15 years ago i moved to the Burgh and started humping in warehouses, of course i had just come from the beach and was young and stoned and without what one would call a winter coat, something that might come in handy here in good ole Western Pa., i was also quite broke when i arrived but as we know i'm an industrious young lad and soon i had enough dosh in me pocket to go out and purchase a coat, in a way this was kind of my first responsible purchase cuz up til this point most of what i spent money on was booze and drugs and records and books and surfboards and booze and drugs, all pleasure and nothing practical but when you work in warehouses and the like you soon find out that Levi's are shit jeans and you can destroy clothes in a matter of weeks, this first gig also involved deliveries so that meant all day sometimes spent in the beautifully shitty weather of da Burgh, hence the coat...
I bummed a ride to some strip mall in the North Hills and bought a Carhartt, an arctic duck jacket or some such title and it was the best jacket i've ever owned, 15 winters of constant abuse between work and dive bars, pockets filled with change, cigarettes, food wrappers and most importantly, weed. You could easily fit a quarter pound of dope in one of it's front side pockets and a few spares ounces to boot, all told you could cart around damn near a pound of smoke in this jacket to sell at your local corner bar, brilliant design to say the least though i'm sure that's not what they were going for, it's the jacket that i wore constantly, each year getting filthier and filthier, (i never washed it once i'm proud to say), covered in warehouse grime and bar smoke, hit by bird shit once or twice, coffee stains, beer stains, food stains, it was waterproof and warm as the fucking womb and it fit perfectly, like a knight's armor, it was there the night that Dipshit pulled a knife on me, there in my infamous moments at Anthony's Lounge, left hanging from chairs in Gooski's, Mitchell's, The Mustard Room, Luna, Chief's, and never a worry of it being stolen, on my back as i lugged boxes and trudged through snow, in short it was like one of my best fucking friends...
And this is the winter it will be retired, yes i'd like to keep it to give to the boyos but the sleeves are coming apart and i noticed a slit near the bottom and my poor Carhartt's innards were beginning to spill out, of course there are some people in this house i live in who would like to burn that jacket and will smile when it goes but that jacket is a like a god-damn symbol of my working class heritage, oh yeah and it was there the night the chef and i almost got in a fight with a bunch of wealthy mall punks at this upscale Shadyside bar, the altercation taking place as the bar closed and the Chef popping off about a Blink 182/Green Day party and the guys and girls popping back and me finally settling it by telling them to "fuck off back to the car that daddy pays for and the apartment that daddy pays for and the bar tabs that daddy pays for and let us lumpen proles get on with our sad and dour lives", a statement that stunned them into silence and sent the Chef and i into howls of laughter, especially after one of the young ladies told us we were working class scum, hell that's a post in itself now innit? but i myself will smile a bittersweet smile as i say goodbye to my dear old friend, to be replaced by a similar coat, only black and not quite as filthy, at least for now, smile at the fact that this first coat marked my first 15 years in Pittsburgh, bought roughly around this time 1995, marked me coming a long way really from those early days to where i am now... so go gentle into that sweet night dear coat, you have served me well and will be missed... at least until the new one is broken in...
I think this is your most sentimental post yet, Kono. You're going soft in your old age. Though I can't say I don't enjoy it.
There's seriously not much better than a favorite piece of comforting clothing.
I swear you and I would've hung out back in the day. Hell - you and my husband would really get along!
Goodbye, coat- hello to adventures with the new one!
i've never been attached to a piece of clothing...but i feel the same way about 'the genius'. i got her in 1997. she scored me my first cover-up. my first cheater 5. split my face & head open...on more than one occasion. my first long board. you can understand my dismay when i took her for a spin this past summer & discovered she was starting to delam. thankfully i can just retire her & don't have to burn her.
When I was pregnant with my first son I was very very poor. Only had two dresses I could fit my swelling belly into for the final trimester. After giving birth I got straight back into my jeans, took little J home and built a bonfire in the back yard and threw those two dresses into the flames.
A good coat is an extension of your soul. I haven't found a replacement for mine yet, but I hope your replacement is just as effective.
a proper burial seems reasonable. or a funeral raft set adrift on the Monongahela*river, as you burn a respectful stick from the shore...
*and yeah. had to look up the spelling.
You struck a proper note here. A coat really becomes part of your every day existence. People south of the Mason-Dixon do not understand this.
The new one is not quite as filthy. Yet.
DofW- Sentimental? shit that's no good. Do you know how stoned i was when i wrote this? hence why i normally refrain from writing baked.
Sybil- this coat and a thrift store flannel shirt were my favorite articles of clothing for years, the shirt finallly fell apart and so goes the coat.
Twin- i sold my Quiet Flight named Jane to my friend when i was broke and leaving the beach, she got a good home, he was a way better surfer than I.
Nurse- I don't even know if this coat would burn, but it might get left on a bench near where some homeless guys i know are, i'm sure they wouldn't mind it.
Rassles- you're right, that's why i went with the same make and model just a new color, once i beat on it for a year or two it i'm hoping we learn to love each other.
Daisy- that's why we natives just say "The Mon", it's hard enough to say let alone spell. Respectful stick? i take it you mean thai stick right?
UB- I dig these coats for there warmth and the amount of abuse they can takem, i'm sure i'll do a fine job messing this one up.
* and the above pic if from the catalog though i may try to get on shot of the original up.
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