I came across a dead man in some sort of uniform and stripped him of his clothes for myself.
Most notable were the epaulets, which was a cross between a stripper’s waterfall shimmies and something a monkey would wear to solicit coins for its master.
The cut of the jacket pleased me: It flattened my stomach and cinched my waist. The material was wool, possibly alpaca, softer in some quadrants and riddled down the front with brass buttons.
But the trousers’ shapelessness troubled me; the pant bunched around my ankles like the sagging hoofs of a two-man horse suit.
To ascertain what, if any level of regard my uniform would illicit from the public, I proceeded down a well-trammeled boulevard lined with peanut sellers and souvenir carts hawking balloons and squeeze toys approximating the gutless cry of our most famous indigenous amphibian.
A man approached from the opposite direction. His eyes settled briefly on my person, then looked straight ahead past me, with the slightest realignment of his face and shoulders, as though he had scanned the executive summary of a report on my kind. Even so, it was impossible to summon his judgment, so quickly had it flickered before indifference set in.
You can trust a child’s stare to communicate the truth of your effects. On the subway, I caught three of them no higher than my knee eyeing me balefully, on the ledge of manners. When I wiggled my fingers at them I could tell that none wanted to be me.