Though Willard had always pictured himself in the subtle gray pinstripe, he decided against it at the last moment. Years of maintaining a keen edge on the trouser crease that was once the definition of a well groomed man, had weakened the fabric and left what now appeared to be a light gray chalk line running dead center down the front and back of each pant leg.
He chose instead a polished silk blend, in charcoal. He had always loved the tapered waist on the jacket and hand carved ornamental buttons on the sleeves, but felt the tri-pleat on the front of the trouser insinuated a pauchiness that distracted from the otherwise clean cut of the suit and therefore was never comfortable wearing the jacket open.
There would be no reason to wear the jacket open today.
Scrupulously shaved, and every hair oiled into place, Willard chose a muted striped tie that would neither add to nor distract from the sheen of the suit, and threaded it though the starched white collar of his dress shirt. He tied a crisp Windsor knot, checking it thrice for straightness, before slipping into the suit jacket.
In what now seemed to have been another life, Willard would have headed from his dressing room down to the kitchen, where his Mary would have one lacy fried egg, a generous slice of cured ham and thick cut marbled rye bread toasted to perfection and buttered thoroughly, from crust to crust, waiting for him.
He would place the egg face down on one piece of toast, cover it with the sliced ham, and then after folding it just so, enjoy every succulent bite washed down with strong black coffee, while Mary slathered the remaining piece of toast with her homemade jam and outlined for him her days events, her gold flecked brown eyes shimmering like so much whiskey in a glass.
Today, however, Willard prepared for himself a spartan breakfast and ate alone at the yellow laminate kitchen table, with only the morning paper for company.
On his way to the garage, he started to straighten the soft ecru antimacassar his Mary had tatted to protect the seat back of his favorite chair, but then thought better of it. He folded the cameo shaped doily with care, and tucked it neatly into the inside pocket of his suit jacket.
Arriving early, Willard asked for and was granted a few moments alone with his Mary before anyone else arrived. Careful not to soil the robins egg blue silk of her favorite suit with his tears, Willard cradled her gently and lifted her toward him.
Withdrawing the antimacassar from his interior pocket, Willard covered the stark white of the slumber pillow with the warm familiar ecru doily taking great care to center it just so, before he settled his Mary back into her resting place.
There was a quiet rap on the door before the mortuary attendant entered.
“Are we ready to receive guests?”
Willard cleared his throat, tugging gently on his perfectly knotted tie. “Yes, I believe we are.”
This was painstakingly written to satisfy the three phrases provided by the OLWG #24. The phrases were:
- Whiskey in a glass
- The keen edge