a friend who runs a hotdog stand downtown for a good 30 minutes. When we talk I see a familiar face coming up to buy food. Don’t I know you? – I asked and it took me a few seconds to realize who it was- You have my jacket! Washed ad pressed, he said as we exchanged numbers. Who knows

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