Beauty Unframed author Lisa Elmers writes about life, loveliness, and seeing something where you thought there was nothing.

Ode on a Coat

Ode on a Coat

I’ve got an olive raincoat that breathes sweet must, with pockets that smell like the cigars I’ve carried in them. Starting out the coat was stiff, and on the hanger kept some shape of body and arms, circled faintly inward like a disappointed ballerina. But age has melted the fabric. Now when I pull it on it pours over my back like wax from a candle.

My raincoat is perfect for a jaunt in the city - perfect for sopping rays of orange evening as I walk down the street.

My raincoat is perfect for an amble in the woods - perfect for ushering meshes of shadow from one pool of light to the next.

My raincoat is perfect for a turn on the beach - perfect for snagging salt air in creases around my elbows.

But for one thing my raincoat is perfectly unfit: it cannot keep out rain.

At work one day I asked a lady from Seattle what she thought of my coat. She snorted. She asked me if I wear it out when it rains and I said yes, thankyouverymuch, but only because I don’t mind getting wet.

 

Strangers

Strangers