Are you still there?
So about the overcoat...
Well, there was this fellow, you understand, who held a job in the government.
It was a job that would not be missed if it was to be made redundant. And the man knew it. He was a paper-pusher, as they say.
In the office where he worked, he worked alone.
His job did not intersect with any of his colleagues.
He was the type of man with the type of job that men like you me, Geoff, should keep in mind whenever the hyenas of self-pity circle and approach.
Why did you stop typing?
Because sometimes you should shut up and listen.
The fellow was not laughed at, nothing like that. He was just ignored. Who knows which is worse.
But he sat and he worked and was not noticed or greeted from 9 until 5.
There is a Christmas party approaching and the man becomes sad, as he does every Christmas party, because he knows he will be at the office, alone with the others, without work to distract him from the thought of this fact.
The day before the party he trudged through the grey streets and the wet snow is on his face and he looks on a shop window and sees
He is. Frugal man and not well paid but he decides entering the store to get a closer look will cost him nothing so he enters and takes a closer look at
The salesman pays him much attention which only serves to make the man sad, of course. He tries on the overcoT.
When he puts it on the salesman says how wonderful it looks, how it appears to have been made for the man himself.
The other salesman all agree but the man has lived a loveless life and cynicism has hardened him to the compliments of sales folk.
But he had to admit that his image in the mirror looked quite nice.
And, then, other customers began to say how good the man looked, and the man was bewildered, and in an impulse bough the overcoat.
Did you leave?
He wore the overcoat to the Christmas party.
Everyone at the party was charmed by the overcoat and by the man who wore it.
Did you leave?
Secretaries flirted with him, colleagues asked him questions and planned drinks at a local bar and the boss even asked him to join him for holf.
It was the finest the man had felt since he was a child and he walked home with a smile on his face and talked to himself, replaying different conversations he'd had during the party.
A gang of never-do/wells spotted and attacked him. They beat him up badly but worst of all they stole the overcoat.
The man fell into a snowbank and allowed himself to cry.
Norm, thank you for that story. It made my Friday night, though I am glad I didn't read it in real time to the kids.
That was the first story I read when I was a kid. It's called The Overcoat, written by Gogol.
How old were you and who gave it to you.
Those Russians. They're so happy go lucky.
Haha. When I was a kid I'd go to the library and purposely read from the adult section because I thought it would make me an adult. Haha.