I must get some pleasure out of lonely. A deep familiar pleasure from putting on my lonely coat and letting everyone see just how well it’s sewn.
“Oh, that lonely coat must have cost you a fortune!”
“Oh my! I’ve never seen a lonely coat as beautiful as yours.”
“Here, let me help you with that…” as she reaches to take it off my back. I cling to it like my baby sister used to cling to her blankie.
Who am I without my lonely coat? How will people see that I’m special? It’s my signature piece. I always get generous compliments when I wear it, no matter what the weather.
Underneath I see my skinny legs. Well, my legs are not actually skinny. They simply feel skinny and my knees are knobby and all of the sudden I’m 7 years old and this coat is all I have to wear over my cold flesh. What would I wear otherwise?
I don’t have any money for new clothes. My allowance is only $5 a week and my big sister doesn’t let me anywhere near her closet. Mom’s closet is stuffed with clothes but they’re all so mom-like and huge! They would never fit.
I sit down my eyes cast toward the ground. I see my bare feet sticking out of the bottom of my lonely coat and I cry. I don’t know what else to do because no one really wants a lonely coat. And I really don’t know what to do without one.
So, I sit and wait for something to happen. (waiting, waiting) (waiting much longer than I want)
Finally, I remember to breathe. I wiggle my toes and fold my hands. I look to the right; I look to the left and then, I look up.
I smile because I see an angel. Well, I think it’s an angel. It’s more like a low hanging cloud hovering just above my head.
I see that when I wiggle my toes the cloud shifts a bit. When I stand up the cloud envelops me. I feel an all-consuming warmth moving through my coat penetrating my skin. I don’t know what’s happening but I swirl my head all around, I raise my arms, I plant my feet on the ground and I lean back. I feel as though the energy of the sun is beaming through my chest.
I look down to find I’m back to my grown up self. My hands and feet are strong and my hair is flowing beautifully in the mix of cloud, angel and sun.
I relax. I let go. I realize that my lonely coat was just an illusion. I had been wearing it so long it felt real. I don’t need a lonely coat to keep me safe from hurt, to prove to you that I’m special. I just need to remember to breathe and to open up to the sun in my chest. My lonely coat served me well for many seasons. It’s been so precious to me.