End of Storage Note:
Madras
25 March 2019

¶ This is just to report that, as planned, Ray Soleil wheeled one of the clothesracks, loaded mostly with dresses that Kathleen had tried on, decided to donate, and then itemized on a tax form, up to Housing Works, four blocks away. He returned with the duly stamped tax forms. The people at Housing Works, he reported, were thrilled to be able to keep the clothesrack. Especially since it can be taken apart and folded up.

There’s a big difference between two clothesracks in the foyer and just one. Just the one doesn’t seem to take up half the room — half the room of two, much less half of the foyer. Which is just as well, because it will be a while before we can take apart this second clothesrack, which is full, if not bursting, with clothes that we have decided to keep, and fold it up. Kathleen has no idea, she says, where she is going to put what she decided to keep. There are also a few things of mine, plus a very bulky bedspread, to find places for. At some point, I shall probably roll the clothesrack into the bookroom, and use it to help going through my really rather small clothes closet, which is a mess, even if I don’t expect to find much to get rid of.

Then there’s the Madras jacket, the label on which reminds me that it was purchased, somewhat illicitly, at a wholesale showroom in the Garment District to which my mother had gained occasional access — the front door was rather like that of a speakeasy: “Can Max see us today?” — through contacts made by her father-in-law, the Customs Court judge. (Arrest me now.) In the mid-Sixties, this would have been, before the family relocated to Houston. No matter what happens, I shall never fit into this jacket again, which is an awful shame because, instead of the cream and drab olive that, together with blue, were the default colors for Madras jackets back then, this sportcoat’s plaid is patterned with red and yellow (and a bit of blue). It might not warrant a color photo in Take Ivy, because it’s so unrepresentative. Too much my kind of prep: vivid and jolly. 

I want my grandson to have it. Even though he’s very tall for his age (nine), however, he’s still only just over five feet, about Kathleen’s height. It will be four or five years at least before he’ll be big enough for it. And I’m not sure that his parents, who are anaphylactically allergic to loud colors, will allow him to leave the house wearing it — assuming that he would want to. Although he and I share many occult characteristics, I don’t see him rebelling against his parents’ way of life, perhaps because they haven’t oppressed him enough. If he ever wears the jacket, it will be because he likes it, not because they don’t. Holding onto the jacket is, therefore, a long shot. Maybe I’ll be able to talk him into saving it for his grandson.

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