He bought a suit. His wardrobe was needing one. It was a bright yellow material. Got a blue tie to go along with it.
In all his years he’d never owned a suit. He had jeans and corduroy, but never a brand spanking new suit. Never could afford one. And, when he was a little kid his parents couldn’t afford him one either; a few generations of poverty ran in the family. They never saved for anything, ’cause they couldn’t. Always paying bills,or, for meals.
There were seven kids in that family; four boys and three girls. Most of em had left Allen County right after high school. Just like the rest of the senior classes. But, not him. He got a job at the carwash and kept it. Had a trailer he rented out on Spring Street. All the other family members got jobs in factories, a sister or two became hair stylists, and one brother was a real successful tire salesman. He just kept washing cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks; made em look shiny and new.
One night his phone rang. It was his oldest brother telling him that their daddy had died. Telling him that he was going to be one of the pallbearers. He told his brother he’d be honored.
So, that night he broke into his shoe box under his bed and fetched $30. This was money for his electric bill that month. He figured he’d go without. He walked down to the Salvation Army where he saw it in the window; a yellow suit. He hoped it would fit.
The pants were a little high and the jacket a little tight, but he could get into it. It was on sale for $27. He bought it. Took it home and looked at himself in the mirror. Hair greased back, moustache trimmed a little, neck shaved, he was real proud. Real proud.
He went to the nursing home that morning to see his mom. As usual she couldn’t remember who he was. He was just some funny looking man in a yellow suit. She laughed at his jokes. Took his box of candy he’d given her. But couldn’t for the life of her remember who he was.
And, he gave her a kiss on the forehead and said goodbye. The same way he’d say goodbye to his daddy that afternoon.
The yellow suit hung in his closet.