Hi Jamie, I have your jacket and you probably have mine

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Jamie, this is your jacket. Rod Stewart shirt not included.

Hi Jamie – I don’t know your name or much about you but I assume you’re a girl because the keychain I found in your pocket said “Jamie” in big block letters on a plastic neon flip flop keychain and I feel like that’s probably a girl thing to carry. I also assume you were the one who took my coat last Saturday night at Death By Audio, which I’m not really that mad about because I’m pretty sure you didn’t do it on purpose. But that caused me to in turn steal your jacket, which I also don’t feel bad about, circumstances considered. This is all a product of my reliance on the practice of stashing my coat under chair, in a corner or wherever else I can find at a venue that doesn’t cost money to store a piece of clothing, due to a combined hatred of both winter jackets and carrying extra clothing. It’s part of the Brooklyn nightlife gamble, but here’s how this particular gamble played out:

When I got to Death By Audio that Saturday night for the Tacocat show (sidenote everyone: Tacocat!!), it was cold and rainy because winter is a hellbeast of a gentrifier that refuses to respect traditional seasonal neighborhood boundaries. So since I rarely own items with any actual value, I balled up the Uniqlo microfiber lightweight jacket (specifically good for, its advertising noted, smooshing into a tiny ball), and threw it under one of those repurposed car seats in the back of DBA.

After Tacocat finished (seriously guys, Tacocat up your summer playlist now), I reached behind the hiding spot and instead of my own coat, found a nearly identical imposter. Gone was my small maroon coat and in its place was a slightly larger black coat,  indistinguishable to the touch. Except, Jamie, your coat was soaking wet straight through like a piece of heartbroken gutter cardboard (mine was at least dry on the inside).

So here were the two sides of nightlife ethics colliding: my considerate side said I should have left the jacket behind, feeling that you would eventually figure out your error and come back looking for it; but my pragmatic, bar-hopping side recognized that the weather was miserable (like, fine-we’ll-take-a-cab-home miserable) and that it would be impossible to go to the next bar without any outer layer. So pragmatic me won out and I donned my new jacket to head into the night.

Then in the jacket pocket I found the only traces of you I’d ever know: in one pocket, a small blue Bic and a condom (a Lifestyles one, not one of the free NYC ones, cuz you fancy huh, Jamie); in the other pocket, a single key on the flip flop chain. I pictured you, standing in the rain outside your apartment, rummaging through my pockets, looking for a key but finding only a pack of gum and probably a terrible note I wrote to myself (“Trend piece idea:rain sex is a thing? Ask ppl.”). I left the key with the door guy figuring at least you’d come back for that. A bystander gave a ray of hope: “I know a Jamie!” She said. When I asked if she’d likely have a Bic lighter and a condom in her pocket, she frowned: “Oh. She’s a lesbian.”

Like I said, I doubt you did this out of malice. I mean, Rob Sheffield was at the show too; why not steal his jacket, which may be of actual value to music nerds (besides the fact that he is a man giant and it is probably comically too large for you)?

But Jamie, you can keep the coat, unless you really want yours back. Coats to me are the worst piece of clothing, the equivalent of owning a sloth that must ride on your back for five months of the year, which you have to find a babysitter for every time you walk into a venue. I’m overdue for this kind of mixup, to be honest. My general distaste for treating my winter coat with any respect, and a refusal to pay coat check fees, has led me to stash my jackets in any number of unsavory spots in various venues: behind curtains, in between a trash can and the wall (not as gross as it seems, trust me), under tables, atop photo booths and any number of other secret spots that, Jamie, you probably already know about. We may be coat-stashing soul mates.

So if I’ve lost one jacket in five years of doing this, I’m fine with that. And your jacket is decent enough; I’ve even worn it a few times since, but I hope the warm weather comes and I’ll never wear it again. But I’m keeping the lighter and the fancy condom.

Follow Tim especially if you possess any of his lost clothing: @timdonnelly.

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