Every year I lose a hat

And every year, I mourn it. After spending most of the year with a remarkable ability to keep it close to me, I finally lost my hat somewhere between the Merchandise Mart and Buffalo Grove.

By now, I’m used to the loss and failure that bites more harshly than the cold wind at my ears; it has receded to a dull incredulity and slight amusement. I probably won’t see it again, but I do hope that it serves its next owner well. Ever since I picked it up off of the alcohol and puke-stained streets of Champaign during Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, it has been a warm, hair-taming presence on my head.

I washed it before wearing it. Calm down.

I don’t really have a point in writing this – indeed, I haven’t had much of a point in writing anything on this blog lately – but I wanted to ask you, what is it about losingĀ things that’s so devastating?

I’ve spent the better part of the last few years reducing my material belongings. First, it was so that I could jam everything I needed into a car. Then it was simply out of a disgust for the attachment that came along with the material – I had been seduced by the freedom of living out of my backpack. Finally, it was in contrast to my mother, who is an impulse buyer and has stocked our house with more things than we will ever know what to do with.

But even so, losing my hat is always a punch to the gut. I don’t understand it.