guardian jacket

February 2, 2012
When I was fourteen
I got my brother's old jacket
It wasn't too bad
I've always preferred the fit of boy's clothes, anyways
I wasn't used to hand-me-downs, though
Being the oldest girl and all
So I didn't know what to expect
I put it on
Left sleeve
Okay
Right sleeve
Okay, wait...
Something in the sleeve
An ace
My brother never was a card player
But I pulled it out
And forgot about it from then on

I wore the jacket to my first day back to school
After the Winter break
It kept me warm
That's all I needed from it
It held my cigarettes
And hid them well
It did everything I needed it to do

I wore it out to town one night
To an all ages indie punk show
It held my wallet
And kept it well from thieves
It did everything I needed it to do
I was hanging out with the band after
When something poked at me
In my right sleeve
I was embarrassed when,
To my surprise,
An ace fell out

I ignored it
No one said anything
And I forgot about it from then on

One day in class
I met this boy
A beautiful piece of art was he
I wasn't wearing the jacket
It was Spring
It was warm outside
I didn't need it
He asked me out for lunch three days later
It was raining
So I wore the jacket
I ordered a simple veggie sandwich
He ordered something a bit bloodier
We ate
We exchanged gratuitous anecdotes
And laughed at each other's
Clever but politically incorrect jokes
On our way out
He grabbed my hand
I was embarrassed when,
To my surprise,
An ace fell out

I ignored it
He didn't say anything
And I forgot about it from then on

When I was sixteen,
I got my first car
That jacket still fit

I went to spend the night at a boy's house
For the first time a few days later
But something happened when I first arrived
We exchanged greetings
He offered to take my jacket
When I went to take it off,
To my surprise,
An ace fell out
And then another
And two more
And before I knew it there were dozens,
Hundreds
Thousands of aces
Spilling from my right sleeve like a waterfall

Of course he noticed
And I was too embarrassed to stay
So I left
And we never spoke again
And he never again looked twice at me

When I got home
I cut off the sleeves of that old jacket
And set them on fire
I knew a vest would do much better

I wore that vest out to the coffee shop
But I never made it home





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