January 28, 2005
During the process of moving into our home almost two years ago, I somehow lost my winter parka. It was a quasi military-issue one, you know the kind: large and black with a hood lined with fur. It was the warmest jacket I'd ever had and, at the time, the coolest piece of clothing I ever owned (it probably still is, come to think of it). This was before every rapper was wearing a parka in their videos and before they became something you could buy at Target, and I would actually get stopped on the street and asked where I got it from all sorts of people. When winter came the year after we moved in, I searched for my parka, but came up empty; with horror I realized I must have left it in my old apartment.
That I bought my parka because of an Oasis 12" single cover was something I never admitted, but there's one--it was for a song off their third album, you know the one that, after it came out, everyone realized the band wasn't actually all that good--where one of the Gallagher brothers is wearing a parka with the hood pulled down around his neck but zipped all the way up, and he just looked regal standing there in the crowd, so warm and aloof. I remember seeing that cover and heading over to the army-navy surplus store the next day to buy my own.
There have been a few times this winter--a winter truly deserving of a big, heavy parka if ever there was one--that I've almost gone out and bought a new one, but I've stopped myself each time because they're not cheap coats and I just haven't had the money. But I have to say, after seeing your vice president wearing one yesterday at the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp--the collar turned up like he had just stepped away from the filming of some kind of bizarre rap video, the bling-bling of its white fur offsetting the black knit hat that covered his bald pate --I think that I never need to own one again.