Friday, September 25, 2009

A Fetching Fur

“Where I come from, they shoot people for wearing these,” she laughed, taunting him. “Where are you from?” His diction possessed a distinct Spanish sway. “California” He shrugged, “Depends on where in California.” “It’s true.” “Try one on,” Ric said, happy for shelter from the rain. Rain and snow were not forecasted though welcomed by the Vail mercantile. Off-season sales would end in the coming weeks and sooner was better. She wrinkled her nose. “Try one on,” he insisted and sat for the viewing. “Let me take your coat,” Juan offered. “Let me see your size.” She shed a raincoat and fleece jacket. “You’re tiny. Tell me about yourself,” Juan commanded. “I’m active and I like playful,” she stood before them both. “Let me put you in several coats.” Juan moved without hesitation, pulling from his palette of fur. “First, something more classic; a mink.” He held it open and she dipped, even as he lifted it to her shoulders. Half-length, it fell flawlessly, luxuriously, black and smooth. She twirled slowly in the mirror, remembering her Grandmother’s pearls, assessing herself and Ric’s countenance. “It’s beautiful … and black is not my best color.” “This is timeless and will always be fashionable and elegant,” Juan said. Juan moved behind them to another corner, to fetch a fetching fur. Chocolate swakara from Namibia; Persian wool with a lynx ruff. “Hold it closed for me,” Juan instructed, pinching the coat to her waist. “The closures are put in once the coat is purchased, for a perfect fit. We can put in as many closures as you want.” A closure low on her bosom let lynx lavishly languish off-shoulder, in a framing décolletage. Each closure, placed higher on her chest, pulled the lynx closer, framing her face until finally, pinched beneath her chin, the belly pouch pulled over in a hood. It was swank and sumptuous, shi-shi and ve-e-ery sexy. “This coat will dress up or down really easy,” she said loving everything about it. “I always worry that I'll gain weight,” she thought of the closures, “And… I never do, so I guess it's a non-issue.” “The ruff is American lynx,” Juan said. “The belly hair is the whitest, longest and softest fur, so the best coats use only pelts from the belly.” Last, Juan draped her in full-length mink. Heavy and dark, it trailed the floor and she was immediately reminded of European royalty, cold stone castles and dreary, dismal weather. All-consuming, she was lost in its shapeless bulk. Far too warm for California, that coat was easily shucked. Not so the lynx. She donned it once more and they discussed the care and feeding of such an animal. “We made only three,” Juan said, “This is the last. On November first, we will double the price and I will sell this coat for Christmas.” “Let’s get an Irish coffee and discuss this,” Ric rose from his perch. “You can’t be serious!” They crossed a soggy street, seeking libations as the weather broke and shadows grew. Could he purchase the fur for the probable enjoyment of other men? Could she receive such a gift without a yoke of obligation? They spoke of love, possession, obsession, possessions, obligation, attachment, expectation, pleasure, avarice, animus … the negotiations more titillating than the pelt itself. She thought he should not. He knew he should not ... and he could. Two Irish coffees in Pepi’s Cantina; fourteen dollars. One Vail condo for three nights: two-hundred, twenty-five dollars. One roundtrip ticket, SMF/DEN: two-hundred, eighty-one dollars. One chocolate, Namibian, swakara fur with lynx ruff: fifteen thousand dollars. Heartfelt conversations: very rich and very real. Priceless.