The Sunbaked King

Coat and Tie

The last events I wore a formal attire in were my two high school proms. During Junior Year, Papa had a coat and a pair of pants specifically tailor-made for me. I loved the entire tailoring process because 1) Papa didn’t have a coat made for my older brother during his high school prom (haha) and 2) I haven’t had any coat made for myself until then.

The coat was a blue three-buttoned piece of clothing splendor. The pants were of the same color, and its material felt like satin. When I was a junior, I paired the coat with the pants, and wore a plain long-sleeved polo shirt underneath. When I was a senior, my father told me to wear it again. No one would notice, he said. I didn’t argue because I loved that coat. And besides, I wasn’t going to wear another long-sleeved shirt and tie; I was going to don a tailor-made turtleneck. Needless to say, it paired well with the coat.

The hazy details above are the only things I remember about the physical appearance of my prom attire. I don’t remember the material of the coat, the shoes I wore, or the accessories I had on me. All of those tidbits have faded from my mind. The effect of wearing the attire, however, is another matter altogether; that, I remember vividly.

The guy who has always been branded as The Nerd finally gets a chance to step out of his role and into another person’s shoes. In another dimension, that guy will have been named Kevin Ralph, and his interests will include, not algebra or trigonometry or Noli Me Tangere, but soccer and cars and hair gel. In his world, wearing a fabulous outfit is a given. It’s as natural as the way his hair bounces with the wind as he walks. He is Mr. Prom King. He is Mr. Knockout.

This is the guy The Nerd will finally come to terms with as he looks at the mirror. A mirror, after all, is a portal of sorts. He is astonished to see himself, dressed like this, and exuding confidence like no other. But he also knows that this transformation is temporary. Like Cinderella, he will flee the ball to resume portraying the role he has set for himself throughout the years. He will return happy, yes, but this happiness is mixed with a tinge of regret…

But enough of the future. In a few moments, Kevin Ralph will step down the car and enter the hotel. And in those few precious hours, his star will shine. Brightly.

(And who’s to say this moment will never return? In a few years, the opportunity to wear a coat might present itself again. And fate will weave its magic once more, just like it did, once before.)

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Filed under: Ra, Rat Race, Vanity

2 Responses

  1. makmak says:

    Ooh (ooh baby)… you’ve acquired the SFS.

  2. kerwinray says:

    What’s SFS, Mak? 🙂

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