Isn't she chilly in that?
Thursday. Fashion Week begins. Hundreds of designers descend on Manhattan. I’m nowhere near Bryant Park, but in a nod to élan, I wear a chic little coat to work, one of those shapely down styles that taper at the waist, along with narrow toed boots and leather gloves. I notice that. It’s. Really. Cold.
Friday. The temperature drops below freezing. Pointy toed footwear doesn’t accommodate socks very well. At lunch, I switch to a pair of clunky but spacious rubber boots, a temporary measure, I’m sure.
Saturday. I dump the cute coat and dig out a marshmallow circa 1994. Monochrome is back, which is consoling since the coat and everything else I’m wearing is brown. It’s also enormous, a down comforter with sleeves. Not a lean silhouette, but I wear it anyway. My arm is too thick to get through the strap of my Prada bag. I ditch the bag.
Sunday. The weekend shows emphasize layering. On my way to the coffee shop, I try draping the hood of my coat loosely over my head like some Russian princess. But it captures wind like a sail. I cinch the hood shut until fur trim encloses my face like tentacles on a star-nosed mole ─ a good look only if you’re Shackleton returning to Elephant Island with a rescue party. I sense I’m losing some kind of battle here.
Monday. At least four designers have featured elbow-length gloves. I am reduced to mittens, which encase all fingers in one fat flipper with a stiffly opposable thumb. They are red. I harbor not even a faint hope that they will read as ironic.
Tuesday. I’ve got crab claws for hands and tree stumps for feet. My arms hang away from my sides, and I tilt my head back just to see where I’m walking. I burrow through four waistbands to scratch an itch.
Wednesday. My clothes weigh more than Kate Moss.
Thursday. I don’t have style anymore. I don’t even have gender. I may not be human. I am Sasquatch. Peer deep into my fuzzy hood and you will find, not the pert nose and rosy lips of a fashionista but darting eyes and pointed teeth and the fetid breath of a carnivore.
Friday. Who cares? I ask myself bitterly. Not me. Not anymore. Because, finally, I’m warm.