The hat was a gift from an
old friend, not fancy in any way but it was a soft but firm grey wool knit,
pleasing and so caressing, I complimented it often.
I could pull it down and
cover my ears with it, real warmth. I told it how much I love it. At first I
felt a warm glow from it, a real attraction.
But as time went on I felt
it shift to something like indifference. In fact I got the distinct impression
that it did not want to be near me. It would lose itself. Now and then it would
turn up in the wrong place. A place I was sure I did not put it.
The first time was in the
back seat of my car, well, yes I could have tossed it back there. The next time
it was under a couple of old baseball caps that I no longer wore, much to their
annoyance. Initially I thought the caps were taking it out on the beautiful
grey wool hat because I had neglected them. The first eye-opening moment
occurred when I found my wool hat at the bottom of the laundry basket
underneath underwear and smelly t-shirts. Never would I put that hat in the
Even so, as with many
things I gave these events the benefit of the doubt. I had of late been a
little more than forgetful, so perhaps...
The situation got worse, on
more than one occasion it was nowhere to be found for a day or two, ultimately
to be found under a couch, or behind a bookcase, another time it was actually
in the trash can. How could that possibly be?
I thought I had been
getting on well with it. Maybe it felt overwhelmed. Have I done something wrong
I asked? Its attitude seemed to imply complete indifference almost
Then one night a real jolt.
I decided to see a movie Id heard about. I drove and parked my car about
two blocks from the theatre. It was cold and I wore my hat pulled down over my
ears, it kept me as warm as ever, but I thought I heard something, some angry
mumbling. Did it come from a nearby couple? I pulled my hat up, the mumbling
went away, then I pulled it back down over my ears, the mumbling returned
louder. All I could make out were sharp angry sounds that seemed to be
accusatory. The theater was just a few feet away and there was a short queue. I
foolishly passed the mumbling off as a conversion I happened to overhear.
I took off my hat in the theater lobby and almost simultaneously I came across
an old acquaintance who was seeing the same movie as I, we found seats
together. After the film we continued to catch up on news and decided to stop
at nearby café.
It had been a very pleasant
evening. But when I got home I realized that Id left my hat somewhere; so
engrossed in the film and the conversation with my friend that I lost track of
when I last had it.
I immediately searched my
car, under the back seat, under the front seat, in the far end, nothing. I went
to the convenience store that Id stopped at on the way back home to get a
container of milk. It wasnt there. I returned to the movie theater. I
parked exactly where I had parked earlier in the evening. I retraced my steps
to the theater I saw nothing on the sidewalk, the theater was closed so I
walked to the café, it was just about to close, but they had not found a
hat, only an old scarf.
I even searched my
apartment thinking that somehow I hadnt actually taken my hat with me to
the movie theater however improbable that was. Of course, my hat wasnt
The next day I returned to
the theater after work. Do you have a lost and found?
I described my loss,
apparently people leave an amazing number of things at movie theaters. After a
minute or two, the clerk pulled out a grey hat. It looked like my hat. I took
it, but even as I took it something felt wrong. I put it on my head quickly so
as not to lose it again. It did not feel right. I took the hat off and looked
inside, the inside label seemed wrong. Could that be? I looked again, the label
seemed to be missing some information, but I couldnt pin point what that
might be. I put the hat on again. No, this was certainly not my hat. I turned
around and went back into the theater and asked if possibly they had found more
than one grey hat. The clerk kindly searched box of founds as she
If that hat is not
yours, just leave it with us.
misgivings, No, no, it looks like my hat, but its
Ever since that hat has
been lifeless. It is not as warm and it doesnt cover my ears completely.
Im certain it is not my hat, not the one I had when I went into that
movie theater. Im sure my hat went off with someone who was at the movie
theater that same night and this bland cold imitation was left
This hat causes no trouble,
no mischief, and I always find it where I left it. But sadly, it has no spirit.
I could not bear to wear
the false gray hat, so a week ago I started to wear the baseball hats, a
different one each day. But the baseball hats snickered and laughed when I put
one or the other of them on. Theres justice after all! I
thought I heard one of them say.
I cannot stand the smug
comments the baseball hats continue to make. Id sooner die than listen to
them anymore. Today I went out and bought a hoodie. Thats not even
a hat, they said on my return. Let them sneer all they want. Theyll
pay for it. Im sure it was their nasty remarks that drove my wool hat
away. Oh, yes, theyll pay.