Again, this is much more than a double-drabble, but sometimes that is the way it is. The icon does not really do the inappropriateness justice.
It is the height of summer, and John is still wearing tight-buttoned woollen suits, albeit lighter ones. True, men in his own time went about in shirtsleeves, but not gentlemen. His hotel pool is a relief - he can sit in a chair quietly relaxing, reading, feeling luxurious; swim a little before he exhausts himself; trail his legs in the cooling water. There is no sulphur here to eat his lungs and the chlorine does not seem to affect them too badly.The close-fitting woollen bathing costume protects and hides his gaunt scarred chest, and if his bones and tendons still protrude from his limbs, people's eyes are too reserved to focus clearly on him. He feels almost like a child in his little striped suit, paddling contentedly, knowing no one, looking out at a world that is still unfamiliar and new where everyone else bustles with intention.
There is a cart that makes the rounds of the pool, especially attending those seated quietly in the chairs under the bright umbrellas. John has learned his perpetual flask is not appropriate here, and he samples some of the more exotically named drinks content to be surprised with whatever he is served. He has always, even in Tombstone, been partial to ice cream, and iced lemonade, and ice generally. The little cart features a freezer compartment with violently coloured bars of ice on sticks. They are quite flavourful and he becomes enamoured of them - the sensation of sinking his teeth fully in real ice, the white outside that seems as if he might almost allow his tongue to stick to it. Banana, becomes his favourite. He is still amused by bananas. And grape, and root beer.
He is observant and watches the other men and boys as they move about the hotel. Not one is dressed in a woollen suit. Not one. He does not like to take his derby to the pool. Even he can tell it is inappropriate, would be destroyed rapidly, and there is surely no option of wearing it while swimming. His forehead grows bright pink, peels white around the edges, the reddening colour glowing from his soft silver and blond hair. Finally one of the waiters with the drinks and ices kindly suggests he purchase summer attire, a cap, sandals. the latter he especially suggests as there is occasionally glass around the pool where John seems to spend so much of his time. He recommends a number of shops within two block radius of the hotel. John is used to tailors, but perhaps that has ceased to be a viable profession and he prepares to buy his clothes ready made after the manner of the hotel guests he sees around him - those who can afford luxury and surely know the current styles.
He makes his way to the nearest shop - it is not one of those recommended, but they all sport colourful canopies, glass walls. It is filled with clothing - shirts mostly, some trousers and very loose... breeches? But he has seen so many people wearing them, they do not really confuse him. Still, with his knees and reddening shins, perhaps the trousers would be better. They are after all light... not cotton exactly. He finds a pair he fancies, of all the designs. They have a simple rabbit design all over them, repeated endlessly. They are not garish as most. White rabbits on a black background, and they give an air ore of a magician's card than a child's playroom. Near the back there is a whole series of shirts describing professions, again simple black words - though they are large. He selects the one advertising dentistry. A great many of the shirts seem to be simple advertising, and though it would have been gauche in his day, everyone went about in such things - lawyers, doctors, even priests apparently. The only dentisty one left is a large for him, but that seems to be the fashion too - either over-sized or tight, showing one's belly. He will not reveal his scars and opts for loose. He chooses the hat easily. It has is shady and practical, and even if it has the word Colt on it, at least that is familiar if informal. Formality though does not seem important any more and most of the shop has some sort of insignia.
Shoes are more of a problem. Spats are completely out of the question. He has not seen a single pair since... he has not seen a single pair. But probably the newly invented materials could be cleaned with impunity. This shop does not offer them, but the next does and the young man serving him shows almost touching solicitude. John is gratified and reponds warmly, mentioning the pool and his enjoyment of the sun, his need for protection. There is a wall of sandals, but the cloth straps whose sole purpose seem to be to hold the soles to one's foot don't seem like a good design. Perhaps, he suggests, something modern, plastic, to protect his toes. Plastic seems to be high-technology and John asks for it, pleased that he knows of its washable durable qualities. After carefully looking him up and down the young man offers another rack of shoes in pastel colours that do indeed seem modern, covering the toe, the back of his foot. He mentions their usefulness in his watersports and the young man blushes and almost turns away. He must be shy, but shows John a display of colourful bandanas, offering John a yellow one, compliments of the house to tie around his wrist. This is very practical - his new trousers had lacked pockets. He chooses shoes in gold to match the handkerchief. Very nice. They seem a little small, but they stretch a little and are surprisingly comfortable when he takes the biggest pair.
After the fiasco in Santa Barbara he has changed - sold - all his old money and there is no difficulty paying. In fact the young man gives him a nice discount and a business card, in case he wishes to return.
As he passes the front desk, returning to the hotel with his packages, the concierge attracts his attention and hands him a message. An invitation to a midsummer celebration at Ynez' home. He beams and asks about arrangements to take her something nice, for the party. All is arranged to his satisfaction and he retires to the cool of the swimming pool until evening. He will save his new clothing for the moment.
Evening comes and he arrives promptly, having summoned a taxi. He lifts and taps the knocker, anticipating the party. Ynez answers the door and he smiles, cannot help it. She is beautiful in a crisp white dress, her hair prettily arranged and adorned with white flowers - magnolias, maybe.
On the way he has not been able to resist the treats he was bringing to the party. Just one ice bar. His tongue and lips and the bottom of his moustache are dyed electric blue. He has the yellow bandana around his wrist and it matches his large sparkly jelly Mary Jane shoes. He has drawstring Playboy Bunny pants and his shirt proclaims Dentists Do It In Your Mouth
. His ensemble is topped by a cheap canvas cap with curtain-like flaps at the back and sides and a large bill. It has cigarillo advertisements emblazoned on it in silk-screen. Under his arm he carries an open carton of popsicle boxes.
His smile is brilliant. "Good evening, Ynez!"