They really were excellent pants.
God help me, I loved that man's pants. They were a dark and stately grey, with an understated green plaid pattern, barely distinguishable in a brief glance , which is all I dared to take. I didn't want to stare.
But by God, they were fantastic pants. Cut in a traditional, but by no means stuffy or conservative, style. Not the least bit trendy or hipsterish, but timeless and tasteful and true. They were true pants, and God help me, I wanted them.
I am not normally prone to jealousy or covetousness. To each their own I say, although I would favor a massive redistribution of wealth from those who have far more than me to those who have far less. But in that moment, when I saw those pants, I also favored a redistribution of those pants from the man who was wearing them to me.
The man who was wearing the pants seemed perfectly amiable and had I had his self confidence and success, I might have been able to ask where he got the pants. Perhaps I would have learned that I could buy a pair for myself, around the block for forty dollars. Or perhaps I would have learned that they were purchased in Europe for 400 euros. But I learned nothing of the pants, so I will never know. I will never have such pants. In the moment, I could not ask, so consumed as I was by envy and greed. All I could think of was how I wanted the pants-those very pants. Not my own pair, but that pair, and not later, but now. I want them now, I thought. I wanted to hold a knife to the man's throat and say, "Your life means nothing to me, pig, but if it means anything to you, you will give me those pants immediately." Because I wanted those pants so much.
Oh those pants! So much better than mine, that made me feel suddenly ashamed, as if I were wearing pajamas. Perhaps the man wearing those pants wears pants like the ones I have on for pajamas. I have very occasionally worn these pants that I have on for pajamas. But here I am, wearing these pants instead of those wonderful, glorious pants. Pants of transcendent splendor and beauty. Fuck me, I wanted those pants so badly I could taste it, like ashes in my mouth.
I wanted to tear the pants off of him and put them right there and then and head off in style to the recording studio.
Instead, I walked right past him, did not smile, did not acknowledge him or his pants. But he has ruined my day, perhaps my year, perhaps the rest of my life. That man and his beautiful fucking pants.
c. 2016 John S. Hall
from Fuck Sandwich
released January 19, 2017
John S. Hall - vocals
Susan Hwang - janggu
Ray Brown - guitar
Preston Spurlock - piano
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