The other day, I could not find my coat.
I’d sat through one edifying lecture too many, during which I’d had trouble not falling to the floor from sheer fatigue. Afterward, famished, I’d stopped at my café for a late bite. By the time I came home, the coat was nowhere to be found. It was past time to call the places I’d been that evening. I would have to sleep on it (the loss) and try to recoup in the morning.
A word about the coat. It was no ordinary garment. It was French, demi-saison (for spring and fall), three-quarter length, darkish brown in hue and – though I had bought it off the rack – a perfect fit.
“Off the rack” is misleading. The rack in question was located in a small boutique on 89th and Madison Ave., run by two French ladies. Theirs was a shop I could step into with very precise needs:
“I have to give a paper on philosophy of mind—“
“I have to get married—“
and leave the rest to them.
Some time after the financial crisis of 2008, the shop closed. My reputation for being well-dressed would have shut down with it, except that their garments don’t fray.
Life brings certain upsets against which all the philosophy in the world is rendered speechless.
without this coat my particular life is meaningless.”
I feel that way about coffee too, but if you overturn one cup, there is more. But as for this coat, from that shop – nevermore!
By morning, the tear in the fabric of my world was mended. My temple, where I’d attended the previous night’s lecture, had retrieved it. A staff member had said, “Isn’t that Abbie’s coat?” and set it safely in their coat room.
But not mended entirely. Where before I would fling on the coat without a second thought, now the nonchalance (that was actually part of the coat) is gone.
Henceforth, I must regard this ticket to life’s meaningfulness – warily.