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by Nick Black

My parents bought a midnight blue velvet jacket for me to wear at my brother’s bar mitzvah and I insisted on wearing it, every day, for several weeks after. I looked like I should have been pulling rabbits out of hats.

The skinheads who chased my brother and me along the local parade, when we were allowed to go alone, for sweets — me lagging behind, I had asthma and littler legs — I couldn’t magic away. I’m sure they could’ve caught us if they’d wanted but the fun was in the chasing, in yelling “Jewboys!” and scaring us silly. One of them did lob a missile of phlegm onto the back of the jacket before they pretended to give up. You could always see where it had landed.

You don’t see many velvet jackets these days, I think, as a total stranger on the street spits in my adult face.

Nick Black’s writing has been published in lit mags including Okay Donkey, Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, Bending Genres, Lost Balloon and Jellyfish Review. He tweets about things he likes as @fuzzynick. Links to his writing can be found at fuzzynick.wordpress.com.