by Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)

They say (and by “they,” I mean the “experts” we have not met in person, or TBH have any idea if they actually exist), “Write what you know.” Fiction is only good fiction if it includes relatable characters and scenarios, amiright? So let me tell you the Legend of the Leather Jacket, and you can decide for yourself how much (if any) is true.

I mean, even a talking lion is believable because of the humanity he exhibits, yes? [Yeah, I know. I’m trying to get my head around that one, too.]

Let’s start in the middle: I was deep into the second draft of NOLA when I’d taken a weekend with friends, and left Josie’s my black leather jacket at a café. One of my peeps chased after me, admonishing me for devaluing such an important piece of my life. In that moment, I knew Josie was going to have a problem keeping the jacket with her, as well.

Molly Jo's Journals: The Legend of the Leather Jacket

Molly Jo’s Journals: The Legend of the Leather Jacket

It became a running theme through NOLA and in one scene, her forgetfulness turned into a useful trick. I won’t give away the spoiler here, but you can read for yourself in Chapter 15.

The Legend of the Leather Jacket began innocently enough in 2015. I’d already had Josie purchase hers from Toni’s boutique, which meant in my desire for life imitating art that I, too, should have a leather jacket. My mother, being as intuitive as all great mothers are, told me to order it for my Christmas gift.


Unfortunately, I’ve never been big on looking at size charts (see what I did there?), and when the fine black garment arrived, it was an inch too short and, well, let’s say, slightly narrow.

Josie’s jacket was a dream. The tapered fit. The smell of new leather. The belt she could cinch for comfort (or hiding). Her jacket was perfect:

I spotted a black shell jacket. The real leather felt good under my hand. I slipped into it with ease and turned as Toni returned.
“Try this.” She held out a black dress. Something about it attracted me more than the dress in the window. This one reminded me of Audrey Hepburn or Bette Davis. Classic. Simple. Long. Elegant. Amazing. This was a dress to get noticed in.
Toni held it against my shoulders. “I bet it’d be awful fine on you.” She led me to a fitting room and waited as I changed.
The promise of the sequined straps and flow of the soft fabric gathered me in its fantasy.
“Perfect fit,” she said as I shimmied in the dress and jacket. “One to keep you warm. One to make you hot.”

I had planned to lunch with friends after the January meeting of a local writer’s club, but since the afternoon schedule was already full, I decided to skip the meal and head to the leather store to exchange the ill fit and get This Girl a jacket that meant as much to me as Josie’s meant to her. {NOLA is somewhat biographical.} It took me a few wrong turns to get where I needed to go, but that’s par for the course, right?

As I slipped into the fit, several friends texted me, unaware of the other multiple messages I was receiving.

Headline: Two people who had been harassing me for several months had shown up at the restaurant. They were looking for me, and were none too pleased I wasn’t where I said I’d be.

That was my first moment in Josie’s new jacket, and that was the moment I felt secure.

My jacket and I continue to go through a lot, and we’re becoming comfortably worn. It saw me through the harassment episode. Has protected me against harsh weather. Dresses up a pair of good jeans and tall boots. It reminds me to take things as they come and allow a little free-spirited Bohemian wandering each day.

And it always reminds me that timing is everything.

We’ve moved cross country. Enjoy the South. Attend conferences, seminars, retreats, and classes.

In Josie’s jacket, I have arrived.

And we’re going places. Just you wait.

Your turn to tell a story: Drop a comment and share an item or article you have that has gone through life moments with you.

The newest entry in Molly Jo's Journals: The Legend of the Leather Jacket, life moments, and a #Kerouac quote. Click To Tweet

Come alive and stay wild,

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Bohemian Hurricane

Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer and author coach. Known as the Bohemian Hurricane, she encourages people to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day. Addicted to cats, coffee, and pens in no particular order.

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