So, after they chatted and found out how much each likes/buys at thrift stores, Mim took us down the street to the one she visits after the Bards. Another poet, Bert Stern, came along (he does the same thing every Saturday), but he ducked into the basement where the mens clothes are kept. (He had told me about the wonderful pair of expensive pants, probably unworn, he bought there, and the marvelous jacket. Susan buys almost all her quite remarkable clothes in thrift or second hand stores.)
I was horrified by this large room full of things people had worn and given away, coded by color and use. Blue sweaters, yellow, orange, red, green, brown, black. Jackets and blouses and pants. My eye was immediately caught by a boiled jacket, maybe a sea green, that looked just like my aunt Marion would have worn it. I walked around, holding it for a little while, knowing I'd never, ever put it on. I wear the same thing in winter, turtle necks with a vest, blue jeans or black pants. I've gone into supremo decorative mode because I now add a long scarf that hangs down in some inelegant way, but looks colorful. (TJMax has wonderful scarves...and Susan and I went there late in the afternoon and bought scarves.)
Before I left, went back to Au Bon Pain for a sandwich to wait for Susan, she found a vest that she just had to show Mim....I didn't get close enough to fully admire this relic, but I saw enough to realize that it was very old, a long-loved creature that had been mended many times, the toggle fastenings replaced by bits of nylon stocking that had served that function. I took any number of photos of Susan holding it out for Mim to examine, but none were particularly good. Only this one survives.
I thought I was going to write a poem about this experience, but it wasn't close enough to me, really, to do that. I wasn't surprised when Mim told me that she was working on one. She owned it. "I wouldn't buy it," she said, "It has too much of the person still in it." (Or something like that.)