Last week I donned my favorite jacket which loving wife gave to me for my birthday, the Barbour Sapper, and I left the house for work. The morning routine. I strolled to the Carroll Street stop, as I always do, and proceeded to the exact spot on the underground platform that will deposit me nearest the exit at my destination. Repetition breeds efficiency. I turned my Kindle on, and proceed to dig into the Lincoln autobiography I’ve been slogging through for the past 2 months, and in so doing, I leaned against the platform girder pole. The same girder pole I always lean against. I’m a leaner. Always leaning. When I got to the city and took my jacket off, my hands touched something wet and sticky. This is unequivocally a bad tactile sensation to have after a subway ride. It can never bode well.And sure enough, horror of horrors, I had a massive stripe of girder-colored oil-based paint along my shoulder. Seems that my leaning pole had been freshly painted, though no one labeled it as such. Or perhaps someone thought it amusing to remove the sign? Ha ha. Staring at my ruined jacket, I had the kind of unique fury that is utterly impotent, for there is no proper recipient and nowhere to direct it. I walked it over to the Barbour store on Wooster, and the dude was like, “Well, we can send it off to the factory and maybe they’ll be able to improve it.” That’s not the verb I was hoping to hear. Anyway, now it’s in Barbour’s hands. A ruthless and vengeful New York City decided that it was going to take my jacket and kill it. You cannot fight this town when it spontaneously decides a sacrifice is necessary; that there will be blood. I guess that sense of surprise and fear helps keep our relationship fresh.