Monday, October 25, 2021

My jacket

I’ve loved this leather jacket for many years. I bought it in my mid 20’s when I worked for Benetton in Minneapolis/St Paul. I wore it to concerts and shows, often to 1st Avenue. A coat like this becomes part of your person. Friends asked to borrow it and I happily let them because I wanted to share the good vibes I had while wearing the jacket. It brought me such joy. It still does. 

Several years later I moved to Boulder, Colorado and I still wore the jacket although not as frequently. My Minneapolis downtown style intersected with my newly embraced mountain bohemian rhapsody. Flannel shirts and and t-shirts fit nicely under this black rugged jacket. The story of the jacket takes a turn here a few more years later while I was living in Denver.

I wore the jacket out one night with  jeans and a simple white t-shirt. I met my friend Stan at a bar where he was entertaining his friends from Chicago. They'd gone golfing during the day and then he called and asked if I would join them. I was introduced to the guys who were rowdy and raring to go for their night out. I had one gin and tonic while we made plans to find some food. Both Stan and I needed to eat and were body aware enough that we usually made it a priority if we were out together. While we made plans to go to a favorite Mexican restaurant we ran into some local friends including Stan's roommate Chris. We ended up back at Chris' girlfriends house which was supposed to be a small stop but turned into a major ordeal. 

The girlfriend's roommate was acting as host and offered to make us drinks. We accepted but Stan and I were still very much on the "must get food soon" He (the roommate) brought hand mixed drinks out to each of us although several of the Chicago boys just had beers. They were restless so it was decided that they would go for food with Stan driving while I stayed back and waited for Chris and the girlfriend (I've completely blanked her name but I can picture her). It seemed like mere moments after they left that I finished the drink and I was beyond exhausted and started to fall asleep on the sofa. 

This is the point in the story where many of you might be thinking "what was in the drink?" and you would be right. I ended up crashing in the roommate's bed with promises from both Chris and the girlfriend that I would be completely safe. I crashed hard, missed Stan and friends coming back with food, and ended up puking my guts out in the middle of the night after feeling said roommate naked and rubbing up against me.  I wandered out to the living room, grabbed my jacket, and dialed my own apartment asking my brother to pick me up through quiet sobs. I waited outside for him and realized I was missing the belt of my beloved leather jacket but I couldn't walk back into that house and hoped it could be retrieved at a later time. 

I should have had my brother take me to the nearest emergency room. I just wanted to crawl in bed and forget about it. This was the 1990's; until that night I'd never even thought about date rape drugs. It just never occurred to me but there was definitely something in that drink that made me pass out. Even though I still love this jacket and wear it happily I always remember a glimmer of that night when I put my arms into the sleeves, when I think about the empty belt loops.  I choose to wear it anyway. 

Even though I remember I'm not going to let it overwhelm my love and attachment to this singular item or my general well-being. Humans are hearty souls and we are able to adapt to overwhelming situations. I tell this story now just to write it out one more time as a reminder of what I've experienced and how lucky I was to have woken up because the story could have had a much different ending.  

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