Fat, lazy snowflakes drifted down, dusting the street like icing sugar. One store window projected a warm glow onto the grey street. Over the window, the sign read Joffrey Russ, Fur Designer. Another read Retirement Sale.
It was a small concession, thought Russ as he looked out. He wasn’t retiring, just giving in. Forty-five earlier, downtown had been full of furriers and upscale shops. Now, his neighbors were a bohemian coffee shop and an Ethiopian restaurant.
Things had changed. In the game of social politics known as fashion, people no longer wore animal skins that were artistically shaped and colored. Instead, they dyed and pierced their own skin.
That was the difference between a man and a fox, he thought while fluffing the display. A fox is always a fox, from one scrounging, sniffing moment to the next. He changes when forced by lack of food, water or habitat. Man often changes because of boredom or because he’s following a notion of progress. A professional woman walked by wearing shoes reminiscent of a child’s patent leather dress-ups and a faux fur coat.
He’d ridden the fickle wave to success and a good life. He would not be bitter about the end of the season. He’d always marveled at the endless variety and characteristics of the skins he worked with, and he now felt the same admiration for his fellow humans.
Today, he thought, would be a good day to order Ethiopian food for lunch.