She saw the coat. Its colors and its wool and its plaid and its extremely careful collar rounded to fit a grown-up man and make him happy—all this contained in the glass storefront window—and its dryness in the humid air yet its ability to contain the magic charge of the moisture and the dryness of the air—and to keep scents and aromas of the body, and of rooms the wearer had been in, the scents of other clothing stored in his closet on sad lonely hangers—excited her. She imagined the perfect person to wear the jacket, a person who was completely soft and restful in his life, was only waiting for the strange and somewhat painful junctures of travel to change his life, his trajectory in the world. And then, would he return? Or never come back?

We were all once creatures underwater, she thought to herself. Yet we never wanted to go back to water, except to splash around in it briefly, or lie on a beach and feel the wind and hear the lonely seagulls which made you feel less lonely in comparison.

School was tomorrow and a chance to see him again, the boy who could grow up to wear the jacket and to stay in the town or travel far away from it and never return.

For days she would be what people called high, whenever she thought of the warm camel color at the base of the plaid, and the coolish dark green and dark red working through the camel color, as tightly wound and woven threads which traversed and simultaneously anchored the camel color. The camel color was caramels, almost an edible color, but also the forever color of sand.

His parents, everyone said, had given him the new car. Of course they had given him the car, of course he had never had a job, and would not bother with part-time jobs: he had better things to do. Plotting out his future. Or letting his future be plotted out, by gravity of boredom.

She was sending submissions to magazines called things like The Sun—it was fun to send a submission (only poor people submitted; rich people laughed at the idea of submitting, surely, as the word submission indicated your willingness to be a slave to something, namely, your poverty). Her last submission had begun Dear Mr. Sun—

Rebecca Pyle

Stories by Rebecca Pyle appear in Pangyrus Literary, The Third Street Review, The Lindenwood Review, The Hong Kong Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Guesthouse. Also a frequently-published poet and visual artist, Rebecca’s fiction has been nominated for a Best of the Net award and the Pushcart Prize. She is currently living in France. More information about Rebecca and her work can be found in

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