See-through raincoat, one large pocket, stuck on a tree
The idea was gone from her now. Dark in the bed she lay up on the pillow where the ideas came many after the late nights and the all too much. She became a stark awake feeling at the end of a short winter’s day. But she perceived the good at times of doing without sleep, knew the benefit of going without comfort at times.
Other ideas came and went. There was the afternoon in the Green Park in London and the see-through raincoat that belonged to her artist friend. For days in July she wore the city like the raincoat with the one large pocket. Both looked well on her, fantastic as any raiment that never hangs right.
There was the park and the uncertain couple they would have made, she and the man she had arranged to meet. He joked about where they might enjoy the optimum extension of the sun and they drifted into the grass away from a small crowd emptying a bottle of wine.
He was coming from a reception, heading to something he couldn’t get out of later on. Neither mentioned the idea of wine, although it was the evening and a Friday, although July.
They sat in that old opposite way catching up, feeling the cold, talking but.
–What are those tall trees called? she asked.
–Plane, he said. Or lime…
So he admired her raincoat again. The trees extended shades across the grass. He apologised importantly then and she disliked the apology when it came.
–Shocker. You made the journey after all, he conceded. You know I didn’t expect…
And still she let him away with that. Chatting had used to be sharp, whip smart and somehow easy with him, almost free.
–Well, the park is certainly green, she began saying and his eyes became wet a moment, glassy, and not for the cold or the diminishing sun.
The idea that had gone did not centre on him. Nor others round whom her thoughts dallied and sped, others that came and went in no particular order, before him in July and since.
She had worn the see-through raincoat since the days in London and the man in July, often worn it and washed it. On the yellow folding chair it lay now, under clothes, the raincoat that used to belong to her artist friend, the raincoat with the one large pocket.
Before they left the Green Park to eat udon noodles and chicken dorai, of the man she was sitting with she could have asked why his eyes shone that way, why that wet and glassy look, was it for the cold.
Below, as the last or the first bus came by, she decided she could no longer stand to have this garment in her room. All too often she had reminded herself to sell the raincoat or swap it, get shot of it, return it to the original owner, or just pass it on to any of its admirers without a fuss. She had reached a point.
So she went to the window and dispatched the raincoat into the early hours, and down it sailed, twisting and flapping, spent, of no further consequence, an allegory flung upon the branches of a tree.
This much done, there remained no idea in the dark but her laying there.