Sewing and dreams: “Mr. Ferri and the Furrier,” by Cynthia Zarin

In the jewelry store I unwrapped the fabric. I had bought it the week before, in the pouring rain, in the garment district, in a shop I had visited obsessively years before. It was during a time in my life when the amount of time that I devoted to thinking about upholstery fabric was in inverse proportion to everything else I wasn’t thinking about: chief among these was how a person like me, untrained in domestic arts or stick-to-itiveness, could be responsible for a baby, who would quickly grow up into a child. I slip-covered one hand-me-down sofa in ill-advised pale duck linen, with striped piping. By the second year I had dyed it with tea, to hide the stains. But by the time I found myself propelled to Mr. Ferri I had long given up on slipcovers or upholstery—draping the multiplying chairs and sofas with old tablecloths and shawls, as one child, by hook or crook, had followed another, and many of my sentences, then, were prefaced by the words “there’s just no point in…” I had not looked at the fabric since I bought it—the shop had wrapped it, like a present, in carefully folded tissue paper. It slid across the glass counter, like a half-vanished dream.

Read more in Little Star Weekly (#1-3)!

(We’ve serialized Cynthia Zarin’s tale of the city in stitches over the first three issues of our new app, Little Star Weekly. Try out your own Dickensian mobile experience with Little Star!)


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