This morning I woke up with the “right” attitude. I was going to have a good Monday. A good week. I was ready to make the best of everything and spread love like a baby cherub to all my co-workers.
As I was getting ready to leave I put on my black Barbour coat. I reached for my favorite red scarf.
Scarves are important. Or at least they are to me. Emblematic of people who spoiled me, I have scarves from places around the world.
My sister has given me one from Denmark; it shimmers with a light purple and shines gold depending on how the light hits. One from Thailand. Vietnam.
Vietnam is the red scarf. It’s from someone I love dearly. Romantically. Who’s far away and I rarely get to see. The red scarf is from a time before life got in the way.
I looped it around my neck and tucked it in my jacket best I could. I reached for the zipper and jerked it quickly. But as I readjusted my zip, I realized the luscious ruby red material was caught within the contraption.
When I pulled down to reverse what I had done, the zipper seemed to gnaw further at the silken splendor.
I panicked. With my roommate still in bed I mumbled “Heellp. Help.” I started sweating.
“Dammit, help me! F-ing help me.”
I was angry. My scarf was going to be stuck forever. I would never get to work. And I was getting hot underneath it all.
“Gerh uh ugh…halp!”
Roommate came to rescue in her PJs. After a minute or so she was finally able to remove the scarf. But when she did, the red silk looked as if it had been stabbed with a pencil and yanked down for good measure. I was fuming.
Embarrassed, I apologized to my roommate. I felt like a child. I walked back to my room and threw the scarf on the bed.
As I walked off my anger and into the metro, I began to cry.
Nothing in this world lasts forever, I thought. Tears welled in my eyes and dropped like gumballs onto the pavement. I thought of everything my mom had given me. I thought of my romance from which the red Vietnamese scarf was wrought.
And now it had a hole in it. Just like the winter tights in my drawer my mom had given me three Christmases ago. I still have them.
The train was sucking me towards the future as I cried, not even about the scarf, but about memories past. And how they, just like my gifted garments, become mangled as they are revisited.
How can I protect them from the future?
How can a silk scarf’s weave remain as soft and intricate as a kiss shared almost a year ago, dancing in the living room?
I know there’s no protecting either from weather.
The train squeals. Stops. Ding-Dong-Ding. Doors open. And I’m sucked out onto the Farragut West platform by an invisible force not entirely my own.
I keep on. But only because I know that love transcends all things, including time.