Thursday, January 24, 2008
Heavy thoughts about a warm coat?
Those are pigeons huddling for warmth around the Eternal Flame in the Daley Center Plaza last week.
I don't know what's huddling around the flame this morning... it's below zero out and I did not dawdle this morning on my walk from the subway to the Undisclosed Location. I did my best to stay inside as long as possible and outside as little as necessary.
It's cold today. It's so cold that Al Gore is probably checking his figures somewhere.
This would be the day to wear the Zero King. I planned to, after I heard the weather forecast last night.
I planned to -- but when the time came to leave this morning there was not enough time to put the plan into effect.
The Zero King is a coat. It was my father's. It is the warmest coat I have ever owned, and the warmest I am ever likely to own. It is long -- it goes down to my shins -- and it has an enormous collar that can be pulled up to cradle my head.
It weighs a ton.
It was the weight, really, that scotched the plan to wear the coat this morning. To wrestle the Zero King out of the closet and put the down jacket back in the closet would have taken too long and Long Suffering Spouse was anxious to depart. The car needed time to warm up. The windshield needed to be brushed off.
The down jacket is a bit... worn. The cuffs are filthy -- newsprint rubs off -- and it has a splotch of blue paint on one shoulder, a souvenir of a Cub Scout den meeting one night some years back when Long Suffering Spouse and I were both allegedly in charge of a Webelo den.
Long Suffering Spouse came up with all the projects, bought and brought all the needed supplies, got the room at school, and supervised the boys as they worked on whatever arts and crafts project she'd devised.
I showed up.
But the blue paint came from one of those projects. Some kid put his newly over-painted creation on my coat.
Because it looks increasingly disreputable, I try not to wear the down jacket on days when I have to go to court.
Of course, when it gets cold or snowy in Chicago, we all go into grim-struggle-for-survival mode. I wouldn't be the only one in a down jacket at court if I wore it there -- but I still try not to.
If I had to go to court this morning, I would have struggled to get the Zero King out of the closet. But I didn't... and I didn't.