Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Brother's Jacket

When I moved to Portugal in April, it was decided that we would all be back in Switzerland for winter this year, so I left my winter clothes there. A down filled black coat that I have had for five years, and it's still as warm as the day I got it. Scarves that were purchased from people. I try not to buy scarves from a department store if I can help it, I just like the character of the ones that get sold by those who had some part in the making of them. Never too bright, but soft yarns of white, linen, blues, and grays. Gloves that I got from Ocktoberfest....the cool kind with flaps that would make it easy to smoke if I wanted to. Cozy sweaters, warm socks with stripes. And some very, very fashionable boots that I were a gift from people who paid much more for them than I ever would...but boots in Switzerland in winter are a must....whole outfits are planned around such things.

Those belongings are now all sitting in the storage of my old boss's home. Never to be returned. It's ok. I'm over it. I've lost a lot this year and material possessions are high on that list. But, already, it's colder in Utah than I ever remember it being, maybe that's because I'm wearing a horrific sweater from Old Navy that does nothing to cut the chill. Maybe I'm getting old and my skin is wearing thin? Maybe I just don't enjoy freezing one bit and I feel I shouldn't have to anymore?

Rebuying all of those things is not an option, and, have you priced coats lately? I'm one of those people that buys something really nice, but then I wear it for about 10 years (no, kidding, my favorite lounge shirt is one I bought in high school many, many years ago). So, I went home to my parents to raid the closets there and see what I could make due with until I can afford a coat (which will probably be during the sales in April :)

I found a nice, cozy, parka. Too big, but it smells like my brother. It is my brother's. So many of his things, just hanging there. It has been about a year since I have physically touched my brother. I've seen him through the sad visitors screen only once in that amount of time too. Yet, putting his jacket on each day now, I find myself having some very weird J.J. Abrams-esque moments with my brother--almost like I know what he is thinking, feeling, doing, and trying at the moment I wear the jacket. I get a little carried away, and it's not like the jacket is the Ring of Mordor or anything, but it has definitely weighed me down with more than the several ounces that it weighs. It's an interesting feeling, and maybe I'm a masochist, or maybe I just miss my brother so much that I don't mind feeling some of his pain, or maybe I just think that maybe if I'm feeling it too he won't have to feel as much....whatever the reason, I keep wearing that damn jacket.


JonJon said...

Lovely post. :)

Rowena said...

I do know how it feels to be in this moving/movement stage. And the loss of stuff and the storage miles and miles away. And the winter after not being cold. And the not being able to restock the wardrobe right away. I might suggest you try a thrift or vintage store for a new to you coat. Maybe even an adorable vintage one. I'm wearing a baby blue wool duffel coat now. With buffalo plaid lining. Far cheaper than even the sales.

And the word verification is "bleses" which I take to mean "blessings" from the automated universe.

JMH said...

This is how people are I think. We make emotional connections, and clothes have a powerful capability to comfort. It's what we wear against our skin.