It was purchased at the Zara clothing boutique on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was the only thing Zucker had to cover himself from the cool ocean wind nearby. It was part of his wild experience there in California, visiting the Monkey and Ryu and Epstein. It came with him on the sandy beaches of the west coast, over the skies and through the woods of the east coast. It became his jacket of the moment. The other sport jackets were not amused. For years, the Brooks Brothers collection was the scotch to Zucker’s cigar, but not anymore.
Wearing it later as an overcoat in December, Zucker takes off the Zara Man and hangs it in the closet on its heavy, plastic hanger. The other jackets are hanging on their end of the rack, down from the pants and the shirts. It was the white suit at a party, and it divided the place in half.
~“Ah, don’t even think about hanging near me!”~ The Bomber jacket sat comfortably in front of the Blazer. It wasn’t any better off.
‘Relax! Like it’s up to me where I go.’
“How was your run at the gym?” A burst of laughter came from the other jackets, an inside joke between them. Zucker wears the Zara Man jacket over his Adidas sports liner in the winter sometimes, and they believe he wears it when he exercises.
‘Not bad, not bad. It was kind of cold out there.’ More rustling among the clothes less worn.
*Was it?* The Blazer had something to say. He was the most respected jacket on the rack. *I hear there’s been foul weather recently… what do you say about that?*
Awkward now, the Zara Man never had a solid conversation with the Blazer. ‘Yeah, it’s been raining a lot. He’s got that umbrella to help protect us, but the wind makes it so much worse. I’m glad to still be in decent shape.’
“*You’re filthy and disgusting, stay the hell away from me!*” The Fitzgerald was within inches of Zara Man’s back, a discolored, wrinkled mess. It had been worn without washing since its first days on the Californian coastline. It had a small orange stain between the back and the right shoulder. The jacket was a little smelly, and yet, it continued to go out into the bitter cold with the sweater and the Adidas, the gloves and the umbrella. It didn’t mind, it didn’t know or care about the consequences at all.
The Zara Man would always have the stories of life outside of the closet. The real stories, worn outdoors and indoors at eclectic events: dinners and parties and bedrooms and busses, commuting and waiting and rushing past pedestrians. The Zara Man saw more of the world than those damn jackets ever dream! The Hounds Tooth and the Camel Hair, the Bomber, the Fitzgerald and the Madison, the Blazer; each had their moment in a world of culture at a special time in Zucker’s life. Maybe the Zara Man will see that time come and go as well, in which case it will certainly be dry-cleaned.