The Jacket

The Jacket

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:

but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

My mother and I were never really close. She had  my sister and I one weekend a month and for a fortnight in the summer. It’s the way divorces go. But when I was sixteen she bought me a leather jacket. Now public school boys in the early sixties wore suede shoes, cavalry twills, tweed jackets and acne. A leather jacket was what teddy boys wore, what hells angels wore, what Marlon Brando wore when he trashed the town in the Wild One.

With this jacket I became someone else. The other boys thought it was cool, their sisters felt it was exciting, their parents made sure the cigarettes and whisky were locked very tight when I came round. It was brilliant. I was studying for my A levels, desperate to get into the rugby team, but this leather jacket took me to the other side of the tracks. A street fighting man.

I upped the  ante. I joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. So now I had a black leather jacket  and a cause. If I was dangerous before, now I was dynamite. I found  with all this and a couple  of swear words I could be the nearest thing to  James Dean this side of SW19. This fantasy ended with leaving school, at university and in the   real world I came across real leather jackets, real rebels,  bad arses who could not just talk their weight but punched it.

Fast forward fifty plus years and I am pocking around in a charity shop looking for second hand books. I see a black leather jacket. blouson style, heavy, smelling of action. I take it home. I put it on. Vivien tells me that I look like a Jewish taxi driver. I die a little, but what does she know? She thinks its just a jacket.

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5 Responses to The Jacket

  1. Johan Vivian VAN DIJK says:

    Not sure about the connection : black-leather jacket & Jewish taxi driver:New York…Tel-Aviv? On the subject of taxis – London’s should be re-painted. The black cab is only missing the hieroglyphs to make them an all too visible board for IS followers in our midst and, who knows, in the driver’s ranks (no pun intended) .

  2. Andrew Dunley says:

    Perhaps at 16 and strutting your stuff up Putney High Street “Rebel without a Clue” apposite?

  3. itwonthurt says:

    you tread on my dreams

  4. Rob Pemberton. says:

    What actually induced your mother to buy you a black leather jacket. Did you beg and plead for it or did she wake up one morning say ” I think you need a black leather jacket ” Perhaps she saw a poster of Marlon and thought……………………

  5. itwonthurt says:

    just kinda drawled, you shoppin’ today ma,the rest is history

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