I found a jacket last week.
Not in a skanky, ‘oh look what’s that rolled up behind that wheelie bin, covered in tramp piss’ kind of way.
Although I have been through that phase of my life.
No, last week I opened my wardrobe and there it was – a new jacket. Weirdly it’s almost identical to several I’ve been looking at mournfully around town.
Perhaps I should explain I have a jacket fetish in exactly the same way some people have shoe or handbag fetishes. Mandy, for example, has a shoe fetish – we have shoes stuffed into every nook and cranny here, a painful process I can tell you. If you’ve never had your cranny filled with shoes, don’t. Run now.
If Mandy had a mission statement in life, a basic line of programming it would go like this:
10 buy shoes 20 goto 10
If we ever became rich, and money was no object, the whole world would be lost in a mountain of shoes – none of which fit or go with her outfit.
Well, I’m exactly the same with jackets. I don’t know why, but I can go out to buy a pair of socks and come back with a pair of jackets. Sometimes I suspect I’m looking for some kind of uber jacket – the jacket to end all jackets – the one I will wear for the rest of my life.
Other times I think I’m just a sad bastard with an odd fixation.
I have a lot of jackets. 50% of my wardrobe is just jackets, meaning the rail bows alarmingly. However, this was not one of those jackets – this, was the holiest of holies – a new jacket.
My first thought was: Aliens!
But that seemed unfeasible. It does seem to be suede though so maybe that’s what all those cattle mutilations are? Maybe aliens leap in their customised saucers, travel thousands of light years, hack up a few stray cows, make jackets round the barbie and then secret them in strangers’ wardrobes?
You scoff, I can hear you, but it could happen.
My second guess was Mandy must have bought it for me. I do so love her, have I mentioned that? She’s obviously taken note of my lingering, longing stares whilst in … whatever shop it was … the one with the rails, you know … and secretly bought it for me.
Then put it in my wardrobe without telling me.
Then filled the pockets full of receipts.
Hmm … maybe I should go back to the aliens theory?
Close examination of the receipts bore the following information:
- This jacket has been to Carcassonne.
- This jacket has been to London Victoria from Polegate.
- This jacket shops in Boots and buys Mach 3 razor blades.
By applying some specialised knowledge I can add three further facts to the investigation:
- My parents live near Carcassonne.
- I regularly travel from Polegate to Victoria
- I occasionally buy Mach 3 razor blades from Boots.
I know, I know – I fell for the old three blades are better bullshit. I’m sorry. At least I haven’t fallen for this newfangled five blade nonsense.
Add the first three facts to the second three and you reach an inescapable conclusion:
Whoever the jacket belongs to has been stalking me.
Luckily, the receipts are all from 2007 so it looks like the jacket guy gave up and … somehow … left his jacket in my … yeah. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? It can’t have been in my wardrobe for two years without me noticing.
Still, I’m not one to look a gift jacket in the sleeve, so I don said jacket … and it’s lovely … and head off into London for my meetings.
Actually, the first of which was at Gatwick – but London sounds better.
The first thing the director says when we meet is … “You haven’t worn that jacket for a while.”
Actually, the first thing he says is “Put that gay laptop away before someone thinks I’m with you.”
But still: eh? I haven’t worn this jacket for … ?
Oh my God! My stalker must be a clone of me!
Or me from the future!
I left myself a present, that’s thoughtful.
And then filled it full of receipts from the past. Not so thoughtful. I must remember that when I become future me and have access to time travel technology and this jacket, to stuff the pockets full of money. I’ve got that tattooed on my inner thigh now. I just hope I’m wearing hotpants that day.
At the second meeting, which actually is in London, I relay the oddness of the first meeting: “He said I hadn’t worn this jacket for a long time.”
“Well you haven’t.” says meetingee number two.
“I remember it because I said it was the sort of thing I might buy.”
God damn my future self and/or clone gets about.
And so, by the close of the day I’m forced to admit – I bought a jacket, wore it once or twice and then forgot I had it … for two years! That’s right, I’ve now reached the point where I have so many jackets I’ve lost track of them.
I long for that day.
But until that day comes I’ll content myself with my new jacket and marvel at how cheap this makes the thrill of acquiring new clothing. If I could do this all the time it would be brilliant. Imagine opening your wardrobe every day and thinking you’ve just been given something new!
I do wish I hadn’t had that tattoo though.