by gm

Stuart Ross


Al at Moore’s menswear store in Ajax,
Ontario, is a pretty good guy. Not just
because he found me a nice Italian suit
for $199 ($270 with tax and alterations)
but because he found one below my budget
instead of trying to upsell me
like the guy in the Cobourg mall.
At first Al said “a little spare change”
would get me the really good suits
but I said I didn’t have any
and he believed me.
Also, Al looks good in a black suit
and not like an undertaker.
He delivered his corny suit-seller’s jokes
knowing they were corny. And he also
marked my sleeve cuff with a sliver
of white chalk just like my grandfather
Sam Blatt used to do, a tape measure
draped over his shoulders like a tallit.
When my grandfather was in Branson
Hospital dying, he scrawled
some Hebrew letters on a piece of
paper towel because he couldn’t talk.
I still have the paper towel but I’m
scared to find out what the Hebrew
letters spell. The cheap suits all looked
cheap but Al kept trying, even after
the store had closed. It’s the first
suit I’ve bought since 1972, the year
of my bar mitzvah. I told this to Al.
It was a bit of a test to see if he flinched
finding out I am Jewish. He didn’t.
This suit is for my wedding. I won’t
need another until my funeral. But
maybe if I stay in good shape,
take care of myself and eat well,
the beautiful suit Al found for me
will still just about fit.