Plaid Jacket

PLAID JACKET

Geist - - Contents - Veron­ica Gaylie

Veron­ica Gaylie is a writer and pro­fes­sor. Her work has been pub­lished in many pe­ri­od­i­cals, in­clud­ing Grain, Ditch, Room, Lake, Carte Blanche, thetyee.ca and Geist. She lives in Van­cou­ver. Read more of her work at geist.com.

All the kids in the smoke pit wore one. I never saw a new one. They had to be old, musty and fit badly. Long arms. Too tight. Never clean. Soaked in the smell of per­fume and pou­tine. They’d been in the wa­ter. They’d washed up on the sand. They’d been drenched in beer. Used as a rag. Red or green and black. Some­times yel­low. They stood at bus stops after the buses stopped run­ning. Never on time. On the Grey­hound. They walked through turn­stiles at Canucks games at the Pa­cific Coli­seum. At the Agrodome they reached out to Stiff Lit­tle Fin­gers. The Clash. DOA. Worn by cousins from Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Car­rot Creek. They got you in trou­ble. Asked if you wanted to skip class and visit the CN tracks. Singed on the sleeves. Too close to BIC lighters. Sat around camp­fires. Put out the flames. Landed on side­walks. Smelled of gaso­line. Lost in pot­holes. Found in al­leys. Cov­ered in fir nee­dles. Stepped on. Rained on. Twisted in trees.

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