My Shiny Black RaincoatIn the Autumn of 1982, I was "in between jobs" so I went to live with my then girlfriend who was studying at university.My main intention was to look for work before I went to university the following year. I had just left the Armed Forces and was suffering from mild PTSD following active service in a campaign which took place earlier that same year. It was a period of adjustment to civilian life, coming to terms with a number of issues and exploring several options. I spent the days reading, meeting friends and wandering around the city exploring the many historical places of interest. I don't know how it happened, or perhaps I can no longer remember but I found myself in a shop which sold amongst other things raincoats. I had always had a thing about PVC raincoats but during my time in the forces I had resisted the urge to wear one except in secret on my leave. There was a trend for some women to wear long shiny raincoats made by a company called Rukka and it was one of these that I was attracted to. It was hanging on the rail with others in a multi-coloured parade of shiny PVC; I just had to have it no matter what. I remember my heart racing as I thought of how on earth I could manage to purchase a woman's raincoat and not draw attention to myself. So, in an instant I just scanned the sizes for a 14, I chose 14 because I had an idea that would fit me, I lifted the long black shiny coat from the rail and proceeded to the checkout. Avoiding eye contact with the assistant I made the purchase. I moved swiftly to get out the shop and avoid any potential awkward questions as to why I was purchasing the raincoat. I have since learned that shop assistants do not really care who is purchasing things from the shop.
I rushed back to my girlfriend's college, ran up the staircase and into her room. She was out so I had an hour or so to try the mac. I still recall the sensation coursing through me as I slipped it on, buttoned up the press studs and pulled the hood up over my head. It crackled, it smelt of new PVC and it excited me as I admired myself wrapped in the sleek, black PVC of the raincoat. The urge to entertain myself was so great that it was impossible to resist; The rest of that autumn was spent wearing the mac whenever I could.I would walk out to the surrounding countryside weaning it with the hood up in the rain. I am sure that the security and comfort of wearing the mac contributed greatly to my recovery and subsequent career decisions.
I don't know what happened to my beloved Rukksa raincoat, after many moves around the country It must have got lost or stolen. I have seen them once or twice on sale on EBay and they tend to go for over £100 which is more than I can afford. Perhaps one of you lucky readers and fellow raincoat enthusiasts might have purchased such a coat?
wetrev 46-50, M 2 Apr 30, 2011