In response to Photo-Fiction #46
I got my hat when I was 17. It had been hanging on the wall of the rickety shack where my summer love reached it’s zenith. I had loved her and she was only passing through and as a parting gift I had given her my virtue. She had given me a hat. I wore it proudly and for many years it was the thing by which I was defined.
“My Husband, the one with the hat.” My wife fondly. I had worn it on our first date, or wedding day, seen our son born.
“Dad, do you always have the wear the hat?” my son full of teenage angst. I wore it everyday to work, to drop him off to school.
“My Grappa wears a funny hat.” my granddaughter full of childish glee. It was hiding my bald spot.
“Grappa can I wear it?” My great grandson, the magician. To him I was just classic.
I watched them grow and change as the world chiseled them into shape. It’s been a good life, witnessed since that day in that rickety shack, by this hat. Is it any wonder, that when she came to me at death’s door, it was the thing I took with me?
She came, that night as the machine beeps started to slow, I could feel my last breath gathering it’s strength, she had come. Not a day older than the 19 I had left her, the ghost of a summer back then. My hat on the side table. She offered me another way. A chance to see and to follow, the way the man the hat had been had done for me. Just to watch and never interfere.
I made the choice, I took her offer. I’ll live, a watcher now, in a black top hat.