"It's a story," I say. I should be looking at the camera, but instead stare at the bone trees.
"Why is it a story?" asks Jing.
"Because--" I found this scarf under a marshmallow sky, walking with people I don't remember. My cardigan scratches like the carpet in my dad's study. My mittens came from a peddler. They were twelve dollars, but he gave them to me for five. He said he liked my smile. My coat is black with gold buttons that remind me of winter in St. Petersburg, of ballerinas and officers who don't shave. I've never been to Russia, though I'd like to go, someday. "Because it has a beginning, a middle, and, like the books you read over and over, no end."
I don't know if my response is documentary material. I should have referenced Twiggy, or Jimi Hendrix's band jacket, still lingering on the runways like a purple haze.
Jing interviews Nick about men's fashion. He says it's evolving. Prep schools now ply dumpsters for uniforms. Tommy Hilfiger has five o' clock shadow: "These ain't yo daddy's khaki pants."
After the interview, I read Slaughter House Five. It's the only book I can reread without getting bored. Underlines and exclamation points jungle the pages. I draw a sun next to my favorite quote:
There was a party where everyone smoked and spoke like Dr. Seuss. While there, I painted the quote on a strip of canvas.
The words remind me of stories in big, paisley books: the great fairy tale of fashion, a story where everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts.