My Hat

I stand there like a buoy in the parking lot, obtuse in my bright red hat.

I decide that the sky is tender. Tender up there and still blue above the blue doors of the motel and the sheepish cars. A man with his mouth open and a woman in tiny green boots walk across the parking lot to me. I keep forgetting: drive in a car, sleep in a bed.

Are you waiting for someone? he asks.

Did you forget where you parked? she asks.

I don’t drive, I say. But I’ve got my hat.

Their eyebrows chatter quietly amongst themselves. One after one, the doors of the motel hiccup open and people step out under their hair, blowing their noses into square tissues.

The sky is worried for me. It is cold, it is early, and I haven’t had many vegetables or sleep. But I feel fine. Really. I feel really fine.

It’s chilly this morning, the man says.

Oh, I say. I've got my hat.

Hat or no hat, he says, I don’t know how you got here to this motel with no car, okay?

Where did you sleep last night? the lady asks.

I can’t tell her. I don’t know. I keep forgetting to drive in a car and sleep in a bed. The morning air is dubious and up under my fingernails cold.

I just keep waking up, I say.

You should eat something, he says. There’s a restaurant back at Milepost 132. If you get on the 19 and head south...

But he doesn’t drive, the lady says.

They both look at me.

I’m sorry, I say. I just keep waking up.


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